I’m writing this on my iPhone and I have fat fingers so please forgive spelling (i’d add bad grammar too to the list be cant blame the phone for that one!)
Kelly and I had a real tough evening deciding what to do about running this event, having only just completed Exmoor CTS on Saturday (Kelly ran the ultra!) getting up and driving to Brighton was going to be tough. Thankfully I’m shameless enough that I wanted the medal and had been staring at this mad weekend in my diary for ages, not doing it seemed a bit like letting myself down.
Armed with a thrown together bag of food to eat on the way down, Kelly had crackers which she dipped in a tub of vegan mayonnaise and I had some biscuits … Let that teach anyone who thinks I don’t eat properly!!! In fairness Kelly is a personal trainer and nutritionist (newly qualified) so she was aware that our haste to leave poole for the 2 hour drive had come at a nutritional price! Luckily at mile 18 during our run we went past a subway an stopped for a veggie patty sandwich – but more on that later…
… The Brighton marathon is amazing. It’s one of the only races where you get to see the leaders going past you at a couple of different sections and the crowd support is insane, brilliant. The toilets (according to any woman) are never satisfactory and to be fair the start is a bit of a pickle, having said that anyone who had done the New York will know what chaos really looks like. Since the organisers of Brighton post your number to you, registration is not needed which I think is brilliant and saves lots of time. All we had to do was park the car illegally somewhere near the finish(! yes we got a ticket), panic run to find a cab(!) and then grab some thrown away clothes by the starting fences(!) to keep warm after realising we were wayyyyy underdressed for what was going to be a lovely but chilly day. I got a quite nice hoodie and I gave Kelly a crappy xxl shell jacket top which was rice paper thin!
After the obligatory toilet faffing we just got to the start before the gun. The jumper/ shell suit went into the pack i’d be wearing and we were off. First i’d
Like to talk about why you should not carry a bag on a run with aid stations every 10 seconds – squirrelling! At one point I had in the bag 5 cliff gels, a handful of left over gel shots from the cliff aid station where it seemed important to grab as many cliff blocks as possible even though you’ll never eat more than 4, a subway sandwich, bottle of water, the jumpers/ shell suit jacket and a red bull bottle they were giving away, 2 cliff bars and probably load of other crap not necessary.
The route takes you round the city centre for a few miles before following the coast past the marina to Rottingdean where the elite guys fly past heading to the half way point. From
there it’s a couple of mile out and back, then all the way to the power station the equal and opposite distance back past Brighton heading to Hove. There is another random out and back (where we saw the subway shop and decided to get one on the way back!) This latter section around the power station/ timber yard was a little depressing, but luckily they didn’t have the wall constructed like last year (about mile 19) signifying not only were you probably feeling crap but you are at the most boring section of the course!
In the way back to the finish, five miles to go, Kelly decided that she’d pick up the pace, the crowd support was epic and for the first time running with Kelly I was struggling to keep her pace during that last mile and she beat me through the line – fair play considering she had run an extra 7 mile than me in Exmoor and probably an extra thousand meters of climb.
Overall a brilliant and very memorable weekend.
It was great to see some friends en route:
– Matt Dunn on his run as a sub four hour pacer! Matt (another serpie) was running the Brathay 10 in 10 in May.
– the cliff rep (gee can’t remember his name, sorry!) that i’ve thanked 7 times on CTS events for giving me cliff bar breakfasts! He was at the as station around mile 17.