I was signed up yet again for the Brighton Half Marathon, one of my favourite races, so of course no excuse is needed for a weekend in Brighton around the race.
As we headed down on the Friday, it meant I could go to parkrun on Saturday morning. After going to all the parkruns in Brighton (there are 5), I tend to go between the two most central, Hove Prom and Preston Park. Our hotel was closest to Preston park, so that was where I headed to. This also handily works on my p-index (the number of parkruns you have visited for that amount of times, eg if you have been to 5 different parkruns 5 times each, your p index is 5). (Currently my p-index is 6, as I have been to 6 parkruns 6 or more times- Panshanger(87), Ellenbrook Fields (39), St Albans (28), Jersey Farm (30), Hove Prom (9) and Preston Park (6). To get it up to 7, I need to get the lower ones up to over 7 visits, so the Preson park visit would help. (My next highest is Westmill at 5, so I need to go there 2 more times…)
I headed to the parkrun, taking my time as it was not far from the hotel. There were loads of runners there, including lots of people down for the half marathon weekend. They had pacers and I was very tempted to go for a faster time, but then I had to be sensible as I had had a bit of a cough and didn’t want to make my cold any worse. In the end I ran 29:02, which I am pretty pleased with as I have barely been below 30 minutes this year.
Andy had been to the Flour Pot bakery to get breakfast for us to have in our room (delicious vegan croissant) and then we were off for our traditional walk to Hove. It was glorious weather so we made the most of it. Of course we had to go into Bird and Blend for a tea latte to accompany the walk.
Crosstown had recently opened so we bought a couple of treats, and had dinner at Purezza- good carb loading.
The forecast for Sunday included sleet, so it wasn’t that great. I could not decide what to wear, as one year I was way too hot, but equally you don’t want to be freezing cold for a couple of hours. In the end I went for capris, t-shirt with my club vest over the top, buff and gloves. I wore my jacket to the start and at the last minute gave it to Andy, and at the end he walked to meet me with it.
The race was enjoyable, although I got a bit of a stiff leg at one point. I stopped to stretch a few times, but it just wasn’t right. I think the adverse camber of the start just aggravated something. I didn’t have any aims for time, but estimated I would be similar to the last two years (2:08:23 in 2021 and 2:07:37 in 2022- I had to look it up on the text message). I finished in 2:07:04, so pretty consistent with those times, and if I had not had the sore leg I would have been a little faster too.
I do love this race, but the start/finish area is what needs working on. This year they tried to have a dedicated runner space close to the start pens, to try and help with the congestion, but at the finish there was nothing. I timed it on my watch and it was 30 minutes from finishing to meeting Andy by the pier (which is right by the finish)- we were given foil blankets and thankfully the forecast sleet had not made an appearance, but I was really freezing by the time I met up with him.
We went straight for a cup of tea to warm up a bit as I was not feeling great, and then to lunch at Oowee burgers- it’s all vegan and they do marmite fries which is just what you want when you have finished running. Tp stay hydrated we also went to Bird and Blend- they were advertising a mega latte with their seasonal strawberry and nutella pancakes tea, and even offered vegan squirty cream (who even knew that was a thing?) so I had that and it was just what I needed.
Since January I have stopped working Mondays, so to make the most of this we actually stayed down in Brighton for the Sunday night and travelled back the next day, which was a revelation!
So, a weekend of running, fresh air and eating delicious vegan food.
I ended up resting for the entire next week as my leg still had a tight muscle and I didn’t want to do any damage. By the next parkrun, I was OK to take it gently and thankfully felt fine.
Are there races that you love to do each year?