In short: Great race and support but park and ride needs sorting out... In full: My first Hastings Half and I really enjoyed it, despite the freezing weather.
Pros - Incredible support and atmosphere. I was amazed at the number of spectators who turned up across the vast majority of the course to not only cheer and shout but also play music (including a DJ in his own garden after 6 miles!) and hand out Jelly Babies, oranges and water. As always a massive thanks go to the marshalls as well. How they stay warm for that long I'll never know. - The Park & Ride on the way to the race worked well, with that and other parking options well signposted. - The finish along the waterfront was great and would have been even better had the sun shone! - Good to have a different medal and I think it works well that if you want a souvenir t-shirt etc. then you can buy one after rather than pay a higher entry fee and get one in a goody bag.
Cons - The Park & Ride on the way back was shambolic. There was only one bus and it was taking around 20-30 mins to do a round trip. I waited for an hour in the freezing cold, which is less than ideal at any time, let alone after a 2 hour run. I felt sorry for the people who also had children with them. This needs to be sorted for next year (particularly if the weather is better and there are less drop outs), otherwise people will opt to drive to the start instead.
However, even after the annoyance of getting back to the car the overall day was excellent and I will definitely be back next year. Date of review: March 26, 2013
In short: As ever, a great race... In full: As ever, excellent organisation and a great atmosphere. Despite the very cold March weather (barely 1°C), the good people of Hastings came out in their droves and once again made this the great half marathon that it is. Well done to all those involved in its organisation. (Always good to hear the drum and bagpipes at the start.) Date of review: March 26, 2013
In short: Park and Ride shambles !!! In full: My first time here.Really enjoyed the race and a big thanks to the marshals who had to stand there in that bone freezing weather.The support and entertainment around the course was brilliant even on the country stretches. But the park and ride was not good.I imagine the bus company gave their services free but with an event of this size a two single decker shuttle before the start and just one after was clearly inadequate.I am sure people would be happy to pay for a better service. We had to wait in a very long queue for over an hour out in freezing conditions,not ideal after running a half marathon,even people in coats were shaking with the cold. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: you go up, up and up....then down, down and down In full: my first half marathon wasn't helped by a stiff calf from mile 4 but glad I persisted becuase the supporters and marshals young and old really made this race one to remember as they had to stand around in the freezing (and I mean freezing) cold for a couple of hours. I was obviously lucky with the Park and Ride as I only waited for 10 minutes but this will need sorting out next year (only one bus at the end...) or nobody will use what is potentially a great service. All in all though a very memorable run and thanks to the easterly wind as I would never have made the last three miles without it! Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Great out and back course with a fast finish In full: Yes it was not the warmest,but we had no snow, and the wind did not bite that much once you got going. The long drag from 3 up to 5 miles was challenging but once you got on to the top of the ridge you have broken the back of the race(with the odd sneaky climb thrown in later for good measure).Down hill from mile 9 allowing for a negative split. Smashed my PB by an amazing 5 minutes. Crowds so supportive, similar to the Great North Run. A must Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Did someone mention hills? In full: Super race, but those hills... I had tried to find the course profile online beforehand and worked on my hill training, but nothing prepared me for what was to come. It was the relentless hills for the first half plus the cold that just made this my slowest HM this year. Despite that - lovely race, great organisation, super marshals who I made a point of thanking as I went past (they must have been freezing with standing still for so long). The locals with orange segments was very much appreciated and welcome, the scouts at the water tables were great and in all a fun race. Well done all of us who completed it on such a cold day. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: This is my 3rd time doing Hastings, and it's always worth the trip. The first half of the race is tough, with lots of uphills, but you get to make this up in the very speedy second half. The best thing about this race is the atmosphere; even yesterda In full: y when it was absolutely freezing, the locals come out in their masses to cheer you on, hand out jelly babies and generally get behind you. I will definitely be back next year (hopefully with some better weather!) Date of review: March 25, 2013