I LOVE Brighton! AND I love the Brighton Half Marathon
Date: Sunday 24th February 2019
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!
- 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.
- 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?