In short: Tough race but feel like I can take on anything now! In full: I knew this was going to be a tough marathon and my 3:55 pb was not going to be beaten. In fact I would have been over the moon with a sub 4 hour run. I spent the weeks leading up to the race checking out forums and course profiles to prepare myself for, not only the daunting distance but the hills which lay ahead. I also knew that the organisers were having trouble with local authorities with regards to the course. It seems the dear locals of Battle don't take too kindly to having their Sunday morning drives disrupted by the inconvenience of a marathon event. As a result the course was changed and ended up being a 6 mile loop with 2 5 mile 'out and backs' Now - the hills! My God the hills. They were so much worse than I imagined! I took the first 6 mile loop sensibly and felt good by 9 miles however when I hit that first hill it sapped all of my energy. The worse part of the hills is knowing you're going to have to cross the 16 mile mark and do it all over again. It really is soul destroying. A lot of the 'out and back' stages were completely void of any support whatsoever (it is in the middle of some rural roads) so you feel quite lonely running at some stages. At one stage I was thinking whether I was the only one in the race or if I'd taken a wrong turn! One big organisational blunder was the water station at around mile 19 ran out of water!! Unforgivable as far as I'm concerned. But there was plenty of Cola. Because a gassy, sugary drink is exactly what you need to get through the wall... not! In the end I somehow managed 3:58 so I was pleased. The best part of completing a tough marathon like this is you feel like you can take on anything afterwards. I'm not sure whether I would part with my hard earned cash for the privilege of participating in this event again though. Date of review: April 4, 2012
In short: Good, but where's the water? In full: I liked the laps of the seafront - it allowed your supporters to see you several times and the crowd was good. The marshals were really positive - well done on their recruitment they were a credit to the race. Organisation was good, registration likewise. The only problem was the lack of water stations. I would prefer more, and running out of water at the turning point on the seafront is poor. Also, no bananas or cakes at the end - must run faster... Date of review: November 16, 2011
In short: Did not enjoy the Laps one bit!! In full: An alright race for a good charity. Laps especially along and back down the seafront drove me a bit nuts! Fortunately the weather was good, if it had been raining I would have packed up and gone home after lap 1! No banana's when I finished at an average time of 2hrs 7mins! so all i got was a medal and a cup of water!! Won't be back next year! Date of review: November 15, 2011
In short: Good, well-organised, flat course In full: Does what it says really; 4 laps so you can pace yourself, well organised and friendly, helpful marshals - even for those like myself who arrived 5 minutes after the start! Perhaps not quite as scenic as you might expect for a seaside race. Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: Good PB potential, fun and very lucky with the weather In full: Gorgeous day, smiling marshals and a nice flat track. Having the kids races just before the start was a nice touch!
Only slight quibble is that the smallest t-shirt available is a nice fit on my 6-foot plus partner: the lot of women in sporting events to have to swim around in men-sized sportswear, but this is really a general grump and doesn't detract from a really fun, well-organised event. Date of review: November 14, 2011
In short: Possibly the flattest course I've ever done. In full: Pros: flat, quick, by the sea, family atmosphere. Cons: Not many mile posts, water stations ran out of water. Date of review: November 13, 2011
In short: Fabulous In full: It was an amazingly warm day for November today - just the day to run four laps of Bexhill seafront.
I wasn't sure about a lapped half but it actually works really well. You get to see more people than you usually would in a half as the leaders go by at one point and the slower runners go past at another.
The organisation was slick. Registration was very smooth and the marshals were fantastic as ever. Totally flat course - only one incline during each lap.
In short: Bigger & Better................hmm In full: Having run the inaugural Brighton Marathon last year, the organisers must have been overwhelmed as to what a success the event was. However, it is always difficult in the following year to follow what was a brilliant event last time around.
The organisers advertised the event as Bigger & Better this year. However, regretfully I think this was a slight over exageration.
On the plus side the Expo at Brighton Centre was really good & so was the app to follow runners around the course. However the app didn't actually work for 2/3 of the race!
It was pleasing that the race actually started on time this year, however the organisers failed to improve the course - same route as last year. Most of the course is great, however it is pathetic to make the runners climb the incline from Ovingdean to Rottingdean to make up the full distance. This extra loop should be elsewhere in the city.
The much trumpted better atmosphere around Shoreham docks never materialised. In fact it was more souless this year than last. Where was the piped relay music, support or bands.
The crowd support was certainly not 100,000 as anticipated. A shame because the weather was great. If 80,000 turned out last year then I would say that at best there were 70,000. This seems on a par on what others told me afterwards.
There may have been more finishers, though allocating 5000 places to charities, who I believe returned half their allocation is a lesson that I trust the event organisers will learn next year. I also understand that at least 2500 runners deferred to next year, so will be interesting to find the number of finishers this year to last.
The medal was great, so was the t-shirt & goody bag. All went like clockwork.
The entertainment around the course also needs to ramped up, by at least 50%. Far too few pubs, clubs &bands performing. By comparison to Edinburgh (similar size), there is only one winner & it is not Brighton for entertainment.
However on such a hot day once again, drink stations should be every mile say from mile 3.
I hope the organisers take on board my comments. I did enjoy the race & all the organisation and nice touches. However, in truth It was not as good as last year.
I sincerely hope that next year it really is bigger & better & a tweak here & a tweak there, will bounce the Brighton Marathon back into the top three marathons of the UK.
As a result sorry if I am being a little hard, I have decided that for this year Brighton is not one of my all time favourite races. As a marathon runner of more than 40 marathons, I feel that I am well qualified to judge.