In short: Special because of the course and time of year In full: I love this course - flat but with character. Better organised than last year. Still work to be done. Needs better bag drop - as has been suggested same bag and race number could save much time. No 'real' changing facilities - the 50p for a shower in the Pyramid centre is very useful, however. Toilets, toilets, toilets required - anyone in the 'know' used public ones in the vicinity.
Good, free on-road parking within easy walking distance. Goodie bag a nice surprise. Date of review: December 24, 2013
In short: Friendly race, but needs a few tweaks now it's grown In full: My second time at this race, (2012/2013) and was just using it as a long, social run - with a chance to enjoy the drinks on the second half.
As such - I didn't mind the bottlenecks, or missing the start but can imagine that this would annoy a lot of people, especially those gunning for a time.
As others have said - it's December, in England, on the South Coast... Expect the weather to be bad! I got diverted at the end and ended up running around the streets of Portsmouth - apparently we got lost and did a bit extra but I must admit I didn't notice.
The bag drop needs improving - maybe put the baggage label in the runners pack, (and make it the same number as the race number - giving out little raffle tickets with a random number on is a recipe for disaster, where are we supposed to put it - and keep it dry?)
Oh - and yes, more loos please... The portaloos at halfway were unusable and caused many people to have to divert into the bushes on the return leg!
Other than that - I thought the marshals were fab, the aid stations well stocked and friendly and an excellent goodie bag. Worth the trip down, thanks Portsmouth Date of review: December 24, 2013
In short: Great first time experience In full: I thought the event was well organised with the exception of the bag drop off being a bit chaotic but this was understandable with the weather. With this being my first marathon I found the multi terrain challenging - but that just added to the experience Date of review: December 24, 2013
In short: Excellent, Challenging and fun In full: A very good multi-terrain race. Well stocked water stops and everso friendly marshalls. Will do it again next year and have already entered. The only thing i would change is to hand out the medals as most are tired and thats all they want and direct people to the soup van as was unsure on which van was giving it out Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: Lovely end of year jaunt In full: I enjoyed this race, but the pre and post race organising needs improving. There were no signs to direct people to the baggage area or loos. No announcement that the race was about to start while I was trying to drop my bag off. With the number of runners inside I was amazed the race was off before 9am.
The route was varied and interesting, the water stations very well stocked and all the marshals were friendly and encouraging. I enjoyed the dip in the sea, it got my trainers clean! And the last two miles in the wind were very tough, but no one ever said marathon running was easy! The goody bag was ace, but I too like to be handed my medal.
All in all a nice race with a friendly atmosphere and a few tweaks with organisation would help. Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: Fabulous December race, along gorgous coastline, lots of fun In full: Glorious out and back route along the coastline, no tedious bits on this route! Mud, shingle, excellent trails, breezy seafront, fantastic. Yes it absolutely chucked it down at the start but the drummers kept spirits high. Goodie bags were extremely well stocked (massive box of cereal, sweeties and useful protein bar), soup at the finish, bag drop, free parking, friendly and helpful marshalls and a clearly signposted route. My favourite marathon this year :-) Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: good flat course for winter trail marathon In full: I did the course in 2012 & loved it. But if I'm honest I feel it needs reorganising now it's grown in size, lack of loo's & baggage problems. But still loved it & thank you To all the hard work the organisers put into the events. I think its special event that's just grown a little to big ! Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: Flat, mixed terrain marathon. Nice change from road marathons. In full: There were no signs directing us where at the pyramids the number pick up was and there weren't enough toilets for the amount of entrants. Other than that the course was good and nowhere near as muddy as I feared. Although my shoe did come off in the boggy beach 2 and half miles in, (thank you to the bloke that stopped me from stacking it there). A few bottle necks, but if anyone had watched the route videos on the site beforehand, they should of expected it. Although I managed a PB, I wouldn't say it was a PB course. The headwind in the last 2 miles was brutal. Loved the shin deep paddle before the home straight. No other marathon you can say you have had a dip in the English channel whilst running it. Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: Could be challenging but thoroughly enyoyable In full: The rain at the beginning of the race was horrific but didn't dampen anyone's spirits once we got going. The drums at the start line got the heart pumping as the rain fell.
I really enjoyed the multi-terrain, it definately added to the experience. The water stations were well stocked of water, juice, mulled wine and brandy, gels, mince pies, sweets, jaffa cakes and bananas.
A friend of mine who raced in front of me mentioned he ran the shingle on the return and it was almost knee deep.
When i came to this section, a diversion had been put in place. This was my only gripe for the race and in my opinion, should be looked at for the future. I can only assume i was first on the diversion and i was told to follow the yellow triangles. They were spaced too far from each other, and i can only assume the turning point was marked well enough. Me and few runners had to find our own way back to the promenade and rejoin the race. There weren't any marshals on this part of the course and i think it could have been organised better. This resulted in covering an additional third of a mile. Not a huge amount but a few minutes worth at least.
I did however, really enjoy this race and did score a marathon PB. I'll definitely be booking a place next year Date of review: December 23, 2013