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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday saw me also share my fundraising page, so just incase you are interested www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10
Which is your favourite half marathon?