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May 24, 2024 at 11:05 am

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Q & A with Jason Bird – a man who never goes for a run without his washing machine!

  1. How did you first come up with the idea of running with a washing machine strapped to your back?

I wanted to do something which wasn’t easily achievable from your everyday runner and I remember seeing Pete Digby back in 2011 complete the London marathon with a washing machine. I believe he was the first person to do this and since then only 7 others have gone on to mirror his achievement, with either washing machines, tumble dryers or fridges.

  1. Did you in your wildest dreams realize how difficult a challenge you had set yourself.

I didn’t start running until I was 50 and was fortunate to gain entry into the London marathon via the ballot. It took me a year to learn how to run to a half decent standard and a further year to build up strength and endurance to run with the appliance the following year. Whilst it has taken a lot of time in both training and weekends away from my family during the year, I am motivated in raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Potentially fund raising enabled my son to live a normal life, I feel obliged to give something back to other families visiting GOSH.

  1. How do you go about training for a challenge like this?

Initially I started with a simple rucksack and every other week added a 1kg bag of sugar wrapped in clingfilm. This continued until I got up to 10kg when I invested in a 10kg weighted vest and later a 20kg vest. It wasn’t until two months before the London marathon I started to run with the 32kg appliance in a 10k race and the following month a half marathon.

A majority of my training now is still without the appliance if favor of weighted vests as it will take its toll on your back, knees and ankles which will lead to injuries further down the road.

A word of advice……listen to your body.

  1. Can you tell us a little bit more about the challenge you are undertaking?

At first I was only going to run the London marathon back in 2022 and call it a day, however I got a taste for running carrying weight which is referred to as ‘rucking’.

18 months later having completed 4 marathons and 15 half marathons, with a further 8 half marathons planned for 2024 I’m still going.

Trying to get in to the Big Half in London if anyone can help?

I plan to later in the year see if I can make it up mount Snowdon and back, with the hope to complete the other two peaks if successful.

  1. You are running in support of Great Ormand Street Children’s Charity (GOSH) – why is this Charity so important to you?

My son was born with Haemangioma to his lower back and spine which was causing him constant pain 24/7. From 6 months old, Jacob was an outpatient at Great Ormond Street Hospital for 8 years, which would require us as a family to travel to London every four months.

Initially we were told there was a chance he may never walk due to the location of the Haemangioma, which totally devastated both my wife and myself. That said, Jacob now 15 is fit and heathy and can outrun his dad every time at our local parkrun.

We consider ourselves most fortunate that our story is one of positivity, when many are not so fortunate.

  1. How has your fundraising been going?

Started this endeavor back in October 2022 when I ran the London marathon since then I have completed a further 3 marathons and 15 half marathons. In the first year I raised £6,000 and I hope to match this this year were to date I have raised £2,000.

  1. You received great support from the crowds at Brighton – what were your memories of the day?

This was my first Brighton half marathon and the day was superb from start to finish.

Crowds cheering you on at the start from the cliffs above as well as fellow runners both novices and more experienced, which continues along the entire route.

Shout out for all the volunteers who make the day happen.

However, I will always remember mile 10 when you turn back on yourself around Hove Lagoon, the wind on the day was immense and hit me like a ton of bricks. Both the washing machine and 2 meter high flags took the brunt and almost stopped me in my tracks. This continued for the next two miles and it was along this stretch that spectators support pushed me through the immense pain I was experiencing across my shoulders from the head on wind.

As for the finish line…you genuinely couldn’t hear yourself over the cheers of support from spectators.

  1. How do you keep yourself motivated during each challenge event?

Every time I stand at the start line I feel nervous, with my main fear being sustaining an injury and having to pull out of the race. These thoughts are soon put to rest by talking to fellow runners at the back of the pack.

Once anyone starts running the spectators are more than enough motivation and trust me this is in abundance in Brighton.

  1. Do you have any advice for anyone else who might be contemplating taking on a fundraising challenge.

I am a total dinosaur when it comes to social media, don’t underestimate what this can do for your cause.

  1. Would you consider a new challenge in the future – and if so – what might it be?

The three peaks is on my radar, Snowdon will be later in the year and if successful will be followed by the other two peaks.

This will be my last year with the washing machine, however will be looking at another challenge next year which will still be weight related….not sure just what!

And finally, if you did fancy taking on a new challenge at the Half next year, we would of course love to welcome you back!

In the words of Arnold Schwarzenegeer ‘I’ll be back’

Jason would be grateful for your support with this challenge, his JustGiving link is below: 

https://www.justgiving.com/page/gosh2024

Thank you!

 

 


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May 17, 2024 at 4:19 pm

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Q & A with Claudia Burrough on Wheelchair Racing and smashing the course record back in February

Did you know that not only is 2025 our 35th Anniversary, but it will also be the 8th year of staging our Wheelchair Races.

Claudia Burrough smashed the course record in the Brighton Half back in February which is all the more amazing as she only started wheelchair racing during the pandemic.  We recently caught up with Claudia to talk about her journey into the sport.

What attracted you to wheelchair racing as a sport and how did you first get involved?

In 2017 I got into running through parkrun, I’d always been pretty active and played a lot of sports but didn’t particularly like running but parkrun changed that. I got the bug and signed up to do London Marathon in 2019 however, in 2018 I became a wheelchair user. I thought that would be the end of doing parkruns and I’d never be able to do the London Marathon but I was told I could take part in my wheelchair. I couldn’t push my chair more than 100 metres so a marathon felt a very long way off but gradually through parkrun I built up my strength and stamina and finished the 2019 London Marathon in 4:00.02 and was hooked.

I signed up for more races in my day chair and absolutely loved the sense of freedom it gave me. I had seen competitive wheelchair racers at events but wasn’t particularly interested at that point, I enjoyed taking part in my day chair with the other runners. During the pandemic I felt a bit lost without events to focus on, but it also gave me time to realise I wanted a new challenge which is when I got in touch with the Weir Archer Academy and started wheelchair racing. I’ve not looked back since and absolutely love the opportunity to train alongside some incredible world class athletes. I still do some events in my day chair but mainly focus on competitive wheelchair racing now.

You train at the Weir Archer Academy – whose roster of athletes reads as a who’s who of GB wheelchair racing – any nerves when you arrived for your first training session?

I was very nervous before my first wheelchair racing session as I really didn’t know what to expect. I had done a lot of racing in my day wheelchair but had never had a go in a proper racing wheelchair and was unsure how I would manage that. It was much harder than I expected but after a while I go used to it and it started to feel more natural and comfortable.

What does a normal week’s training look like for you?

A normal week includes 3 track sessions, 2 gym sessions and a longer park session. I work full time as well so it can be hard to juggle. Thankfully I work close to the track, so I head straight there from work on a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I do my gym sessions on Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30am before work and manage to squeeze a park session in on a Friday morning. I also still do parkrun on Saturday mornings in my day chair.

What is your favourite training session?

I don’t particularly like sprinting so any session with a bit of an endurance focus is always a good one. I really enjoy doing park sessions especially in the summer, we train in Richmond Park with a group of volunteer cyclists.

We have had a number of athletes join us from Weir Archer over the years, what had they told you about racing in Brighton?

I was told it was quite a hilly course, so I was a bit worried about that, but I didn’t find it too bad!

Were you surprised to break the course record in Brighton this year?

I was fairly confident I could break the course record; I’d had a good winter of training and was feeling really good but was unsure how the weather would play out. The forecast was for rain and strong winds which would have made it difficult but thankfully the rain held off and the wind was only strong at the end of the race.

What was your biggest standout from your day in Brighton?

The support along the course was incredible! As the wheelchair races start earlier than the masses there are often very few supporters out, but I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people lining the streets and it gave me a massive boost.

What is your racing plan for the rest of 2024? Do you have your races mapped out?

I’ve had a busy few years of racing, travelling to the USA, Germany and South Africa which has been amazing but this year I’ve decided to focus more on UK races and have a bit of rest from travelling. For the summer I’ll be focusing on track meets at Stoke Mandeville but in the Autumn, I have plans for a few more half marathons and maybe a couple of marathons.

One piece of advice you would give to anyone considering getting involved in the sport.

There are so many opportunities now for wheelchair users to take part in running events, whether it’s in a racing chair in the elite race, in your day chair in the masses or as part of a duo team. If you want to give it a go reach out to some local races and see if you can take part, the atmosphere and support are fantastic. If you want to get into competitive wheelchair racing then reach out to British Athletics and local athletics clubs and they can point you in the direction of some coaches and clubs you can join.

And finally, are you coming back to Brighton again next March – possibly lowering your course record!?

I think I can go faster so I’d definitely like to come back next year and see if I can lower the course record!


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February 27, 2024 at 2:42 pm

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Record Finishers at the Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon

Wow, what a day Sunday 25th February 2024 was. Thank you to everyone who came along to this year’s Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon and Youth Races and congratulations!

The atmosphere around the event was incredible and Brighton came out in force to support us. With the help and support of new sponsors the event continues to grow and this year saw a record 8,000 plus finishers for the first time.

The running community is a very special place and already fundraising figures for the event are ready to smash through the one million pound barrier – an incredible achievement and hugely inspiring.

The event kicked off at 9am with the Youth Race on Hove Lawns, a dedicated 1-mile event for junior runners aged between 7-17. This year’s official charity partner for the Youth Race was Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and thanks to our sponsor Brighton Girls School, who provided 50 bursaries and supported the event throughout.

The Wheelchair race followed, starting on Madeira Drive at 9:27am, followed by the main race at 9:30am, started by rugby legend Gareth Thomas CBE. Gareth Thomas is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world rugby. He was the first Welsh player to reach 100 caps and captained both Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

In the wheelchair race, Illias Zghoundi took first place in the men’s race with a time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 3 seconds, with the women’s race being won by Claudia Burrough who set a new course record finishing in 1 hour 5 minutes and 33 seconds.

In the men’s race, Marshall Smith took first place with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 17 seconds; second place went to Matthew Merrick who came home in 1 hour 7 minutes and 28 seconds; third place went to Cal Mills who finished in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 29 seconds.

The women’s race was won by Cassie Thorp, who set a new course record, finishing in 1 hour, 15 minutes and 34 seconds, followed by Molly Smith in 1 hour 15 minutes and 49 seconds. Third place went to Henrietta Tarasewicz in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 42 seconds.

Alongside the elite field, thousands of charity runners took to the streets of the city, raising money for local charities such as the The Sussex Beacon and Rockinghorse, as well as national charities including Alzheimer’s Society and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Charity runners included Chloe Neilson-Hopkins from Bognor Regis who is running 40 races in her 40th year to raise money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and Naomi Garrick who ran the race dressed as a dalmatian to raise money for International Animal Rescue.

The Brighton Half Marathon is the main fundraising event for The Sussex Beacon, a Brighton-based charity which provides a range of services for men, women and families living with or affected by HIV across Sussex. The event typically raises over £1 million for a wide range of charities large and small.

On behalf of all of us at E3 Sports in both our marketing and event delivery team we would like to thank all of our key partners, for their help and support, and last but not least we would like to thank The Sussex Beacon for having faith in what real partnership working can achieve.

Next year’s race will be taking place on Sunday 2nd March 2025. Entries will be opening very soon and keep an eye out for a race day video launching shortly!

 


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February 21, 2024 at 7:25 pm

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Runner Spotlight – Meet Naomi Garrick

Naomi Garrick is running as a dalmatian for International Animal Rescue 

Guinness World Record holder Naomi is lacing up her running shoes for a great cause as she prepares to run the upcoming Brighton Half Marathon to support International Animal Rescue.

Naomi, known for her athletic achievements and philanthropic spirit, will run the half marathon dressed as a dog in support of International Animal Rescue. Naomi’s journey is deeply personal, driven by her commitment to honouring her late mother’s legacy. Naomi’s mother dedicated her life to supporting animals, and in her memory, Naomi has pledged to continue the fight against animal suffering

This isn’t Naomi’s first run; she secured two Guinness World Records, including an impressive marathon time of 3 hrs 41 minutes while wearing a wedding dress. Her remarkable achievements even landed her a feature on the popular morning show, This Morning, where she was interviewed live on air by Phil and Holly the day after her televised marathon.

Fundraising page: https://bit.ly/NaomiRuns


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February 19, 2024 at 1:17 pm

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Runner Spotlight – James Sicilia

James Sicilia, 28 from Burgess Hill is running to raise money for Brain Tumour Research in memory of his grandmother Brenda Thorne.

James said:  “I am fundraising for Brain Tumour Research in memory of my late grandma who unfortunately passed away back in 2015 due to a brain tumour. She was one of the most incredible women in my life, always there for anyone in the family and we all miss her greatly.” This is James’s first half marathon.

Fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/james-sicilia-1698775009166


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February 14, 2024 at 6:01 pm

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Runner Spotlight – Luke and Anwar

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the stories of our amazing runners..

Luke Rickett, 19 and Anwar Karimi, 46, are running for fantastic local charity the Brighton Table Tennis Club

The Brighton Table Tennis Club is a Brighton charity founded in 2007 with the belief that table tennis can be used as a powerful tool to engage people of all ages and transform lives. The club runs over 200 tables across the city and has a full time centre in Kemptown. The club includes people with learning disabilities, people from traveller sites, Looked After Children, people with physical disabilities, the LGBT community and young asylum seekers. The youngest player is 2 and the oldest is 100!

In 2019 the club started to attend parkrun and loved it, with many of the club members running and volunteering. Anwar and Luke are now involved in helping to set up a new junior parkrun in Queen’s Park.

This year some of the BTTC are taking on the challenge of running the Brighton Half Marathon to raise money for the club.

Luke Rickett is a 19 year old who has been involved with BTTC for over 10 years. He recently won the ‘Care Leaver of the Year Award’ for Brighton & Hove. This video was made about his table tennis achievements and his recent award. He started coming to parkun 15 months ago and doesn’t miss a week, also volunteering most Sundays at the junior parkrun. The Brighton Half Marathon will be Luke’s first half marathon.

Anwar Karimi is a 46 year old Kurdish asylum seeker who has been in the UK for 15 months and has run 37 parkruns and volunteered 9 times at junior parkrun. He has recently been moved to London by the Home Office while he waits for his decision but has continued going to parkrun in Mile End. He misses his community and friends in Brighton and talks well about how running is great for connecting with people, places and helping improve mental health. The Brighton Half Marathon is Anwar’s first half marathon.

Fundraising: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/brighton-half-marathon-3


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February 12, 2024 at 4:56 pm

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Runner Spotlight – Meet Chloe

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the stories of our amazing runners..

Chloe said: “I am taking on 40 races, in my 40th year, to raise money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to help more disadvantaged young people to overcome adversity and realise their true potential. Some of the young people the Trust supports, have faced so many challenges in their lives, their bravery has inspired and motivated me to share my journey back to running, which has been challenging….having had severe incontinence after my second child.

Over the past 2 years, through exercise, physio and diet I’ve made huge progress, but it’s something that can affect me daily and almost always when I run! But I’m persevering and hope that by the end of my year I will take part in an ultra-event!! I know this isn’t a sexy topic, but it would be great to raise awareness of this important issue affecting so many women’s health”

Fundraising: https://www.givengain.com/champion/chloe-neilson-hopkins-890152


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February 9, 2024 at 12:59 pm

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Runner Spotlight – Meet Will and Darren

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the stories of our amazing runners..

Will Shand, 59 and Darren Winter, 53 are starting their run from Will’s house in Worthing, running to the Brighton Half start line on Madeira Drive, running the half and then running home again! A whopping 43.1 miles in total to raise money for Sussex MS Centre!

Will said: “I run a lot, and the idea of asking people to give me money to run a half marathon is a bit like asking for funding to drink a cup of coffee; however the Sussex MS Centre is such a good charity that I wanted to find a way to do them justice. They provide a space, a community and services for people with MS that they can’t get anywhere else. My wife, Annette, has had MS for over thirty years and this centre has provided the most useful support she has ever had.”

“So, the plan is that my friend Daz and I will run from my house to the Brighton Half Marathon (15 miles), then run the event (13 miles) and then run home again (15 miles….probably into the wind….in February!). This sounds hard, but is nowhere near as hard as having MS. We hope to raise £1,000 for the centre, to keep it working and helping people.”

Fundraising Page: https://mssussex.enthuse.com/pf/will-shand


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January 30, 2024 at 10:35 am

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Race Starter Announcement – Gareth Thomas

This year’s 34th annual Brighton Half Marathon returns to Brighton seafront on Sunday 25 February 2024 and will be started by Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas CBE. Gareth Thomas is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world rugby. He was the first Welsh player to reach 100 caps and captained both Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

In 2009, Gareth famously became the first high profile sportsman in the world to come out as gay whilst still playing. Whilst he never downplays the significance of this achievement, he hopes to see a day when it is no longer an issue in the game at all. Gareth has continued to use his platform to champion issues close to him, sharing his own experiences with mental health in his award-winning autobiography Proud (2014), followed by Stronger (2021). In 2019, Gareth bravely told the world he was living with HIV. His BBC documentary, Gareth Thomas: HIV and Me, aired shortly afterwards and he has since launched a UK wide Tackle HIV campaign to help others with prejudice surrounding HIV.

On starting the Brighton Half Marathon Gareth said: “I am delighted to be supporting the Brighton Half Marathon which raises vital funds for local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon, an organisation which provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV and their families. Brighton is an incredible city; I am really looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere on race day!”

The event also features a wheelchair race which is sponsored by Yeomans Toyota, as well as a 1-mile youth race started by DJ and presenter Woody Cook, and a charity relay race. The annual event is organised by E3 Sports Events on behalf of The Sussex Beacon

Every year the race welcomes the support of hundreds of volunteers to help with course marshalling, drink stations, baggage facilities and handing out medals and goody bags. To become a volunteer click here.

Go to www.brightonhalfmarathon.com for more information or join the Facebook page www.facebook.com/BrightonHalfMarathon and follow @BrightonHalf on X (formerly Twitter).


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January 19, 2024 at 2:26 pm

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Join Team Macmillan at Brighton Half Marathon 2024

Join Team Macmillan at Brighton Half Marathon 2024 and help us change the lives of people living with cancer across the UK.

There are three million people living with cancer in the UK and Macmillan is doing whatever it takes to support them. We’re at the end of the phone. We’re online. Macmillan volunteers are supporting people through treatment. And our Macmillan health professionals are working tirelessly across the UK. We keep pushing every day to do whatever it takes to ensure people with cancer get the support they need to live fully. But we couldn’t do what we do without people like you, who join Team Macmillan at challenges like Brighton Half Marathon and give their all to help us be there for people facing cancer.

Exceptional times need exceptional people. We know how much goes into a half marathon. From lacing up your trainers on your first training run, to the passion and dedication that goes into fundraising, to race day and beyond – we get it, and we are here to support you every step of the way.

By joining Team Macmillan at Brighton Half Marathon 2024, you will transform lives. And at Team Macmillan, we are here to support you every step of the way. We will cheer you on until we’re hoarse and shout your achievements from the rooftops. Because you’re doing something amazing; helping people with cancer live life as fully as they can. And they need everything you can give, because life with cancer has never been so tough.

Got your own place already?

You can still run for Macmillan! Let us know that you would like to join Team Macmillan by completing this form and we’ll organise a fundraising pack for you. You’ll still receive the same level of support as a charity place runner, all we ask in return is for you to raise as much as you can for Macmillan.

What impact could my run make?

Times are tough, and asking for donations from friends and family may feel like a bigger ask than normal. As Macmillan is 97% funded by people like you, each penny and each pound you raise on your Brighton Half Marathon journey matters to Macmillan.

  • £33 could fund a Macmillan nurse for 1 hour, helping people living with cancer and their families receive support with treatment, how they’re feeling, money and work.

  • £166 could fund a small benefits advice service for 1 day, offering people living with cancer specialist advice on entitlements to benefits, tax credits and grants.
  • £247 could pay for a Macmillan Information and Support Manager for 1 day, giving people living with cancer the opportunity to ask questions and talk through their concerns.
  • £1,046 could fund the Macmillan energy advice phone service for 1 day. In this time, they could, on average, deal with 40 calls or web enquires, providing advice on how people living with cancer can keep warm without the worry.

Volunteering

We need an army of cheerers to make this event special. If running is not your thing or you have any family and friends who’d like to come and support you on the day, we’d love them to join our volunteer team!

Drop our friendly volunteering team and email on teammacvols@macmillan.org.uk to sign-up today!

If you have any questions about running or volunteering for Macmillan, you can email us at running@macmillan.org.uk or call on 0300 1000 200.


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January 12, 2024 at 1:32 pm

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Alzheimer’s Society – Make a Difference!

Make a difference: sign up to run the Brighton Half Marathon with team Alzheimer’s Society

In the UK, there are currently estimated to be 900,000 people living with dementia. It is the biggest health and social challenge of our time with many people going undiagnosed and facing the realities of their condition alone.

About Alzheimer’s Society

Alzheimer’s Society are the leading UK charity funding research into the cause, treatment, and care of dementia. We’re working towards a world where dementia no longer devastates lives. We do this by giving expert advice and support to those living with dementia today, and providing hope for the future by campaigning to make dementia the priority it should be and funding ground breaking research.

How you can make a difference

We are proud to once again be a Pier Charity Partner for the Brighton Half Marathon 2024.

Join team Alzheimer’s Society at the start line and with every mile, make a difference. The money you raise will help fund vital support and research into life-changing dementia treatments.

There’s never been a better reason to lace up your trainers and feel the exhilaration of a challenging run. And as you cross the finish line, you’ll feel incredible knowing you’re helping people living with dementia.

Sign up to take on the Brighton Half Marathon with Alzheimer’s Society or use your place to run for us at: https://bit.ly/3Gnshex


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December 18, 2023 at 5:27 pm

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Brighton Half Marathon winner and Brighton favourite Paul Martelletti

We recently caught up with previous four time Brighton Half Marathon winner and Brighton favourite Paul Martelletti.

How are you at the moment, well I hope?

Yes good thanks.  A little older and a little slower than what I used to be but still running lots.

Where are you based currently and what’s the local running scene like?

I moved from London to Milton Keynes a couple of years back and I really enjoy running around here. There are lots of good running options with canals and lakes and over 200 miles of traffic free redways.  I love a loop too so am quite content lapping the same loops to help build some mental toughness!

What have you been up to recently in terms of your running?

I guess my last major race was back in April where I ran for England in the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km. My training went really well for that but unfortunately the race didn’t but that’s how these things go sometimes.  Other than that I’ve been trying to get some speed back and trying to run under 15 minutes again for 5km which I used to be able to do regularly but it seems old age is catching up with me so it’s much harder. I’m also dabbling in a bit of cross country for a bit of fun.

When you are not running how do you like to spend your time?

Watching trashy tv seems to be a good filler of time!  There’s some great (dare I say it!) Aussie shows my Wife and I get into like The Block (home renovation/building) and you can’t go wrong with some mega drama on shows like Married at First Sight.  Also a bit of gardening too now that I live in the burbs.

Can you tell us a little bit about your training routine? Do you train with a group?

Until the past few weeks, my routine was a bit lazy as I was only running 80ish miles a week with no real target to keep me focused. I’ve just done 3 weeks at 100 miles and I’m already feeling better for it so I’ll aim to keep the miles up and get a race in the diary so I have a target to train for.  I typically do one or two sessions a week and often I’ll do those with one or more of my friends in MK. I find the faster running is much easier in a group setting as you push each other more and also there is some accountability to stick it out.

You ran the Half a total of 7 times (starting back in 2013) winning the race on four separate occasions – why did Brighton have such a strong connection for you?

Brighton always reminded me of Wellington which is where I lived in New Zealand prior to coming to the UK. It had a similar vibe to it and on a nice sunny day you can’t beat it. It also suffers from those windy days too which Wellington is famous for! I liked the course too, even though there is a bit of a hill in it and it can be hit by wind it’s still a fast course.

Do you have a favorite memory from those races?

I remember one year getting the bus down on a Friday night and upon arriving went to walk to my accommodation.  I walked around a corner and literally got stopped dead in my tracks by a gale force wind. Luckily the storm blew through and race day was near perfect.  Other than that, the last mile is always lined with loads of spectators and it was such a buzz charging down Madeira drive to break the tape at the finish line.

What’s been the biggest learning for you in terms of your running career?

On a similar vein to Eliud Kipchoge’s “no human is limited”, I would say don’t put limits on your own abilities. When I first started running I had no idea how good I would become or how fast I could end up running. A big factor in this, and to throw in another running related quote courtesy of Garmin this time, was that I was trying to “beat yesterday”. Literally trying to run faster pbs than I had run previously. And when I did that, train some more and try to do it again.  This took a lot of hard work, dedication and many 100 mile weeks over the years but it was also a lot of fun too.

If you had one piece of advice to give someone starting their journey in the sport – what would it be?

Consistency! Running can be hard to start with but once you’ve got a certain level of fitness under your belt it does get much easier and less daunting so try your best to keep at it regularly. Running with others can be a good way get motivated to get out the door as often that is half the battle.

Are we allowed to talk Running Shoes – what’s your view on the whole “super-shoe” debate?

When the carbon shoes first came out I was very reluctant to use them and it must have been a year or so before I finally did. I like to call them “cheat shoes” but that’s a bit tongue in cheek as I now wear them for most of my races, as does every man, woman, dog, small child!! Some people respond to them better than others and they’ve definitely had an impact on performances over the years.  I quite like that most of my pbs were set pre super shoes days as it makes for good banter when someone runs a similar “assisted” time! But they are here to stay and we are seeing some incredible performances in them with marathon and half marathon records tumbling. I’d love to know what these same record breaking or pb breaking athletes would run in the old race shoes but that’s easier said than done obviously.

What are your plans for the rest of the year running wise? Do you think we might see you in Brighton again next February?

For the rest of the year and January I’ll be aiming to run some decent miles and hard sessions to get back into 67/68 half marathon shape.  I’d love to come back to Brighton so perhaps 2024 is the year to do it!

Once again Paul many thanks for your time, good luck with your running and we hope to see you back in Brighton next February!

The Race Team – Brighton Half Marathon


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November 15, 2023 at 5:07 pm

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New Headline sponsor for the Brighton Half Marathon

We are really pleased to announce that Brighton-based business telecoms provider Rubix VT are our new headline sponsor.

With offices at the Sussex Innovation Centre, Rubix VT is well known for supporting community initiatives across East and West Sussex.

As the headline sponsor for the next three years, Rubix VT believes the new partnership provides the perfect opportunity to give back to the local community in supporting runners and their fundraising efforts.

Martin Harrigan, Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon Race Director, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to announce that Rubix VT will be our new headline sponsor for the next three years. 

“I know Nick and the team at Rubix VT have a real passion for running and have shown their support for a range of community initiatives across Sussex – values which we, as an event owned by a charity, find incredibly important.

Nick Poyner, Managing Director at Rubix VT, commented:

“The Brighton Half Marathon is a fantastic community event with an incredible heritage and with fundraising and Charity very much at its core. An opportunity to support The Sussex Beacon and all the other amazing charities that participate in the event was such an easy decision to make.

Charity and giving back to our local communities is a core value for ourselves as a business.

We have supported a number of initiatives across Sussex, including campaigns by Rocking Horse Children’s Charity, Chestnut Tree House and Brighton based Charity the Starr Trust who we will be supporting through our partnership with the Half.”

 


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October 11, 2023 at 4:58 pm

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Wheelchair Racing Q&A with previous Brighton Half Winners Rob Smith & Gary Cooper

Since its introduction in 2017 the wheelchair race has become a big part of the Brighton Half story.

As a race team it’s always a challenge introducing a new event into the program, but we believed that wheelchair racing could really add excitement to the day – and give spectators (who come out to support us in their thousands) something else to get excited about!

We started planning for the introduction of the event back in 2016 and were helped immensely by Gary Donald, a hugely experienced wheelchair athlete based in London whose advice and guidance was instrumental in enabling us to get the event off the ground.

Our first race in 2017 was delivered very much as a Test event, and we soon realized that the nature of our course (essentially an out & back starting and finishing on Madeira Drive) created the potential for wheelchair racers and runners to come into conflict in and around Aquarium roundabout – the solution of course was staring us in the face – we just reversed the runner flow – so that runners now flow anti-clockwise around the course.

Since those early days the event has gone from strength to strength, attracting international athletes, and a course record of 53.67 in the male event and 73.18 in the women’s race.

Nevertheless, the main aim of the event is still to provide an opportunity for club athletes to enjoy the experience of road racing often in what is their first road half marathon – and hopefully that we are doing our job in being as supportive as we can as an event.

Gary and Rob have been present in every edition of the event and have become an important part of the journey – not least for the ongoing support and guidance they have offered to other athletes who have considered joining us on race day – and just needed that “athlete’s” perspective on what the event has to offer.

As Brighton Half wheelchair race veterans we caught up with Rob and Gary recently to talk about the event, some of its challenges and why he enjoys racing so much in Brighton.

How many times have you taken part in the Brighton Half Marathon Wheelchair race?

Rob: 6 times including winning twice, I think.

Gary: Gary: 6 years

What is your experience of the event and the course?

Rob: The event is very well organized.  It’s great to have the support for the wheelchair event and I love to take part in it.  The course is interesting as it’s a tough start with a long but steady climb but great to then get the downhill and then the rest of the course is mostly flat.

Gary: The event is well organised with a marquee for wheelchair racer to get set up and store their day chairs in the dry. The staff are all ways very friendly and helpful. It’s a challenging route with a steep hill at the start and with the route being by the sea it’s prone to strong winds which can either help with a push up the hill or be against us.

What is special about Brighton – what makes you keep coming back to race with us?

Rob: Brighton is a great place to visit.  My wife and I used to come more often to visit friends and shop when we were younger.  It’s now a great place to visit even though it’s a long way from the Midlands.  Now we love taking the kids on the pier and beach and now have a tradition of all the racers from Coventry Godiva’s and their supporters going onto the pier for fish and chips dinner after the race.  My son also took part in the kids race in 2023.

Gary: There’s all ways a good atmosphere with great support from the crowds. I bring my wife and daughter with me, and we make a day of it, with fish and chips on the pier after the race. We enjoy ice cream and a walk along the promenade in the afternoon before driving home.

What things do you consider when deciding what race to take part in?

Rob: The course is a big factor so flatter courses are better but also the time of year is important.  We do a lot of hard training through the winter and Brighton half is often the first time to test ourselves to see how we are doing.  It often has some tough and windy or cold weather conditions but it’s often the first major race of the year for many of us.

Gary: Traveling distance, cost to enter, the distance of the race (I wont travel to far for just short races), whether the race is on closed roads with no sections with grass or gravel paths, whether its an interesting route, Brighton is for a well worth charity and I like to be able to support the race.

How often do you train and where? Do you belong to a club?

Rob: Quite a few of us are from Coventry Godiva Harriers, we train at the track at Warwick University twice a week, also at a local reservoir to train on the road and at home on rollers when the weather is really bad.

Gary: I train 2-3 times a week at either Warwick university track as part of Coventry Godiva Harriers or at Draycote water a reservoir with an undulating road which is great for road training.

What are some of the training routines or techniques specific to Wheelchair racing?

Rob: We focus a lot on shoulders and chest strength.  At the track we work on speed endurance and longer distance training over the winter and shorter distance and sprint training in the summer.  Many of us use the rollers to improve stamina and work on technique as it’s very repeatable.  If working for a specific goal – e.g. New York marathon for 3 of the Godiva racers in November we will make sure we are doing lots of hill training as that course has many climbs and fast descents.

Gary: At the track I will be concentrating on starts, sprints and shorter bursts of effort. At Draycote I be concentrating on longer consistent effort and hill work. It’s a completely different experience racing on the road compared to the track

How do you approach strategy and tactics during a race?

Rob: It’s useful to know the other racers and their current form before the start.  Drafting on flat parts of the course makes a huge difference to wheelchair racers so working together with another similar speed racer can help you both get a good time.  Also getting on the back of a faster racer means you can save energy for later in the race if there might be a sprint finish.

Gary: If I’m racing against a racer that’s a similar speed we will take turns in front as it takes less effort when up close behind the racer in front. This tactic will result in a quicker time for both racers and sometimes ends with a sprint finish!

What is your racing plan for 2024? Do you have your races mapped out?

Rob: Big race plans – New York marathon Nov 2023, Tokyo marathon March 2024.  For both myself and Gary completing these 2 would mean we would both be awarded our Abbott marathon majors 6 star finishers medals.  (for completing London, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Tokyo marathons).

Gary: You can’t plan ahead for the Brighton half because the weather can vary so much from storm force winds and rain to bright sunshine, it’s apart of what makes Brighton half such an interesting race. Brighton will be a part of my training program leading up to the Tokyo marathon in March which will be the last of the big six Abbotts majors I’ve been working towards finishing.

Are you coming back to Brighton again in February – we would love to see you!

Rob: Hoping to at the moment.

Gary: Yes!

A big thank you to Rob for taking the time to take part in our Q@A and for the insights into wheelchair racing.

2024 Brighton Half Marathon Wheelchair race entries are open.

If you are interested email: info@brightonhalfmarathon.com


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September 21, 2023 at 2:41 pm

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2024 Youth Race Entries are Open!

Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races are returning in 2024 with Rockinghorse as headline charity partner

Following the successful return of the Youth Races in 2023 the race team at the Brighton Half Marathon have announced that their popular Youth Races will again be returning in 2024, and entries are open! Click here to enter

The incredibly popular event will be making a welcome return next February with Rockinghorse Children’s Charity once again the official charity partner of the races.

Located on Hove Prom and held on the main half marathon race day on Sunday 25 February, the Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races are designed for junior runners aged 7-17. Open to all abilities, youth runners run a mile on Hove Prom, running along part of the main half marathon route before the half marathon runners come through.

The event gives youngsters a unique opportunity to experience the buzz of race day, and family and friends are encouraged to come and cheer on from the side lines along Hove Prom.

The event is chip-timed, with five age groups set off in waves, and all runners will receive a technical t-shirt and a medal to show off to their friends and family. Prizes will also be awarded to the first three runners in each of the five age categories.

Rockinghorse support sick and disabled babies, children and young people, along with their families, at The Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, the Trevor Mann Baby Unit in Brighton and all of the specialist children’s wards and baby units throughout Sussex.

Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races Event manager Holly Freeman said:

“Building on the success of last year’s event it’s great to be able to welcome Youth Runners back to the Brighton Half Marathon. The atmosphere at the start line is always fantastic and the crowd support generated by friends and family is pretty unique – it’s noisy – but a lot of fun!”

Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager from Rockinghorse said:

“We are so pleased to be the official charity partner for the Youth Race again this year. As a local children’s charity, partnering with such a wonderful event aimed at young people seems like a great fit.

“As many of the children taking part will have been treated at the Alex, or know someone who has, helping us raise funds for vital equipment and services to help other young people is fantastic. We’re really looking forward to cheering everyone on the day.”

For more information and to enter, please go to www.brhalfstaging.wpenginepowered.com/youthrace


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August 25, 2023 at 3:13 pm

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We caught up with Actor Rich Keeble

We recently had a catch-up with Actor and Brighton Half aficionado Rich Keeble to talk running, vlogging and the (sometimes) funny side of social media.

Rich has a varied list of Film and Television credits to his name encompassing Comedy and Drama in addition to voice acting in video games and narrating audiobooks.

He has also been known to appear in a popular TV advert or two – the experience of which formed the background to a hilarious conversation about the joys of social media for the acting profession – enough said!

And for those of you who love your online running content (think YouTube) many of you will recognize Rich from his popular running vlog Rich Runs Rich Keeble – YouTube– a lighthearted and slightly irreverent look behind the scenes of Rich’s own running story.

You can currently see Rich in “Good Omens” on Amazon Prime alongside David Tennant and Michael Sheen, and he’s recently been working on another project with David Tennant during which he had a break in filming to talk to us.

  1. Where did the idea for a running vlog first come from?

Initially it was just a bit of fun really and something to share with friends while I trained for my first marathon (Brighton Marathon in 2022). I thought if I filmed my training it would make me actually do it. I was often away from home filming at the time (filming Good Omens funnily enough) so I would edit my videos during any downtime.

After completing the marathon (in 3:53) and as my general fitness developed over time, I decided to set myself a goal (I do like a goal!) of trying to run a sub-20-minute Parkrun – recording my efforts along with other races along the way. However, I wasn’t getting many views or interactions so I decided my 20-minute 5K video would be my last. But the video actually took off, so the result of all my hard work – other than a new PB was a video that received over 16,000 views – as opposed to the 200 or so I would normally get!

So yes, an unplanned and very unexpected “Youtuber” had been born!

  1. How do you see Rich Runs Developing in the future

I really enjoy putting content out there and I’m still constantly amazed that people find it interesting and are actually nice to me (in contrast to the Top cashback days) but I think for now this will remain a labour of love as opposed to any major career move! Maybe if people reading this subscribe to my channel that will motivate me further!

  1. You are clearly very passionate about your running – but when did you first get the bug?

Probably like a lot of people I hadn’t really run since I was at School, and even then I didn’t run very much; I would go to the gym to struggle through a 5K on a treadmill occasionally in my 20s and 30s – and had dabbled at one time in a bit of Kung Fu (long story!) but overall by the time I reached my 40s and with a couple of young children around the house – I probably wasn’t as fit as I would have liked to have been.

And then of course COVID came along and as I say I do like a goal so when we were told we were allowed to go outside and exercise once a day if you remember, some friends and I set-up a virtual running challenge along the lines of how far we could run around the world (virtually of course) in the next few months or so and that as they say was that – I was hooked!

  1. Your videos often record your experiences of the running events you participate in – including our own Brighton Half – what do you like about the whole race day experience?

I think for me I’m hugely motivated by receiving an official time for completing a run which I can use to track my progress and compete with myself – and yes, I am quite partial to a good race medal!

An interesting course always helps, along with great crowds – which Brighton certainly has – and I genuinely love that feeling of running along roads that would normally be open to traffic – and a bit of a no-go area for running.

I also like having an event to aim at – not least because it gets me out of the door – and motivated to put the hard miles in!

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your training routine?

I tend to train on my own mainly although I will do the occasional run with my mate Dale. (That first Brighton Marathon was actually how I got to know Dale who features in my videos. He had a Brighton entry but got into London Marathon unexpectantly causing a clash, so he transferred his place to me via a mutual friend.)

When I first started running, I tended to get a fair bit of advice and tips online and particularly liked the content that Sarah Place and Ben Parkes were producing.

As I became a bit more confident in my running, I started to follow more structured training plans when preparing for a half or full marathon for instance.

  1. What’s been the biggest learning for you in terms of your running?

I have just loved the way my fitness has improved over time with all the benefits that has given me in terms of my energy levels and the positive contribution this has made to my mental health. I can run for a bus now without needing the whole journey to catch my breath! And I have more energy for my kids. In terms of my training without doubt it’s been understanding the importance of keeping the “easy run” truly easy in your training program (easy days easy and hard days hard!) – it’s taken time for me to understand this and stop worrying about what people think about my paces on Strava, but now I do, I feel it’s really helped my overall fitness and general confidence in my running.

  1. Are we allowed to talk Running Shoes?

Hah – yes – I never thought even a couple of years ago that I would be one day talking about a “shoe rotation” but yes runners and their shoe addiction is a well-documented problem!

My daily workhorse tends to be a pair of Brooks Ghost and I quite like the Saucony Endorphin Speed for intervals and the odd race – although I must admit that I have recently fully embraced the world of carbon plates with a pair of Nike Vaporfly now sitting proudly in my collection.

  1. Will we be seeing kit reviews anytime soon on your channel?

Who knows – it feels like there may be a good comedy angle or general spoof in there somewhere!

  1. What are your plans for the rest of the year running wise?

Ideally, I’d like to try and get my 5K time back below 20 minutes by the end of the year (I’ve had some off periods this year and you certainly lose it quickly) and a new PB for a Half would be fantastic – and who knows – perhaps Brighton next February!

Longer term achieving Good For Age for London Marathon would be amazing – I’m a way off there at the moment – but as a I say – I do like something to aim for! I managed 3:39 at Manchester Marathon this year after coming back from an Achilles issue so maybe it’s not completely ridiculous!

  1. And finally, in addition to currently seeing you in Good Omens do you have anything else in the pipeline?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been working during a tough time for the industry, although I did have a bit of a quiet start to the year, but you may well  have seen me in “The Change” on Channel 4 back in June, and I have some other stuff still to come out, plus I’ve also made it into a new series called “Rivals” (alongside David Tennant again) which is currently still shooting and hopefully airing on Disney+ near the end of 2024.

Once again Rich many thanks for your time, good luck with your running and we hope to see you back in Brighton next February!

The Race Team – Brighton Half Marathon.

Updates on all Rich’s current projects are available here: https://linktr.ee/richkeeble

And you can follow Rich at:

https://twitter.com/RichKeeble

https://www.instagram.com/richkeeble/

https://www.strava.com/athletes/57937467

http://www.richkeeble.com/


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June 9, 2023 at 2:15 pm

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What’s next for Corporal Sam Hammond Aka Man vs Fridge

After setting a new Guinness World Record at the Brighton Half back in February (completing the distance with a 26 kg fridge on his back) Corporal Sam Hammond went on to set a new Guinness world record for the full marathon some 6 weeks later in London

Needless to say, the reaction to Sam’s first world record in Brighton has been incredible.

We caught up again with Sam recently to talk all things Fridge, running and of course what his next challenge might be….

1.How did you first come up with the idea of running with a fridge strapped to your back?

It was back in July last year. I was trying to work out ways of raising money for charity, times are hard, and I think you need something a little stand out to stand much chance of raising good money! So, the idea of a fridge came! It’s heavy and sticks out a lot! everyone looks! That means everyone gets exposure to the chosen charity and often ask questions! All good PR!

2. When you started out on your challenge(s) did you have any idea of how this would resonate with people and the publicity you would generate?

I have been absolutely blown away by the support. This includes the generosity of everyone donating, the support while on events by the public, the companies who have helped me along the way and the individuals like Martin who kindly donated a space at a huge event to allow me to attempt the challenge!

3. What advice would you give for any other aspiring Guinness World Record holder

There are so many different records, pick one that suits you, train hard and train smart! The whole journey from training to fund raising is great fun and it’s all tied off nicely at the end should you beat the previous record with a bit of paper you can keep for the rest of your life!

4. You received great support from the crowds at Brighton – what were your memories of the day in setting the first of your new Guinness World Records 

I started out pretty nervous! The wind was forecasted to be pretty high and with a large white sail on my back, I was a little worried! Being allowed to set off at the front of the green group was certainly a highlight, the supporters on both sides of the road really helped me get into my rhythm. It was quite nice it was a little quieter at the turn around points! allowing me to get a few seconds to compose myself!

5.Did you in your wildest dreams realize how difficult a challenge you had set yourself.

The first record, at Brighton was tough, I pushed myself very hard and I’m sure everyone at the end could see that, however. This was but a mere drop in the ocean compared to the full marathon in London. Words can’t describe how hard I had to work. My Instagram is full of pictures where you can see the true pain I was feeling!

6. You were running to support the armed forces charity SSAFA – how did your fundraising go?

SSAFA is a great charity supporting serving soldiers, Veterans and the families we leave at home whenever we deploy. I’m super happy to announce that I’ve managed to raise over £7,000 for them! Thanks to some very kind people!

7. Do you have any ideas about what your next challenge might be?

For now, Duty calls. I’m soon heading off on a 5 month deployment with work and thus the fridge is in temporary retirement, I’m sure this won’t be permanent

8. And how is your relationship with “Fridget” nowadays – has it cooled? (Sorry!)

I put the fridge on my back for the first time since London last week, just to walk to across the field and store it in a shed. It felt pretty strange but made me smile! I’m not sure if I’m nervous or excited to get her on my back again!

And finally, if you did fancy taking on a new challenge at the Half next February, we would of course love to welcome you back!

Thank you! I’ve been. eyeing up a couple of records, I’d love to get another while in Brighton!

Thank you again for the support from the whole team – it really did help get that world record which then nicely set me up for London!

If you want to join Sam next February, early bird entries are still available here: https://brighton-half.eventize.co.uk/e/brighton-half-marathon-9432

 


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May 26, 2023 at 2:50 pm

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Top tips for summer running!

Running on cool nights and refuelling on ice-cream is what summer running is all about. Stay comfortable on the run with our running tips for the season.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The higher the mercury level soars the more you’ll sweat, the more fluid you lose and the more you’ll need to drink to replace lost fluids. When you sweat you lose salts too and these are vital for muscle function so it’s important to hydrate with electrolytes and not just water. Electrolytes feature in isotonic sports drinks, or you can avoid extra calories from sugary carbohydrates if you choose electrolyte tabs, which you simply pop into water.

Heed overheating warning signs
Overheating can be dangerous. Be aware of the warning signs that tell you something is not right. If you feel ill with a headache or dizziness, have hot and cold flushes, feel confused or seem to be over-sweating more than you should be, stop running, find some shade, hydrate and get a lift home.

Always arm yourself with suncream
A summer essential but not an accessory we’re used to taking on runs in the UK. Buy sweat-resistant (labelled water resistant) sprays or creams to make sure it stays put and apply it liberally all over your body to avoid sun damage. The smaller sunblock sticks are great to pop into small pockets in running gear and you’ll be less likely to forget sunscreen if you keep it in there.

Watch for ticks on the trail
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infectious disease carried by animals such as mice and deer which live in woodland areas. If you run in forest, woodland or heath areas it’s wise to be cautious of areas of exposed skin where ticks could latch on. The UK Health Security Agency estimates there are 2,000 to 3,000 cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. If you love running through longer grasses and getting in the thick of the trail it’s easy to protect yourself by choosing long tights rather than shorts or capris.

Wear cooling gear
Avoiding clammy cotton tees and picking running gear made from technical fabric is even more important in summer when you sweat more. Look for moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics that are designed to stay cool as the temperature rises.

And remember there are also some benefits to running in the heat….

  • Build temperature adaptations: The weather isn’t always friendly on race day, but you have to run anyways. By training in adverse weather, you condition your body to adapt and perform (even if the weather isn’t ideal).
  • Boost your VO2 max: Running in the heat can have a more positive influence on your VO2 max than training at altitude.
  • Improve your exercise economy: It takes a lot of work to run in the heat. When you do, your running economy improves, allowing you to go farther and longer with less energy. You can run at a reduced heart rate at any given pace, and this also lowers your perceived exertion.

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May 25, 2023 at 5:25 pm

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10 ways to tackle hayfever and stay running

Struck down with a streaming nose and itchy eyes? Here are ten tips to stay running when you have hayfever.

“If I don’t manage my hay fever carefully, it can seriously affect my performance on the track,” GB athlete Marlon Devonish says. Despite having symptoms on the more severe side of the scale, the sprinter explains how he hasn’t let hayfever rule his life and he highlights how, when managed carefully, sport can continue when the summer sniffles strike.

Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to pollen. It causes inflammation inside the nose and it can affect the sinuses, eyes and throat too. Around 20-25% of us suffer from it in the UK, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, and you’re more likely to suffer from it if you have a history of asthma or eczema in your family. While there are medications to alleviate the symptoms on the market, there are ways to help yourself too. Here are ten tips to keep symptoms under control.

1. Keep an eye on the pollen level
Make it part of your early morning routine to watch the pollen forecast on TV or check the pollen count online before you head outdoors. There are also pollen count apps which can warn you when it’s a particularly high pollen day in your area. Typically most people get symptoms when the pollen count is over 50, though it varies between individuals. The pollen forecast is typically calculated as:

Low: fewer than 30 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

Moderate: 30-49 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

High: 50-149 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

Very high: 150 or more grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

2. Work out which pollens you’re allergic to
Different plants release their pollen into the atmosphere at different times of the year so you can sometimes work out what triggers your symptoms and take steps to avoid your nasal nemesis. The vast majority of us – 95% – are allergic to grass pollen, and 25% to tree pollens such as ash, birch and oak. Take a look at the interactive pollen timeline on the Benadryl website to see what trees and grasses pollenate when. Typically:

Tree pollen is earlier in the year, starting in March

Grass pollen is June – August

Weed pollen is released any time from early spring to late autumn.

3. Avoid busy, built-up roads
With fewer green spaces, it might seem strange that hayfever is twice as common in cities than in the country but the answer lies in air pollution. Fumes from cars can trigger or aggravate symptoms so main roads are best avoided. Parks are potent with pollen too so give these a wide berth. So where can you run if your usual stomping ground is off limits? Research shows that air pollution drops significantly 300 metres away from main roads so plan your running routes wisely and choose less built up areas. If you live in London, try running along the Thames path where lower air pollution and reduced pollen will ease symptoms.

4. Make a beeline for the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, you’re in a perfect spot to beat streaming eyes. Coastal areas typically have lower levels of air pollution because sea breezes blow the pollen inland.

5. Wash away the pollen
Pollen is pesky. It gets everywhere, sticking to your skin and hair and clinging to clothing. Get into a habit of showering and washing your running gear after every run and avoid drying your washing on a clothes-line outside.

6. Run at lunchtime
Plants release pollen early in the morning and late in the afternoon yet these are often the most common times we choose to run, so you may have to shuffle your running schedule around to suit lower pollen levels. During the daytime pollen levels are usually at their lowest from roughly 11 – 4pm so try running at lunchtime.

7. Wear sports sunglasses
If you suffer from itchy eyes, sunglasses will be prove useful, helping to prevent pollen coming into contact with the eye area while you’re running. Wrap-around designs are especially effective.

8. Apply Vaseline to other areas
Besides combating chafing, runner’s best friend Vaseline has another use in the summer by helping to combat pollen. Apply petroleum jelly or an equivalent balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens from entering your nose and preventing a reaction. Be careful of sunburn though!

9. Invest in an air filter for indoors
If you find your sleep is affected, a good air filter can help. Choose a filter which is proven to trap small particles.

10. On high pollen days…
All is not lost: there’s always the indoor treadmill as a last resort.


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May 5, 2023 at 5:52 pm

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Plan Your Racing Schedule – Tips from our Race Director Martin Harrigan

Creating a race calendar is an important part of preparing for any running event – particularly a half or ultimately a full marathon.

The Brighton half marathon has retained its late February date in the running calendar over the past 34 years for one really good reason – it’s always been a great way to embrace the new year and of course is ideally placed to test your fitness for the rest of the spring running season – especially if you are planning another half or marathon later in the year.

Here are some steps you can take to put a race calendar in place and really gain from the benefits of forward planning

  1. Identify your target event: The first step is to decide which event you want to target. This will help you determine the timeline for your training and the other races you will run leading up to the event and of course don’t leave your decision until the last minute – popular races tend to sell-out well in advance of race day – and you don’t want to miss out on a crucial part of your build-up.
  2. Determine your current fitness level: Before you start training, it’s important to assess your current fitness level. This will help you determine how much time you need to prepare for the event and what types of races you should run in the lead-up.
  3. Choose your training plan: Once you have determined your current fitness level, you can choose a training plan that is appropriate for your level of fitness and the amount of time you have to prepare for the event you have entered.
  4. Plan your races: Once you have chosen a training plan, you can start to plan the races you will run in the lead-up to your target event. These races should be spaced out appropriately to allow for recovery between races and to allow you to peak at the right time for your target event.
  5. Consider the distance and terrain of the races: When choosing races to run in the lead-up to your particular challenge it’s important to consider the distance and terrain of the races. You should aim to run races that are similar in distance and terrain to the event you are targeting.
  6. Schedule your training: Once you have chosen your races, you can schedule your training around them. Make sure you give yourself enough time to recover between races and to complete your training plan before your target event.
  7. Adjust your plan as needed: Finally, be prepared to adjust your race calendar and training plan as needed. If you experience an injury or illness, you may need to modify your training plan or skip a race. It’s important to be flexible and make adjustments as needed to ensure you are able to reach your goal of completing your target event – having really enjoyed the experience!

Good Luck with your training and hopefully see you next February!

If you would like to enter the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday 25th February 2024 click here


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April 19, 2023 at 4:10 pm

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It’s Official – Guinness World Record Holder

Corporal Sam Hammond, AKA Man Vs. Fridge, ran the 2023 Brighton Half Marathon, in aid of SSAFA, and it is now OFFICIAL – he has now become a Guinness World Record holder

Corporal Sam Hammond set the world record for the fastest time completing a half marathon with a 26kg fridge on his back in 02:04:13 on Sunday 26th February 2023.

To read more, see the article published by Forces Net here


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February 27, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Brighton Half Marathon 2023

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A world record and over 10,000 runners at this year’s Brighton Half

Wow, what a day Sunday 26th February 2023 was. Thank you to everyone who came along to this year’s Brighton Half Marathon and Youth Race.

Over 10,000 runners (pre-pandemic levels) turned out for our 33rd race, organised by local HIV charity – The Sussex Beacon. It was a chilly day, but it certainly didn’t put off the runners, or the crowds!

This year’s race was jam-packed with highlights. A world record (with a fridge) was made, people ran for Ukraine, our Youth Race was back, players from University of Sussex Men’s Rugby Club ran for Grassroots Suicide Prevention and we were joined by local GB athlete – Beth Kidger!

The day started off with our Youth Race, (back after three years away) at 9AM down on Hove Lawns. This year’s official charity partner for the Youth Race was Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. Hundreds of children and teens aged 7 – 17 turned up to race along a 1-mile stretch and were cheered on by this year’s Youth Race starter – GB athlete Beth Kidger.

Next came the wheelchair race which started at 9.27am on Madeira Drive by Brighton Half mascot Beaky and Allison Ferns from BBC Radio Sussex. By 9:56 all of this year’s runners had set off, including the elites.

In the wheelchair race Gary Cooper of Coventry Godiva Harriers took first place in the men’s race with a time of 01:05:30, his personal best for the Brighton Half. The women’s wheelchair race was won by Ellie Page, also from Coventry Godiva Harriers who finished in 01:25:56.

In the men’s race, Cal Ross of Leeds City AC, took first place with a time of 01:06:37; second place went to Marshall Smith of Ashford AC, who came home in 01:06:41; third place went to Simon Heath of Brighton Phoenix, who finished in 01:07:01.

The women’s race was won by last year’s winner, Charlotte Ragan of Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, who finished in 01:18:24, followed by Ruby Whyte-Wilding of Lewes AC in 01:18:30. Third place went to Amy Harris of Brighton Phoenix in 01:19:17.

We can’t not mention that Corporal Sam Hammond, AKA Man Vs. Fridge, who ran the race in aid of SSAFA, went and only set a world record for running with a 26kg fridge on his back in 02:04:13.

Alongside the elite field, thousands of charity runners took to the streets of the city, raising money for over 20 charities, including The Sussex Beacon, Alzheimer’s Society, Macmillan, Say Apashia, Venkat Memroial Trust, Grassroots Suicide Prevention, Raystede and many more.

Thanks once again to everyone who took part in this year’s event – runners, sponsors, charity partners and volunteers.

Next year’s race will be taking place on Sunday 25th February 2024. Entries will be opening soon!

 


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February 7, 2023 at 1:29 pm

Brighton Half Marathon 2023  |  Charity news

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Man Vs. Fridge goes for world record at 2023 Brighton Half

Man Vs Fridge in training for Brighton Half

Sam Hammond, 30, is a man on a mission – with his fridge! The Royal Marine, based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, is no stranger to running around the country with white goods strapped to his back to raise money for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, but this time he’s going for a world record at this year’s Brighton Half Marathon, on Sunday, 26th February.

Nicknamed ‘Fridget Jones’ Sam said: “I have been doing this for a while to raise money for charity and I just wanted to take it to the next level. I’m going to begin with the Brighton Half, with a view to breaking the full marathon record at the London Marathon this year. The current record for a half marathon with a fridge on your back is 2 hours 45 minutes and I’m confident I can beat that.

“When you regularly have to go away for long stretches, several months at a time, it really affects the family that is left behind. I have seen that SSAFA is there to help your family, in an emergency, when you aren’t able to, and I think this work is so important and I want to help.”

The minimum weight for the fridge, according to the Guinness World Records, is 25kg. Sam’s fridge currently comes in at 26kg (roughly speaking, the same weight of an average eight-year-old), but it is not the weight that is an issue.

According to Sam, “The thing with a fridge is that it’s bulky and the weight isn’t close to your back, like a backpack or bergen would be. So the physics of it means that 26kg is more difficult to carry.

“The other problem is that, when I go out for practice runs with the fridge, I can’t go more than 10 minutes without being stopped and asked what on earth I’m doing. So, for normal training I’ll just carry weights.”

Sam has other things to worry about too. He has very recently had an operation to remove a lump from his chest.

Sam says: “It was a benign lump, so not too bad, but all the stitches are right where the straps for the fridge go. It couldn’t have been at a worst time, but I think it will be fine. I have rested up for a while, which has actually been the most difficult bit as I’m not used to being still, and am rearing to get back to training.”

If you would like to show your appreciation to Sam for his amazing exploits please give a little towards his fundraiser.


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February 2, 2023 at 4:27 pm

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Fundraising Ideas For A Half Marathon

Runner dressed as orangutan for charity

This year’s Brighton Half Marathon is only around the corner, but there’s still time to fundraise in preparation for race day.

Whether you’ve hit a brick wall with your fundraising efforts or only just started your giving journey, here’s our tips on how to raise money if you’re running for charity.

Set up a JustGiving page

One of the most important first steps to take, is to create a way in which supporters can easily donate to your charity online.

Start off by setting up a fundraising page of your choice, such as JustGiving. Make sure to add photos of yourself in training, information about the charity you’re running for, a bit about the event (such as how far you’re running) and a background story of why you’ve chosen to run for your particular charity.

Make sure to also include updates on your fundraising page, as well as social media channels. Updates act as a gentle reminder to potential donors, as well as keeping supporters informed about your half marathon training progress.

JustGiving also provide some fantastic tips and advice on how to fundraise effectively:

Two runners running for Alzheimer's Society at Brighton Half 2022

Share on social media  

Once you’ve set up your fundraising page, make sure to share the page on your social channels. Provide some more information within your post as to why you’re running for charity and who for. For example: “In 4 weeks’ time I’ll be running the Brighton Half! I’m running for @thesussexbeacon, a local charity supporting people with HIV. If you’d like to donate, I’m aiming to raise £300. Every donation, no matter how big or small counts – thank you: justgiving.com/donate.” 

In addition, many people may just post their fundraising page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but don’t be shy in sharing your fundraising goal with colleagues on LinkedIn too!

Check with your charity 

A majority of charities provide their own fundraising tips and advice. Once registering to run for a charity, they will usually send you a fundraising pack via email or in the post. 

Fundraising packs will typically include the following:

  • Fundraising tips
  • Guidance on how to fundraise safely 
  • Information on where donations are going to 
  • Information about how to spread the word 
  • Information about how to gather both online and offline donations 
  • Assets including branded social media templates, leaflets 
  • Frequently asked questions 

Charities will also usually provide a list of common donation ask amounts, which you could include on your fundraising page, such as £10 could go towards medical equipment and £30 could support three patients. When supporters have an idea of what the money is going towards, they are much more likely to donate. 

If you’re running for a cause close to your heart, you can usually enquire with the charity’s fundraising or events team about whether they’re open to sharing your story. Quite often fundraising teams are looking for stories to share on their social channels or in the local press. 

Woman running for Macmillan

Let your family, friends and colleagues know 

It’s an obvious one, but something that can often be missed when you’re busy preparing for a half marathon. 

Make sure to share your fundraising page with all your closest contacts by letting them know in person, over text, Whatsapp or via email. 

At your workplace you could enquire with your HR department about whether they can send a company wide email, or feature that you’re running for charity in their internal newsletter. You could even print off a poster with a QR code to your fundraising page. Make sure to stick your poster up in communal areas (with permission) in the office kitchen area or by your desk. QR codes are now really easy to create, and there are many sites where you can generate one for free such as Adobe Express.

Bake some delicious goodies 

Everybody loves some delicious treats – both at work and at home. If you work in an office, why not let your colleagues know that you’ll be bringing in some tasty homemade brownies or sausage rolls to the workplace, and ask whether they would be willing to donate a small amount to your charity. 

Fancy dress 

Fancy dress not only grabs the attention of the crowd, but it also creates a great talking point when collecting donations. 

Many potential donors will view wearing fancy dress whilst running a half marathon as an additional accomplishment (running while dressed as a rhino or even carrying a fridge is no easy feat!)

Man running as Captain America

Fundraise after running

Haven’t reached your target? Don’t sweat it! You can still fundraise after completing your race. In fact, a large amount of donations are made to fundraisers after they’ve completed a half marathon. 

Make sure to post an update and reminder on your fundraising page and social channels that supporters can still donate. When people can see you have completed an impressive milestone, they are much more likely to click on the “donate now” button.

From all of us at the Brighton Half, good luck with your fundraising efforts, we know you can achieve your goal! If you’re still yet to register on behalf of a charity, you can do so by visiting all our charity partners here.

Two runners running for Grassroots Suicide Prevention celebrating completing the Brighton Half


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at 12:22 pm

Brighton Half Marathon 2023  |  Youth Race

GB Athlete Beth Kidger announced as 2023 Youth Race Starter

Beth Kidger Race Starter at Brighton Youth Races

We’re delighted to announce Team GB distance runner and athlete Beth Kidger as this year’s Youth Race starter. Not only is Beth an accomplished athlete, but she’s also a Brighton local!

After a three-year break for the Brighton Youth Races, we’re ecstatic to announce they’re back for 2023 and Beth is able to join us on the day.

On starting the Youth Race, Beth told us: “As a child I was heavily into gymnastics with my twin sister Megan. Then when we were about 12, we decided to go along to Crawley AC once a week as my brother Joel trained there and I just fell in love with athletics. I love the sense of freedom running gives you. There’s no better sense of achievement than when you cross that finish line, so I am looking forward to cheering on all the young runners on the day.”

Taking place on the same day as the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday, 26th February 2023, the Youth Races are open to all abilities, aged between 7 and 17.

Starting at Hove Prom and split into five different age categories, youngsters can choose to either run or jog the 1-mile race.

The event gives youngsters a unique opportunity to experience the buzz of race day. All entries will receive a chip-timed, technical T-shirt and medal, plus prizes for the first three runners in each of the five age categories.

Youngsters (and family members) may well get the chance to grab a selfie with Beth before the Youth Races start! Make sure to give her a wave at the start line.

Take part in the 2023 Brighton Youth Races

The first Youth Race starts at 9am and places are available now. Rockinghorse Children’s Charity is the official charity partner of the Brighton Half Marathon Youth Race.

By running in the Youth Races, you’ll be supporting a charity which provides life-saving medical equipment for children in Sussex.


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January 19, 2023 at 6:10 pm

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Sussex University Men’s Rugby run Brighton Half Marathon

The University of Sussex Men’s Rugby to run The Brighton Half Marathon to support Mental Health Charity GrassRoots Suicide Prevention

The University of Sussex Men’s Rugby Club is made up of more than 100 boys studying at Sussex Uni aged 18-23 who actively play competitive rugby union against other universities. However, the club is more than just this – one of the fundamental beliefs of the group, is to give back to those less fortunate than themselves. Every year they commit to several charity efforts including Movember, and the Brighton Half Marathon, typically raising upwards of £15,000 for various charities.

In the past, the club ran the Brighton Half Marathon, which returns to Brighton seafront on Sunday, February 26, for the RFU IPF, a rugby charity helping rugby players with spinal and brain injuries, an outstanding charity the club holds truly dear to its heart, as it cared for one of the club’s alumni years ago. However, this year the club expressed an interest in fundraising for a new cause and decided on mental health.

Finn Urmston, Vice President, University of Sussex Men’s Rugby Club explains more:

“We debated whether to run for an environmental, physical health or mental health-based charity, and the overwhelming response was mental health. Being young men, we are aware of the hardships that struggling men are going through, particularly with our huge dedication to Movember (for which we raised >£4,300 this year), which is why I believe the uptake and interest for a mental health charity was so welcomed.“I searched for the best fitting charity related to combating mental health issues, and came across GrassRoots Suicide Prevention. They are local to Brighton and are tackling some of the most sensitive and important issues that are going on in not only our community, but the whole of the UK (and rest of the world). These things made GrassRoots such a great fit for us.”

“We all play a sport that we love, not only for the physical benefits but also for the mental benefits that come with socialising, exercise and being active. We are also aware of those who are not as fortunate as us and see no other way out, so we are just trying to do what we can to help change the landscape of suicide today – as a tightly-knit club, it is in our nature to believe that there is always a way through whatever you might be dealing with.”

“Around 60 of the boys will be running the Brighton Half Marathon on February 26, 2023, to support them visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/universty-of-sussex-mens-rugby-grassroots or come and cheer us on on the day!”


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November 27, 2022 at 7:26 pm

Race news

Why RunPals love Brighton Half Marathon

Each February, Brighton plays host to one of the most popular half marathon running races in the UK – the Brighton Half Marathon.

With its scenic city and coastal views and incredible atmosphere, it’s no wonder this race attracts so many runners. Whether you’re an experienced half marathon runner or this may be your first, Brighton Half Marathon is the perfect opportunity for a personal challenge or an unforgettable experience with friends – there is nothing quite like crossing the finishing line with a RunPal in tow.

With a course that takes advantage of Brighton’s beachfront and crowd-packed city streets, runners are treated to amazing views as they forge ahead towards victory – crossing that finishing line on Madeira Drive. Put all that together with Brighton’s abundant energy, and you have got yourself one truly unique running event that’s sure to please both newbies and veteran runners alike.

The Brighton Half Marathon – come for the challenge, stay for the adventure!

Be prepared…to have some fun!

It’s no secret that half marathons are intimidating, especially if it’s your first one. After all, completing a half marathon is no small feat—it requires dedication, time and most of all a little bit of endurance.

But don’t worry: if half marathon-running sounds like an impossible task, don’t lose hope just yet! While half marathons may be daunting, with the right preparation you can rest easy knowing that you have the confidence and strength to get across the finish line.

To start, find yourself some RunPals; while half marathons can of course be completed solo, having a pal along for the journey can help to motivate you and keep you accountable. They can help support you when the going gets tough and there’s no better feeling than hugging your pal as you cross the finish line, reveling in what you’ve accomplished together!

If you’ve completed the race before, you’ll probably have noticed our RunPals in a selection of fancy dress; from Frozen characters (it was the most challenging year wearing a Princess Anna dress!) to superheroes, cheerleaders, and just about everything in between, out having fun throughout the half marathon course.

The Brighton Half Marathon is our favourite event on the race calendar. Not only is it local to us, but seeing the smiles as you tick off the miles through the city is an unmatched feeling. Plus, who will you share that finishing line selfie with if you run alone?

The camaraderie, the views, and the sense of accomplishment

There’s nothing quite like run race day. Joining forces with running pals that share your passion, pushing yourself to reach your personal best, or heading out and enjoy the crowds and the views – there are many amazing reasons to run the Brighton Half.

The camaraderie fostered by these events is truly remarkable and post-covid, this one is a welcome return to the race calendar.

Nothing beats the positive vibes you’ll experience after crossing that finish line and achieving something you may have never thought possible.

What are you waiting for – sign up today!

Are you ready for the challenge?

Picture yourself at the starting line surrounded by bright the sun coming up over the sea, a crowd full of energy and optimism to make it to the finish line. Imagine the bright blue sky (and possibly wind, maybe some rain, potentially some cloud cover…)overlooking the finishing line, that awaits you at the end of your momentous journey.

Sign up now for next year’s race and prepare to be swept away on an epic journey and join us in Brighton, where life-long memories await this February.

Brighten up your start to 2023 with a Brighton half marathon place – signup today. Enter here


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November 11, 2022 at 11:20 am

Race news

Brighton Half Marathon – Official Statement

“Like many of you we have seen the recent news about the Brighton Marathon. We want to reassure you all that the Brighton Half Marathon is an independent race run by local HIV Charity the Sussex Beacon.

Our race is not connected to the Brighton Marathon in any way. The Brighton Half Marathon is now in its 33rd year, and is firmly established as one of the most popular half marathons in the UK.

We are looking forward to seeing you at next year’s race on Sunday February 26, 2023.”

Martin Harrigan, Race Director


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July 20, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Race news

Sessions for speed

Runners at the Brighton Half 2022

Whether you want to smash a track session or build your speed endurance for pacey runs like 5K and 10K, here are 14 speed sessions to get your heart pounding. Mix pure speed sessions with speed endurance sessions to unlock your running potential across all distances.

7 sessions for ultimate speed

If you want to boost your speed for track races or just for the love of sprinting, concentrate on shorter reps.

  1. Pyramid: Start at 100m and add 20m to each rep until you reach 200m, and then come back down to 100m. Aim for a 400m pace, with a walk-back recovery between each rep.
  2. Run easy for 5 miles then 6 x 100m sprint, with a walk recovery between each rep.
  3. 8 x 100m, running 30+m hard, easing off for 30+m, then accelerating for the final 30+m, with a walk recovery between each rep.
  4. Run 6-10 laps of a running track, alternating fast and slow 200ms, with a 90 second recovery between each lap.
  5. Run 6-10 x 200m (half a running track), starting at 800m pace and gradually pushing your pace until you run the last rep flat out. 2 minute recoveries between each rep.
  6. 6-10 x 500m, running the first 400m at your 3K pace, then the last 100m flat out, with 200m slow recovery jogs.
  7. 4 x 400m, accelerating over each 100m. Run the first 100m at your 10K pace, the second at 5K pace, the third at 1500m pace, and the fourth at 800m pace, with a slow 400m jog to recover between each rep. Follow with 6 x 200m at 800m pace, with 20-second recoveries.


7 sessions for speed endurance

Longer intervals are the perfect grounding for running longer distances faster and getting your body primed to make adaptations (and get used to discomfort of speedwork) so you can go faster for longer.

  1. Mark out a circuit of roughly 800-1000m. Run a circuit at your 5K pace, then run each subsequent circuit 3-5 seconds faster than the last for 5 circuits.
  2. 15 x 300m faster than 3-4K pace with 90 seconds rest in between reps.
  3. Pyramid: 1 x 400m, 1 x 600m, 1 x 800m, 1 x 1000m, jog 200m, then go back down the pyramid: 800m, 600m, 400m. Or try a longer distance pyramid of 1000m, 2000m, 3000m at your half-marathon race pace, with a 3-to 4-minute recovery jog between each effort.
  4. 2-3 mile tempo run followed by 4-6 x 1min hard run with 90 seconds rest in between bursts.
  5. 5-9 x 800m at a pace 10 seconds faster than your usual 5K pace. Recover between intervals for the same amount of time it takes you to run them.
  6. 4 x 1 mile faster than your 10K pace, with a 3-minute recovery jog between each rep. Finish with a 2- to 3-mile jog.
  7. 3 x 1 mile: Run the first mile about 10 seconds slower than your 10K pace, run the second miles at 10K pace, then run the final mile about 10 seconds faster than 10K pace. Jog for two minutes between each rep.

 

 


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June 22, 2022 at 9:22 am

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10 ways to tackle hayfever and stay running

Person blowing a dandelion

Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

Struck down with a streaming nose and itchy eyes? Here are ten tips to stay running when you have hayfever.

“If I don’t manage my hay fever carefully, it can seriously affect my performance on the track,” GB athlete Marlon Devonish says. Despite having symptoms on the more severe side of the scale, the sprinter explains how he hasn’t let hayfever rule his life and he highlights how, when managed carefully, sport can continue when the summer sniffles strike.

Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to pollen. It causes inflammation inside the nose and it can affect the sinuses, eyes and throat too. Around 20-25% of us suffer from it in the UK, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world, and you’re more likely to suffer from it if you have a history of asthma or eczema in your family. While there are medications to alleviate the symptoms on the market, there are ways to help yourself too. Here are ten tips to keep symptoms under control.

1. Keep an eye on the pollen level
Make it part of your early morning routine to watch the pollen forecast on TV or check the pollen count online before you head outdoors. There are also pollen count apps which can warn you when it’s a particularly high pollen day in your area. Typically most people get symptoms when the pollen count is over 50, though it varies between individuals. The pollen forecast is typically calculated as:

Low: fewer than 30 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

Moderate: 30-49 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

High: 50-149 grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

Very high: 150 or more grains of pollen in every cubic metre of air

2. Work out which pollens you’re allergic to
Different plants release their pollen into the atmosphere at different times of the year so you can sometimes work out what triggers your symptoms and take steps to avoid your nasal nemesis. The vast majority of us – 95% – are allergic to grass pollen, and 25% to tree pollens such as ash, birch and oak. Take a look at the interactive pollen timeline on the Benadryl website to see what trees and grasses pollenate when. Typically:

Tree pollen is earlier in the year, starting in March

Grass pollen is June – August

Weed pollen is released any time from early spring to late autumn.

3. Avoid busy, built-up roads
With fewer green spaces, it might seem strange that hayfever is twice as common in cities than in the country but the answer lies in air pollution. Fumes from cars can trigger or aggravate symptoms so main roads are best avoided. Parks are potent with pollen too so give these a wide berth. So where can you run if your usual stomping ground is off limits? Research shows that air pollution drops significantly 300 metres away from main roads so plan your running routes wisely and choose less built up areas. If you live in London, try running along the Thames path where lower air pollution and reduced pollen will ease symptoms.

4. Make a beeline for the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live by the sea, you’re in a perfect spot to beat streaming eyes. Coastal areas typically have lower levels of air pollution because sea breezes blow the pollen inland.

5. Wash away the pollen
Pollen is pesky. It gets everywhere, sticking to your skin and hair and clinging to clothing. Get into a habit of showering and washing your running gear after every run and avoid drying your washing on a clothes-line outside.

6. Run at lunchtime
Plants release pollen early in the morning and late in the afternoon yet these are often the most common times we choose to run, so you may have to shuffle your running schedule around to suit lower pollen levels. During the daytime pollen levels are usually at their lowest from roughly 11 – 4pm so try running at lunchtime.

7. Wear sports sunglasses
If you suffer from itchy eyes, sunglasses will be prove useful, helping to prevent pollen coming into contact with the eye area while you’re running. Wrap-around designs are especially effective.

8. Apply Vaseline to other areas
Besides combating chafing, runner’s best friend Vaseline has another use in the summer by helping to combat pollen. Apply petroleum jelly or an equivalent balm around the edge of each nostril to trap or block pollens from entering your nose and preventing a reaction. Be careful of sunburn though!

9. Invest in an air filter for indoors
If you find your sleep is affected, a good air filter can help. Choose a filter which is proven to trap small particles.

10. On high pollen days…
All is not lost: there’s always the indoor treadmill as a last resort.