Portsmouth Coastal Marathon 2012

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05/08/2012 at 17:25
Hi, I'm considering entering the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon on 23rd December. But concerned about some previous reviews with people getting lost, and the multi terrain. Any advice/thoughts from people who have done the race previously? I did the Edinburgh Marathon in May and am still gutted with my time (over 5hours and I was hoping for under 4.30) so really feel there is unfinished business with the 26.2miler. Would Portsmouth Coastal be a good one for me to do? Thanks.
05/08/2012 at 22:16

It's flat, friendly and well worth doing.
It's out and back and there's just a little bit on the way back where it's easy to take the wrong track if you've got no-one else in your sights. You soon know you've done it though. Maybe they'll have an extra bit of tickertape in place this year to send us the right way.
It's pretty much footpath type track with a playing field and some pavements along the way. Not exactly difficult footing although it can be muddy. The bit along the beach is very short and the sand is firm.

And just think of all the mince pies you'll be allowed to scoff over the next few days 

Edited: 05/08/2012 at 22:17
06/08/2012 at 00:20

I have completed 78 marathons and this is certainly NOT one of my favourites.  I think you will struggle to break 4.30 if you were over 5 in Edinburgh (think I did just over 3.30 there).

07/08/2012 at 19:38
Thanks both for your advice. I have a half marathon in a couple of weeks so will see how that goes and then make a decision! Thank you.
08/08/2012 at 08:05

I'm in for this - it'll only be my second marathon of the year but, like limper, I'm looking forward to the scoff-fest for the following few days!

30/08/2012 at 21:07

@ Terry - why so negative. I've read loads of positive things about this and was thinking of doing it, is it not all it's cracked up to be?

Edited: 30/08/2012 at 21:16
30/08/2012 at 22:51

I'm in for it..will be running with an amazing gang who will be making this their 12th marathon in 2012..Run Forest Run et al. Cannot wait..will be my 8th marathon for this year and am in awe of their dedication. It will be sunny and it will be prime mince pie carb loading time

04/09/2012 at 11:16

I'm running it...can't wait. Am also running with my mates who are doing it as there 12th in 12!

06/09/2012 at 21:27

I've entered. Looks pretty fun / challenging. Not done it before. Are normal trainers ok for this? How much of the marathon is off road? I have some traditional Mizuno Presicion (with built in rock catchers in the heel...) or some Adidas Adios2s, but I've never tried either off-road.

07/09/2012 at 09:13

Hi Charles

My Mizuno's are good for rock catching too. Especially where I train on a towpath, I'm regularly digging out rogue stones I've taken home.

18/09/2012 at 08:01

Considering this for the end of the year but will make a decision after this weekends New Forest Half.  What is the route generally like?

This would be the first marathon that does not have hills so banking on a 4 hour or there abouts. 


18/09/2012 at 10:06

There's a video on the website. It looks like a challenge - it will be mentally challenging with the lack of major landmarks and some narrow trails to run and a beach section for 500m. Very little protection from the sea elements. I doubt there will be many spectators either. It's out and back too, so it might be tough seeing people coming back the other way. So that's the challenge, but I think it will be really fun running by the sea.

To those that have run it before: what are the on-course facilities like (drink stations, mile markers etc)?

Edited: 18/09/2012 at 10:07
19/09/2012 at 09:50

Heard from elsewhere that the water stations have brandy and chocolate and jelly beans heheh. Quality. Also that it's definitely not a PB course. Although I'm hoping it will be for me because my only prior marathon wasn't great, so all I have to do is run the whole way to get a PB

19/09/2012 at 23:09

I ran this race last year as my 9th marathon of the year and it was also my fastest, to Nigdey, I also ran Edinburgh in over 5 hours but achieved 4.27 at Portsmouth so don't dispair it can be done. It is generally flat but the sections along the coast line do tend to be run in single file and there is a long section in the middle which is out and back on the same path. There were enough water stations offering gels as well although they did run out towards the end. Spectators were few but the finish and results were spot on. No need for off road shoes as mostly road or hard track.

20/09/2012 at 13:01

Many thanks Patricia, great info.

20/09/2012 at 13:42

I think I'm doing this - the comments make it sound like it will be fun and lowkey. It'll be my first one but I promised myself a marathon this year but have been screwed with first injury and then illness so this is my last chance to do one. It's the day before my birthday so seems a great way to build up a birthday/christmas thirst and appetite! Obviously having only been back running for a few weeks it could all go horribly wrong!


20/09/2012 at 16:57

I'm looking at this marathon as well. I contacted the organiser about the possibility of getting lost and he said they are sorting that out for this year so I'm not worried about that.  My queries are; would trail trainers or road trainers be best? How much of it is beach running and how much does the beach section impact on your overall time compared to a normal marathon?

20/09/2012 at 18:02

Watch the video on the website. Hover on the progressbar to quickly view different sections. So far concensus seems to be that normal trainers are fine.

02/10/2012 at 12:54

I did the first one of these marathons a couple of years ago and found it enjoyable. I've run quite a few marathons and did an okay time in Portsmouth - it is reasonably flat, and mixed terrain adds some interest; I live 'up north' so lots of our off road marathons are proper hilly! Can't say i felt like I was lost at any point. I ran in road trainers not trails trainers Sibo as a reasonably bit of tarmac involved when I ran it. Only real problem I had when I ran it was how cold it was! But, a brill way to keep the training going up to Xmas debauchery! Think I might do it again this year!

04/10/2012 at 13:12

Chris, what did you wear (legs/top/hat/gloves?) such that it was still cold? Do you remember how cold it was e.g. 3°C?

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