In short: Too many entries in 2013 In full: I ran this race in 2012 and again in 2013. The facilities clearly did not cope well with the 1500 entries they allowed this year.
If the organisers want to allow so many entries next year they need to sort the bag drop and toilets at the start and possibly consider re-routing to avoid the gravel beech at 2.5 miles on the outward leg.
That said, the time of year and the mud made this a race I would do again.
In short: OK for a Sunday long run, but don't bother racing it In full: Unless you are right at the front, I can't see how this course is race-worthy.
I turned this into a long run and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was sold to me as a race though and I'd have to argue that the course does not lend itself to race conditions.
With lots of running in single file, trying not to slip over on 20-odd miles of mud or shingle and a dip in the sea for the stragglers (up to knee level), this is a slow, over-populated and dangerous (in places) course.
I'll be back though, but just for a jog again.
I object to paying £8.50 for parking and I missed the start by 6 minutes because I had to wait for the toilet.
I recommend that the organisers limit entries to 500 in future. Date of review: December 22, 2013
In short: Flat, but mixed terrain and wind makes it challenging. In full: A very flat course around Langstone Harbour and back.
I agree with the slightly chaotic start. There seemed to be no announcement to get people sheltering from the elements in race reception out to the race start. It started a couple of minutes early too, which must have confused those sheltering from the rain until the last minute.
That's a fairly minor niggle though. I really enjoyed the race. There's a great atmosphere and, once out of Southsea, you have a view of the water pretty much all the time. The surface is a largely a mix of gravel paths and asphalt, with a couple of dips down onto the shingle seashore. the off-road stuff was muddy and challenging in places after the recent rain, with some slippery mud.
Really well-stocked drinks stations with friendly volunteers. I missed out on the mince pies and other christmas fayre, but appreciated the gels and water bottles.
In short: Bit too busy for the route and facilities... In full: Fourth year in a row I've done this event and whilst its great that its grown, it's probably got too big for the course its on and the facilities at the current base.
1) Friendly folk at the aid stations, lots of well stocked goodies there.
2) Goody bag looks decent
3) Flat quickish very "multi-terrain course"
4) Lots of friendly familiar faces.
5) Can park 2 minutes from venue.
1) Pyramids was utterly over crowded/jam packed probably to dangerous levels.
2) Course was a swamp in places after a lot of rain...
3) Medal is in the goody bag. Always feel a cardinal sin to do this at a marathon, not even bothered to look at it yet. If the organisers can't be bothered to hang them around finishers necks then its a very anti-climatic finish for me and takes some of the sense of achievement away.
4) Course was too busy in many, many places. There were lots of bottle necks, lots of bits of course are single track, there is a kissing gate, bike blockers, mud, puddles, lots of stop/starts/shuffles/stumbles, 1600 entrants on that course is too much I feel.
5) Medical staff at the finish could do with some people skills!
6) Said parking is £8.50
7) Start went early, first announcement I heard (at 8:56) was "Its started..." Date of review: December 22, 2013
In full: First marathon for me and I did not feel out of place, good organisation and water stations with mice pies, bananas etc, great marshalling and lovely medal and goody bag Date of review: December 22, 2013
In short: Nice atmospere - to kick off the Xmas holidays! In full: This is a nice run to do - but it can be tricky, due to water and wind. The 2013 version was rich in puddles, and a nasty wind on the seafront at the very end. But there is a friendly feel about it, and there are mince pies along the way. What's not to like! Date of review: December 22, 2013
In short: Need to have some more drink stations and change the route at the western end In full: Great fun race but there needs to be more drinks stations and the route from Pyramids to the west (old town) and back was marred by lots of joe public milling about near the arcades and fast food restaurants. Date of review: February 24, 2013
In short: Surprisingly pretty and well organised In full: Really enjoyed this race. Despite being in a largish city there was plenty of parking, no extreme queues at the toilets, and easy to understand directions. The weather was glorious which helped make the views and the scenery look really pretty and the terrain was challenging but didn't impede anyone who had trained hard and was looking for a good time. The only slight gripe I had was I wore off-road trainers as the pre-race notes suggested it would be a mud bath and there would be lots of off-road running. In fact the vast majority was on concrete and the off-road bits would have easily been dealt with in my normal trainers. However this was a small issue that (only) I had so no real complaints. Date of review: February 21, 2013
In short: A flat race with a mixture of surfaces In full: Enjoyed the race - though the weather may have had a significant contribution. Scenery was ok, but i didn't like the council estate section after the park (mile 5ish), but this was only minimal section and needs must in an urban setting. Finished mid pack so had no problems with the goody bags etc, that others have indicated, though the funnel was sooooo slooowwww. Dodging strollers added to the fun but the trail sections on the sea shore became a bit traffic jam. My only issues were open cups of water as i like to sip a bottle as i run and the final U-turn was not really indicated clearly, and i was pooped by then and looking for home - but both really minor issues that wouldn't stop me doing it again. Spoke to some marshalls collecting signs in the afternoon and they indicated local scrotes had robbed some which may explain some of the other comments regarding signage. Overall a good race, just not perfect. Date of review: February 21, 2013