Brighton Half Marathon 2024 weekend

Brighton half is really one of my favourite races. I love any excuse to visit Brighton anyway, and the route by the sea is really pretty (although on a windy day it can of course be brutal). The crowd support is always great too- lots of people out supporting but not overwhelming.

Before (in the sunshine) and after parkrun (soaked through), pancakes and lovely Hove beach huts.

We headed down on the Friday night. After going to my running club’s Friday coffee run (I walked) I decided that I would do parkrun on the Saturday, but take it gently. Preston Park parkrun was slightly closer to the hotel, so I visited there for my 8th visit there. Although it’s not flat, it is a fast course but I started a long way back and tried to keep running steadily, finishing in 31:25. I started in bright sunshine but it tipped it down with rain on my last lap so I finished rather drenched. The sun at least came back out so I could head out for breakfast straight away (the recently discovered Nowhere Man does amazing vegan pancakes).

The rest of the day was a standard Brighton day (trying not to walk too much)- wandering down to Hove to see the beach huts and wandering around the shops, finishing with a pizza from Purezza as perfect pre-race food.

Bird and Blend visit of course, a walk to Hove, Purezza pizza

The weather had been forecast for wind and rain, so I was a bit apprehensive about that as I know I will heat up as I run, but being cold at the start is always really horrible, plus if you get wet it can be hard to warm up.

Smiling at the start, the guy with the surfboard and a few mid-race photos

Thankfully on the Sunday morning it actually started off as being sunny but cold. I was just happy that it was dry! Andy took my jacket for me at the last possible moment, and I kept my gloves with me along with a buff that I could put around my neck if needed rather than my wrist. I was really cold stood in the starting pen, and for some reason the race started late by around 10/15 minutes (something about waiting for the route to be clear)- they set off the wheelchair racers but then didn’t start any other waves for a while, and this didn’t help because I got quite cold and it took me a few miles to warm up again. I hadn’t any plans for specific times so I just wanted to run on feel, and managed to not look at my watch while I was running at all.

See below for the course- you start in the middle, head east along and up the coast, then back down to the centre, do a small loop past the pavilion and around a park, then west along the coast towards Hove, then finally east back to the centre again.

The wind was starting to pick up as we headed up the coast. The route then comes back down towards the city centre and of course you don’t feel the wind when it’s behind you (apart from blowing your hair in your face the whole time).

The section through the city was more sheltered and I enjoyed reading the signs, looking at all the charity vests and other runners. Once along the coast I could feel the wind buffeting us a bit more, already knowing that the final 3 miles heading back into the wind would be tough. At one point I was overtaken and swallowed up briefly by the 2 hour pacer group (I knew there was no way I’d manage that time but expected it to be ahead of me) and then later by a guy carrying a surfboard and wearing flip flops. Actual flip flops.

The rain still held off, and at around 10 miles the route turns back with the final 3 miles heading back along the coast, and I am not kidding when, as you turned, pretty much every runner groaned or said something about the wind. It was really strong and we were running right into it. Looking at my Strava was quite funny as all of my miles up to that point were 9:something, but that immediately dropped for the final few miles. This was head down and get it done. I also got really cold at that point- from being all sweaty from running, to being chilled by the wind was hard. I also had to stop and use the toilets- I thought I needed to go at the start but this is usually psychological and is fine when I run, but this time I still needed to go and would rather use the real toilets rather than the port-a-loos at the finish. It was also so nice to be briefly in the warm (well, sheltered from the wind), and even better, the water was warm! Just one mile to go (and a bit) after that!

It was tough running into the wind, and although I still enjoyed running by the sea, that last mile was just a get it done mile rather than an enjoyable one. I was very glad to finally reach the finish line and see a foil blanket as I was really cold by that point.

Mid run photo (smile to trick yourself into thinking it’s OK/ at the end with my coat

It’s then tricky as you have to try and get out of the finish area but the path next to it is really narrow. Andy had come to meet me (with my coat- hooray) but it probably took nearly half an hour to get out of the finish area and to the pier where he was. We had originally planned to stop for lunch but I was so cold I just wanted to get back to the hotel, so Andy went to get us some lunch (Oowee burgers and marmite waffle fries) and I went to get a mega latte from Bird and Blend on my way back. I realised that we didn’t even get a banana at the finish line- you did get a can of water (bonus for being recyclable) and a few bits in the goodie bag but the only vegan thing was a bag of energy chews so not really for after.

Medal, marmite waffle fries and mega latte (vegan version)

After lunch (and a shower) we popped out for a little walk but it hammered it down so I was even more glad that the rain had held off until after the race had ended.

The most delicious croissant for Monday breakfast, a little walk, topping up tins of tea and a movie once home.

On Monday we popped out for breakfast before heading home- it was really good not to rush back on Sunday afternoon. As always, a great weekend where we packed a lot in over the few days.

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *