BRIGHTON HALF MARATHON (25th Anniversary)
A record number of Runners take to the Brighton seafront today, for the Brighton Half Marathon, 25th year Anniversary!
Some 12,500 runners signed up this year, a first for this many. The very first event for Brighton, back in 1990 saw 200 club runners taking part.
A very cold and frosty night caused plenty of slippery and icy patches on our way down to the seafront.
This south coast event is always a big get together opportunity for the Bosh Run group, local and from afar. A perfect warm up and taster for the Brighton full event and a good idea to see how training is going for everyone.
Myself and Sunday catch a lift with Steve and Matt. Our friend Gillian who is visiting from Glasgow is helping Tina with Marshalling along the route. 30+ Bosh marshals will be dotted along the seafront up to the King Alfred's in Hove.
One great thing in Brighton is all the amazing runners and fantastic support from friends and family these events bring!
Sunshine is out but a chilly start
Like every year and after a good catch, then group pictures at the meeting point, the Steve Ovett Satue. We wish each other good luck and make our way to the starting area. All different colours to match your selected time frame.
I spot speedy Arena AC runner Gary doing some warm up spurts in the pen area. Its still quite quiet at the moment but soon fills up. I chat with Matt and take a few pictures before it is the count down to begin.
With a big group it is a slow shuffle before reaching the starting mat then with the bleeps from our chips the race has begun.
Coloured confetti flies up into the air and the cheering spectators is loud as everyone heads along the road passing the Pavillion.
I try not to look at my Garmin, just settling into a slightly slower marathon pace to begin with, seeing how I feel later down the road. I have not really been training much on road and the intervals are quite rare with my off road, longer running schedule and working shifts.
Just a few of the Bosh men
The starting pen
With Matt in the red pen (1:20-1:29 finish)
The big group of runners stays very compact and tight during the first stages of the route. But once we reach the seafront again, a few spaces between us appear and it's less congested than the start.
The sun is shining and plenty of spectators and marshals are cheering us on. It feels like a Brighton Marathon rehearsal and is a nice way of feeling the atmosphere that is to come in April.
Trying to negative split the best I can
Once reaching the Marina and finding more of a gap between the runners, I settle into a comfortable enough pace and try to slowly pick it up a notch after each mile.
I look out for Lucy after passing the Roedean Cafe, which is a popular stop for breakfast after a Sunday group run, which we like to attend if not working weekends...
I can see her sporting a big Bosh mother banner, cheering from the railings above the road. Lucy has such an amazing spirit and passion to help others and support at events. It was such a boost to see a familiar friendly face!
Slight incline and winds at miles 8/9
Once we switch back just before Ovingdean, the route is heading back along the seafront towards Hove. Already the elite runners up front have passed and I saw Gary whizzing by at a great pace.
I shout out to all the familiar faces I know when our paths cross, rather like flash back moments to the Brighton marathon...
I have some water once back at the Sussex Square aid station, then when reaching the Pier the crowds start to get bigger and louder.
Here I spot plenty of the Bosh Marshals spurring me on. Joanne, Annie, Gillian, Ash, Nigel, Richard are all dotted along past the West Pier. Then further up and into the now stronger breeze, I see Tina, Rachael and then Julia before heading to Hove Lagoon.
My pace started to slow slightly with the increase in wind and a slight incline to the road, but once at 10 miles and switching back along the seafront I find enough power in my legs to pick things up.
I start to slowly creep up passing the runners that are fatigued and flagging.
The breeze is now behind us which is helping to keep my average pace around 6:25min/mile.
Matt coming into the finish
A PB for Steve
The race has actually gone very quickly for me and I guess being an ultra runner it is quite the warm up, although fast road is really not in my legs at the moment.
I feel surprisingly good but this half distance is enough on my under trained body...
Soon enough it's the last mile and I can see the Brighton Pier then the last 0.25 mile for the finish.
I try my best for a sprint finish but it's just not happening today! I stay with a consistent pace and as planned a negative split overall...
Gary get his excellent PB of 1:19
Once reaching the finish I catch the time above on the clock as 1:27
Gary is looking fresh as ever and hardly with a bead of sweat at the finish. An impressive PB time of 1:19 which was his aim. He will most certainly get that goal marathon time at Manchester later in the year!
Catching up at the finish with Sunday, who made a PB this year. Then running friends Lee, Steve, John, Tristan, Stephen, Dan, Peter, Lesley, Nick, Karen, Shaun, Roy, Stu and Matt to name just a few, is very enjoyable.
Mark Jenkinson after the race was beaming with joy! I remember how nervous he was to start with doing pacing duties for the 2hr runners. But he had an amazing time and was a natural. The nerves soon went. It was one of his most memorable and fun races to date. I think he would be doing this again soon...
Bosh Run has been fantastic for the support and bringing people of all abilities together...
No PB this year. 1:27:29 in 262nd place.
A sea of space blankets
Steve, Sunday and Lesley At the finish
A PB for Dan too.
Myself, Nick, Lee, Stephen, John, Matt, Karen and Shaun
Although I was 47 seconds slower than last year, I felt very good during and afterwards. Perhaps I could have pushed harder? But I really didn't want to risk it as I have not been practicing enough on road this winter.
It was a good experiment and test of my fitness and ability still. I'm pleased how I performed and it can only help me mentality towards the full marathon in April.
I have become more of an off road long distance runner nowadays and racing the half distance is definitely a challenging feat for anyone. I shall have to incorporate more of this distance in training if I want a PB for next year.
This was my 3rd fastest half today.
A group of us head on back to Preston circus for a much needed strong drink and late brunch. Just in time before the weather turns and the wind and rain comes in over Brighton...
Late Breakfast/Brunch time at Alcampo Lounge