Name: Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 miles
When: February 17, 2013
Where: Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire
In a nutshell…
Multi-terrain half marathon in and around Southsea in Hampshire.
The whole nine yards…
13.1 miles of cool sea air and glorious sunshine. We couldn’t have asked for a better day this early in the year.
The race was tough. Not least because the sodden shingle beach at Eastney swallowed some of the speedier competitors’ trainers whole, but because the final five miles were along a crowded promenade where children on scooters, dogs and pushchairs were obstacles to be leaped over or ran around.
The route was great and didn’t seem as out-and-back at it looked on the briefing. We started at The Pyramids Centre in Southsea and headed towards the Hayling Ferry a mile-and-a-half away before dropping down onto a shingly stretch of beach at Eastney, out along the Eastern Road out of the city before looping back across Bransbury Park and the final five miles along the promanade around Clarence Parade and home.
A few cheeky loops here and there helped break up the long stretches and the terrain was varied with pavement, beach shingle and grass all thrown into the mix.
I have only two minor grumbles: A lack of marshals where Eastern Road met the trail to Eastney beach led to a few middle to back-of-packers going wrong by a few hundred metres, and there was no water at the finish line for the last 100/150 people. Thirsty finishers were directed to Race HQ – the Pyramids Centre – where there was a further wait of 10 minutes or so to get water at the bar.
The finishers medal was engraved with the race details and pretty decent. A nice touch was the blue Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon baseball cap in the goody bag.
I’d definitely do this race again.