In short: One of my favourite courses, but small changes could make it a great race instead of the good race it currently is In full: Postivies * Support at mile 11, everyone else has mentioned it, but superb effort from the girls once again. * Bagpiper - what a hero standing out in the rain for at least an hour * Toilets - I arrived an hour early and they were deserted. If you need to go 10 minutes before the start, you've timed it wrong. * Parking - overlooked in other reviews, but brilliant. Plenty of space, easy to get in and out for those at the front. * Course - I love the hill at the start, then the winding hill down to the start again. Brilliant test, and brilliant fun. From eight miles onwards gives the impression of 'winding around to make up the distance', which brings me on to my negatives
Negatives * 21.3KMs is not a half marathon. It is a half marathon plus 200M. * Muddy field was in my opinion dangerous, it is lucky that noone got hurt slipping into the finish, it was a mudbath when I finished in 1:33, must have been AWFUL for those behind me.
My advice for next year to make the distance correct - Move the start/finish 100Ms closer to the exit of the field, eliminating the field as much as possible. Other than that small whine, which should not put anyone off doing this race if you're considering it in future, I love this course, love the atmosphere and will definitely be back for attempt #3 next year. Date of review: March 7, 2012
In short: Would be lovely on a sunny day In full: The course itself is good - a challenging climb up towards Beachy Head - but at the beginning of the race so over with before you know it - then flat along the seafront to the harbour and back.
It was a shame about the ghastly rain and wind but thanks must be given to those who turned out to cheer us on and especially the marshalls (girls on the bridges telling me I only had a couple of miles to go until a burger at the finish were ace!).
I would consider doing this again, especially if the sun was shining. It would be even better if there were more toilets/changing facilities and a goody bag (I've had way better goodies doing 5k races for less than half the price!) Date of review: March 7, 2012
In full: Yes the hill was hard, (I had to walk a couple times) but it was nice to get it out of the way earlier in the race. After we ran back down the hill the rest of the run was pretty much flat.
I enjoyed this race, I have only done 2 half's before and got my new PB on this one so I was pleased. The weather was horrible but there's not too much to be done about. The marshals were friendly (especially as they had to stand out in the wind and the rain) and I had no problem finding my way around the course.
The only 2 constructive criticisms my boyfriend (who also ran the race) and I would have for this race would be 1) a bag drop. We couldn't find any information if there even was one, so we left our stuff (warm jumpers!) in the car. And then when we got to the starting line we saw there was a place to put bags but it was unmanned. And 2) maybe it was just us but we both felt like there could have been an extra water station earlier on in the race. It felt like a very long time to the first one and then again to the second one.
All in all, I enjoyed running it though. And the chocolate bar at the end made it even better!
In short: In at the steep end! In full: I had run my first ever half 2 weeks before (Brighton) which wasn't without issues so signed up for this one at the last minute.
I was told about 'the hill'. After having hill trained I felt quite cocky about the hill but for the first time in my life I found myself walking during a run (although not for as long as I thought I had according to my GPS watch) as I had severely underestimated it. I could see my chances of a PB disappear but as I bombed down the hill on the other side I reclaimed every second back that I needed to stay on track.
The weather was terrible and blustery off the coast, through no fault of the organisers. I got a PB of 1:44:54 which I was pleased with (has set a target of 1:45:00!).
The people of Eastbourne were lovely in supporting us and so were the marshals. It wasn't as big or 'atmospheric' as Brighton but I actually enjoyed the support more as the locals made an effort to come out and clap on such a horrid day. Presumably the girls on the 11 mile (roughly) mark were the famous ones I'd read about from previous years. Very enthusiastic, was tempted to stop and hug them but decided it was inappropriate!
The only downers for me: A bit bottle necked at the start. I ran about 50 metres then had to stop again. It doesn't eat into your time much and considering that a lot of races have their bottle necks it wasn't too bad, but just frustrating that it wasn't BEFORE the chip time was started.
The last 50m back into the field were very churned up and I had no footing at all. Was a bit gutted as my team mates were cheering me on and I felt a burst of energy but all I could do was slowly skid to the finish. It cost me about 5 seconds probably (so nothing to worry about) but a shame about the glory of darting over the line!
I would recommend this race to people as one to 'tick off' the list, but I'm not sure I'd do it again just because I found this extremely gruelling with the hill and the weather (which I acknowledge might be lovely in future years!). If I don't do it again, it won't be as a result of any criticisms of the organisation or the cost though. Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: Lovely day for it.... In full: 2nd year of doing this and 2nd year of far from ideal conditions - same for everyone though. The hill seemed longer than last year for some reason, maybe because it was into the wind?
The rest of the race was fine. Support was excellent considering the weather. Perhaps could have done with a few more marshalls - nearly went wrong at a couple of points. The finish wasn't the best either, maybe some sort of matting could be used if it's wet in the future? Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: The course was 13.22 miles Long In full: The Girls on the bridges were great, the race itself was ok but not the most interesting. My only downer is that 3 of us measured as too long which was a little gutting as according to my watch I had just run my second fastest half ever but the results show it 45 seconds slower. I would do it again but not for another few years. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Has improved since the last time I ran but could do a lot more still In full: I last ran this in 2009 and thought then it was over-priced and generally not the best of races. Thought I would try again this year and found some improvements but still a long way to go...
Negatives: Toilets - how hard is this to organise? Nearly 1,500 runners and just a dozen or so loos plus some int he changing rooms that had no water connected. The queue with 12 mins to go must have been the best part of 80 yards. Location - can't help the weather but it is a road-race but we both started and finished on grass which turned quickly to mud. Had to slow down on the finish as it was so slippery. As the road outside of the park was closed surely another couple of hundred yards can be found on the course to prevent running on the mud? Water: OK for most of the stops but the last one was unmanned meaning you had to grab it from the table. Finish: I finished relatively early and there was a banana and chocolate but this soon ran out - surely if you all pay the (high) entry fee there should be supplies for all. Medal: I don't run these races for the medals but when presented with this poor attempt at one I wished that the 10pence or so it must have cost could have been spent on something else.
Positives: Course, apart from the mud, fairly good. Hill a bit testing but the run through Eastbourne and the seafront was nice. The harbour was boring - like running through a housing estate. The finish was a bit annoying as you run past the finish out again to an underpass. Piper and band: both were nice touches - the piper must have been soaked poor chap. Marshalls/Support: Much more support than in 2009 so this was much appreciated Girls at the harbour bridge: Thank you! great encouragement and I bet they both had sore throats from cheering on everyone, great stuff!
Hope to see some improvements next year. Date of review: March 5, 2012
In short: Fast course ..............once you've negotiated the hill ! In full: Excellent event overall. Yes the hill is challenging but if you can maintain your pace it's over quicker than you expect and the descent back down brings you up to a nice pace for the seafront stretch that follows. The water stations could have been a bit better managed but the marshalling generally was excellent and the girls at mile 11 helped me to make a final push. Thanks to the piper....brave man....saw him 3 times and he looked colder each time. Despite the wind and rain I got a PB and will definately be back next year. Date of review: March 5, 2012