Hi Colin, I ran the Brighton marathon last year (my first) and would definitely recommend it to other first runners. There are a few hills in miles 5-10ish (the highest point is right after the startline) but after the halfway mark the course is beautifully flat. The only thing that might be a problem on the day is that the majority of the route is right on the seafront, so a windy day could make it a hard run. Last year they had a lot of information on the website, incuding a video of the whole course. I found that really helped as you went into it knowing exactly what to expect. The town also has a great buzz afterwards, if you are still on your feet.