In short: Must do marathon, great setting and phenomenal support, sign up now! In full: Signed up as a charity runner and marathon virgin, having done triathlons/shorter runs previously. Pre-race information comprehensive and easy to find, emailed out as required. Although I live 2 hours away decided to stay in a hotel closer to the race as chip/number has to be collected in person friday/saturday and to avoid any driving was within a short walk from polegate station. Train in on sunday morning comprised of 2 carriages and by the time we reached london road it was crammed to near capacity. Pre-race was about a 10 minute walk in to Preston Park. Although there were 000's there it was still quite an open uncrowded meeting place, plenty of loo's and some urinals and unfortunately for some long queues at the loo's. Didn't use the baggage trucks but a couple of friends did and were only away for a few minutes. About 15 minutes before the start everyone was coralled into the colour coded areas. Usual pre-race nervous atmosphere at the start, took about 10 minutes from the gun to cross the start line and my first marathon experience was underway. Most of the first 10k was in around town with some gentle inclines, support on the course was already packed, creating an amazing atmosphere. Had to check my pace a couple of times as tendancy to get swept along with the masses, definately not here for a 10k PB! Next 10k was out on the coast road to the east and a gentle incline/decline at times. Much quieter but spectactular views over the sea, took on a bottle of gatorade and sipped it all over the next 5 miles or so, most had a swig a chucked the bottle which I thought was a terrible waste and fairly pointless really. There was water offered at regular intervals, in paper cups. Some have critised this as opposed to supplying bottles but as I stopped to walk whilst taking water on it didn't bother me, I could see the argument if you were after a PB and had done a few marathons before and weren't planning on stopping. By the halfway mark we were back in town and the crowds were even bigger and louder, saw some of the elites heading down toward the finish going the opposite way. Next 10k was out through Hove along church road/new church road. I noticed people walking for the first time around the 15 mile mark. First gels (not isotonic) at mile 17, support great all the way and more of a family atmosphere. Final 10k or so out to Shoreham harbour and back to the finish close to the pier. For many I suspect this was the toughest section, it was getting warmer and there was alot a walking, gels again around 22 mile at the harbour, support noticeably quieter in the 6 mile to/from the harbour but not particularly scenic enough to want to stand there for hours anyhow. Personally still felt good and kept running throughout, took gels every 30 mins from 1 hour 30 min in so that may have helped too, having learnt from previous bad experience in a 30k trail run. Last few miles along the seafront and support was great, with plenty of encouragement, my legs were feeling tired and I was glad to see the pier getting closer. And then it was all over, I had finished my first marathon! Took about 10 minutes to reach the public area where everyone was patiently waiting to meet family/friends. Took probably a good 45 minutes to get through the beach village area (with a child buggy) and another 20 minutes to get across the course crossing point. At the station the train company (Southern) had again let people down by not putting on enough carriages (think there were 3) quite a few people couldn't get on and we had to stand for the 30 minute journey crushed in with a buggy. In summary this was a great race, the support was phenonemal and organisation very good. I wouldn' hesitate to recommend the race to anyone considering a first marathon, although I would probably recommend making a weekend of it unless you live close by. The only real complaint I would make is that there was not sufficient capacity on the trains that I used, If I did the race again I may review my travel arrangements.
In short: fantastic event, the people of Brighton should be proud of themselves. In full: Neg: toilets at Withdean park very busy, but I think this was due to runners passing through to Preston Park start.
Pos: The route, the crowds,lots of water stations, oh and again the crowds. The support was absolutely outstanding.
Paper cups: for me not a problem, the idea is you take one or two sips while running and then throw it away, not gulp the whole thing down. Maybe people should just practice this part. Date of review: April 13, 2015
In short: At 26.2miles I cried, then smiled when I thought about doing it again next year! In full: Great race. Park and ride was a real bonus and so easy to do. Well supported and every member of the crowd lifted you. Downside, when you finish, they give you your medal fab. Then a foil to keep you warm, Thank you. Then with your spare hand a bag to put your medal in. Then a tshirt. Then further up chocolate. Then water. Then Gatorade. It would be so much easier to pop it all in a bag and just gave you the bag. Apart from that minor moan (and I was tired and emotional),it was well organised, wel resourced and worth every step and penny it took out of me :) Date of review: April 13, 2015
In short: An amazing day out and everything a marathon should be In full: Last years Brighton Marathon was my first ever Marathon. I signed up for this years at the expo BEFORE I'd finished last years.... I'm so glad I did as the race fees just go up and up otherwise. I've done the same for next year otherwise it's an expensive, albeit very worthwhile, day out... here's why:
1) The need to attend the exhibition on the Friday or Saturday before the race. Means another trip to Brighton. If this isn't your first big race with an exhibition then this just screams "marketing tactic".
2) Some of my friends paid £72.50 to enter. I paid £42.50. Difference of £30 seems steep. £42.50 is about right considering you now get energy gels / water / gatoraid / road closures / finishers t-shirt and medal.
3) Cups. Just awful, I couldn't drink at all without spilling some UNLESS I stopped. With gatoraid this was a problem (sticky!) however what I couldn't understand was some gatoraid was in cups, some in bottles.... seemed ill thought out as the idea of cups was to save on waste but then loads of bottles were being wasted....
4) Toilets. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE put more in. We arrived in Preston Park at 7.50am. The race starts at 9.15. At 7.50am the queues for the loos were so long, I didn't bother. Had to use a bush.... not ideal considering there are 9000+ runners. Improvement required.
However, although these sound bad reasons NOT to run Brighton, the good FAR outweighs the bad..
1) The scenery & route of the Brighton Marathon is amazing! Start by running through the City itself, then out to Rottingdean (which while quieter is still full of support from the locals and lovely views across the sea). Coming back to the Pier / Wheel you can see the mass of crowds as you run in to the main seafront section. I lost myself in this part of the race right through Hove where again the support is amazing. Head in to the lonely Shoreham Power Station section (more on that later) then back along the prom past the pier to enjoy the cheers of finishing. The route couldn't be better in my opinion!
2) The Support. Something about Brighton means they embrace events like this and I've never had support like it. Keeps you going through the darkest moments of suffering injury / the wall / loneliness / doubt etc...
3) The Shoreham Power Station. So many people complain about this BUT at mile 20 to 23 this is meant to be tough. Yes the crowds have almost gone, there is no scenery, the road seems to go on forever but this is what makes a marathon. It is the mental challenge as well as the physical one.
4) Everything else. From the volunteers, the new big screens where friends & family can watch, the other runners, the train journey in to Brighton - everything just feels so happy and like a party. You soon forget that you're about to run 26.2 miles which is really tough and instead just enjoy every minute and soak it all up.
Highly Recommended! Date of review: April 13, 2015
In short: Well organised ... But I'm sorry the cups simply do not work In full: This is a fantastic race that is well organised and the crowds make it an awesome event. Whilst this in not a moan the organisers must listen to the countless reviews that say ... - cups are no good for the drinks stations. - 40-60 minute wait for the toilets at the star is not good.
This yas theoretical to be an amazing event and the organisers have done extremely well since the first race. If it's going to be up there with the best marathons it needs the little bits sorting out and the only way to do that is listen to the people running it.
Thanks to all the Fantastic marshals and spectators Date of review: April 13, 2015
In short: Fantastic, amazing marathon In full: My first marathon! Water stations at every mile, toilets and bag area. The real heroes of the day though must go to the people of Brighton. They were outside their houses cheering us on, handing out sweets, oranges and drinks. I will do this marathon again for sure! My only slight grumble would be that it was a bit of guesswork on where to park. A bit more info for those of us travelling would have been helpful. Otherwise a fantastic event! Thank you Brighton Date of review: April 13, 2015