In short: Felt like I made 500 new friends on this course In full: I loved this course - in particular the out and back. The fellow runners and the marshals were fantastic - so encouraging and inspiring. It was great seeing them all several times around the course and recognising familiar faces as time went by.
The drinks stations were great - so much choice - the bananas were ace!!! And I definitely appreciated the portaloos (even though I ended up adding 0.13 miles on to the route as I ended up using the ones at the turnround point both times so had to run further down the hill to get to them).
Surprised by the number of supporters (particularly in Battle) who were very vocal and cheerful in their support - and also at the race HQ. Again appreciated.
A big thank you to everyone.
Lizzie (nick named Smiley by some fellow runners, as I couldn't stop smiling all the way round) Date of review: April 3, 2011
In short: Thanks for helping my wife finish her first marathon In full: I pulled out after 16 miles, not wanting to aggravate leg problems by going back up those hills. The organisers obviously had many problems getting this new Marathon 'running' and the route could have been better for first timers but thanks to the great support of other runners and the marshals and my wife's determination she finished. There were ample water. food stations and support on the first part of the run through Battle. Having witnessed a driver with horse box forcing runners into the hedgerow and a Subaru driver using the country lane as a drag strip with the bonus of hitting runners it is easy to see the problems that the organisers might have faced with the locals.
Hopefully they are able to deal with these issues and the locals might realise that have several hundred runners with families, many staying in hotels and B+B is a financial boost to the local community.
I hope to do the missing 10 miles next year :) Date of review: April 3, 2011
In short: Awful In full: The changes made to this race were shocking. the course was made by someone who clearly didn't like runners. Marshalling was poor getting competitors to park on the course generally not a good idea. making the cones so close to the edge of the road you couldn't actually run safely down them. my list of problems with this race go on. really bad Date of review: April 3, 2011
In short: Oh the hills In full: Well done to the organisers who have managed to put on a marathon with all the difficulties this entails. Superb conditions and a nice route through Battle where the locals turn out to support the runners. Organisation was superb - it felt like a big race in terms of the little touches that went in to it with food, tea, coffee all available at the race HQ and practically a picnic at each food/drink stop!
Might be an idea to change the positioning of the portaloos though - don't really need them on course and I didn't see anyone using. Move them to the race HQ where more would have been good.
As for the course - marshalls first! They were great and there were some superb marshals out there who had to contend with traffic and getting runners across a fairly busy road. I didn't have to stop once for traffic. The encouragement given was also top notch.
The course itself - well, one word hilly! A marathon is a tough ask but to add hills to the mix was just punishing. That said the area is fairly hilly so what can you do. The obvious though is to work on the course so we don't have the 2 x loops which contained some incredible ascents and declines. Hopefully the organisers can get the authorities to allow for a better route next time.
Overall I rate the race very highly. Ache more now though than at ny time I can remember after a race! Thanks again to all. Date of review: April 3, 2011
In short: Well done to Bexhill runners for this excellent race. In full: Many thanks to all the people from Bexhill runners who did a very good job on the day, especially the marshalls who had to stand out in the rain and who despite this were very cheerful and supportive throughout. It was a very friendly race indeed, and I can recommend the home-made cakes; an excellent choice. The tannoy announcer did a great job reading out splits and generally being encouraging. Having the splits on the published results is very useful too; I thought I had faded badly in the last two laps, but in fact the splits showed I had not faded that badly compared to the rest of the field. The medal is great, nearly as good as the Hastings half medal, which is the best I've ever seen. I didn't buy a T-shirt, but they looked good too. The baggage storage was good, and dry, which was important on the day.
For those who might be interested in this race another time, this is a very flat race. My Garmin recorded total gross climb of 11m, which is easily the lowest for any race I have taken part in. The race takes the form of 4 equal laps right by the sea front. My Garmin made the total length of the race 21.29km, i.e. 200m too long, but Garmins are not always that accurate. The scenary was good if you like the sea, which I do.
Another attraction is that it is easily available by train for anyone who lives on the London-Hastings line, change at St Leonards Warrior Square for Bexhill, then just under a mile walk to race HQ, which is right by the start and finish.
As others have noted, the weather was rather wet. Fortunately the rain which was pouring down as I arrived soon slowed down to a drizzle and had stopped by the start of the race. However the drizzle started again soon after the race started, and it was raining from about the 3km mark. By 12km it was raining heavily which continued until the last 2km when it slowed and by the end had stopped. From about the 15km point there was also a lot of standing water on the course.
The good point was that the wind was mainly light.
The only drawback of this race was that there was nowhere that I saw to change into dry clothes afterwards. I had to wait until the second train home to get out of my very wet clothes. Still I suppose there are not many races which do much better in that respect.
Personally I prefer small water bottles to paper or plastic cups, but on the day simply opening one's mouth at any point of the course collected some water. Date of review: November 20, 2010
In short: Very wet, tremendous marshalls. In full: I quite like running in the rain, but this was more than just rain. By lap three there was a soapy lather on my masculine running tights, which probably says as much about my washing machine as it does the weather.
I quite like the idea of laps, but at times it was a touch dispiriting seeing people coming past you in the other direction. But very flat course, was a minute outside my PB, which I was a tad disappointed by, so I'll blame the weather for that.
Excellent marshalls, really friendly and supportive in the wet. Calling out splits was also nice at the start-finish area.
I made the mistake of leaving my in the rain during the race, so shivvered my way back to the station and found enough coins in my pocket to buy a charity shop jumper for the walk home! Date of review: November 18, 2010
In short: Were there really chocolate gold coins at the finish??? In full: Please someone tell me that there weren't really chocolate gold coins at the finish - that my husband was just pulling my leg..... otherwise he is in big trouble for not telling me at the time....
All in all I enjoyed the race though there are areas for improvement - in particular the registration process. Having to queue to give the name - then to wait whilst they shout to the back of the marquee for them to get the number - and then another queue for the chip....
Next - the drinks station: there was only one on the route - which was hidden away just past the finishing banner on the right hand side of the road - shame that at this point slower runners were being yelled at to stay on the left in order to let the faster runners go by..... no notices pointing out the water station, no obvious people handing out cups..... It took me until the last lap to even spot the drinks station - though I'm not the most observant of people.... (and where were all the sweets that the earlier reviewers referred to.... I only saw a pile of jelly babies thrown on the floor once i had finished)
However praize definitely should go to the marshalls - they were all fantastic - being so supportive - even though they were standing out in the torrential rain.
And I loved the route - I enjoyed it being laps and seeing the runners go by on the other side. I so hope the wheelchair competitor finished as he looked like he was having a hard time in getting round all the corners - but still persevered, very inspirational! Date of review: November 16, 2010
In short: Love Bexhill, love the medal, love the cakes, hated this race! In full: I started out knowing I don't like laps but doing the race solely because I was in Bexhill and it was an opportunity to do a cracking time. What I didn't realise was that it wouldn't only be the course that was lapping but the puddles too!
For the first 7 miles I was on target for a good PB, but an old timer like me can't cope with that amount of rain and I went from a good pace (for me) to barely more than a walk, sloshing along as if I was on the beach. Actually I would have enjoyed it more on the beach because I found the laps so, so boring and tedious and know i wasn't the only one who forgot what lap I was on! Thank heavens for Garmin!
In the end, instead of a good PB I took a minute longer than the hilly Maidstone Half last month! Bizarre!
But that's my problem. As usual the Bexhill folk are great, the cakes were great, and it was good to get a brilliant Bexhill medal again after the Christmas Chocolate one from the 10k in September.
Bexhill, I will keep coming back, but definitely NOT to the half marathon if it stays at 4 laps. Date of review: November 16, 2010