Date: 6.4.14 Finishers: 8,670
As part of my training for the UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) I ran the Brighton Marathon as the second half of a 76 mile training weekend. Now I know most people train months to run a marathon but I use events like these as my long training runs. I find it much easier and I do like getting a medal at the end.
How much parking was there at or near the race? I pre-booked parking in one of the park and ride parking areas which had plenty of parking space. However, it took much longer than expected to enter the car park as there was only one person ticking your name off on a list. But once parked we walked straight onto a bus and it was only a few minutes drive to the drop off point.
How long were you held in the race pen at the start? Brighton Marathon is very well organised and we didn’t spend a lot of time in the holding pen. Being able to see the elite runners run pass you while you wait made you feel like one of the spectators rather than a runner. The race started on time and the runners were set off by Paula Radcliffe. I think it was very nice that she stayed at the start line and high-fived people as they ran past her.
What were fuel and facilities stations like? There were 15 water points so you never had to worry about carrying water with you all the time. There were four official fuel stations but there were also a lot of spectators and charities handing out jelly sweets and fruit. I needed some salt and even managed to get a packet of crisps from one of the fuel stations. There were plenty of toilets at each of the thirteen toilet points.
How would you describe the course? I was aware that there were going to be hills in the first half of the race but was presently surprised that they weren’t nearly as bad as I was anticipated. The route was very condensed so you always had loads of people around you either running in the same direction or coming from the front.
Where were the best views of the course? From mile 24 I could see Brighton Pier and as I got closer to it you could see people doing reverse bungee jumping. A thought did cross my mind that bungee jumping would be a lot more fun than what I was doing at that moment.
What were your favourite parts of the course and why? Crossing the finish line. It was my first long training run weekend after the winter and I was hoping to do an average of five and a half hours for a total of nearly three marathons this weekend. But I was fully aware that I hadn’t put in enough mileage beforehand. Achieving my goal felt amazing!
How easy was it for you to reclaim your personal items from the baggage collection area? It was very easy and I appreciated that we didn’t have to walk miles afterwards. The only negative was that there weren’t signs indicating where to get the park and ride buses and we ended up walking forward and backwards to find it.
Would you recommend the race? Yes, Brighton Marathon is a well organised marathon and will be ideal for first time runners. Running on the seafront was amazing and it was great to see so many supporters and entertainment on course that gave it a magical atmosphere. I think it is much better than the London Marathon because your family and friends can be with you all the time until you start and as the route is very condensed your family doesn’t have to spend ages trying to get to the next cheering point.
Organisation? 9/10 Quality of the course? 8/10
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