I have run the Brighton Half marathon three times before, and I pretty much signed up for this year’s race immediately that it opened. This year, I was a little bit more organised and booked accommodation early, as in the past I have paid a fortune for hotels last minute! The race had a little bit of a make over, with new sponsors and colours, but it was just as awesome as always!
Date: Sunday 25th February 2018
Weather: It was SO cold, but the sun was shining and that made everything seem SO much better. Even though it was cold, and for the spectators it must have been awful, I learnt from last weekends half marathon, and didn’t layer up too much. I warmed up so much, that my gloves even came off and were stuff down my vest!
Course: The course was slightly different from previous years, the same route, but just in a different order. The course starts on Maderia Drive, next to the sea, and turns right and heads straight out towards the Marina. This does mean that the hill comes earlier in the race. It’s an out and back, and by the time you arrive back at the pier and head in to town, you are around the 5 mile mark. After the loop, you head right for another out and back. This time heading out towards Hove, you turn just after the Hove Lagoon, on to the sea front. At this point, you are 3 miles from the finish, so getting a little tired, and the cold wind blowing into your face was not welcomed! You run along the sea front until about 1.5 miles from the finish, when you head back up on to the road, run past the pier and to the finish line. The support on this course is always very good.
My race: When I originally entered the race, I was determined to train for it and attempt to go sub 2. This didn’t quite happen, but my bib was for the sub 2 pen start. I had planned to move back a pen, but when we arrived it was so congested, myself and my cousin Katie decided to just get in to the Yellow pen, and go to the back. I was concerned about starting too fast, and the fact that last weekend had not been a great run.
We started, and I just ran with my cousin. I did look down at my watch and when the pace was reading 9:xx I was concerned. But I actually felt ok, so thought I’m going to just run on feel, and if it all goes wrong, I’ll deal with it. We ran along chatting, and I felt pretty comfortable, but I was constantly worried that I was going to struggle at the end. The 4 mile marker popped up, when I thought we were only 3 miles in, and I was ready for water when I finally came across a water station just after mile 5.
I had brief patches between mile 5 and 10 when I thought I am going too fast, but I just kept tagging on to Katie. At mile 10, turning on to the sea front and the cold head wind blowing in my face, I was finding it tough. I just kept thinking, put one foot in front of the other, that is it, it’s easy! (It wasn’t)
I thought there was a chance of seeing my husband and daughter around mile 11.5/12, so I concentrated on looking for them. About half a miles from the finish Katie sped up, I thought about trying to stick with her, but it was already hurting, and I have another half marathon this weekend, so let her go. I’m not totally sure I would have been able to stick with her if I had tried, to be honest.
I finished it in 2:04:14. SIXTEEN minutes faster than last week! Happy with that!
Lesson learned: I WILL one day run a sub 2 hour half marathon.
- I LOVE running by the sea
- This is my 4th time running Brighton half and it never disappoints.
- The organisation, support and volunteers were great.
- They let all the spectators down to the start and it is so congested. The same happens at the end of the race – as runners are trying to get out, most of the supporters are walking against the runners and it can be hectic
- The water stations seemed a little random – 2 miles, 5 miles and then 10 miles.
Next week, will be half marathon number three in as many weeks! I’m running The Big Half – anyone else running The Big Half?