In short: Undulating is the word! In full: Third half marathon and first time in Dartford. Looking at the race pack I knew I probably wouldn't PB this race due to the hills, but before the big hill at the end I was actually on course for a PB! Gutted!
Other than that and the fact that we had a sunny day in this freak wet summer we have been saying it was a great morning, other runners were friendly and chatty and the organisation was really good.
No goody bag as such, but you get a medal, banana and as much water as you want. In fact better than a **** goody bag filled with leaflets and pistachios...
Water stations were great (and needed) not that many spectators, but the route was across country roads so understandable.
However, it also means I have to run another half to get a sub 2hour PB!
In short: Organisation hasn't improved since 2009 In full: The last time I did this race was in 2009 and I remember how much of a shambles the organisation was then, 'fortunately' nothing had changed so I remembered what I had to do/where I had to go from last time.
Firstly with NO signage around Trafalgar Square to anything - bag drop/toilets (not that there were any), secondly - no toilets at the start - they could have put some at the end of Pall Mall. I couldn't see any - anywhere. (thanks to Valerie Patisserie by the way for letting us use theirs). I just put my bag in the charities bag drop as couldn't for the life of me find the white bag drop.
Too many people running - someone tripped me up. For a run as big as that they need to stagger the start.
The course was fine - nothing had changed there, except I would say using cups of water instead of bottles would cut wastage and be less hazardous.
Process: Bag drops not clear (again) fortunately as I had used the charity bag drop I found mine. Bag drops not covered!!!! Luckily I had double bagged, but stuff was soaked (they knew it would rain?!) also had loads of people asking me where I got my medal from as the charity bag drop was closer to the finish.
There was no proper process after the finishing line - hardly any stewards or signage. They really need to sort this out.
Anyway, I got my medal and 'goody bag' - which was the most shocking one I have ever received: http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/9792/goodybag.jpg A couple of leaflets, pistachios (a lot of people have nut allergies), a sweet, a tea bag :/ some sugar (????)
Then I went to meet my friends in the pub and realised I hadn't picked up my souvenir t shirt. Found the voucher and then went on the hunt for this t shirt.
Remembered where I had to go last year for the bag drop and fortunately it was in the same place.
It could have been so much better. The best thing about it was that I got a new pb.... oh and a medal for my trouble...sorry £50. Date of review: July 10, 2012
In full: Doing the Brighton Half had a special meaning to me as I'm from Brighton and I was glad to have done it as part of my London Marathon training.
Despite the mess up with the length of the course, overall I enjoyed the race and we were lucky to have a lovely sunny dry day :)
Organisationwise I thought it was rather poorly arranged. I think they should have put in place a one way system straight through Madeira Drive where finishers cross the finish line, pick up 'goodie' bag, banana, water, lucozade, medal, then have the bag collection, then the sponsor, charity and merchandise stalls then exit the other end of Madeira Drive - surely that makes sense?! Instead of having to push through all the crowds to get back to the pier?
I think there should be a runners only part of Madeira Drive until the end segment - this would also prevent spectators from jamming up the pier/roundabout area.
I wanted to buy a t shirt but of course I had no money on me so had to find my partner and had to battle my way through the spectators, kids, tricycles and dogs - it was very frustrating - only to get back to the stall to find out that the card machine didn't work (typical). This is the only stall which I think would be better placed at the front end of Madeira Drive (fortunately my partner had cash).
On the website they state that they are a 'sustainable' half marathon so do not supply goody bags... that didn't stop SweatShop giving us all a bag of leaflets though - double standards?! At least I had something to put my banana and drinks in. They obviously spent all the entry fee on the medal - which was great but its nice to receive a packet of showergel/deodrant or energy bar at the end of the race.
Other than that, there should have been more water stations perhaps with cups as there was a lot of wasted water bottles.
Also I reached one lucozade station and skipped the first few people giving out bottles and went to the end stack where I saw a full pallet of lucozade bottles but there were no people in front of it handing them out :/ so I missed out.
Otherwise I had a good time, if not a little frustrated by the thought that if the race was the correct length I would have pushed myself a bit more and got a sub 2hour time.
I would not recommend doing this as part of training for Brighton Marathon as its a very similar course and compared to Run to the Beat I found the double backing quite boring not to mention disheartening! Date of review: February 21, 2012