After a week in which sizeable portions of the country were tormented by some rather atrocious weather, I was slightly nervous about heading to the coast to run a race. A spot of rain or wind or hail doesn’t normally distress me, but when I am gunning for a substantial PB I must confess I prefer the weather to be on my side. So it was with a sense of trepidation that I boarded my train and headed south to take part in the Brighton Half Marathon.
As it transpired, the main impact of the weather was disrupting railway signals. My train on the Saturday evening was delayed. Quite a few runners (including my colleague Hope), had a rather nervous trip over from Hove on Sunday morning which saw their train arrive minutes before the start of the race.
My primary source of anxiety turned out to be my own carelessness. With my geography of Brighton and its surrounds not being what it should, I ended up booking a hotel 3.5 miles from the start line. Combined with an unsurprising lack of early Sunday morning public transport, I was required to squeeze in a slightly longer pre-run run than I would have liked. But don’t be overly concerned, as this tale has a happy ending.
As the 9.00am start approached, the crowd of runners began to swell in the starting pens on Madeira Drive, with the only breeze a gentle one. Steve Ovett ‘s statue gazing approvingly over the athletic horde, and the sun came out.
With the perfect conditions I experienced on Sunday, I would think most runners would have a decent shot at recording a personal best time. The course itself is predominantly flat, and there are sizeable crowds along the whole course giving great encouragement. The gothic drummers were a particular highlight.
In the end, Paul Martelletti retained the title he gained last year, both Hope and I shattered our PBs for the distance, and thousands of runners had a wonderful day out. It was pleasing to see so many smiling, sweaty people carrying their Runners Need goody bag with their hard earned medal hanging around their necks
And finally, I would like to say a gigantic thank you to Kirsty and Rasa and everybody else who helped out at the Runners Need stand on the day.
Race report by John – Assistant manager at Runners Need Camden