Beachy Head Marathon



  • I really can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first Beachy Head marathon (and first marathon) weather was fine a part from the wind and rain at Beachy Head- a bit cold waiting to start though.

    I was not so keen on the 7 Sisters.

    I deliberately didn't check the time at all as I just wanted to run how felt and not put any time pressures on myself - really please to finish in 4:47.

    The marshals were fantastic and so were the supporters who cheered everyone on. A truly great atmosphere.

  • Celtic - great way to run this's not about the time at all in my view. Agree re the marshalls (that's you FB !) - they are just about the best anywhere - can't be a lot of fun being stood out in that freezing wind for hours on end.....

    Anyway, the picture below just about sums it up for me.....image




  • Fantastic Day, really appreciated the friendliness of the Marshalls and the spectators, especially in the very chilly conditions, the photo above is actually the best memory I have, seeing the view, smiling, then realising I had to run to the very end of it.. loved it though. I came in at about 4.13, don't know the actual time as it looks like I had a faulty timing chip so I'm not on the results page image((( hopefully I'll have a photo of the finish with a time stamp.

  • Good to see you walking ok this morning GHall. Shame about the chip.

    There were so many fantastic views it really must be one of the most beautiful marathon routes as well as one of the hardest in the UK!

    I think I'll be registering for it again next year and may be even the Sussex Coastal marathon in March?

  • CelticRunner - Considering we were both 1st timers, we did fantastic, and yes, defo doing it next year, I'm doing Trail Marathon Wales in June, but I'll take a look at the Sussex Coast one as well.. I think I might have been bitten by the bug image

  • Hi Celtic

    If you liked Beachy you would like the Southdowns Marathon. Its in June, not quite as lumpy but still a challenge and some fantasic views. Only hassle with it is that its a point to point race but they have busses that take you to the start from the finish. 

  • well done everyone who did this - not the warmest or calmest of days to say the least but bar that one squall late on, at least the rain stayed away.  it was a biit nippy standing around in that wind for over 7 hours in total but we like marshalling it - gives us a chance to put something back from all the events we do as well.

    good to say hello to a few of you en route - some more than once.  no doubt many of you will be back next year for more of the same - and I might even join you this time as it's been 3 years since I did it last.  and as it's my 60th year next year - so why not eh???  something to celebrate...image


  • Good reading here. Well that was a tough run - did it in 5.15 which I am pleased with as 6 days after running my socks off at Abingdon. I had my camera with me so stopped to take video and pics of varous points. Am so glad I did as a fab record of a truly awesome run. It was my 37th marathon , 14th this year and I can say, hand on heart, it was THE toughest I have done to date...and I am including a couple of ultras in that !!

    I switched my camera on for one last filming session as I dropped down the hill to the finish......filmed myself running down and over the finish line. Great fun.

    I had been told lots about this run and told it was a deffo must do. It certainly lived up to expectations and the marshaling was just great - loved the piper, sausage rolls, buns, tea, Mars Bars........bloody fabulous they were. The thing as well about a run like this, is it brings out the chat in other runners as we are all in it together. Cold rain on top of BH was pretty gruesome but I knew home was almost there so just got on with it.

    Got chatting to a bloke doing The Triple - so, Beachy Head, followed by BHF Midnight half that evening, followed by Great South.......well done to him and his buddies and hope they all got done what they wanted to do.

    Awesome event, not sure I will race back to it next year...but I know I will revisit it again. image

  • Hi, what an amazing event!  I just have one question: there were apparently 2024 entries, but I only see 1100 finishers listed in the results. How many did not start (DNS) and how many were did not finishers (DNFs)?  Just curious if there were a lot of DNFs because of the unusually cold and windy conditions...



  • the numbers thing seems a bit odd because afaik, there was a max of 1500 entrants for this event, not over 2000.  you will always get a number of no-shows due to injury etc  - and perhaps the forecast of cold weather put a number of the "fair weather" runners off.  as for DNF's, there are always a few at this event due to the terrain which catches quite a few undertrained out!

    I was talking to the timing guys after and they seemed to think something was up with the numbers - maybe an e-mail to the organisers to ask??

    EDIT:  BHM Facebook page has just put up a link to the results - 1299 finishers listed.  some runners mentioned that they don't appear in the results (maybe faulty chips or placed badly) so that total will be more than 1300.  which would tally well with 1500 places.  I've asked the question on the FB page btw

  • well i have to say it was an amazing day.

    at around the 12 mile mark after that hill and wind i turned to go down hill and my asthma was bad, legs killing and my guts were cramping. i was ready to give up but about a mile later i felt everything get better. felt really good from then on until burling gap and nearly cried with the crowds there. completely forgot to say hello FB but i loved the currant bun and cup of tea. the last bit over beeachy head was tough with gusts of wind that could stop you in your tracks. got rained on for literally the last 30 seconds.

    the most amazing binch of people, from marshalls to runners, to specatators. loved this size of it. i loved coming back to where you started. i even had a shower. missed the food as i had to get home.

    i did it in 4.41. thought i might have made 4.30 in advance but that wind put paid to it.

    i concentrated on just enjoying it and taking in the scenery and atmosphere. absolutely not post marathon blues.

    it was supposed to be my last marathon to excorcise the misery of brighton but i think i'm hooked on bhm. definitely going to get into trail running. never ever doing a road marathon again.

  • Thanks FB!  If you find out any more, be v interested to hear.  What an event!  Def doing it next year!  Personal thanks FB to you and all the other marshals.  For the first 18 miles at least, I made a point of thanking every single marshal I saw for coming out in such conditions - unbelievable commitment and it must have been absolutely freezing standing still!

  • My time hasn't appeared in the results which is annoying, I have emailed the organisers but I guess it was a faulty chip, I know I finished, I'm still feeling it today!

  • qfs - from Facebook:

    "Maximum number is 1650. I introduced registeration last year which enabled me to get an idea of the number of DNSer's. The event was oversold this year to allow for the dropout. But we had a HUGE number of DNSer's this year, some due to injury and maybe the weather conditions played a part. Was told by a competitior at regsitration on Saturday morning that there was snow at Gatwick early on Saturday morning so maybe some just decided to stay in bed! Who knows?!"

    so quite a lot of DNSs - c20% - which is much higher than you'd normally expect

  • PAC76 - they'll probably be able to fix it when the offical pics come up I suspect (or at least give you a reasonably accurate time) as there'll be a finish line picture. As FB says, email them and sure they'll do something

    I think 20% drop out (DNS) is normal for any marathon - if not more (for instance I heard VLM sell 50,000, but typically 35,000 turn up on the day), but these days the DNF numbers of those starting are pretty low (compared with say 20+ years ago)

    Rondo - if you liked Beachy and travel isn't too difficult for you, take at look at the Steyning Stinger (Feb), Three Forts (May) and the 2:09 Events South Downs Marathon (June) - all examples of very similar events (terrain, views, etc) but often in very different conditions ! All are brilliantly organised and friendly, and hard as hell ! can also highly recommend the Farnham Pilgrim (North Downs rather than South) in September. Beautiful run, impeccable organisation.

  • I emailed the organisers about the chip failure, basically, if the chip wasn't around you're ankle, then it won't get picked up by the sensors, mine was just above the small of my back on the outside of my hydration pack.. I'll remember for next year, although apparently the event entries won't be opening until early 2013 image

    Shame, because I would have come in around about the 180 mark, which for my 1st marathon I'm really chuffed with.

    Trail Marathon Wales is one to look out for in June, I'm in, it's only it's second year but looks like it's going to be another corker, only 400 elite entrants for the Marathon though so you'll have to get in quick as there is only 100 left (there is a half as well)

    I'm afraid I failed on the sausage roll scoffing though, just couldn't face it as I headed up next countless hill!!

  • numbers starting in the 2000s were special numbers for Charities/Transfers/Press Places they could be differentiated from standard entries.  no idea why but ther you go!

  • and also from the BHM Facebook page:

    "Receiving a number of requests for the entries opening date for the 2013 BHM. Going to hold off opening entries until early 2013 but will post when entries open on here and on the BHM website .... you mad lot!!"

    so if you're on FB, get linked to the BHM page so you can get updates

  • I have been in contact with Anita at visit Eastbourne and she has been very helpful and pointed I should worn said chip around my ankle.

    I didn't wear it round the ankle because it wouldn't fit due to a short strap, or fat ankle depending on your view point!

    She has though said my time will be inserted based on my timing which was very nice of her.

  • Oooh, so I wonder how many of the non recorded chip times were due to people not following the instructions......??????!!! image

  • bit unfair really, as there was nothing on here

    or in anything when I registered on Friday evening to tell me that it had to go onto my ankle. And I didn't hear anything over the tanoy prior to the race!

    lesson learnt for next year though, it didn't stop me enjoying it and it's not like I lost out on a winning place image

  • this is the first time I've had an ankle chip (but you're right, there was nothing to say that it was for an ankle, as opposed to a wrist, say). Usually, they come with ties so they fit onto shoe laces  - at least then you know where they're supposed to go. Once I had a chip that was embedded in the race number, and didn't need collecting at the end. That really was easy to use, though I don't know how well it would work if it was covered up, as it probably would have been in yesterday's weather.

    Nice to see you FB: we also met on my first BHM in 2003, I think, when you and Petal were standing  somewhere after the golf course. (If it wasn't you, then it was someone claiming to be you!)


  • I thought instructions were on the envelope the chip was in.........anyway, for me Beachy is a race (not even a race TBH, not for me anyway) where I couldn't care less about the time (realise that might not be true for everyone though). AP - agree, the embedded ones are best - Brighton used these last time I think.

  • no instructions on my envelope: but I agree, for me as well, time is irrelevant, it's a survival game! Timing me to the second is a bit too much - the nearest hour would do!

  • "Usually, they come with ties so they fit onto shoe laces  - at least then you know where they're supposed to go."

    I wouldn't say usually - but then I'm a triathlete and all chips used in tri are of the ankle type.   and the company who did the timing mainly do triathlon timing - hence the ankle chips.

    I'll drop a note to them (it's run by friends of mine) so they can ensure the BHM organisers do issue instructions in the future.

    and AP - no that wasn't me in 2003.  I wasn't at BHM that year

  • Old Gwasshopper wrote (see)

    Oooh, so I wonder how many of the non recorded chip times were due to people not following the instructions......??????!!! image


    Old Gwasshopper wrote (see)

    Oooh, so I wonder how many of the non recorded chip times were due to people not following the instructions......??????!!! image


    Old Gwasshopper wrote (see)

    Oooh, so I wonder how many of the non recorded chip times were due to people not following the instructions......??????!!! image


    Old Gwasshopper wrote (see)

    Oooh, so I wonder how many of the non recorded chip times were due to people not following the instructions......??????!!! image

    As I said, it wouldn't fit round my ankle (I did try) and I was joking about having fat ankles, the strap was too

    I admit though I did not notice any instructions anywhere but I am not the most observant and I was chatting to someone rather than paying attention to what was going on when collecting my number etc.

    It's not necessarily about the time, this hardly somewhere you will set a PB, but it is nice to be on the official finishing list when you have put yourself through an event like this.

  • I liked Beachy just as much when they didn't have chips and they just wrote down your number when you finished to the nearest minute.

    Personally wouldn't care at all if they dispensed with them and donated more to charity instead or whatever. The straps were pretty short though as you say - mine only just went round the narrowest part of my pudgy ankles (to the extent I checked a few times during the race to see if it was still there)


  • Last year it was an ankle strap, but a thicker long one.
  • Decided to add this to my autumn pursues out of sheer madness. Not sure if there is a more recent thread I should post on, bit will try and read through the previous posts on here. Anyone else in this year's race?

  • Yep, did it last year and in again this year. Great race, looking forward to it!

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