In short: The best race I have run in the UK! In full: Excellent race, top organisation, the marshals were very good and every one of them was full of claps and cheers as we made our way around the course! The goody back was also way better than many races that charge up to three times the entry fee for this race, lots of fun and useful things inside. The T shirt at the end was great too! It was a technical T shirt (rather than one of the cheapo cotton ones) so really could be used in training etc-much better than another medal to chuck in the corner.
In short: It doesn't take a genius to work out that marking the course clearly and putting enough signs out is more important than chip timing... In full: I really don't know whether to laugh or cry after this race (the 20K). I wasn't going to do it initially as previous years have featured badly marked courses and people taking wrong turns etc. Well guess what? I'm betting you guess correctly! The lead pack of 3 (which included me) went wrong around 4 miles. Despite putting massive signs out where you would easily have spotted a smaller one (and it was obvious that you had to go straight on) what do we get at four miles? Basically you run along a straight road but you have to take a left even though it feels like you should go straight on. How were you supposed to know? Oh yeah there is a tiny sign approx the size of a postcard about 5 metres up the turning you are supposed to take, right on the ground! Well I (and the leading two didn't see it).
THe race was pretty much all off road along the countryside, it was only thanks to a kind guy on a mini tractor who told us that we had gone wrong that we were able to turn back and attempt to make up the extra 2 miles we'd run... If it wasn't for him we could still be out there now! And what exactly would have happened if one of us collapsed or got hit by a truck or something? I think we'd be lying there still.
It's a bit of a shame really as the race was unable to sort out marking the race clearly enough in the 30km race too! Plus they had gone to the effort of getting chip timing, it's frankly pointless getting chip timing if people can't follow the course accurately! I kind of feel bad as the race was raising money for the Salisbury Fire Station but a bad race is a bad race I'm afraid. THe race could be good if they sort these things out as the countryside is really pretty but there you go. Date of review: August 9, 2009
In short: A good race but could be a *great* race In full: This race is pretty good, the course is interesting and challenging and the support along the way excellent.
However (as has been mentioned) there are a couple of things that are stopping this event from being a really fantastic race: * Facitilites etc including toilets -need more! * Marshals were great and encouraging but some needed to be a bit better at pointing where we were supposed to be running, as in places it was hard to tell * The course was way over 13.1 miles coming out at 13.24 on my garmin, I know races are normally over but being over by 0.14 of a mile is a lot! * Great to have chip timing but I think it would have helped other runners if at the start there had been pace bands so you start with people who are aiming for the same time as you. * Pre-race information should contain much more information about where you can park.
So I don't want to sound overly negative, this race is very good and really well supported (and traffic free! which is fantastic as so many races don't have this) it's great how everyone in Eastbourne supports it. I just hope some of the suggestions could be looked at and make this race so much better - which it has the potential to be. Date of review: March 2, 2009