I hope you are having a great week.. back today with some more specific race advice and tips, this week it’s the turn of Brighton, the third biggest marathon in the UK! (Liverpool and Edinburgh will be along shortly)
I’ve been lucky enough to race it 3 times, it’s certainly one of the better ones out there, so without further a do.. here’s my advice on a perfect day out by the seaside.
- The race starts at 9:45am in Preston Park for the majority of runners. This is slightly outside the city centre, so if you are travelling by public transport, then allow plenty of time to walk there. There is another start line in Withdean Park, for runners who qualified and applied to be on it. You’ll only be there if you applied though.
- Rather annoyingly (in my opinion anyway!) is that you must collect your race number and timing chip from the expo on Friday or Saturday. It’s open 11-7 on Friday and 10-7 on Saturday. At registration you can choose your starting corral, based on where you think you’ll finish. You need to bring your confirmation email and photo ID. If you weren’t planning on getting to Brighton until race day, then you’ll need to make a separate trip to collect your number in the days before. The queues are usually quite long too.
- The start is in corrals to try and ease congestion with staggered start times every 5 minutes. Red is first at 9:45am and green is last at around 10:10. I’d still arrive by about 8:45am to give you enough time to check your bag in, do a warm up and go to the toilet!
- The course is mostly very flat, there is a bit of a hill in the first mile (who needs that then!!) plus hills around miles 5.5 and 10. The second half is very flat thankfully.
- At miles 20 / 21 / 22 and 23 you run through an industrial estate and power station and in some years it has smelt pretty bad, and there are not many spectators here. However the crowds soon pick up again at mile 23.5 to pick you up for the finish!
- There are lots of pacing groups on the day, dressed in lime green shirts with balloons too. Options available will be 3:15 / 3:30 / 3:45 / 4:00 / 4:15 / 4:30 / 4:45 and 5:00.
- You can leave your kit bag, which will be given to you at registration on the lorries at the start line. You can then collect this when you finish the marathon at the end. You can only drop off your official kit bag, you can’t use your own bag.
- Water is available at miles 2.5 / 5.5 / 8 / 10.5 / 12.5 / 13.5 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 and 25 miles. This will be given out in cups.
- High 5 Energy Gels are available at 5.5 / 10.5 and 20. These will all be orange flavour.
- High 5 Zero Hydration drink is available at miles 5.5 / 10.5 / 15 / 20. This will be given out in cups.
- The final few miles are all along the seafront, where only the final 400m has barriers, the rest is open to the public. This can mean spectators darting over the course to cross and occasionally people getting in the way. Everyone means well, but the runners are sharing the promenade with lots of other people so just bear that in mind.
- There are loads of toilets available at the start, plus on the course at miles 2.5 / 5.5 / 8.5 / 11 / 13.5 / 15 / 16.5 / 17.5 / 18.5 / 19 / 21 and 23, plus at the finish.
- You can use headphones during the race.
- Flip flops are a great addition to your kit bag, then you can dip your feet in the sea afterwards, which feels lovely.. all while enjoying some chips on the beach!
- Give your family and friends the link to download the Brighton Marathon App on their phone.. then they can track your progress throughout the race. In terms of spectating it is incredibly busy around the half way point. I’d suggest viewing around mile 14, then again at 18 and again along the finishing straight for the last few miles.
Have a fantastic race everyone! I loved this one and have raced well every time I’ve ran here. Wishing all the Brighton runners a brilliant day. I will be down there supporting the runners I coach and everyone in the club as well, so come say hi!
All the very best,