Hastings Half Marathon – ★★★★☆

 

With a number of our team originating from Hastings they headed back for their home race and took on the Hastings Half on the 18th March. With an overall FSE rating of 4.5.

Take a look below to see our thoughts on the race.

James – 1:45:45 (PB – 1:44:45) ★★★★☆

“Boy oh boy is it tough. With 279m of climbing, and climbing for 14km with 3km back downhill and a 4km slog along the seafront. But what a great way to test yourself. You shouldn’t run a PB (although I was close) but it will give you a great idea of your current form!”

Favourite thing? 

There is something special about your home town race. I love the crowds and though even though it was freezing it was a great race to be part of. With Hastings you always feel as if you have achieved something because the course is so tough!

Least favourite thing?

The only thing that really annoyed me was the position of a couple of the water stations. Including one at 9km on a really steep hill that was only 100m long. In previous years this has been on the downhill that followed. It really did ruin my rhythm.

Course?

The course is always great. But wow is it hard. With a lot of climbing and a stiff freezing (minus five) wind at times it was very hard work. But everybody says this is not a course for a PB and is a course to challenge yourself over.

I have done a lot of Half Marathons in many locations. But never have I found one tougher. I have done Hastings three times now and it never seems to get any easier!

Value for money?

For £28 I was slightly underwhelmed. A traditional medal and the race itself is all you get. In other races for similar entry fees you’re getting goodie bags, t-shirts alike. I think more could be done. But I do know the organisers give all profits to charity so a good cause for the rest of the money.

Organisation?

This was the 34th running of Hastings Half. Which is organised by the local Lions Club and the organisation is fantastic. They have the timings and running down to a T. I would have liked a bit more communication in the build up to the race however. Every other race around seemed to be being postponed, yet the only communication seemed to be a singular post on Facebook on the morning.

Overall feel?

Even with far less spectators than usual it was a great atmosphere and race. The crowds always help and a big thank you for everyone for standing out in such the cold weather to support. Hastings is my home race and one I will always look to do as it was also my first half marathon a few years ago.

Laura – 1:27:06 (PB – 1:24:46) 5th Female! ★★★★☆

“It was tough!  Many times I had to ‘dig deep’ and keep pushing to get to the finish line but really enjoyed the challenge and am excited to get back out racing on the course now I know what to expect. “

Favourite thing? 

Loved racing in my hometown for the first time. I’ve always wanted to race in Hastings Half as it had such a good atmosphere and support along the whole route.

Least favourite thing?

I didn’t have any issues with the event organisation or management.

Course?

Having grown up in Hastings I’ve had lots of people telling me it’s one of the hardest courses about – they weren’t wrong, lots of climbing, steep downhills and on this occasions some wind and very cold temperatures made for a tough race. But the course flows nicely and is definitely a good challenge to take on.

Value for money?

The entry fee is what you would expect for a larger scale, closed roads half marathon. At the end you receive a medal and a drink and there was a covered area in which you could leave your bag. There is also equal prize money for both males and females from 1st to 5th, with both winners receiving £400 which I think is very good compared to some other lager scale closed road half marathons.

Organisation?

The Lions club do a great job when it comes to organising Hastings Half marathon. The pre race information is sent out well in advanced and there are lots of very helpful and supportive marshals the whole way around the course. The only slight problem this year was the freezing temperatures so nobody was sure if the race would go ahead. This was only really a problem if you were travelling down to the area to race as it wasn’t until a couple of hours before the start that we knew for sure it was going ahead. But the team had no control over the weather and worked really hard to make sure the event went ahead as planned.

Overall feel?

I loved the event and will definitely be coming back to race next year. It has a great atmosphere and support from the crowds. There are also lots of runners which means you are never running alone and there is always someone to help provide a bit of encouragement or keep pushing you forwards when you’re struggling up one of the many hills.

 

Ollie – 1:30:55 New PB! ★★★★☆

“Would recommend this to runners far and wide. If you enjoy community spirit this is one for you from the spectators, an all in this together spirit from fellow runners and a packed out sweaty pub to enjoy a well-earned pint afterwards.  Another fantastic aspect of this race is the photo opportunities, with race number recognition a click of a button I managed to find 37 action snaps. Charity based event too, which speaks for itself.”

Favourite thing? 

The crowds around Hastings are always a thing to look forward to especially when you recognise the odd face.

Least favourite thing?

The lack of toilets at the beginning and the cluster of people shuffling around in the main tent trying to change in to their running gear.

Course?

The course, as I knew it would be, was very tough. The first 6 miles being around 95% uphill would always challenge you no matter what running background you are from. The hills are steep as well not just small mounds. If you’ve survived that you better hope the wind is kind to you as the last 3 miles is along the windy sea front.

Value for money?

The fee is fairly standard for a big half marathon. Other events more is given out afterwards rather than just the medal and exhaustion. The free teas were well received along with a water bottle gift.

Organisation?

The organisation is very good with all the marshalls around the course being helpful and enthusiastic. It was nice that they involve many young service men and women to help out with various sections of the event. One downer was that the different stations to collect the race numbers or the ‘late entries’ were very close together making it quite a squeeze.

Overall feel?

I really enjoyed the event. Posting a good time helps and seeing so many people out supporting helped the seconds seem to go past momentarily pain free as you mask the pain with a nod of gratitude. Being my home race and home town I wasn’t surprised by the town spirit being so vividly shown round every corner.

George – 2:00:39 (PB – 1:54:58) ★★★★☆

“If the day was warmer and the course 30 seconds shorter I would have given it a 5. There is so much character to Hastings and the support is amazing. I have already signed up for next year’s race. I am determined to go Sub 2 hours!”

Favourite thing? 

The challenging course, makes you feel that no matter what time you do you have achieved something. The crowd are also a great factor. Almost all of Hastings comes out with crowds of 3 deep at the finish to help with the final few strides.

Least favourite thing?

A drinks station on a steep hill. Drinking and running is difficult at the best of times let alone drinking and running up a hill.

Course?

Extremely tough and not one for a pb but a great challenge and test. Will set you up for any other half or even a longer distance.

As a heavier lad weighing in at just under 90kg hills are not my friend. After 14km of hill climbing the legs were feeling it and I missed my target time by 30 seconds. But I know with Hastings in my legs my PB is in danger at the next flat course.

Value for money?

Decent value for money for a closed road course. Similar price to other races like this one. However, a few more goodies for finishing would have been good.

Organisation?

Well organised as ever. Race pack was sent out in good time and race day instructions were clear.

Overall feel?

As a local lad, returning to the mother land always brings great joy. This event really brings out the best of this seaside town. Crowds almost all the way around the challenging course really help to motivate you to push up those hills. The organisation is simplistic but faultless, and last but not least, the finish line is a short hobble.

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