She said it herself, “another race on the South coast,” and it seems Steph can’t get enough of the sea breeze as it pushed her to a course PB at the Worthing half marathon on Sunday –
For someone that lives in Berkshire, I only seem to be bringing you south coast race reviews, so apologies for the location! but I don’t apologise for sharing this race with you, as it’s a good one!
This was my second time running Worthing Half, but I have run many other events organised by Perseverance events who are based in Kingston and always enjoy them. If you haven’t been to Worthing, or even heard of it, it’s a relatively sleepy little town on the coast near Brighton. Favourite of retirees, but with a growing young contingent. This growing contingent meant there were a few new additions to town that I noticed on my way round, trendy alehouses, boutique-y coffee shops and independent restaurants now nestle between charity shops, greasy spoons and classic attire! My Nan and Grandad (mentioned in my last report) live in Worthing, making this a double whammy of relative visit and race weekend. If you are traveling down there is also Worthing parkrun that started in the last year.
From my Grandparents it was a short warm up jog down to the start. I really love this course, I don’t know if it’s the Nan high fives or the quiet roads, twists and turns around pretty residential roads, mean the miles flash by, I can never quite remember where I am, or how close we are to the start/finish point. You pass the race HQ, near the pier twice within the first 7 miles, so it’s great for spectators, who can wave you off, pop to the lovely Salvation Army who put on tea and cake, see you pass twice, and still have plenty of time to chill before you come back and finish.
After 7 miles the course is much more straightforward, literally. You run pretty much straight out and back on marine drive on the seafront. If you can’t cope with a head wind stay away from the south coast. We had a pretty hefty head wind from miles 7-10, but this does mean a tailwind from 10-13. I’ll take a 3 mile tail wind any day, but I can imagine if you are having a tough day this could be demoralising. Luckily it was sunny and I had fun chasing my friend Rhianon who I’d seen in the switchbacks at Mile 2 / 3 and was determined to catch, sorry Rhianon! As well as partaking in a little slip-streaming. Note: Rhianon and our other friend Sarah PB-d this race, and I got a course PB, so the headwind can’t have caused much slowing.
I am a big fan of low-key and being able to turn up 5 minutes before the start, run, and disappear straight off again without any pomp and circumstance really appeals to me. Numbers are posted out in advance for even more speed on the day. The race was £35 for closed roads, on finishing I received a medal, banana and bottle of water. For £35 a little treat would have made all the difference, e.g. a cereal bar or chocolate bar. Interestingly I just checked and two years ago it was £30 and I didn’t get any additional treats.
Despite that, I’ll be back again next year, see you there?
What do you think about windy coastal races?