A completely flat run along the seafront at Hove, East Sussex. The postcode provided (BN3 2FR) is actually for the café near the start line, but the SatNav will get you as close as possible and then it’s easy to find parking on one of the streets nearby – though this may be a different story in the summer time. On-street parking is free until 9am, so we just paid to park from 9am to 10am and it cost £1.00 plus £0.10 admin fee (Jan 2018). The signs advise you to pay by phone, online or via the Pay and Display machines, but we couldn’t see any machines, so do go prepared to pay by phone/online. There are free toilets at the start/finish which are open before and after the run. The ladies’ toilet was locked on the day, due to plumbing issues, but we were advised that it is usually open. The parkrun team unlocked the disabled toilet for the ladies to use, as a temporary solution.
We went on a very wet and windy day and the waves were fiercely throwing themselves onto the promenade, but fortunately the prom is so wide that you can run a little further back from the waves to avoid them. There were a few volunteers sweeping the stones away from the route before we all got going, which was an enormous help, but still watch your step on a windy day as there were lots of stones that had been blown onto the prom.
The course is about as straightforward as you could get; from the start you just loop up and down the prom twice, turning at each end where the marshals are standing. For that reason they only really need two marshals, though they did have a couple more along the route, just in case. The route is totally straight and completely flat and is all run on a very wide, permanent path. The path is so wide that it never felt congested and it was quite nice passing other parkrunners face-on. There is strong PB potential at this parkrun, but go on a non-windy day if you can, as the headwind definitely slowed things down.
There were rather long queues at the finish funnel and with the barcode scanners because I think they were a bit overwhelmed with numbers on the day, but it generally felt well organised. Everyone was in very good spirits, in spite of the cold, wet and windy weather. I enjoyed this parkrun a lot, largely because it’s completely flat, but also because you feel very included as there are always runners around you, whether heading towards or away from you.
Official Event Page: Hove Promenade parkrun
Nearby postcode: BN3 2FR
Hills: Ascent/Descent metres 3.7
Subjective PB potential: 10/10 – flat, easy course with plenty of running space
Distance Displayed on Suunto Spartan Trainer: 5.03 km