Brighton Half Marathon
Approaching its 25th birthday, Brighton Half Marathon is one of the country’s most popular races. Stretching mostly along the city’s beautiful coastline, passing the Palace Pier and the remains of its broken neighbour, the iconic West Pier, the route is flat and fast and attracts runners in their thousands.
Voted most improved race at the 2013 Runner’s World PB Awards, Brighton Half keeps getting better and nearly always basks in glorious sunshine, as if it’s ordered by the Running Gods for just one day.
This year was no exception – after a few weeks of relentless wind and driving rain our prayers were answered and as a 7,000 strong crowd of runners descended on the Marine Parade start line, the sun was out in force and wind reduced to a mere breeze.
This is the stuff PBs are made of!
This was my second time running the Brighton Half, and was my favourite race to date because of four reasons:
1) It’s my hometown and I love running in Brighton.
2) It marks the halfway point in my training for Brighton Marathon (my first 26.2), and I nailed it with an 11minute PB. >insert happy face<
3) The organisation, crowds and steward support is fantastic.
4) EPIC medal bling!!
As ever with any race in Brighton, the whole city comes out to watch as we all dutifully tick off the miles. Streets are lined with families and children offering high fives and jelly babies, excited friends leading cheering squads and lots of charity groups with signs, clackers, bells and whistles.
The course does a quick loop of Old Steine before heading over the white cliffs up to Ovingdean and back, where a group of drummers await at the turn point. The run back into town offers the most beautiful view of the city’s coastline and sea of runners on traffic-free roads – I always love running this route as it’s just spectacular.
From there the course hugs the coastline all the way past Hove Lawns down to Hove Lagoon and turns to pass the two-miles of beach huts (some of which were sadly destroyed in recent storms) before rejoining the road for the home straight.
The perfect half
I picked up the pace from about mile 10 and flew to the finish – surprising myself at how much I had left in the tank at that point. I think it was a combination of the PERFECT weather, BRILLIANT atmosphere and seeing so many familiar faces in the crowd from Twitter and various run clubs/bootcamp classes that gave me the boost I needed. That and the various helpings of Lucozade taken from the drinks stations, of course!
If you’re looking for a flat, fast and fabulous half marathon, do yourself a favour and come and do Brighton – you won’t be disappointed!!