In short: Loved it - ill be back next year. In full: When I decided to do my first Half marathon, I got the choice down to either paddock wood or Hastings. I'm glad I chose Hastings - I didn't find the hills as bad as people had warned because most were gradual rather than steep ones I hate. Brilliant crowd support - I think most of hastings come out and cheer you on. Word of warning - make sure you stretch afterwards, I didn't as needed to get a lift, and my achillies didn't thank me for it. Date of review: February 7, 2015
In short: Amazing, despite the huge hill In full: Love this race - this is the second time I've run it and the atmosphere and generosity of the local supporters are just great. There is a big hill involved, but that's kind of nice - you feel like you've done all the hard work by 5 miles in, and you get to run down it later. A nice mix of experienced and new runners, a really welcoming atmosphere, a lovely location, and a nice marquee to wait in at the start so you don't freeze to death! Date of review: March 28, 2014
In short: Always good In full: The great thing about the Hastings half marathon is the atmosphere. The other good thing is that whilst there are super fast Kenyans etc this is a real community event. Frankly, as someone who not yet received her charity vest for the VLM yet and who was therefore running for herself it felt a bit lonely as there were so many groups for the hospice, a little boy called Christian who was being pushed round in his wheelchair, a couple of boobs ( yes really) for breast cancer care and numerous other local events and being cheered for . But that is what makes it. There is a long but gradual hill which seems to go on for ever with quite a few little sharp upturns around not he course but all the way you are being cheered and there are jelly babies, jelly beans etcetc offered by supporters. It is great! The other thing is that because it is a community event there are quite a few slow ones at the back unlike some other events where, even at 2 1/2 hours you feel pathetic and frankly that is not horrendous . The last time I did it someone took 8 hours as they had gone to every pub for charity!
Oh the brass memento is brilliant!
Any downsides..... The only one I can find is that I had to hunt for water at the finish. Most other races give you a bottle of water as you cross the line which I could really have done with.i eventually found some cups of water at the side somewhere with spectators all around the table. I also understand there was a cup of tea which I would have liked as I was caught in the hail storm literally as I finished and was very damp and cold....but that aside...a great race!
In short: seaside run with cheerers all the way In full: fantastic carnival atmosphere, bands playing, kids high fiving, old ladies banging saucepans. Hilly course ending up running against the wind along the seafront. Includes everyone from super fast Kenyans to first timers finishing in four hours Date of review: March 26, 2014
In short: It just keeps getting better! In full: The 30th Hastings Half and the route was lined pretty much all the way and peppered with people handing out orange pieces, sweets and lots of support. The organisation is great and the Hastings brass is always a unique reminder of this great race. Lots of sweet tea available at the end. Well done to all who make this happen. Can't wait for next year. Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Amazing race! Really enjoyable! Dont be put off by the hills! In full: This was my first time doing Hastings and Id heard alot of things about how tough the first 12km of hills are but honestly they are not that bad and very gradual! With a few cheeky sharp ones aswell. But you make up time on a really fast second half which definitely gives this race PB potential!!! Great crowds, great organization and just a great race!! Date of review: March 25, 2014
In short: Still one of the best In full: My favourite half marathon. Thsi was my second year running at Hastings despite my home race (Brentwood) being the same day. Very enthusiasticaly supported and very friendly. You don;t need goodie bags as there's loads of places to get tea and cakes when you've finished.
Parking much better this year so you can just walk to the start and don't need to queue for shuttle bus for hours at the end, though they had almost run out of parking spaces by the time I got there so not sure what people arriving after me did (I was there nearly an hour before the start). But a great race, lots of free jelly babies and oranges. I think I'll be bacxk next year. Date of review: March 24, 2014
In short: Best Half Marathon In full: Absolutely loved the hill challenge and scenery, I thought I would never see the end of a hill ahead of me!
The crowd support was absolutely fantastic, close to London marathon support. The bagpipes at the start were great as were the groups playing musical instruments at certain points of the course.
The only grumble which is a very small one which can be easily sorted to have a table with cold drink at the end more accessible to the runners. IT was a confusing at the end as because the area is not cut off from spectators you had to walk around to find the table with a cold drink which was not as easy to find with so many spectators and runners all in the same area. I came across the tea being served first which is a very novel idea.
No secure bag drop but you can leave your valuables in an envelope behind the desk. I thought this worked really well as I was able to get my bag quickly and make the train back to London with zero delay.
Would I do this again yes yes yes! It is most definitely the best half I have ever participated in and I actually got a PB with all those hills
The organisers/volunteers were so friendly and super helpful dealing with any questions via email and also on the day. I can understand why so many runners go back again and again to do this race.