In short: A great first race. But a few comments for next year! In full: The Brilliant - The atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the marshalls. The Good - If you could catch your breath, there was some great scenery. Good to see timing chips from the outset. The Bad - That main road underpass transition was a bit messy! I very nearly went the wrong way! The Ugly - I don't think it was 13 miles :-( My GPS watch may have been out, but not by 0.4 of a mile!
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this race. It was crisp organisation with a prompt start. The number of times the start has draaaaaaagged on because we have to sit through announcements and "warm-ups" when we just want to get started. Nice work there.
I genuinely feel this is one of the best half-marathons I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of. There were a couple of points where I was completely on my own and had to ask some dog-walkers if they'd seen runners ahead! I'm guessing I might be in the minority in that regard though. But a few more signs in places with no marshals would be appreciated.
Also, sort the website out! It's a bit fiddly to find the results. Well worth having a note on the page afterwards with a link.
Otherwise, brilliant! Nice work guys. I very much look forward to next year. Date of review: May 30, 2016
In short: Great race, great organisation... And a PB for me ! In full: I must say this was one of the best organised races I have ever attended. My wife downloaded the iPhone app, and was texted as I crossed the halfway mark, with a finish time prediction that was bang on! And she got texted with my time about 1 minute after I'd finished which was great news because my stopwatch had packed up.
There was a rather dull 3-4 miles (it seemed that long) around an industrial estate at the 20-mile mark which was not very pleasant, but in general a very glorious run. Some areas were sparsely populated, but there were some sections that made the hairs on the back of my neck go up too!
I'm not sure why there are complaints about the water packets. They were regularly spaced, and I actually think this was a good way to get the fluid in to your mouth and not all over the floor!
I totally agree with those mentioning to book early. Brighton is Stag and Hen Do hell on a Saturday night. We stayed at the Travelodge in town, and it was very noisy indeed. The Travelodge at Preston Park looks to be the ultimate one, as you could fall out of it on to the start line! Probably a lot quieter as well as it's much further away from the seafront.
Anyways, well done Brighton. You put on a great event there. Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Must try hard on every possible element In full: Where to start? Hmmmm... How about the start line. A relatively confusing set of laps around the track, then park, then track again. The organiser even started to get it wrong. The gun goes off and I wasn't quite sure where the official start line was.
The race itself was OK IMO. Very flat. A bit of mud, but that's par for the course. The really really big dissapointment for me is finding out that this wasn't a full 10K. If it was 500M short, this actually means I've dont a pretty rubbish time (I won't say what!). Somebody actually offering the drinks would have been nice, rather than having to slow to walking pace to pick up a bottle from the table (I have never done a race where they haven't been standing, waiting with bottles/cups waiting for you). After lap 1, I thought I was going to get pretty p*ss*d off with 3 more, but actually not too bad. Back through to the track and more confusion as the woman thought I'd finished when I still had a lap to do. Lordy.
The "goodie" back was laughable. Loads of flyers and an orange. That is ridiculous. Please put the medal in there (or weren't there enough?). Getting a t-shirt equally chaotic with the organiser doggy-paddling through them with no idea which sizes were where.
All of these things can be improved with just a bit more thought about organisation. It's the organisation itself that brings people to runs (usually), otherwise they'd just go for a run themselves.
So please improve next year.
And please (and I mean really please) DO NOT SCREW UP THE DISTANCE!!!!
In short: Great effort on your first race guys. In full: This had all the trademarks of an inaugural race. There was a bit of a delay at the start, which could have been a nasty one as there was no cover, but luckily the rain kindly held off for us.
The route itself was great. I love a bit of mud, and you end up ankle-deep on a few occasions. It could have done with a few extra marshalls. I seemed to be running my own race, 3 or 4 minutes behind the "elite" runners. I ended up missing the finish line route. Had I lost a place, I would have been quite cross, but nope, all was good in the end.
I live nearby, but this race could be very accessible to those with a car, it's just 5 minutes off the M25 J4. With a bit of polish, it could be a classic for years to come.
So great work Outnabout. I will definitely be attending this next year. Date of review: October 3, 2010
In short: Great race on a truly awful day In full: It was one of those days where you like outside and think "Hmmmm... Should I bother?". I'm glad that I did. The miserable rain and wind didn't deter many, and I managed to set a PB which really surprised me. Must have been the brushing shoulders with Kelly Holmes in the Sports Centre :)
Even the marshalls managed to get animated and cheer us on as best they could, which was no small feat given the conditions.
I had to give the Atmosphere 3/5 because although I can imagine it being much better, the horrible rain and wind meant people were doing the best to stay under their umbrellas!
One small grumble (and this isn't exclusive to this run) is that I am now seeing far too much advertising in my goodies bag. Save the trees. Please.
Otherwise, great work guys. I'm glad I made the trip. Date of review: March 2, 2010
In short: Great run, but needs a rethink In full: I have run this every year now, and there's so much to like. From the ease of access to the no-nonsense starting gun (some race starts can really drag!).
The route is pretty reasonable to run around. Fair bit of woodland with a bit of road. Personally, I'm never bothered about what's around me, more about the inclines I'm facing, and this is certainly not flat. However, I think a few might surprise themsleves with a good time if their legs are strong enough.
This year, they introduced timing pens which is great to see. Unfortunately people generally don't have much of an idea of what time they can do so usually get in the wrong (quicker) pen. I ran it with my father-in-law this year. And despite the timing pens, it got very clogged up at the back. This race has seen a steady increase in runners, and I think the railway bridge should be moved a little later. I would say we were waiting nearly a minute just to get to the bottom of the steps. I'm no expert, but more thinning out is needed before we get there.
But this is fine tuning. In fairness, the organisers get better every year, and I'm sure they'll learn from this and improve again. I will definitely be getting my application form in in good time. The fact that this race was so well attended when it was on the same day as the Royal Parks says it all... But it also says they need to watch out for a large influx next year! Date of review: October 12, 2009
In short: Lovely course on a lovely day In full: Runs are always much nicer on sunny days aren't they?! But still, the scenery was lovely. A tricky hill late on, but a gentle downhill incline from that point on.
I am concerned that there's a single-file gate early-ish in the race, and if it gets popular that it could be a bottle-neck. Worth keeping an eye on for next year. Perhaps add those time prediction flags at the start so (hopefully) people will get in to the appropriate area and not slow others down... We can only hope eh? Date of review: July 6, 2009
In short: Well done again. A perfectly organised race. In full: Is this race deemed to always have good weather? If anything, it was getting too hot. I would like to see the option of cups of water and bottles. I know a lot of people like cups, but I just spill the lot, so a bottle on offer wouldn't go amiss. However, this is just a trifling issue.
Oh yeah, I do have one complaint. Please ensure a better joke at the start next year. I swear it added 30 seconds to my time! Date of review: October 12, 2008
In short: Very well organised, but dreadful place to run, In full: If you enjoy: - Racing in late October when the weather is awful - Running round grubby back streets with cobbled roads - Travelling by car because the local rail network can't get their act together - Queuing up for 2 hours to get out - Running an unrecognised distance (10 miles) - A 2-mile finish facing a strong head-wind along the sea front.
Then this race is certainly for you!
Guys, the organisation from a race perspective was spot on. But please please please move it to somewhere where there are more than 2 roads out and that isn't called Portsmouth. It really is a hole. The weather didn't do it any favours I know, but speaking as someone who's been there when it's not raining, I know it's not much better when the sun's out!
But I must also say that the support was excellent. For people to get out in that weather and bang their pots and pans together is laudable. It was definately the most uplifting element of the race. You should really applaud yourself.