Brighton and beyond

I’d planned to write this blog last week, but with my daughter staying for Easter and then a visit to my Dad down in Cornwall I never seemed to find the time, and now I’m back to work it’s been equally busy this week, but finally here I am.

I originally intended to write something more about Brighton and some of the issues around the race, but I feel like that’s been covered by other blogs and websites in detail, so I’ll just touch on it briefly. The problems I encountered were around the race village and the loo queue. I’m aware of the issues around water running out, although fortunately I didn’t experience that. Having registration at the race village was a good idea in principle, and seemed to work fine until Saturday afternoon. Now I know the organisers warned that Saturday afternoon would be very busy and to expect some queuing, but an hour seemed a bit excessive, especially in comparison to 2 years before, when I arrived at the Brighton Centre at the same time and there was virtually no queue. It seems what happened was the introduction of picking your start wave, with more people picking the slower ones and so there weren’t enough people manning those desks. The other issue with the village was post-race when the exit from the finish area wasn’t terribly well managed and so there were friends and families waiting around making it difficult for runners to exit. As for the loos at the start I had a 45 minute wait, which I was OK with, but I would imagine a less experienced runner might have struggle with that a bit, and I was a bit worried about making the bag drop but luckily the people around me in the queue were happy to save my place whilst I did that.

Anyway, I also want to mention some positive things about the race, particularly the fantastic support around most of the route, and also the park and ride service, which works really well with hardly any waiting for buses and a short 20 minute trip to and from the race. I’d definitely recommend Brighton as a race, it’s a great city and I will certainly do it again. None of the problems I and others experienced are things that can’t be fixed.

OK, so now I’m in post-marathon recovery mode. I normally start to get back into it a week after, but I’ve decided to have 2 weeks off this time, albeit with a race last Sunday (more later) and then Parkrun on Saturday. As I mentioned in my last blog I was running the ‘Hanham Horror’, and it turned out to be a good little local race on the outskirts of Bristol. The dry weather of late made it less of a horror, but it was still hard going in places with a number of steep ascents and descents and within sight of the finish a climb so steep you had to haul yourself up by rope! At the end of that my arms were actually in a worse state than my legs! In between the ups and downs there were some lovely stretches alongside the River Avon, and it’s a race I’d like to do again if I can.

In an unusual piece of forward planning for me I managed a secure a place in the new London Landmarks Half Marathon next March. Given that this was likely to be a popular event and it was first come first served for the public places I was expecting to encounter some difficulties, but to my surprise I got onto the website at 9:30am when entries and opened and had absolutely no problems. It turned out I was very lucky. There were 5,000 places available for public entry and they had 70,000 people after them, and it appears from social media that a lot of them couldn’t even get on the website, so maybe going forward a ballot like they use for the Royal Parks half might be fairer.

This Sunday I’ll be marshalling at the London Marathon along with a load of Harriers, so you can read all about that in my next blog, and if you are running in the race good luck!

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