Brighton Half Marathon Medals 2014-2020

Brighton Half Marathon 2020 Race Recap

Just to warn you, this race recap is probably going to be very different from my previous race reports, but here goes.

If you follow me on social media you will probably be aware that my mum died on the 15th of February. This was a complete shock to us all and I am currently still trying to process it all.

Rularuns
Both of us in Chicago back in 2019

My mum was my rock and the thought of her not being here anymore scares the hell out of me. I’m not sure how you go on, but I know you learn to cope. I learnt that when I lost my dad back in 2010. So why am I sharing this, in this post? Well, I have run the Brighton Half Marathon every year since 2014. (Read previous race reports here 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). I love this race, my mum even came with me back in 2016.

 

So deciding to even turn up for this race I was in complete turmoil. Who runs a half marathon the week after they lose a parent? What will everyone think? Will they think I have just moved on? Will I even be able to run it? What if I cry all the way around? Shouldn’t I be with my family?

 

There were so many things going through my head. Then I remembered something that my mum had said to me when we were in Chicago. We were having dinner and I was talking about running – like you do! It must have been so boring for her, but she said: “Ruth, don’t ever give up running as your face lights up whenever you talk about it.”

Remembering that, made up my mind, I was running it and I was running it for my mum. I kept questioning if this was sensible, especially when the weather forecast was predicting 45 mph gusts of wind. Part of me wanted the race organises to cancel it, as I knew that there was no way I was not going to show up. Well, they didn’t cancel it, so show up is exactly what I did!

The Start

It was a very early alarm as I was getting a lift down in the morning, which is different from normal as I usually stay over. I was surprised that the weather didn’t appear to be that bad, but it was early so who knew how bad it was going to get. The journey was fairly easy and we parked at my friend’s friends house and then he drove us into Brighton.

As we walked towards the start line, I did find myself get emotional. The wind on Maderia Drive was insane. It was VERY cold and I needed the toilet, so we went in search. We didn’t need the bag-drop and we saw a LONG queue for toilets but we had plenty of time so just joined it. After about a 5 minutes wait, other runners, shouted to say that there were more toilets further up the road, so we headed for them. I’m not sure we gained any time as the queues were still LOOOONG there too.

We made it to the starting pen with about 15 minutes to spare. I think a lot of people had decided not to travel as it didn’t seem as busy as it has been in previous years.

Standing in the pens was very cold and I couldn’t make up my mind when to remove layers, if at all. I had a long layer on, my MND vest, a long sleeve London Marathon rejection top (that I was planning to throw away) and another jumper on. A buff around my neck, a buff over my ears and a hat. Is this helping you to picture how cold I was feeling?

Let’s just say that I only removed the top jumper and the rest stayed on. There were sections when we were out of the wind that I considered discarding layers, but I knew that the last three miles along the promenade may make me regret that, so I didn’t!

Being completely vain, the only problem with all those layers and the silly hat meant that my race photos were shocking! Hehe 

The Race

Rularuns - Brighton Half Marathon 2020

Due to the high winds, the race organisers hadn’t been able to put up the start/finish gantry, so from the start pens, we couldn’t see how far away we were. We crossed the start line fairly quickly. I knew that there was a point just past the start line, where my mum had stood years back. I looked for her and the emotion started. But as I started to get lost in my own emotion, the gusts of wind started which took my mind off my own grief.

As we headed up and out towards the marina, all the runners looked drunk. The wind was blowing us all over the place. Luckily for us, the wind was behind us, helping push us up the hill.

The speedier runners were already on their way back down the hill and you could tell by their faces that were having to work hard running into the wind.

Usually turning at the top of the hill, knowing that you have downhill for a few miles is great. Well, the headwind made the downhill harder than the uphill. It was quite nice when we turned to run past the Brighton Pavillion as we were sheltered from the wind for a while.

Turning on to the Kings Road was crazy. The wind was so strong and blowing straight into our faces. The route changed slightly this year, with us running around Bedford Square and Grand Avenue; both were very welcome breaks from the headwind I would love to be able to share a route plan with you, but I managed to leave my Garmin on charge in my kitchen that morning!.

At one point running along the Kings Road, there was a break in the buildings. The wind blew so strong that it moved my leg, almost making me fall over. It was insane!

Turning at 10 miles with ‘just a parkrun’ to go, I was starting to flag. I walked a little but then the wind blew behind us. 3 miles with the wind pushing me felt far more appealing than a headwind.

Listening to the wave crashing against the sea wall was amazing. The sea was so ferocious that the waves spilt over on to the promenade. I had to stop and take it all in. It was then that running the race just felt fitting.

My mum loved the sea and once said to my Aunty, ‘When I am gone, I would like people to just walk along the beach and remember me’.

As I crossed the finish line, the tears came. I wasn’t sure if that was due to relief or sadness for my mum, but I found it hard to hold them back. Funny enough, as I crossed the line I tried to stop my Garmin, only to remember that I had left it on charge at home! It was probably one of my slowest times, but I really didn’t care, as this race was not about times.

My world has been turned upside down and I currently can’t think too far ahead. I have the Official Big Half this weekend, which I am currently planning to run. But beyond that who knows.

Also, I am in the process of changing the look of this blog; it’s helping me occupy my mind! So if things aren’t where you think they should be, please let me know. 

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Brighton Half Marathon 2019 – Race Recap

I LOVE Brighton! AND I love the Brighton Half Marathon

Date: Sunday 24th February 2019

Time: 9:30am

Weather: Bright sunshine and warm.

Course: The course is the exact same as last year, so rather than rewriting it, check out last year’s post here.

Website: Brighton Half Marathon

My race:  I was so nervous about this race! I would even say that I wasn’t really looking forward to it – dreading it! After last week’s race, read here, I just didn’t want to hate it. I didn’t want to ruin my love for this race.

It was a slightly later start than normal, so I didn’t have to get up ridiculously early, so a 7 am breakfast was very pleasant. I got to the race at about 8:45, went for my traditional cup of tea from the place on Madeira Drive. The queue there was quite long and I did worry about being delayed getting to my pen, as its usually VERY busy, but once I had my tea, it was surprisingly quiet and calm getting to the pen. I must say that I was glad to be staying close to the start, as the toilet queues did seem horrendous.

I took the sensible option to move back a pen, as I originally should have been in the sub 2-hour start. Whilst waiting in the pen, one of the volunteers asked me about my connection to MND, and without warning, I started to well up! I told him about my dad, and we discussed the disease, he had run London many years ago for the MNDA. He wished me well, and I stood waiting for the start gun. I felt so emotional, I had to hold back the tears many times prior to starting the race!

The excitement nerves kicked in when Fatboy Slim was played over the speakers, and then we were moving forward. I was excited as I knew The Welsh Runner AKA Matt Rees was starting the race, so I stayed on the left, so I could high-five him!! Proper fan girl moment! hehe

The start felt very crowded, and I was unsure if this was because I started further back, or I just that I  hadn’t taken part in a big event for a while. The start to mile three was spent trying not to run into the back of people. This was good as it kept my pace sensible. I then spent a lot of time trying to spot people who I knew were running it. To my surprise, I managed to see all of them. I love spotting people and giving them a shout, it motivates me too.

All was feeling good as we finished the first out and back and headed into town. The roads were wider and there was more room, so my concentration was really on not running too fast at this point. As we headed back on to the seafront, I knew my husband was around mile 7, so I just kept pushing, making sure I was looking like a runner, as I had told him to take some photos! I had set that as my targets earlier that morning – I wanted to finish the race and get a race photo in which I looked like a runner haha. I think I was pretty successful!

I think I smiled all the way down the King’s Road. The support was amazing, the sun was shining, and so far all my miles, bar the first were sub 10 minutes. Life was good!

You turn to head back after the Hove Lagoon, around 10 miles. I had to walk the water stations as the water was in paper cups. It was warmer than it had been in a while, so I was making sure that I took on water.

Walking this water station meant that mile 10 was a 10:04 minute mile, I was NOT happy. Running along the seafront, you can’t help but think only a Parkrun, but I was worried that I would push too early. I tried to relax, and take in the surroundings. The sea looked amazing, the support was loud and motivating, shouting everyone’s names. With a mile and a half to go, you join the King’s Road again, and it was now head down and work. I felt like I wanted to run faster, but my legs were having none of it. Luckily having run this race many times before, I know that when you turn into Madeira Drive, there is still a bit to go, so I didn’t push too soon. My finish line was made even more exciting by finally getting to meet Kelly from Kellogs on the Run, and I had another fan girl moment!

Lesson learned: I still love this race. I think this run, made me love it and the running community just that little bit more!

Pros:

  • I still love out and backs! I love watching the speedy runners, and dreaming that one day I might be a little faster!
  • The weather was AMAZING!
  • The support in Brighton is AWESOME.
  • I loved my pacing and sensible approach.

Cons:

  • TRAINS!!! We had to drive, as yet again replacement buses were in place from Three Bridges to Brighton. They seem to do work on the same weekend every year!
  • Hotels are expensive in Brighton
  • Water in cups are so hard to drink from when running.

So, my fifth Brighton Half means, there is very likely to be a sixth. I just seem to really enjoy this race. If you want to read my previous experiences, they are here, here, here and here (for some reason I don’t seem to have 2015!)

Has anyone else run Brighton? Do you love it as much as me?

Rula Runs is now on Facebook :-)

So, I’ve finally got round to setting up a Facebook page for this blog. It just means I can keep everyone updated a little bit quicker,  if I don’t have a time to write a full blog post. Also, I think it might save my none running friends on FB, from all my running posts!

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So, if you have a Facebook account and want to follow, click the like button, and please feel free to share. As I was told recently, ‘sharing is caring 😉

#VMLM2016 training – Week 9

Monday – 400’s with club. My legs were still pretty heavy from Brighton Half so this was not going to be much of a speed session for me! Luckily, one of our club members is coming back from injury, so we stuck together and chatted throughout our 400 metre lap. I think I managed 5 in total.

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 8 miles. My legs still felt very heavy and tired, and I really had to work hard on this run, so I was shocked when I looked down at my watch and I was doing 10:15 pace. I really felt as though it should have at least started with a 9:xx! Another 8 miles banked, so happy with that.

Thursday -800’s tonight and it felt like I was running in treacle. My legs felt like they did not belong to me and this was hard. I even gave up and missed the final lap. Dare I say it, I am actually looking forward to my 18 miles this weekend, so I can plod. Everything in this last week has been about running as fast as I could, and I’m hoping I am going to feel the difference on Saturday!

Friday – Sports Massage – glad to report, no injuries, just tired legs that have now been renewed (I hope).

Friday night was our club awards night, and I only went and won an award!

Saturday – 18 miles – This was a tough one. The logistics of this run meant that I was going solo! Considering I haven’t run on my own for AGES, I was not sure how I felt about 18 miles solo. I procrastinated all morning, but knew I just had to get out! The first few miles went ok, although I knew I was going too fast. At mile 7, the heavens opened, but I was feeling ok. From mile 10, the pace dropped and I was over it, but I did complete the full 18 miles. I took some walk breaks, as I knew today wasn’t about pace, it was just time on my feet. My quads felt heavy, but I know marathon training is about learning to run on tired legs, so today was mission accomplished. I have 18 again next week and I’m hoping I will have learnt from this, and pace it much better!

I used my Torq gels again today. I love that they are so easy to open, the whole top comes off easily, without it going all over my hands. The flavour is nice, I did worry that it was too sweet, but today I had three and I didn’t really notice the sweetness. I will definitely buying more, and using these for London.

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Mmmmm…

Sunday – Rest

This week I have felt really tired. Marathon training is tough, and I think I need to up my game with nutrition and hydration this week. I think these were not good last week and that contributed to my tiredness.

Next week I am running Silverstone Half as part of my long run. Anyone else running Silverstone?

 

 

 

 

Brighton Half Marathon 2016

For the third year in a row, I lined up on Sunday to run the Brighton Half Marathon. This has become a favourite of mine, and Sunday did not disappoint. I arrived in Brighton on the Saturday and it was FREEZING. It was the kind of cold, that makes you want to get in bed to warm up and not move!

I stayed in a hotel 5 minutes from the start, so Sunday morning should have been a breeze. I say should, as 3 hours sleep due to being in a room located above a nightclub, meant that I was just a little tired on race morning. I layered up, gloved up, jacket on too, left the hotel and was pleasantly surprised at the temperature. It was perfect for run. Bright, little wind and only a nip in the air, rather than freezing.

I was so lucky as my mum came with me, so I removed some layers and gave them to her. We didn’t need to worry about baggage, so I managed to have a nice cup of tea prior to the start! I left my mum 15 minutes before the start of the race, and made my way to my pen. It was obviously busy, but pretty much hassle free. I had only been in the pen 10 minutes before we were off.

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So very British!!

I knew exactly where my mum would be, so kept to the right side of the course looking for her. As I went over the start line, I spotted that Sally Gunnell had been the starter. She was cheering, waving and wishing everyone good luck. As I approached my mum, I felt myself get emotional. Not sure why, but I just felt very lucky to be running this race, and even though I feel my dad is with me on every run, having my mum there made it just that little bit more special.

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In action #brightonhalf

A post shared by 🧡Ruth | R.U.N.N.E.R.💙 (@rularuns) on

I wasn’t too sure how to approach this race. I didn’t think I was fast enough to PB, but wasn’t sure I would be happy plodding round. I decided to just go with it and see what happened. When mile 1 clocked up as 9:41 I thought it felt pretty comfortable, so I’d just stick at that pace. Mile 2 passed and I knew that mile 3 and 4 was going up hill, so just got my head down and worked hard. When I saw that these miles were 9:06 and 9:05 I started to think about a sub 2. I was convinced I could pick up time on the down hill and I will still feeling comfortable. All was good, until mile 8 became quite congested. There were road works going on in Brighton, and the course had been moved over slightly from previous years, and one traffic lane just wasn’t enough room. I was constantly checking my step and weaving to get by people. My pace dropped, but I just thought keep pushing and then it will open up again around mile 10. I thought that I could push on from there. When I reached the turn around and knew I was on the homeward stretch, I tried to pick up the pace, but it just didn’t happen. I knew it was slipping, but I kept thinking, if I can clock 12 miles by 1 hour 50 I can do this. When my watch read 1:52 at 12 miles, my chance had gone, but it still didn’t stop me gritting my teeth and giving it everything. The last mile ended up being my fastest of the entire run, which I was happy with. I finished in a time of 2:02:11. One minute, 39 seconds off my PB, but it was the fastest half I have run in the last 5 years, so I was thrilled.

I love running by the sea, I love running an out and back (watching the front-runners takes my mind off the fact I’m running!) and I really love the Brighton Half Marathon. The organisation is spot on, the volunteers are great and to top it off this year, we got a great Brooks finishers T-shirt too! It’s not 3 in a row, and I really hope I can make it 4.

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A good quality Brooks race T-shirt

When I was in Scotland, I picked up a new gel. I had seen people mention Torq on the Run Mummy Run page, so when I tried the raspberry ripple flavour it was lovely. I had one at 6 miles and one a 10 miles and they were nice. I am going to trial them again on this weeks long run and then I’ll give you my full review. But so far, so good.

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Yummy raspberry ripple flavour

Sunday saw me also share my fundraising page, so just incase you are interested www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

Which is your favourite half marathon? 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 8

Half way point!!! It’s all down hill from here…. (I hope not!)

Monday – 5k time trial at club. I was slightly disappointed with my run at Parkrun. All this training I am doing, I expect to be a little closer to my PB, but when I keep fading in the final mile, It’s frustrating! And as much as I whine about running 5K’s, as they are HARD, I was surprisingly pleased when I arrived at club and was told we were running a 5K time trial.

I was determined to run my own race, and NOT fade at the end, and I did. I managed a 26:54, with pretty consistent splits; 8:24, 8:39, 8:39 🙂

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 10 Miles – The sun was out, and I headed out to meet friends when it was still light! 3 miles to meet them, 5 miles nattering all the way round – well not nattering, but moaning about being cold! For my final 2 miles, I headed home but cranking up the pace. I think my final mile was my fastest, it felt good.

Thursday – Hills with club – My legs were destroyed from last nights run, and I have Brighton half Sunday, so I took this one EASY! (A little lazy really!)

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Rest

SundayBrighton Half Marathon – I LOVE this race. This is my third year in a row, and I really enjoyed it again. I completed it in 2:02:11 – my second fastest time ever! A full report will follow later.

It was great to get my first race of 2016 completed. 2 weeks until Silverstone and 4 weeks until Cardiff 🙂

Hope training is going well for everyone. What races have you got lined up?