Brighton Half celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020 and as part of the celebrations, we’ve been taking a jaunt down memory lane. We were lucky enough to meet the first ever winner of the race back in 1990 – David Knight.
What was your winning time back in that very first Brighton Half in 1990?
I think about 1hr 7mins.
Was there a prize for winning the race?
A medal and £25 vouchers I think.
Do you recall who came second and third that first year?
I’m not sure the first year, but in the second year the second runner was Mike Smith, but there was a bit of drama as even though I beat him by 4mins 45secs, because I entered on the day, I wasn’t allowed the first medal – they gave it to him! (See the news cutting at the foot of the blog).
What was the route for that first race?
It started at the Marina and ran along the undercliff then back on ourselves on the top road – Marine Parade. After that I can’t remember!
Do you recall how many runners took part?
There was about 400-450.
How did you find out about the race – was it very much a club event back then?
I ran for Brighton & Hove Athletics Club, and was invited to run by Ron Grover of Arena 80.
Were there many people watching?
Sam Lambourn cycled in front with me, but there were only really people at the finish. None of the roads were closed back then.
Have you carried on running in the 30 years since?
Yes little bits – I stopped in 1995 as my wife was very ill fighting cancer, but she’s fine now. At the time I was sponsored by Adidas.
Do you think the running industry has changed much over the 30 years?
There is bigger prize money, which has brought more elite runners from all over the world. And because of the fitness boom, there are a lot more runners doing it to keep fit and healthy.
Do you know if people ran for charities in races back in the early 1990s?
Yes they did.