Ages ago I was emailed information about the Bright10, a new 10 mile race, in Brighton (get it?- I think maybe they thought of the name before even creating the event). I could not decide- I wanted to do it, but we have had a few busy weekends, and are away next weekend, and on and on, but last Sunday night we managed to find a not-too-expensive hotel, so went for it. We travelled down on Friday- I went straight to the station from work, as Andy had booked tickets for something at the comedy festival (Guardian football podcast live)- which was pretty good.
Saturday morning we went to Cafe Coho for breakfast (nutella and banana pancakes have been a good pre-race breakfast, well, the day before, for a few Brighton trips), before Andy had to get the train across to Southampton for the football. I had a mooch around Brighton for the day.
After going to some shops and picking up some bits (well, birthday presents) I walked along the seafront towards Hove, where the race start was- I wanted to time how long it would take for me to walk back so I knew when to leave in the morning.
The start was coming along nicely! I sat by the sea for a bit before walking back.
I don’t think much of the new skytower thing at the moment- it looms over the seafront and looks more like a power station chimney.
Anyway, a nice lunch in Pret (it was such a good sandwich- avocado, red tapenade whatever that is, red pepper and baby kale) and then some more shopping, before I went to the wonderful Bluebird Tea co, and treated myself to a tea latte (nuts about you, which also had almond and coconut bits on top) and of course a bit of tea to take home. I got back to the hotel at about half 4 and was in need of a sit down!
Andy’s train wasn’t due back until about half 7, so I watched a bit of TV on my tablet, walked to the station to get a cup of tea, and then settled down to my pre-race ritual of painting my nails (a nice bright pink for the Bright-10), and a couple of Montezuma’s pb truffles. Mmmm.
We had booked dinner at Bill’s, and after that had a walk around Brighton before heading back. Then I started sneezing! Uh-oh. Towards the end of the week my voice had been sounding bad- it wasn’t sore but it sounded like it was. I thought it was just tiredness, but then my nose started streaming too. No! This is not what I want right before a race.
In town I had bought a slice of carrot cake, so we shared that while watching Gogglebox (hooray for repeats!). In the end I slept OK but on the walk down to the start we bought some more packs of tissues.
I had only packed capris and a vest (I had looked at the weather when I packed) but I was glad of my top on the walk down as it was fairly chilly. We got there at about 8.45, so plenty of time to find my pen and not get too cold. Andy took my jumper for me so I didn’t have to use the bag drop or anything.
Anyway, we started very quickly. The route was a bit strange- it looped around back on itself, and after 2 miles you ran through the start/finish bit which was weird. But the good thing about a 10 mile race is that you are in single figures of miles to go, right away. The race was sponsored by some milk company, so every mile marker had a cow-related phrase (Are those moo shoes/ looking udderly fabulous/ time to milk the crowds and so on). It was well supported, as are all Brighton races it seemed. My favourite sign said “run like Phillip Schofield is at the finish line”. Because of the looping nature, I saw that sign a few times, as people could cross the lawns and see people on mile 1 and then mile 2, and then at the end with mile 9 and 10. Some people had taken the Bright paet very seriously- one guy was wearing high-viz jacket style yellow shorts, t-shirt, socks and cap. I love looking at what people wear- some were wearing winter jackets and must have been boiling. Although the worst must have been the person in the minion suit.
I didn’t really have a race plan. I had looked at my previous 10 mile times: 1.49.31/ 1.40.58/ 1.36.12/ 1.37.41/ 1.37.47- all of those apart from the first one (the GSR) were on undulating courses, so I fancied my chances of a pb. I went for 1.35, which was easy because that meant I had to aim for 9.30 min miles- that was at least a number I could remember. After a mile I glanced at my watch and saw 9.32, and later 9.27, so I was doing OK. After going along the flat seafront, and into the town a tiny bit, it then went uphill (the same as the half and full marathon)- I never find them too bad, but this time it was later into the race- from mile 4 to 6 was pretty much uphill, on not such fresh legs. I distracted myself by trying to spot someone else I knew who was running it- he is faster so I knew he would be ahead and on the other side of the road coming back down, but I didn’t spot him. My pace had dropped to something like 9.45 at this point, so on the downhill I tried to speed up to make up time. I had put some tissues in my wrist sweatband, which turned out not to be such a good idea as the tissues got damp from my sweat- duh! Luckily my nose wasn’t too bad, but I did feel more tired, and my chest hurt a bit more than usual in the final few miles. At around mile 8 I think Tess from Fitbits overtook me, but she was too far ahead by the time I noticed to say anything. A guy playing a guitar was singing “You’re all running fast, but you’re not running fast enough. You’re all behind the other guys” which amused me a lot.
Just before mile 9 I saw Andy (he’d been to have some breakfast), but then I felt quit tired. We ran past the finish on the other side of the lawn, before looping around and coming back along the seafront to the finish. I could see the finish, and my watch said 1.30, but I had no idea how long was left. I thought I could get a pb though. Andy took the most awful photo of me, which I did tell him to delete, but actually it shows my pain! This was my final spurt right at the end. Perhaps Runners World should have more of these photos on their front cover…. no?
I felt so tired when I stopped, but hooray, I also realised I had managed a pb! Woo! 1.33.51 is my official time! Not bad 🙂
We got a huge medal, two little bottles of water, and a Clif builders bar, but I didn’t have that as I had already had a normal Clif bar for breakfast. Andy had bought me a cinnamon roll, so I had that on the walk back to the hotel.
Love the medal! After a shower and a hair-dry,it was time to check out, so we walked back into the town for some lunch.
This was a huge salad (Wai Kika Moo Kau)- falafels, hummus, sundried tomatoes, and then a vegan peanut butter and banana smoothie. Mmm so good.
After a few more shops, we went to Bluebird for a drink, and then headed to the train station. There are no direct trains on Sunday, so we had to get the underground for a bit, but the first section was an hour, and so I had a little snooze while listening to the radio 5 film podcast.
I think that every time I have run in Brighton I have run a new pb – the pressure is on for the 10K in November, and the half in February!
Where do you love to run the most?