In short: measure distance twice next year In full: Having done a number of well organised BUPA events the brighton half was dissapointing. Not enough marshals,baggage staff struggled with the demand. The course poorly marked out, result too long,basic stuff really!goody bag poor, no t shirt. Date of review: June 21, 2012
In short: Q: When is a half marathon not a half marathon? A: When it's the 2012 Brighton Half In full: I live in Brighton and entered this race months before the closing date. My race number never arrived, s I turned up half an hour early to collect a replacement race number in person. Sadly, it was obvious that many people did not received their numbers because I was still queueing up for my number nearly 20 minutes after the gun had signalled the start of the race!
The staff at the kiosk giving our race numbers were in utter panic: when I eventually got to the front of the queue (after 50 minutes of lining-up in the freezing cold in shorts & t-shirt), I had the man on the PA shouting that anyone starting the race later than 'now' would not be chip timed for the race, while the staff dispensing race numbers told those of us still in the queue that we had to wait another five minutes to get our numbers as they'd given out all of their existing ones! They'd given my race number to another runner, it seems. When I politely insisted that we couldn't wait five minutes for race numbers because the start line was about to close, I was told, 'Well, it's not our fault you didn't bother bringing your race number with you!'
Many runners in the queue gave up and ran without numbers, forfeiting their medals and chip-times rather than miss the race entirely. Eventually, I passed the start line at 9:20am (20 mins after the start time) still safety-pinning on my race number as I ran!
The upside of all this chaos is that I was running completely on my own for the first two miles of the race. Race marshals were packing the cones away and the traffic lights started to function again as I ran past them. Having the whole road to myself may have made me feel utterly ridiculous as I rand down the middle of the road by myself, but at least it meant that I got a good time: a combination of having no other runners in my way, trying to catch up with the rest of the pack so I felt less ridiculous, and worrying that I'd soon be sharing the roads with traffic, sped me to a personal best on this course. Starting well behind the back of the pack also meant I passed literally thousands of the slower runners which, while a little hard to dodge through the crowd, was extremely good for morale: I felt like an elite athlete! (I am not an elite athlete.)
Fortunately I know the layout well as this was not my first year competing, so I knew exactly how much I'd need in the tank for the final three mile sprint... except the course seemed to just go on forever this year.
Why? Because the race organisers had messed up the most fundamental aspect of putting on a half marathon race: it was the wrong length! They had actually measured the course out wrong!
They later accepted the mistake and adjusted everyone's times accordingly, but most people leave something in the tank for a last-gasp burst of speed don't they? These revised times will not take this into account as runners would have thought they were still half a mile from the finish line when the race really ended.
What a fiasco! Unbelievably, I'll probably still run it next year as it's my local race. :-( Date of review: March 26, 2012
In short: One day they'll get this right? In full: This was my first Half Marathon and was a complete disaster for me. We got there an hour before the start to find there were already huge queues for the toilets. Then once we'd been we discovered the bagging area was a long distance from the start line. Went to give our bags in and were told to write a tag out (5-10 mins to go before the start). Having received conflicting info on their website and through the post we really didn't know the process. Wrote it out, gave the bag in only to discover my number had gone missing. Went back to the table where I wrote the tag....not there. Got the girls to give me my bag back, looked inside, nothing....and my jogging bottoms had already disappeared. As it was then 9am I told my mate to start and went to the info desk with my bag. At about 9.10 the queue for the info desk hadn't even moved and a call went out that people 'had to start or they couldn't do it'. Having trained for weeks and having been sponsored I decided I had to run (with my bag still on my back). Sprinted to the start line and chased the back markers (I may have even been the last person to start). I ran it with my bag on my back, no number, not sure whether I'd be allowed a medal and in a generally foul/upset mood. Completed it in a reasonable time and got my medal luckily. Everyone who sponsored me wished me well but I had no official time, just a time on my GPS that said 1:48:52 for 13.5 miles (I had thought it seemed out at the 9 mile mark where my watch said 9.4 miles and everyone kept beeping well before each marker!). Well, i'd make this forum sound like a broken record if I mentioned their national news worthy balls up...but as everyone else got their chip timing 'adjusted' I didn't feel honest adjusting my own based on the software I plug my watch in to.
Therefore I signed up to do Eastbourne to negate this rubbish day (which I did).
I was very surprised to pay so much money for something so poorly organised. I can blame no one but myself for the majority of the incident, but the poor organisation definitely added to how flustered I was leading up to the race which was surely a factor in me losing my race number (yes, I now pin my number to my shirt before leaving the house!!). The goody bag isn't important but a carrier bag with 2 leaflets in was pointless. Just don't give one out! Get someone to hand out leaflets! Messages on Facebook went out the night before saying they urgently needed volunteers. Surely our entry fee ought to pay for some kind of guarantee they'd staff the race properly.
I realise some of these moans are things I might come to realise are standard in races as my experience grows, but for my first half marathon it was a little bit surprising for me.
I'd do this again purely because I think it's a good course for a PB, but they are going to have to fix A LOT of issues before next year or they'll find the really decent runners will start to avoid this one. Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: rip-off time In full: 10,200 x £26 = £260,520 .And what do you get ? A course thats too long ,inadequate toilets , mass-confusion at the start and finish .....it goes on and on , why are rank-amateurs allowed to inflict this sort of punishment on runners year after year ? The last time this event was well-run it only had 2,000 runners and you couldnt fault it .Pure greed in the name of "charity" has seen its steady decline to the the low esteem its now held in . Cap the entry at 3,000 and bring in proper race organisers . Date of review: February 26, 2012
In short: OK but nothing special In full: Bar the measuring mishap, an OK race with nice views. Goody bag was non-existent but marshalls & water all fine. Not sure it's worth the money, but fairly well organised. Date of review: February 26, 2012
In short: I think it's all been said! In full: I think the distance issue as been covered! It's a great course but the start/finish area needs to be sorted and the goodie bag why bother? I did enjoy the day even with all you issues, but I will be ignoring my new pb it's pointless. Date of review: February 24, 2012
In short: great course shame organisers let it down... In full: having run this in 2010 and saying never again i was told many changes had been made and so i gave in to temptaion to run it again :0 it is a brilliant course but that is it.... a very early start meant only one train from the west sussex side would get you there in time as with over 9000 runners parking was not a option,by the time we arrived at brighton we peeled from the train like sardines... having now put on the coloured race number showing my predicted time and race start area it was clear there was no marshalls at the start and so everyone just piled in to the start line ! so 5 miles of zig zagging around slower runners and those who started to walk after 2 miles why do they start at the front ??? then at the finish i thought i was slower than i expected and my garmin shows a distance of 13.54 miles which we now know was a error by the organisers... but wait more is still to come... what a nice touch that after you get over the finish line you got a foil jacket...which saved me as when i got to the baggage reclaim area no one was manning my numbered area and it took me 15 mins to get someones attention to get my bag so i could get some warm clothes on :( NEVER EVER AGAIN ... only done this again as it falled in my recovery week if its halfs you want then eastbourne and hastings are the ones... Date of review: February 21, 2012
In short: Beautiful scenery, averagely organised but not a bad all rounder otherwise In full: Distance = fail but they admitted it at least and promptly AND adjusted the times accordingly. Disappointing but we all make mistakes nice to know they were able to own up. Date of review: February 21, 2012