In short: Great race, a must run. In full: As usual the first point is to thank the organisers and marshalls for giving their time. The marshalls were very supportive. In my view this is a really great race for Spring marathon preparation, though for me it's best treated as a training run rather than a race. The scenery is highly varied. Overall the course is interesting but pretty flat.
Thanks to TRAC for organising this. The effort put in by clubs like yours is greatly appreciated. Also thanks to whoever decided this was a Kent Grand Prix event. The same again next year please!
The club I belong to sent 20 runners on a 120- mile round trip, leaving at about 06:30, which shows what we think of it.
Even the weather was good, with little wind and some sun.
I heard a lot, none good, about the short cross-country bit. I didn't mind it, but clearly I was in the minority.
I'm not bothered about goody bags. For me some water, a momento and some chocolate is more than enough. For me the important features are marshals, to stop me getting lost, and water stations.
If I can avoid injury and get there I'll be there next year. Please run it again! Date of review: March 6, 2013
In short: Great race, but hilly. In full: First thanks to Deal Tri for organising this excellent race. Thanks in particular to the marshals who gave hours of their time, were very cheerful and did an excellent job in some very cold and windy weather.
First the hills. This is certainly a hilly half-marathon. According to mapometer the gross climb is 290m. This year my Garmin made it to be 227m. Somehow it didn't feel that hilly, since none of the hills were that long, though there were a lot of them. I thought the scenery was brilliant. No tractors this year. Generally I noticed very little traffic.
I'm surprised there hasn't been more comment about the wind. This was very cold and strong on the way out, but was less noticeable, in fact gave some help, on the way back.
The HQ area offered ample cheap parking. It's also a café which is very useful; I ate a full English Breakfast for £5.90 after the race. The start/ finish area was excellent. The machine printing out details of your run a few yards from the finish line was missing this year, which was a shame. The drinks stations were fine for me; thanks to those who operated them.
I like the mug; there was a nice medal too! The Mars bar was most welcome. Definitely a great race, but a long way from home for me, so I'll probably only do it again if I can get a lift there. So long as it's a Kent Grand Prix race that's quite likely. Date of review: February 12, 2013
In short: Great scenery, but a few points In full: Thanks to Invicta East Kent Athletics Club for organising this and to those who turned out on the day to help, especially the marshals, who gave up their time so we could enjoy the race.
The scenery was great and I really enjoyed the course though it was a bit wet, and a bit narrow not so much at the start but about half a mile in. The sun came out just about as the race started, which was excellent. The weather was warm for the time of year but windy in places.
I don't mind a mug or a medal, but wasn't keen on the bag.
A couple of minor points. We arrived early and the car parking was easy, with bays clearly marked. There were some areas, e.g. the tennis courts where marshals might have helped. Also the instructions asked people not to park on certain roads near the start as the race was die to take part. Maybe I missed them, but there seemed to be no signs or marshals on the day to help with this.
It's great to have a bag drop, but it would have been easier for those who had given up their time to do this if they had labels to stick on bags.
I prefer to get the race number and chip before hand, but I can see the advantage to the organisers in not posting them. Date of review: January 28, 2013
In short: Well done and thanks to the organisers and marshals. In full: First thanks to the marshals for giving up their time on this rather wet day. Thanks also go to the organisers for making this happen and the spectators for their support.
It's a great idea to run a half-marathon, which I did, and a full marathon, at the same time. I don't live in the area but I gather there isn't a Preston marathon or half-marathon. Perhaps this will inspire people to organise one more frequently.
I expect it took a lot of organising to get the roads closed for the races. Personally I'm not a big fan of this sort of double out and back route, as I prefer a loop. I do agree loops are harder to organise, though. Also using big roads as these races did was useful on a wet day like yesterday, as they drained pretty well and were quite level.
Well done Preston! Date of review: October 29, 2012
In short: Excellent race well done to Staplehurst Carnival/ Nice Work In full: Thanks to Staplehurst Carnival Committee and Nice Work for organising this excellent race. Thanks to the marshals for giving up their time so that we could all run the race.
I thought this was an excellent race, the countryside was good. Most of it was along roads which were shared with traffic, but most of the roads were not very busy and the cars seemed to cope well with the runners.
This is definitely a race for improving one's 10K personal best.
We missed the signs for the car parking in the field in which the start and finish took place. However we parked easily enough anyway. The race was well-marshalled, but there was little local support. Perhaps this will grow as the race grows.
This year 243 finished the race compared to 118 last year, which I guess speaks for the success of the race.
As to details of the distance and gross climb, according to my Garmin, these were 9.93km and 25m respectively. Thus the race is much flatter than the Larkfield 10K, which itself is very flat. Date of review: June 17, 2012
In short: Excellent race, well done Harvel Hash House Harriers. In full: Thanks to Harvel Hash House Harriers for organising this excellent 5-mile race. Thanks to the many support staff, marshals etc who gave up their time, and opportunity to run the race, so that we could.
To me the race felt flat/ downhill with two short hills, but in fact it was basically slightly uphill for the first half and slightly downhill for the second half.
The car park was fine as was the start/ finish area. The pub was very handy and looked an excellent place to spend time drinking beer.
The location is pretty rural and the instructions were quite right to say not to approach from the East. We did, due to a combination of road works and getting lost. The road we used was basically single-track with limited passing places.
The scenery was excellent, a mixture of country road and woods.
For those who like details, according to my Garmin the race was 7.97km long and the gross climb was 65m. Date of review: June 6, 2012
In short: Great race, great scenery, not flat In full: First thanks to Deal Tri for organising this excellent race. Thanks in particular to the marshals who gave hours of their time, were very cheerful and did an excellent job.
First the hills. This is certainly a hilly half-marathon. According to mapometer the gross climb is 290m. My Garmin made it to be 241m, which is slightly more hilly than, say, the Tunbridge Wells half-marathon. Somehow it didn't feel that hilly, since none of the hills were that long, though there were a lot of them. I thought the scenery was brilliant. The tractor (I saw only one) was a new experience for me, but it was certainly good at getting out the way, despite being very wide. Generally I noticed very little traffic.
The HQ area offered ample cheap parking. It's also a café which is very useful. The start/ finish area was excellent. I've never before seen a machine printing out details of your run a few yards from the finish line, but I thought that was a great idea. It probably needs a bit more publicity as I nearly missed it. The drinks stations were fine for me; thanks to those who operated them.
I like the mugs, rather than a medal. The Mars bars were most welcome. Definitely a great race, but a long way from home for me, so I'll probably only do it again if I can get a lift there. Date of review: May 14, 2012
In short: Many thanks an excellent race In full: As usual the first point is to thank the organisers and marshalls for giving their time. The marshalls were very supportive. In my view this is a really great race for Spring marathon preparation, though for me it's best treated as a training run rather than a race. The scenery is highly varied. Overall the course is interesting but pretty flat.
Thanks to TRAC for organising this. The effort put in by clubs like yours is greatly appreciated. Also thanks to whoever decided this was a Kent Grand Prix event. The same again next year please! Date of review: March 6, 2012
In short: Good with a few niggles. In full: I think this race has the potential to be very successful, but still has some work to do.
It was a first marathon for me, a great race which I really enjoyed. I've done plenty of races before, but nothing this long or large. The weather was of course very warm. I thought the hills were modest for this part of the country. According to my Garmin the gross climb was 135 meters which is far less than most half-marathons. Also I was expecting a lot more runners. Only 7802 finishers, which was no doubt partly due to the heat.
What was good? The atmosphere generally was great. Brighton is a great place and I have already entered for next year. The location of the start was excellent. Nice views whilst one was waiting. The bag drop and pickup worked perfectly. There seemed to be enough toilets. It took less time than I expected to get to the start line. I started behind the 4:30 pacer and got to the start about 9m17s after the gun. That was about half what I expected.
Thanks to the marshalls and those dispensing water etc, who all seemed fine; they must have got pretty warm too but were very supportive.
The water was plentiful, and much needed. I though the stations were frequent enough. There were also plenty of people operating them, especially after the first couple.
The route was very nice to run, with the exception of the really rather unpleasant bit out towards and in Shoreham docks etc. Unsurprisingly there were not many spectators on this stretch just when most runners would have really needed them. The supporters in the last couple of miles, and indeed for much of the rest of the course were terrific. Thanks to them.
What was not so good? For me they were mainly only niggles, but in the hope that the organisers understand that I'll point them out. I was dropped off so didn't need the park and ride but I could see cars queuing onto the main road at 7:35 so guess that was a bottleneck. The corrals didn't seem to me to work quite right. Two had colours so close together I coudn't tell them apart. I ended up a bit too far back, but that was largely my inexperience.
It may be just me but I found the amount of Powerade wasted a bit of a shame. I used shot blocs and water so didn't need it, but were the Powerade bottles too large? An awful lot seemed to me to be thrown away nearly full. I like water bottles so thanks for that. 300ml is a bit large for me, but maybe that's what most people like.
At the end I was in a complete daze for about 20 minutes; I was so exhausted. I picked up the water, Tshirt (great thanks) and medal but missed the goody bag. I wonder if there is a better way to arrange where to meet one's family and friends at the end. How do other big races manage it? Maybe some of the large number of very helpful people giving out medals etc could have helped dazed runners pick stuff up and move in the right direction. A small point perhaps.
There were two things which were worse than minor niggles. One was crossing the road whilst the race was on. This entailed going through a narrow tunnel with some people trying, but not really succeeding, to manage the very heavy pedestrian traffic. I hear some people nearly came to blows, which was a bit worrying. I think this does need to be thought about for next year.
The second was the results. They were certainly out quickly, which is great. However where are the club information, the age information, the splits? It's an absolute pain to scroll through the results, though admittedly easy to find a known runner's place and time. Why not use sports systems or someone who is good at this? There are results for the first 3,000 on runbritain, but what about the others? This is surely so easy to get right and hence there seems little reason to get it so badly wrong. Is it too late to get it right for this year. I think that what is need is a spreadsheet with all the data on it. Is that too hard?
Overall this was a fantastic experience not to be missed. Brighton is a fantastic place to have a race like this. With the immense surfeit of demand for marathons not being satisfied by London this race has the opportunity to become very big. Hopefully the organisers will be able to increase numbers again next year. I would have though 10,000 starters should be a realistic target for 2012.
WELL DONE BRIGHTON! See you next year. Date of review: April 12, 2011