Poppy Half Marathon

Race: Bexhill Poppy Half Marathon
Date: Sat 8th November 2014
Website: http://www.poppyhalf.co.uk/index.php
Cost: £28
Race capacity: 1000 (984 finishers)
Distance from Brighton & Hove – 34 miles (c.1hr pootle). Plenty of parking on the Bexhill seafront.

In theory it’s a fast course – nearly all along the completely flat seafront (prom & road) – head out west, return east. However it’s 3 equal laps and there are 8 dead turns in total. In addition, after the dead turn to head back east it goes inland (north) for a little bit (ending in another dead turn), and there is a short sharp hill.

In practice, PB-potential is weather-dependent. On this particular day there was a 25mph SSW wind. The good news therefore was that this was mainly a cross-wind. The bad news was that the wind combined with a high tide to throw lots of pebbles and sea foam on to one stretch of the prom (the final quarter mile before the western turn…and then back again…. 3 times…). It was a good job I had other distractions to worry about (dodgy knee), so a PB was never on the agenda anyway.

Would I recommend? It was well organised and well-marshalled. Chip timing, water stations, enough portaloos etc. Medal. No goody bag – which is a positive in my mind. A minor irritation was that you had to register beforehand (8:00-11:30 for a 12:30 start) to collect your chip & race number. Bit of a faff, especially in November in a gale – more waiting around than necessary. So no, it won’t be high on my agenda next year, but acceptably adequate as races go (if a little pricey) – 6/10.

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Dan Vaughan