In short: A fun romp around Brighton -at midnight In full: More of a challenge than a race. If you've done a BHF event before you know what to expect - this isn't going to be a UKA Gold event. Plenty of hills to keep you warm, and torches definitely needed on several parts of the course. Good support from the community, including the 'worse for wear', but if you're going to run round any city late at night, that comes with the territory. Plenty of marshalls, but the staggered start means it can be hard to build up an atmosphere. Felt sorry for some of the slower runners who would have been out on the isolated parts of the course long after many others were finished. One to do with friends Date of review: October 31, 2011
In short: Challenging but fun In full: All credit to the organisers and volunteers on the night, it must be difficult to arrange an event like this at midnight during the White Night Festival AND keep the entry cost to a minimum. £10 for a half marathon is a bargain, not counting the head torch and tshirt for all runners.
The route started with a hill, which killed my calves - I had cramp by mile 3. The stretch on the South Downs was a bit dark and spooky but possibly my favourite part of the whole race.
It was really tough but I'm glad I did it. I probably wouldn't do the course again, unless friends or running club were planning to go as a group, as I can't imagine being able to get a PB, but I thoroughly enjoyed the event. Date of review: October 31, 2011
In full: Ahhhhh, Brighton at midnight..... I almost talked myself out of this one but I'm so glad I didn't. The weather was perfect, the other runners were great. Very organised and (once you were out of the town, having dodged the Saturday night (friendly & amusing admittedly) drunks, began the 2 mile climb! The whole event was well marshalled, well sign-posted and well organised. I'm a great fan of "Halves", and this one is now one of my faves! Date of review: October 30, 2011
In short: Midnight Madness In full: Any run that includes the centre of Brighton at midnight on a saturday night is never going to be fast... the "White Night" festival made town even busier than normal. Plus anything over 10K in Brighton that doesn't just go back and forth along the seafront is going to involve hills - there are a couple of decent >1m climbs - so don't come looking for a PB.
Instead come for the atmosphere and to do something a bit different. Town was packed with revellers, many of them dressed for Halloween, and whilst there were the inevitable shouts of "118 118" there were also plenty of encouraging cheers, and quite a bit of banter as we waited at the numerous pedestrian crossings that the first mile or so involves. The other runners were also all very supportive.
The head torch was only really needed for a mile or so in the middle of the race, when the route skirts round the very edges of the city. The rest of the route is lit by street lights.
All the major junctions were marshalled - in fact I thought the level of marshalling was excellent given the comparatively small field (300). There were plenty of water stops. Along with the glow stick, head torch, t-shirt and medal, it was definitely value for money. The only slight niggle was the staggered start (and the fact that we didn't get a route map until we arrived). The start definitely needs to be organised in advance, so people know when to turn up, and it would be great if the event got big enough to allow a mass start.
In short: Firstly, this was not a race but a challenge. In full: Was looking forward to this "race" for several weeks as a new race experience. However on the startline we were told it wasn't a race but a challenge?! Flew in the face of the website description which refers to a race & the race full etc and effectively turned this into a training run for me.
There are lots of positives and negatives. I have no idea if the organisers used the services of a local running club to assist but it didn't see it to me. And I was surprised that the police didnt seem to know it was occuring either. The staggered start became obvious when we saw we were crossing roads around the main London to Brighton road. However, it should have been geared up towards slowest/walkers first, fastest last. That would have enabled more interaction between runners along the route. Its not that difficult to set up.
Not nearly enough marshals available. Anywhere involving a major road crossing would have one in daylight events, so for nighttime seems essential. There were plenty of places where there were none. Also any barriers that traverse the course need to be lit better, even if they have the dayglow sticks on them. Headtorches are just not that powerful in lighting ahead. The run up the path in the unlit park was a novel experience - I would be apprehensive to do in the twilight during training but pitch black? I know part of the charm of the event is a night race but I for one kept thinking this should have had a couple of marshals there at strategic points in case of problems, whether by unfortunate means or foul. Didn't see any food around so assumed they meant local cafes.
Apparently a course correction was needed to avoid some packed roads but did that add .4mile? Don't know, but PBs are not going to happen here if you are running regular events, with some long sapping climbs in places. And the finish being an upright banner was not a clear finishline.
On the plus side, the runners were encouraging all along the route. Marshals, where available, were helpful and encouraging. The drunken revellers were bemused but cheery which brought on smiles. The event was cheap for the distance with plenty of water along with headtorch/glowstick at the beginning and tshirt/medal at the end.
This may seem an overly critical review of a first time charity event but the takeaways are pretty clear to either define it one way or another and some of the safety aspects too. I think it's probably going to stay as a challenge but more marshalling is needed if it is to ensure no nasty accidents happen in the future and hold a special place in the Brighton calendar. Date of review: November 1, 2010
In short: Got touched up by a witch !!!! In full: Midnight race through Brighton, with Halloween parties banging on the seafront.......superb !!! Good organisation, with good marshalling and plenty of water en-route. Got touch up by a witch outside a house party with plenty of encouragement from well oiled persons !!! Would I do it again............only if the witch is there !!!! Enjoyed the race and met some v nice people. Hope BHF raised their needed funds. Well done guys. Date of review: November 1, 2010
In short: Something Different In full: The inaugural Midnight Brighton Half Marathon was a great success for a first time event & sold out before the day. Initially advertised as off road, then road/off road it was frustrating not to know the route or how much was off road in advance, despite emailing the organizers without a reply. In the end the decision to wear road shoes was right. Nearly all pavement. Little reason to set off in waves as the numbers were not large. Great friendly revelry in town & a really good value event.