8:15: Being a Brightonian, I only have to cross the road and walk down the steps to the seafront to the start. Today is my second Brighton Half and it has 50 or so BOSH-Run members running or spectating (for those of you new to my blog, BOSH-Run is a Facebook running community where I have made some amazing running friends).

There are so many of us perhaps we should be the sponsors!  We can all be spotted in our matching tech tops.  As I head towards the start, I catch up with my fellow Bosh runners; we greet, hug and chat about how excited we all are.  I hear my name called out and see Mark and Liz from BOSH-Run. The three of us walk up to race registration together and chat.  It is great to finally meet Liz and ‘the Robo’, a nickname another BOSHer Helen gave Mark, as he is a machine on the treadmill when training!  

I spot Lucy and Ash Bartholomew at the Steve Ovette statue and finally get to meet them in person.  I hear another shout out and it is more BOSHers Scott and Tristan. We chat and walk together towards the baggage tent.  Scott is wearing his lucky fleece and Mizuno Evo Levitas that he is testing and blogging about like me. 

I head back towards the start, my friend Kelly calls to see where I am. Today is Kelly’s first Half Marathon and she has been training so well. I tell her to meet me at the statue as that is where most the group will be meeting up. I can see more BOSH runners, we greet, hug and chat.  

I catch up with the other BOSHers racing today; Dan, Chloe, Domingo, Andy (we dig his bin liner shoulder pads), John,  Tristan,  Karen,  Michelle (so nervous for her first half) and Lucy and Ash who are BOSH support and photography today.


We talk what is on my feet – today I am wearing my New Balance Minimus – and one of the other barefoot runners Mark asks why I’m not wearing my Luna Sandals! Pictures are taken and general catching up with everyone and I am reminded that there is always such a great camaraderie with BOSH-Runners at events.  

It is a first half marathon event for my work friend Kelly and I can see she is a little nervous. I tell her to enjoy it and just take it easy, the rest will just follow. We all head to the starting pens, wishing each other all the best.  I have a blue number which is 1:30-1:45 finish time. I quickly dash for a last minute toilet stop then head into the start area amongst the other 7,628 runners.

09:00: A few last minute updates and texts are sent, then Garmin and Runkeeper at the ready.  It is so amazingly bright and the sunshine is warming up the huge waiting crowd.  I actually think my gloves will be coming off later. Countdown begins then a gun fire. The start is a slow walk then a trot until the front pack filters off.  It is a good 30-60 seconds before I pass the start line.

Miles 1-4 – Pace min/mile: 7:28 6:56 6:48 6:41
I try to navigate the best I can through the swarm of runners, ‘Go Bosh’ I say as I pass Mark and Liz that I met for the first time today.  The route heads out past the Pavillion up the Old Steine then meeting Grand Parade. I spot another BOSH-Run top and see it is Lee, ‘Go Lee’ I shout out.  

The route heads back towards the seafront to the Pier where it is left up Marine Parade towards the marina. So many supporters and spectators have come out to cheer everyone on. It feels like a mini Brighton Marathon and reminds me how much I love my city. 

I settle into my comfortable pace and although I rarely run halfs I figure if I break it into four sections and increase my pace after 3.26 miles I should do ok and get a PB today. I am not sure how my legs will hold out going at this much faster pace, as I have been doing a few Ultra events the last three months. 

I get close to Sussex Square and make a note to look out for my friend Mani who said he’ll be watching from the end of his road. Sure enough I see him filming, but he hasn’t spotted me yet, as I get close I shout ‘hey Mani’. He jumps and then laughs. It can’t be easy with a huge group of runners heading towards you!   

Next up is the first water station with the squeeze Iconiq, which I remember from Brighton Marathon last year.  The Iconiq is a very clever design once you can get the water activated as it can be used with one hand.  I drink most of it as I am feeling my thirst already.

Approaching the Marina, heading on the road towards Rottingdean, the fast front pack start to ease back and are running on the other side of the road. There are some really speedy runners upfront today.  I see the switch back point up ahead, lots of cheers and spectator’s shouting encouragement from both sides giving all the runners such a lift. 

Heading around the road cones I head on back down towards the Marina with the group. I feel rather warm now so take off my gloves and hold them in one hand. I spot Stu passing in the other direction, we high five. After a few minutes I spot Trefor too, thumbs up with a big smile. These Bosh tech t-shirts really do help out spotting fellow running buddies.

Miles 5-9 – Pace min/mile: 6:21 6:09 6:05 6:09 6:09
Making our way back to the Pier on Marine Parade, we pass many more supporters and spectators lining the side of the road. Load shouts and cheers push us on faster. I start to feel really good and quicken my pace, feeling strong.

09:40: As we reach the Brighton wheel, we have just passed the half way point and approach the Pier. I can hear loud shouts of ‘BOSH’ to my left and see BOSH HQ waving and shouting ‘Go Luke!’  I give a thumbs up with a big grin.

Carrying on up Kings Road, past many of the seafront hotels and huge groups of spectators on both sides of the road; the screaming and shouting is incredible and I ‘high five’ several kids as I pass.  It is such a great atmosphere.  My pace stays pretty steady and constant here, still feeling strong enough to keep it going. I start to overtake runners who have slowed, perhaps from going out to fast. I just hope that’s not me shortly.

Already we have gone past two Lucozade stations I haven’t taken any as I am really not a fan.  If anything I feel worse using glucose sports drinks when running.  My diet is so pure these days I can only handle a little sugar if that, on the odd occasion. Some more water would be nice now. 

Reaching 9 miles the group has filtered out and there are fewer runners now keeping up at this pace. On the Kingsway through Hove then eventually the route laps around Hove Lagoon, onto the Promenade to head back towards the start.

Miles 10-14 – Pace min/mile: 6:08 6:26 6:31 6:13 5:55

10:06: I can feel my pace drop slightly here and I am in need of some water soon. The view of the sea to our right looks lush today and distracts me from the cold wind on my face.  I use my buff to cover myself. 

My hamstrings and calves are starting to get tight from the high intensity pace, but with just 3.10 miles left to go I just tell myself it will be over in a flash.  I slap ‘high fives’ to four kids in a row by the Babylon Lounge. 

I can see the second water stop at mile 11 coming up.  I really could’ve done with one at 8 or 9 miles but then this is not a full marathon, so I can manage. I thank the team and squeeze away, gulping down the much needed hydration. 
Plenty of bins are provided, but with a few littered on the floor, a runner lands on one and it explodes, splashing back all over me. It is rather refreshing and I have warmed up enough to appreciate the shower.

At the Peace statue and West Pier the route joins the road heading back towards the start.  I see the 12 mile marker and the roaring cheers and shouts of ‘BOSH’ keep my pace and spirits up.  I manage to pick up my pace; the water has helped and I am feeling strong enough to race to the finish.  

I see Lucy running towards me from the passing runners on the other side of the road, ‘Go BOSH!’ she shouts with her arms in the air. She is hilarious and such a good spirit. I am really looking forward to experiencing the San Francisco marathon with her and Mark. ‘Go Bosh’ I shout out, passing the BOSH HQ again.

I see countdown markers on the lamp posts of 800 metres, 600, 400, 200, just past the Pier and wheel.  The biggest crowds and roaring of shouts on both sides is immense. I am really excited for the Brighton full marathon in April. This is what it is all about; such an amazing experience.  I run as hard and fast as I can to the finish glancing up at the clock to see the time. Phew! Did it! Looks like a record personal best too.

10:25: I collect my medal, orange this year, some waters and a goodie bag. I head on around the railings to watch the others coming in. I spot Stu as he walks back round. He struggled without the water too, like myself, but was pleased with another PB.  I see Dan who looks a little worn out but happy, another PB.

Photo credit: Lucy Bartholomew
Photo credit: Lucy Bartholomew

As slowly all the Bosh runners trickle in, everyone seems to have made PB today!  It is so great to hear all their accomplishments.  With Lucy, Mark, Andy, Domingo, his lovely wife and personal trainer Katja, John, Joanne, Dan, Chloe, Peter, Mark and Liz and then the photographer and team support Lizzie, Lucy and Ash.
We chat, laugh and munch yummy homemade muffins and cake around the statue, I use Domingo’s foil wrapper as I start to feel the cold. More group pictures are taken.

Photo credit: Lucy Bartholomew
Photo credit: Lucy Bartholomew

I manage to locate Kelly who has met some friends at the finish, holding a big bunch of flowers with a huge grin. She is so proud of her achievement and she gave it her best!   

She tells me ‘It’s all your fault Luke!’  She says that is it, she is done, hanging up the running shoes. Yeah right. She will be back....

There was amazing support from everyone in Brighton today and the Brighton Half Marathon organisers made for such a very special and successful event.  

Big thanks go out to team BOSH-Run for the continued support and encouragement for all runners everywhere, whether fast or slow, we certainly made it the best.  Without the BOSH-Run group, today would have been rather quiet. Love you all...

Check out fellow BOSHer Lucy Bartholomew’s video montage which really captures the spirit of BOSH and the event: CLICK HERE

Brighton Half
PB of 1:24:41

139th / 7628 Runners

Run Free


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