In short: Potentially the Rival of Hastings - But needs a bit more orginisation. In full: Ok ill start with a confession, I arrived late for the race with 1hours sleep and still completely drunk. In fact I arrived after it had started. I was there 13mins after the clock start time so ran the first mile and a half in competition with cars until I got on to the seafront, entirely my fault. It was at that point reality set in with me feeling understandably a bit sick, my head hurting and realizing id have to run past shit loads fatties (enough respect to all of them, hell if I was running over 2.5hours I wouldn’t enter. And after all of that when I finally saw my first distance marker, 4miles I think it was I realized how shit the weather really was, must have been sobering up at that point. Despite this the route was nice and wide and allowed for easy overtaking along the seafront, was tight around the marina, but that’s a short section.
Has to be said though the wind was a big factor, after the marina you turn around and head east back to the pier and past maderna drive, and the wind was zipping in your face with full blown rain. There were water stops, not that you needed them all you had to do was open your mouth on route to get a drink. Despite this the first six miles went fine as a result of the masses of people out in support despite the weather, which says it all. + medical assistance was everywhere with many of my colleagues from Brighton and Sussex medical school and uni of Brighton St Johns ambulance, not to mention regular St Johns ambulance. A big thank you to all of you.
Sadly things went down hill from mile 7 on with the uphill, not to bad on its own but a killer with the gale blowing in your face. This 3-4 mile stint was a solitary affair with nothing except fields on one side and the sea on the other. And then yes the mud. By the time I got there I had moved well up the field and according to the clock time at the end I guess about 800 or so people had gone past it, and it was bad. It can only have gotten worse for the other runners. Admittedly there was a flat part of the path which you could run on, but that resembled more of mud slide than a half marathon route. The result was you ended up running on the verge which people have mentioned put one heck a strain on your ankles and tendons.
After that section things picked up though as you got back on the sea front and the atmosphere was buzzing, just what you need at the end of a race like that. And the finish area was extremely well organized with foil blankets given to all, bananas + water, hot soup and hot chocolate, a free massage physio tent and everything else you might expect.
By the end of the race I had over taken 1600 other runners just going to show how good the route could be without the muddy section. As for the start, I wasn’t there admittedly but surly they could adopt the same system they use in Hastings with runners standing at markers dependant on their predicted times. This seemed to work a treat this year at Hastings half with even more runners than at Brighton.
I just hope the organizers sort out these little issues because apart from those, the event In my opinion has the potential to rival Hastings which is no mean feat.
In short: Great course, it was a new route this year and it was great to have a change from the old loop that we had last year.The race was badly organised at the start with 2 starts the first going off 3 1/2 - 4 mins before the 2nd wave.With the race In full: being a scoring race for the Sussex grand prix league fast runners in the second wave were overtaking runners from the first wave withen 500 metres causing upset, frustration,risk and even abusive language to be shouted.But again the crowds made for an excellent day even thogh it was cold and wet.So a BIG THANK YOU to all who came along to cheer us home. ALLEN GRANT (HAILSHAM HARRIERS) Date of review: March 9, 2006
In short: Good chance of a PB In full: The second year in a row that I've done this race, last year felt like -20 degrees, this year wasn't so cold but the weather was still rubbish! Mind you, for some bizarre reason I actually quite like running in the rain and give me the bracing sea air over stifling heat any day! With a large proportion of the race being dead flat there is a real chance of a PB here and whilst I didn’t manage one myself I did take 10 minutes off last year’s time so was well pleased. The organisation is good but I really think they should get rid of the grassy bit, I saw five runners slip over, one causing a bit of a pile up, and I heard of several runners twisting ankles etc. Imagine how gutted you'd feel doing that at 11 miles! The new bit at the beginning through The Lanes was good; surely the route could deviate even further into town negating the need for the "cross country" section! Overall I like this race and will definitely be back next year, who knows; maybe there’ll be sunshine with a gentle cooling breeze in 2007! Date of review: March 5, 2006
In short: A very wet,windy,slippery run but i enjoyed it!! In full: Having again travelled from Chester to race (tattenhall runners). This year was very wet compared to just very cold last year. My parents and husband enjoyed getting soaked just to see me run. The grass should be taken out as i had to slow down to avoid being knocked over by falling runners. Did 1.43:27 which i'm pleased about. It also was great to see a Wilmslow runner and no doubt i'll see him in our local races in Cheshire. Date of review: February 28, 2006
In short: A challenge for the beginner In full: I enjoyed this race ... not sure exactly why. Maybe for several reasons. It was my first half marathon so I was a bit nervous, but I found the first half every bit of what I expected on a cold windy day at the seaside. Down to Hove it was easy then at the turn it was a bit of a shock at the extra effort required to make it back to town. At the halfway point near the start it got tougher as we started going up the hill with no clear idea of where we were going. Mile markers were infrequent if they existed at all, and a putrid fizzy drink was being distributed - OK it was free, but not my cup of tea. Eventually the peak of the climb was in sight, an italian style hairpin turn, but just after that horror of horrors there was a grassy downhill stretch for a couple of miles which had turned into slippery mud. This was daunting to say the least, and the race went from being tough to gruelling trying to keep a footing with achilles tendon bent to an angle of 45 degrees. One big bloke in front went over and hit the fence at the cliff top fortunately it held, and this led to a chorus of "you alright mate?". This wasn't running it was downhill slalom without ski's, and it was just a tad dangerous. Eventually down on the sea-front again feeling glad to be alive I could see the finish in sight, but again had no idea how far away. So I kicked in with my olympic finish to find the blob in the distance had not got bigger. However my oxygen deficit had gone into a serious overdraft so I slowed, and cruised in to hear the announcer waffling on about the Hastings half marathon coming up. Another sea front race - I think I'll give that one a miss! Could have done with a few wags out marshalling, but they had a miserable time in the conditions. What was Chris Eubank doing that morning? There were pedestrians with pushchairs & dogs on the course - is that normal? Mile markers were few, but I really enjoyed it, and found it very exhilirating. I haven't had as much fun since Brecon Beacons! Date of review: February 27, 2006
In short: No idea relating to adapting to bad conditions In full: This was in fact my first half-marathon, and what a baptism of fire it turned out to be. The weather was absolutely dreadful, but that is something that we simply have to cope with. However, this made the return from Ovingdean on the grassy verge from miles 10 - 12 extremely treacherous. Many runners including myself slipped and fell. Some were reported to have broken arms, ankles etc.
The organisers MUST now change the course to adapt to very bad weather, and ensure they organise things from the runner's perspective. The Beacon cannot afford to continue using the current course, otherwise nobody will run for them! Unless they make the route far safer, there is no way I will run it again. Date of review: February 26, 2006
In short: Pity about the weather, but a good race anyway. In full: It was tough going running for six solid miles into the wind and constant rain at 5 degrees, but even so I can't believe some of the moaning in these reviews. The grass/mud section was the same for everyone. There was a danger of slipping and falling over. So what? If you want to be safe, stay at home and watch the tv. The only thing I would say is that the race might have been faster if the grass had been used for the uphill and the footpath for the downhill. Or maybe not. Date of review: February 26, 2006
In short: Hold it in May for better weather In full: Once I sorted myself out of the split starts I enjoyed running though the town and the lanes. the seafront run to Hove was okay and I knew what was coming as the elite runners started the run back. Then I turned and headed back....oh my god...wind,rain sea water in my face for 7 miles, managed to run behind someone bigger than me for most of it which helped. Seeing the pier 4 miles away, and knowing I had to run to this and past it was depressing(I prefer road runs that ar not 'there and back in a straight line.') The worst bit was mile 9 to 11, once again the elite runners were heading back on the grass so I knew I turned somewhere but all I could see in front was a long line of runners running up hill into the distance with no turn in sight. When the turn for home came the grass was very slippery and dangerous, which slowed my pace( at least I no longer nad the wind and rain in my face). Then the finish. Nice to get the medal, food in the goodie bag was very welcome, could have done with a warm drink for all runners at the end. Other points to mention: Plenty of marshalls on route( well done for braving the weather), frequent drink stations( what was that bottled stuff we got at mile 10?). Would do the run again but would check the weather reports first. Prefer more town running Get rid of the grass section. Date of review: February 24, 2006