Eastbourne Half Marathon

Date: Sun 1st March 2015
Website: http://www.eastbournehalf.co.uk/
Race capacity: 1400 (1365 finishers)
Distance from Brighton & Hove – 27 miles. Plenty of free parking within a 5 min walk of Race HQ & start line

In many ways a poor person’s Brighton Half – one week later, much smaller, cheaper (£23 v £34), always worse weather, AND A FAR LESS PLEASANT COURSE! Only a fool would do both. That’d be me then.

It starts in a slightly muddy field at the east end of the prom and heads west along the prom for a couple of miles. This would have been enjoyable had there not been a 20mph+ westerly wind. As ever, I found myself detached from the leading pack within a few minutes, and fought the wind alone. Inept. The course then heads steeply uphill for over a mile towards Beachy Head before you career back downhill to the prom – running along the prom path rather than the road this time. This couple of miles with a tailwind was my highlight. Six-minute miles – yee haa. At about mile 7 you hit the Marina and spend the next 3 or 4 winding around it before heading back towards the start / finish line. Given the strong wind, this meant negotiating a series of wind tunnels which (as ever) only seemed to hinder rather than help. Then back into the headwind along the prom, a final annoying switchback through an underpass and a failed attempt at a sprint finish. I finished 23rd in 1:25:06 – a few minutes slower than at Brighton the week before, but with considerably more effort expended. It proved quite a lonely race – after the rapid decent at mile 4 I think I overtook 2 people and got overtaken once. The crowds, needless to say, were feeble compared to Brighton.              

This was the second time I’d run it, and actually a happier experience (no rain, no injury, 7 mins quicker), but I won’t be hurrying back. Maybe 2017!

Dan Vaughan, 17/03/15