In short: Chaotic in the baggage drop hall In full: I started late for this one as I couldn't drop my bag and pick up my number even turning up 30 minutes before the start. The course was something different which was nice. Mud is fine but did they get the tide times wrong? I was under 4 hours but went though the sea upto my ankles. I was thinking anyone close to the cut off of 6 hours would be swimming. Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: Feet dry in December? In full: I do wonder sometimes at the expectations that have for these races Parking - the fee is not charged by the organiser, there was free parking (as stated in the race pack) but it was further away. Goody bag, it was a bag it had goodies in it, was there a free pair of trainers or a new running kit - no, but then then race entry didn't cost £200. Getting wet, it's a race in December, in England - guess what it's going to be wet. Getting feet wet in the sea - I'm sure they were wet already, now you have a tail to tell. Toilets, queue, quite possibly, but I did hear people coming back inside saying there wasn't a queue outside. Baggage area, now this was a little strange - I've never seen it done this way before, handing out raffle tickets? So room for improvement there. However, in the organisers defence, there were several announcements well before race start to hand bags in early. No organiser can cope with several 100 runners wanting to hand in their bags at 5 minutes to race start. Good, well stocked aid stations, friendly atmosphere, a little bit difference, sort of a trail/road race. Third year of running this, and the weather always has a big impact, always a good start to the Christmas festivities, means I won't feel guilty about having second helpings of Christmas pudding.
In short: A good training run In full: This was also sold to me as a race. Unless you are at the top end and away at the start i cannot see how this can be achieved. Much queuing in places (not just for the loos).
This is first time i had done the `race` and felt pre race organisation was excellent but agree that during race chaotic. Marshall towards end of race preferred talking on his mobile than directing participant.
Could have done with pre water station alerts.
Too large a field for what potentially could have been a dangerous course,especially due to inclement weather.
Goodness knows what real tail runners felt like after walking through sea at end. Can the beach section be changed? Date of review: December 23, 2013
In short: TOO BUSY, LACKED PROPER ORGANISATION. GOODY BAG POOR In full: NOT AS GOO D AS LAST YEAR. MARSHALLING WAS POOR. REROUTED AT THE LAST TWO MILES WITH NO ONE REALLY SURE IF THEY WERE GOING THE RIGHT WAY AND NO MARSHALL EITHER. GOODY BAG FULL OF POOR ITEMS, NO FOIL BLANKET AFTER A LONG RUN. MEDAL WAS LOVELY. DRINKS STATINS WERE POOR AND FEW OF THEM AND NO SIGNS INDICATED THEM EITHER. THIRD TIME OF DOING NO W BUT IT IS LACKING THE APPEAR NOW FOR ME SADLY. Date of review: December 22, 2013
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