Brighton Marathon 2017



  • Was anyone else surprised / disappointed having finished in tough conditions with water running out that the only T shirts available for finishers were extra small? My partner on registering for Brighton was asked what size T Shirt and requested large. On finishing only extra small available. If the event organisers ask participants what size they want surely they should order enough of each size?
  • MACbMACb ✭✭✭
    Well done everyone. Had a pretty horrific race and dealing with a tooth abscess which is not helping my mood! Started well, but by 10 miles the legs started feeling heavy. Half way at 1.28 but I new I was fading. Got a stitch at 16-17 miles and felt like everyone was going by me. I nearly gIve up, but plodded along getting slower and slower. Kept thinking of walking but knew that would be race over. Finished in 3.09.29 and very relieved. So not all bad, gfa and pb. My legs are very tight, struggling to walk. They've never felt worse. Oh well, will try again some day.
  • I had the same problem with shirts. Could be why lots of the big races give you your shirt with your bib at the expo. That way they can order exactly the number of each size which the runners asked for and everybody gets the right shirt.
    Chris Wilson, have you noticed the official statement they put out post race says that water did not run out at any point? Glad I wasn't the only one who got no drinks.
  • Just to second the various comments on water and t-shirts.

    I was towards the back end of the field this year and absolutely astonished at the lack of water. Nearly all water stations in the second half were either out of water, out of cups or out of both. On a related note we got no goody bag at the finish (I didn't even realise we should've got one until I read some reviews from faster runners afterwards), evidently they ran out of those too. So for the later finishers: very little water in the 2nd half of the course and very little in the way of food/drink at the end. Given that those affected had been running in the sun for upwards of five hours this is seriously dangerous. I'm very pleasantly surprised there hasn't been news of some extreme medical problems as a result.

    My sister and I both also ended up with an XL t-shirt which is basically unwearable.

    The other big piece of feedback we had about the day related to the 10k - as we were heading to the start line in a massive bottle neck there were a LOT of marathon runners crossing the 10k course to avoid said bottleneck. This was as the tail end of the 10k runners were coming through and I can only imagine how they must have felt being obstructed in the way they were.

    Having run the event last year in a faster time, and had a wonderful experience, I can only conclude that in both the 10k and the marathon the slower runners just aren't given the respect they deserve. Fully accepting that mistakes happen, no water is totally unforgivable no matter what the circumstances.

    Last year I recommended the event very highly to pretty much everyone I know. My advice now would be to only enter it if you are confident of being in the first two-thirds or so of the field.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I had entered it this year but deferred after I couldn't find any reasonably priced accomodation. Bloody glad I did now. I did Manchester instead, which was brilliant (they sorted out all last year's issues and everything went like clockwork).
    I don't think I'm even going to take up the deferral place, since it only gives me a 20% discount which would still make it more expensive than a lot of races, and with the water problems, lack of loos, lack of T-shirts and goody bags plus and the fact won't post your number to you (not to mention that fish-stinking industrial area) makes it very unappealing. There are better marathons.
  • Fat Boy TrimFat Boy Trim ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017

    Oh that's really poor migrant, especially as there was not very much in the cups to start with nearer the front. A massive under calculation. But it was very rare conditions on sunday, but still no excuse for something so important.

    Brighton marathon have just sent an apology email out as well just as I read this.

    MACb - sounds like a good time to me!! Well done!

    Katelotte. P&D schedule is a training plan - google it and see what you think.

  • Fat Boy TrimFat Boy Trim ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017

    Cal, I beg to differ, I rate Brighton as one of the best in the world. I have done top marathons all over the World and still rate Brighton up there with the best. (But I admit I have not done Manchester).

    I have never had any problems you mention or noticed a fish stinking area?

    I will do London probably next year but Brighton will still probably be my main Marathon. Loved everyone of them

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    It seems to have been the slower runners who suffered this year as far as water and goody bags/shirts went. I'm not the fastest either (just snuck under 4:30 in Manchester, which was a PB - I daresay I'd have been slower in Brighton due to the heat, although Manchester was warm towards the end) so it does seem I'd be at risk here.
    As far as the other issues go, I've read/heard about them from people posting in other threads and from clubmates. I did also watch the course video and I can't say it looked very inspiring. I'd be interested to know if other people loved the race.
  • Hi everyone, hope you're all uninjured and healthy. This was my 4th marathon and comfortably the toughest. The heat was unrelenting, which cannot be helped, but the lack of water was farcical. Half full paper cups that were impossible to drink, spectators and kids all over the course from mile 24 onwards, and no marshals or fencing there.

    I've never suffered with dehydration at a race until Sunday.

    Must say, the support was incredible. Without it I wouldn't have made it round. I was dizzy and cramping up and thought about stopping several times, but the Brighton natives kept me going.
  • I was running with a group of 17 people from a club, we are various speeds but mostly on the slower side. Over half of us started in the green coral and I can tell you it was an absolute shambles. They were already running out of cups by 6/7 miles and got worse from there. Unless you had your own bottle to refill you were screwed. No way near enough gels or isotonic either.

    Out of our group we had 1 person collapse at mile 20 and taken to hospital due to dehydrated, another DFN at 21 miles also dehydration plus she also lost her way because of lack of marshalls at that point and spectators all over the course (well before cut off time). Another hospitalised after the race kidney problems due to dehydration. Many of our group were also first time marathoners and the experience has really put them off.

    Total lack of respect for the slower runners and pretty poor to run for 5+ hours and find there's no t-shirts in your size left despite stating size when registering.  

    It was my 2nd marathon and first time at Brighton... I thought the supporters/locals/medics were amazing and it's a great city but I will not be back. Maybe if the organisers had admitted straight away they had messed up but they just tried to deny and cover thier ass even blaming the faster runners for taking too much water! For £70 entry fee I will go elsewhere. Wouldn't recommend it either unless they seriously change things (event village/expo also poor).
  • Well I take it back then,,, Looks like a good marathon for faster runners and shambles for slower runners which is a shame as the Brighton locals support and volunteers / medics deserve better from the organisers!

    Would be interesting to know which other marathons people recommend. Berlin is probably my favourite!

  • Savernake AdeSavernake Ade ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017

    The entire weekend was a complete Omni-shambles.

    Apologists can blame the unseasonal weather but its a non-excuse.

    The Expo on Saturday afternoon was a queuing hell. One volunteer at a desk for each coloured wave was not enough. Queues behind burning up in the heat.

    Wave colour should be allocated at time of entry. Not at the Expo. Green wave was being fast-tracked to the front of the queuing system when I checked in, so obviously loads were taking advantage to get out of the sun & register as a slow 'green' when they were nothing of the sort.

    Race day:- Preston Park.

    trying to access the park whilst the 10k race was in progress was ridiculous. No clearly marked access points or marshalls.

    Once inside the usual shortage of loos & tap water was a big issue.

    Runners friends & family were also clogging up the park. It should have been runners-only entry.

    The wave system didn't work. Gun went off at 09.15, the green wave left the park at 10.04.....too long a wait.

    The race:- the lack of water on course is well documented and not a fabrication. It was a disaster, especially around the power station area.

    Very few running at this point. Constant wailing ambulance sirens, vomiting & feinting runners & walkers, made it like a scene from the Walking Dead.

    Minimal marshaling & barriers to keep pedestrians away from runners.

    This was a major issue on the run back along Hove seafront. It was ridiculous, dodging prams, mobility scooters etc. It's no wonder runners got disorientated & wandered off-course.

    The finish area was a farce. The goody bag tables were sparsely manned. Folk were helping themselves to the little that was left.

    Exiting the expo/marathon zone, again, was a disaster. no segregation between runners & the general public. As for the 'bridge of doom' over the road, to escape the seafront, I'm jut surprised there wasn't a crush. It was dangerous.

    Brighton has not got the infrastructure in place to cope with a mass participation marathon. The attitude of the local businesses to the visitors is also a big problem.

    From hotels, to b&b's, uber taxis, cafe's, everyone increased their prices for the marathon weekend. It doesn't make you want to return & indeed, I won't.

    Much for the organisers to consider once they've finished counting their money.

    A 'marquee', big named sponsor is needed to move the event forward & improve a farcically badly organized event. The weather was the least of the problems.

  • So what you saying then Savernake Ade?
  • Savernake ADE, you have summed it up perfectly. Please, PLEASE email the organisers directly with your feedback. They need to hear this!
  • FayaFaya ✭✭✭
    The issues at this year's race have been so disheartning to hear. Well done everyone that managed to complete the race last weekend.

    I have run Brighton twice in the past (2012+2014). It sounds like it's really gone downhill.
  • john2443john2443 ✭✭✭

    I don't have time/knowledge to comment on all the above, but some things -

    T shirts - if you got the wrong size


    There was a massive number of no shows among the vols, organisers had to spread those who turned up out the best they could. If you or your friends volunteer for anything, remind them of this!

    Hotels, taxis, prices.

    Beyond organisers control, it happens at all big events, something else I go to (not related to running) if you look at B&Bs the websites say £50 a night except these dates when it's £100

  • A shame John but as you say lots of these things happen at most big events.

    Although Brighton do always seem to have a problem with water be it the pouch company going bust (prior year) or not enough water etc etc.. and the bloody expo. What is it with marathons and making runners suffer the day before the race. (not just Brighton but all big marathons).

    Great supporters and volunteers though - thanks to them it was still a special day!

  • Totally agree that the volunteers and members of the public were stupendous.
    Leaving runners with nothing to drink after mile 6 is totally unacceptable . This does not happen at most big events at all.
    The slower runners were put in enormous danger by the organisers. Many were carted off in ambulances or needed medical attention. This also does not happen at most big events. Brighton completely failed in their duty of care to the runners in my opinion.
    Thank goodness for the volunteers and the public.
  • I enjoyed Brighton in 2013 - but this sounds unforgivable. I know one person who ran it - and his dedicated training went to waste because he suffered dehydration and could not complete.

    For £70, there is absolutely no excuse.  Water is an absolute safety necessity, and for a quid per runner, you can have plenty for everyone.     I'm sure they made lots of cash from sweating the assets and having a 10K start from the same start line, just 45minutes beforehand.  Who cares if it clogs up the whole of Preston Park.

    I'd honestly thought that Brighton would probably be my spring marathon next year, just because I've done 3 consecutive Manchesters... but I'll be waiting for a year or two to see if the organisers get themselves sorted and demonstrate that they've changed their attitude.
  • BikoBiko ✭✭✭
    Like Cal above, I was supposed to do Brighton this year but deferred. It's unlikely I'll be doing it after the feedback I've read on the race. 
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    I ran Brighton last year but was on holiday for the race this year; however, I coached three friends for the race and know a handful of other people who ran.  It's interesting that none of the feedback I and others gave after last year's race seems to have been acted upon - despite even warmer conditions. Here is my review from last year:

    Good but not memorable This was my 7th marathon, but first Brighton. Overall, it's a good race - but it isn't "London-on-Sea". It's a shame that the organisers don't seem to have taken anything on board from last year's reviews and seem more interested in cutting costs than in taking the race from good to great. Let me start by saying that I didn't have a great race. I got tripped at the water station at around 14 miles and couldn't regain my pace, and from 18-22 miles really went backwards. Still managed to finish in a respectable time as I'd flown through the first half so reasonably happy, but there are a number of things that could make this race so much better.

    1. I'm not sure why the race packs can't be posted out. I understand why you have to collect them in person at London - but this isn't London. It's not a big city that's easily accessible from all areas of the country and it's frankly annoying to have to either travel to Brighton twice, or incur extra expense by having to stay over for two nights.

    2. I really liked that runners were able to choose their own starting corral. I think in the main most people were honest about their likely finishing time and this was a nice touch which worked well.

    3. The kit bags were FAR too small. And to be sent an email the day before the race advising this was poor. We were lucky that it was a dry day because the bags could not have fitted in a spare pair of trainers - and the worst thing after a race when your feet have got wet is to be unable to change into dry shoes. My kit bag fitted (at a squeeze): jogging bottoms, long-sleeved top and thin fleece. I'm a small person so my clothes are small. Bigger people would have been able to fit in less. Poor.

    4. Toilets. Every review I've read has mentioned the lack of sufficient toilets at the start. We arrived at the start with over an hour to go and the queues were already right across the park. Which left no option but to pee in bushes or behind trees - because frankly I wasn't willing to waste an hour in a queue only to miss the start of the race - as many did. Come on organisers - sort this out!

    5. The start entailed walking through thick, cakey mud. Clearly previous runners of this race knew this as they had plastic bags over their trainers. The rest of us were trying to bang off 3-4cm of mud against the barriers as we moved towards the start line. Not great. Needs one of those criss-cross matting systems to stop the ground become wet and slippery.

    6. Water at the water stations was in cups, despite many complaints about this last year. Having read the reviews, I took my own water bottle. It's impossible to adequately hydrate from a cup - most of it ends up all over your face or down your front, or you inhale it. Small bottles would be better - but these cost more money. Go figure.

    7. The course is NOT flat. I didn't pay as much attention to the profile map as I should have done - the first half has quite a lot of short, sharp climbs and some gradual long ascents, which are barely perceptible at the time but really take their toll on the legs. I realise that it's difficult to work out a route that doesn't involve massive hills, given the proximity to the South Downs, hence having to loop out both sides of Brighton and then back in again, but both the 15-18 and the 20-23 mile sections were SO dull. In particular the power station - the lack of crowds didn't bother me that much but it was hot, there was nothing to look at and the smell of rotting fish was revolting.

    9. The atmosphere was great - the sunshine definitely helped, but everyone was really friendly and encouraging.

    10. I liked the finish and this was generally smooth - nice having the repatriation area on the beach too.

    Overall, the race was well-organised but little touches would have made it that much better for the runners. I think the entry fee is overly expensive for what you get and even on a lovely sunny day, sections of the course are pretty tedious and unimaginative. But that's the trade-off for keeping it relatively flat. I enjoyed it, but not sure I enjoyed it enough to do it again.

    Still not sure I'd do it again ... especially after the feedback here and from friends.

  • I've lurked on this thread and thought it would fizzle out but as it's still going I thought I'd give my thoughts.

    Before Brighton I'd done one standalone marathon before and a few other 26.2 mile runs after a swim and a bike ride. As it was winter I figured I'd prioritise run training to see what happened. Yes, the course is a bit crap in places but the support was superb and, it seems, I was - fortunately - ahead of the water shortages. In triathlons I nearly always walk the feed stations so I can actually get the water in and that's what I did here. I did miss bananas on the feed stations - some kids were stood out side their house giving bananas out and I had one from them though - lifesavers!!

    I thought the organisation, bearing in mind the number of people and the road closures that have to go in etc, was very good.

    This year I signed up late so it was expensive (£75, I think). I'd no problem with paying that - nobody made me. I quite liked prioritising the run training so had already decided I have another go next year. I entered for 2018 at the Expo and I think it was £45. 

    I had a taxi to the start. Rarely use taxis but when I booked it I asked what it'd cost (about 4.5 miles) and was told about £12. I think it was £12.30 plus a tip. No idea if this is good value but it seemed it to me and I'll do the same next year.

    Overall, it was a far bigger event than I usually do and I was impressed. Maybe I'm easily impressed as I haven't got the experience of doing events with 12,000 other people but I had a great day.
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