Entries to the Brighton Half Marathon 2018 are now open – sign up to get savings on one of the UK’s favourite half marathons!
Race day for 2018 will be on Sunday 25th February so add the date to your calendar.
Brighton Half celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020 and as part of the celebrations, we’ve been taking a jaunt down memory lane. We were lucky enough to meet the first ever winner of the race back in 1990 – David Knight.
What was your winning time back in that very first Brighton Half in 1990?
I think about 1hr 7mins.
Was there a prize for winning the race?
A medal and £25 vouchers I think.
Do you recall who came second and third that first year?
I’m not sure the first year, but in the second year the second runner was Mike Smith, but there was a bit of drama as even though I beat him by 4mins 45secs, because I entered on the day, I wasn’t allowed the first medal – they gave it to him! (See the news cutting at the foot of the blog).
What was the route for that first race?
It started at the Marina and ran along the undercliff then back on ourselves on the top road – Marine Parade. After that I can’t remember!
Do you recall how many runners took part?
There was about 400-450.
How did you find out about the race – was it very much a club event back then?
I ran for Brighton & Hove Athletics Club, and was invited to run by Ron Grover of Arena 80.
Were there many people watching?
Sam Lambourn cycled in front with me, but there were only really people at the finish. None of the roads were closed back then.
Have you carried on running in the 30 years since?
Yes little bits – I stopped in 1995 as my wife was very ill fighting cancer, but she’s fine now. At the time I was sponsored by Adidas.
Do you think the running industry has changed much over the 30 years?
There is bigger prize money, which has brought more elite runners from all over the world. And because of the fitness boom, there are a lot more runners doing it to keep fit and healthy.
Do you know if people ran for charities in races back in the early 1990s?
Yes they did.
The Sussex Beacon is proud to organise The Grand Brighton Half Marathon each year, incorporating our very own relay race ‘The Sussex Beacon Relay’. Next year will be the fifth year for our relay and it gets bigger and better every year. The event is open to groups of friends and families as well as businesses. It’s the perfect opportunity to dust off your running trainers and hit the pavement, all for a brilliant cause.
With teams of four, each runner will take on approximately 5k. If you find the full 13.1 miles too daunting, this is the perfect opportunity to get involved. The support you’ll receive from your team mates and our fundraising team will keep you motivated. Maybe you’ll get the bug and next year you’ll all be entering the half marathon as solo runners!
You can probably think of ten things you would rather be doing on a brisk February Sunday morning than running 5k in Lycra shorts… but this isn’t just any relay. So here are ten reasons why you should take part:
All relay runners raising money for The Sussex Beacon will get exclusive access to our super-duper marquee on race day. Inside we have mountains of delicious food, snacks and drinks, comfy seats, motivational music, professional photography and a separate secure baggage area. Teams with a Celebration Entry will also have access to exclusive hospitality at The Grand Hotel on Brighton seafront on race day.
Your team will be invited to join The Sussex Beacon at the annual Team Beacon meet up in early February at a location in Brighton (last year this was held at the British Airways i360!). Your team will then receive a quick briefing on the details of the relay, maps, race numbers and your Relay T-shirts.
Once your runners have each completed their leg of the race, you’ll be presented with a brilliant The Sussex Beacon Relay medal to commemorate your achievement!
The three fastest teams win an engraved award, whilst the team to complete the relay course in the fastest time and the team to raise the most funds each win a prize.
This may seem like a simple four-person relay, but it requires strategy, communication and enthusiasm. From deciding your running order, your pace and your eye-capturing attire, to orchestrating award-winning fundraising tactics. The runner’s teamwork skills will determine their success!
In just a few short years, our relay has generated unprecedented levels of competition between our regular teams. Whether it’s being crowned the fastest or the highest fundraising team, the promise of ultimate bragging rights has fuelled rivalry both online and on the course.
With social media becoming a big part of our work and personal lives, an opportunity for some great content is hard to pass up on! From training to fundraising, you can spread the word and get your followers interacting with your challenge.
Competition aside, we hope to bring the community together to support local businesses integral to Brighton’s rich culture of diversity and inclusivity and to raise vital funds for The Sussex Beacon.
Our fabulous team of staff and volunteers at The Sussex Beacon are on hand to provide support and resources from the moment you register your team into the race.
We don’t promote the relay as a fancy-dress race, but we want your supporters to spot you on the course! So fancy dress is welcome – just make sure it is safe for that sprint to your baton or finish line… no one wants to trip on their dinosaur tail at that crucial moment.
There are two fantastic packages to enter starting from just £150 per team. Read the full details of what you could experience on race day and secure your team here.
Back by popular demand for a third year, our Relay race is now open!
The Sussex Beacon Relay gives you chance to experience the brilliant buzz of race day but take part in a relay format with friends. We split the race into 5k chunks and you and three other friends run a leg each.
Our Relay teams will battle it out to complete the course in the quickest time, with the top 3 teams winning an award and prize.
The Sussex Beacon Relay is a team fundraising challenge for the charity behind the half – The Sussex Beacon. The Relay event is primarily a fundraising event to raise vital funds for our services which help people living with HIV. Each team is asked to fundraise a minimum of £200 – but the sky’s the limit! We’ll be awarding a Top Fundraiser prize and award to the team which fundraises the most for the charity.
Fancy it? Grab three friends / family members / work colleagues and sign up. You can find out more about the Relay here.
Drumroll please… We’re excited to say that entry to The Grand Brighton Half Marathon 2020 is now open! Whether you’ve run with us before or this will be your first half marathon, we hope you’ll join us for a very special race day next year…
2020 will be a particularly special race as we’ll be celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the event. We have lots of plans up our sleeves to celebrate our big birthday, so this is a year not to be missed! The date for your calendar is Sunday 23rd February 2020.
Early bird entry is now open for a limited time so enter soon to take advantage of the pricing – be sure to tell your running friends and family too.
Name: Matt Rees
Occupation: Online Running Coach
Running Club: Swansea Harriers
Favourite Distance: Marathon
PBs: Marathon: 2:29:55 / Half Marathon: 1:09:19
Goals: Run for my country
How long have you been running?
I started running as a new year’s resolution in 2015 aged 27, so just over 4 years now. I have always been fit through playing sports and going to the gym, but I hated running. Building muscle with heavy weights was more important to me.
Why did you start running?
I have suffered badly with anxiety for many years. One of the main reasons I started running was to try and deal with some of the symptoms of anxiety. Running has helped enormously. It is not a cure but it is a great technique to help overcome some of the challenges of life. I could go on about the anxiety and periods of depression I have faced in the past, but I try to be a much more positive person now and look forward. I still suffer, but I have much better ways of handling it now, and running is major part of that. For years I cared way too much about what people thought of me in every aspect of my life. It would drive me crazy with worry. Now I focus on my most loved ones. They are the ones that matter.
When you first started running what did your training look like?
I thought I had a fairly good knowledge of health and fitness when I started running but I soon realised that I didn’t. Despite spending many hours in the gym and playing football on the weekends my first run was hard. I went slow but it was tough. My first training plan didn’t have any intervals, tempo runs, hills, sessions, or long runs. I didn’t run easy, and I didn’t run hard. I just went out and ran at an uncomfortable pace 3 times a week. I was getting fitter but not making the gains that can be achieved through clever training.
Why didn’t this work?
It’s not that it didn’t work. I was improving, but there was so much more to running than I initially realised. The main reason my progress was restricted was because there was no variation in my plan. I was doing the same thing for every run. I had lots of enthusiasm but very little knowledge on how to train effectively.
How long did it take you to research your own regime?
I did lots of reading and asked lots of questions. I come from an academic background and love research. I tried to soak up as much knowledge as possible. I didn’t get it right straight away. Lots of my training was through trial and error. I didn’t even realise the importance of long runs until 7 months after I had taken up running. I now see the long run as the most important run of my week. You can improve even when you don’t get it right. That’s what was happening with me. I was getting faster despite the flaws in my training. However, the more I learnt, the better I became. You can always learn something about training and your own body.
How was your training once you started to implement different types of runs?
Initially I found intervals and tempo runs difficult, but I started to improve much faster than I had been from just running the same pace every time. When I started to implement long runs in to my routine, my improvements grew even faster. My training plan started to incorporate hard sessions followed by easy days. It takes some getting used to but the rewards are worth the effort. Additionally, the variation keeps running fun. I think it is important to build these sessions on a strong foundation though. That’s where lots of runners go wrong. They neglect the base training.
Have you received much support from your clubs and family?
I joined Swansea Harriers after a few months of training on my own. I was initially apprehensive and unsure if I was good enough to join a club. However, I soon realised that the club included runners of all different abilities and ages. The club were massively supportive and I had finally found a group of people who weren’t bored by my desire to chat about running. Joining a club really helped my running education and gave me lots of opportunities that I was unaware of.
My family have been supportive, but initially they didn’t really understand my desire to run. I wasn’t a runner and a few months later I was racing and a member of a club. It took people a while to realise that running was not a fad, it was a part of my life that was there to stay. They are much more supportive now but I think they still struggle to come to terms with my commitment to running and the ambitious goals I have set myself.
Tell us about your London Marathon experience which lead to you receiving a Spirit of London Award?
I believe that helping David was the natural thing to do. When you see someone in distress, you don’t really think, you just act. I wanted to help him and make sure he finished the race which starts months before, when you start training. I was astonished by the public reaction and attention the moment received. It’s fantastic to have a positive running story and hopefully it highlights that within the running community there is so much camaraderie.
What are your biggest running achievements?
I have won a number of races now. It seems crazy saying that. When I first started running I never thought I would be winning races, and yet 7 months later I won my first event, The Wales 10K in Tenby, on my birthday. That was a special day.
Since then I have gone on to win events including the Great Welsh Marathon, RnR Liverpool Half, and gold at the Welsh 10,000m Championships.
However, my favourite races are usually the races I don’t win. Don’t get me wrong I love winning, but I push myself more when there are faster competitors in the race. I get more satisfaction from really pushing my limits than winning a race. So, I really love the big events. Thousands of runners, a big build up and lots of the best runners. That’s normally when I PB.
What’s your most memorable running moment?
I have already mentioned the iconic moment with David so I will choose something different. I think in running it has to be crossing the finish line in my debut marathon in London. It was just such a huge moment of relief and satisfaction as I knew the suffering was over and all my hard work had come to fruition. I was really proud when I looked down at my watch and saw that I had run 2:29 on my first attempt. Not many people believed I would get near that time, but I knew how much preparation I had put in during the months before. I had huge amounts of self-belief going in to that race. It was an emotional moment.
What’s your favourite sayings?
I use lots of motivational sayings that I have heard but my favourite quote is from Bart Yasso of Runner’s World:
“I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We’re all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner”– Bart Yasso.
For me this encapsulates running. Lots of people think they are not fast enough, but I think we are a community. We all go through the same things, no matter what pace you are running.
Another one I like is:
“I already know what giving up feels like. I want to see what happens if I don’t”
This one is a great mantra in a race when it hurts and your head is pleading with you to slow down.
Tell us how you use @thewelshrunner to inspire others?
I try to motivate others by sharing the ups and downs of my training on Instagram and YouTube. Most runners are going through the same things no matter what level you are, so I try to open up my training so others can learn and relate. I share tips and sessions that I use in my own training. I love the running community on social media and am inspired by all of the posts I see on a daily basis.
Brighton Half Marathon: Your Essential Kit List
You’re worked hard mentally and physically to prepare for race day, and now it’s only a week away! With your training all but done, all that remains is to make sure you have everything you need on the day. Runners Need have put together a handy list of the essential kit for a successful half marathon:
We all know there’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a great run, and getting soaked by the faithful British rain! Coming prepared for the worst weather will make sure nothing can stop you smashing your goal. A lightweight, breathable rain jacket will make sure you stay dry by protecting you from the elements and ensuring sweat can still escape.
Shop all running jackets: https://www.runnersneed.com/c/clothing/jackets-gilets.html
Phone Holder Armband
An armband means you can keep your prized possession – and motivational tunes – close by during the race. Look for one which is convenient to access (so you don’t waste energy), comfortable and lightweight. Some are also washable, which may be welcome after running 13 miles!
Shop armbands and wallets: https://www.runnersneed.com/c/accessories/arm-wallets.html
Spare Socks and Shoes
Once you’ve crossed that finish line, you’ll probably want to get out of your sweaty running shoes and socks as soon as possible! Making sure you have something to change into allows your feet to begin recovering and keeps you comfortable for the rest of the day. OOFOS flip flops make great recovery shoes, as they allow your feet to air and are built to allow natural motion, so you don’t put extra strain on your feet or legs.
Shop OOFOS flip-flops: https://www.runnersneed.com/p/oofos-unisex-ooriginal-L1114200.html?colour=124
Shop running socks: https://www.runnersneed.com/c/clothing/socks.html
A cap is necessary to protect your head and eyes from the sun. Look for a breathable and vented cap to ensure your head stays cool, and you may want to choose one with built-in sweat bands to prevent the dreaded eye sting!
Shop all running headgear: https://www.runnersneed.com/c/accessories/hats.html
A no-brainer – staying hydrated is everything during the half marathon! An ergonomically designed bottle will allow you to handle it with ease, ensuring you can hydrate without slowing down. You may opt for a handheld bottle so you can access your hydration quickly, or one which attaches to your kit.
Fast-acting gels offer energy and hydration without the bulk of carrying snacks or excess water. Runners Need offer a variety of formulations with different benefits to recharge you during the half marathon.
Adding an electrolyte hydration powder to your drink will boost your body’s water absorption and keep you performing at your peak.
Make sure you have a few safety pins with you, so you can wear your race number with pride!
Still not sure what to go for, or need to grab some last-minute essentials? Visit Runners Need in-store to find all the kit, nutrition and expert advice you’ll need to smash the Brighton Half Marathon.
Our vision is a world free from domestic abuse – where each and every person has the right to be in a safe, supportive, and equal relationship, and nobody is afraid of what will happen to them when they go home. If you agree with us, why not run the Brighton Half Marathon for RISE in 2019, the year we celebrate our 25th anniversary!
For 25 years we’ve provided comfort, advice, solace and safety to people living in Brighton & Hove and beyond, but without important fundraising events like the Brighton Half Marathon we simply wouldn’t be able to continue our vital work.
We don’t for a minute under-estimate the hard work, sacrifice, chafing and blisters it takes to complete a 13 mile run… and are so grateful to each and every amazing person who chooses to run for us! We will do our utmost to look after you and support you every step of the way, whether this is your first Half Marathon or you are a seasoned distance runner.
It’s important to us to give you the best experience possible, and will provide:
But don’t just take our word for it, one of last year’s RISE runners said: “I was proud to support a local, Brighton charity that is so important. The charity tent was lovely. The staff were supportive and friendly before and after the event. The range of refreshments was very welcome – as well as spare safety pins!”
A staggering 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime. With the help of our supporters RISE is able to offer the following support to people living in Brighton & Hove:
With the big day just six weeks away, nailing your half marathon training is essential to achieve your best performance effectively and painlessly! Scheduling in the right amount of hard training, easier runs and rest will ensure that your body is well prepared to power through the 13 miles. Our friends at Runners Need have put together a training guide to help you get the most from your last six weeks of training. Remember, though, this is only a guide, and you should always seek personalised training advice where possible.
Let’s start with the easy bit: every Monday, Thursday and Saturday for the last six weeks are rest days. It’s really important that you schedule in enough time for your body to recover, to ensure you don’t sustain any injuries and you are rested enough to perform at your best on race day.
Every Tuesday, you should do 40 minutes of easy running. This light exercise is intended to maintain your great results so far and keep your muscles moving, for an easy transition between hard training and rest days.
The first four Wednesdays of the six weeks leading up to the Brighton Half Marathon, you should do a 30-minute tempo run. A tempo run is one which is 25 to 30 seconds per mile quicker than your current race pace and improves speed and endurance in longer races like a half marathon. The last two Wednesdays (in our case, 13th and 20th February) should be rest days – this is your taper period.
Fridays and Sundays are where we alter the run types and lengths for maximum gain as the half marathon draws closer:
Week 1 (w/c 14th Jan) – 40 minutes interval running
Week 2 – 50 minutes interval running or cross training
Week 3 – 50 minutes interval running
Week 4 – 40 minutes interval running or cross training
Week 5 – 40 minutes interval running
Week 6 – 50 minutes easy running
Week 1 – Run 5 miles (8km)
Week 2 –Run 10 miles (16km)
Week 3 – Run 5 miles (8km)
Week 4 – Run 12 miles (19km)
Week 5 – Run 6 miles (10km) at race pace
Week 6 – Run the Brighton Half Marathon!
Following this training plan, or a similar one recommended for you, will ensure that your body is in the best possible condition for the race. From Runners Need, the very best of luck to everyone participating in the Brighton Half Marathon!
Run with Team Beacon and support the charity behind The Grand Brighton Half Marathon!
Over the last three years of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, Team Beacon has rapidly grown with 600 runners fundraising over £86,000 for The Sussex Beacon. Thanks to their dedicated support and generosity, we have been able to provide specialist care and support to many people living with HIV.
2018 was a big year for Team Beacon, as we provided extra special and exclusive facilities in the race village for our runners to maximize the race day experience for Team Beacon. We were thrilled to meet our runners, to celebrate with them as they proudly posed with their medals for free professional photos and to congratulate them with well-deserved sweet treats and hot soup.
Check out the feedback from our 2018 Team Beacon here.
Due to the fantastic feedback and rocketing Team Beacon sign up numbers for the 2019 race, our team are busy working on an even better marquee for our dedicated runners and supporters. Our spectacular Team Beacon marquee promises to deliver an exclusive baggage area, warming and delicious catering, photographer, comfy seating, motivational music, post-race reception and much more – all in one place in the race village! Thanks to our loyal sponsor Glencairn Consulting Ltd, our runners will also receive their technical Team Beacon running vest straight to their door, so they can train proudly in their team colours. Fundraising resources, competitions, training runs and race day information is just a few taps away with our Team Beacon Facebook Group, where runners can ask questions and share training tips. All runners will be supported by our Challenge Events Fundraiser from the moment they sign up, to the moment they receive their personalised celebratory certificate in March 2019.
The Sussex Beacon needs you!
Over 101,000 people live with HIV in the UK, a number which increases every day. With daily medication people living with HIV can lead normal lives, however many suffer with psychological effects and HIV-related illnesses, such as cancer and dementia. The complex combination of HIV and related illnesses require specialist treatment. Brighton has the 2nd highest HIV prevalence in the UK, and access to specialist care and support is vital. With a 10-bed inpatient unit, The Sussex Beacon provides 24 hour medical and psychological care to people struggling with a new diagnosis, starting new medication, recovering from HIV-related cancer treatment and dementia, requiring family services and end of life care. Most of all, it provides a safe, comforting place for patients in their time of need. You can help us continue to offer support to those who need it most.
If you would like to be a part of Team Beacon and experience a race day like no other, find out more and secure your place now.
The Brighton Half Marathon celebrates its 29th birthday on race day 2019 – but did you know the race is a charity event, organised by local HIV charity The Sussex Beacon? As World Aids Day approaches on 1st December, find out about the local charity behind a very big race.
The Grand Brighton Half Marathon is The Sussex Beacon’s largest fundraising event each year, where we welcome 12,000 runners and thousands of spectators to celebrate running in the city. Unbeknownst to many, The Sussex Beacon has been involved in the event since its early days in the 1990s.
The Sussex Beacon cause
Brighton has the 2nd highest HIV prevalence in the UK, and access to specialist care and support is vital. With a 10-bed inpatient unit, The Sussex Beacon provides 24 hour medical and psychological care to people struggling with a new diagnosis, starting new medication, recovering from HIV-related cancer treatment and dementia, requiring family services and end of life care. Most of all, it provides a safe, comforting place for patients in their time of need.
Over 100,000 people live with HIV in the UK, a number which increases every day. With daily medication people living with HIV can lead normal lives, however many suffer with psychological effects and HIV-related illnesses, such as cancer and dementia. The complex combination of HIV and related illnesses require specialist treatment.
World Aids Day
Saturday 1st December marks World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of HIV/AIDS. It’s an opportunity for our community (and the world!) to unite in the fight against HIV, to remember those who have died, and to show our support for those living with HIV today.
Show your support
The Sussex Beacon has its own running team in the event – Team Beacon. If you already have a general race place you can also fundraise for the charity as an ‘own place runner‘- every little amount of fundraising really does help. You could also show your support on race day by rocking a red ribbon on your race kit.
Find out more about the wider work of The Sussex Beacon on the charity’s website.
Running The Grand Brighton Half Marathon? Here’s the lowdown on how to make the most of your stay by the seaside.
Brighton does eclectic better than anywhere and the North Laines are home to vintage boutiques, cupcake shops and cafes galore. Snooper’s Paradise is a dusty curiosity shop packed to the rafters with memorabilia from childhood and well worth a mooch around if you have any time spare around race day.
Brighton’s seafront has had a bit of a makeover in recent years, with seaside-shabby now seaside-chic. New boutiques have popped up under the arches close to the beautiful Victorian Band Stand and new-ish landmark the British Airways i360 now stands majestic on the seafront, offering views to France on especially clear days. There’s a collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs on the seafront. And you can’t leave the seaside without a mosey on the Palace Pier, where you’ll find quintessential British seaside fodder: fish and chips, ice creams and candy floss.
Former Royal residence the Pavilion was a party palace, a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. The building is Brighton’s answer to the Taj Mahal, with opulent Indian architecture on the exterior and contrasting Chinese décor in the interior. It’s unlike any other building in Britain – and it epitomises this eclectic, vibrant city rather perfectly.
Eagle eyes won’t have to walk far to see the statue of local Olympian Ovett on race day of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon – the bronze statue erected ahead of the London 2012 Olympics lies in the race village, a fitting tribute to the Brighton-born runner who went on to break the world record for the 1,500m and mile run in 1980.
Independent coffee shops are thriving in Brighton and Hove and the locals have followed their noses and shunned the big chains in favour of indies producing great roasts. Small Batch has a number of outlets dotted throughout the city, then there’s Flour Pot Bakery, Café Coho, Marwoods, Bond St Coffee, plus plenty more.
You’ll need to put your feet up after the race and Brighton is home to four cinemas, all within walking range of the race village on the seafront. The Odeon on the seafront and Cineworld at the Marina are the places to watch blockbusters, while Komedia and the Duke of York tend to screen art house films. The latter also claims to be the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britain.
Hotels close to race village
The Grand Brighton – 4*
Premier Inn, North Street – 3*
MyHotel – 4*
Seattle Hotel – 3*
Blanche House – 3*
Hilton Brighton Metropole – 4*
Hotel du Vin – 4*
Royal Albion – 2.5*
Umi hotel – 3*
Queen’s hotel – 3*
Ibis – 2*
See more suggestions, including B&Bs, on our accommodation page.
Basketmakers Arms, the North Laines
The North Laine Brewhouse, the North Laines
Brighton Rocks, Rock Place, Kemptown
The Black Dove, Kemptown
The Fountain Head, North Road
Pub du Vin, Ship Street
Earth & Stars, Windsor St
British: Bill’s, Pub du Vin
French: Mange Tout, Plateau
Veggie: Food for Friends, Terre a Terre
Meat & fish: The Coal Shed, The Salt Rooms
Pizza: Pizzaface (takeaway)
Burgers: Burger Brothers (takeaway), MeatLiquor
Pub food: The North Laines, the Bristol Bar, the Basketmakers, The Dorset, Yeoman, Earth & Stars
Sports massage, physio & osteopathy
Sundial, Queen’s Road
Body Rehab, Hove
Back in Brighton, North Street
There are all sorts of nutrition tips out there – some good, some bad. Helping us to sort us the wheat from the chaff is sports nutritionist Renee McGregor, author of the book Training Food.
“There is some evidence that caffeine – rather than just coffee – can boost your metabolism a little. Is it significant enough to cause a huge amount of weight loss? Probably not. I use it with athletes when we’re looking at performance – there’s a lot of evidence to show that using caffeine in the correct manner and in the correct dose can improve performance because it will affect your perceived effort – so particularly at the end of a race when you’re feeling quite tired. Typically I’ll get people to take a caffeine gel in the final 5k at the end of a marathon or half marathon. It can really help you to feel like you’re not as tired and the effort you’re putting in is slightly easier. But in terms of weight loss, there’s very little evidence to show that the increase is enough.”
“This is a good old fashioned myth. There’s very little proof behind it and it really depends how sedentary you are. If you’re quite active then eating late won’t do you any harm – you don’t suddenly start storing fat overnight. If you look at the chemistry, overnight is when you’re fasting so that’s generally when you’re breaking down your stores to use for energy and to keep your blood sugar levels constant. The problem really is if you over-consume calories during the day – if you over-consume you’re going to end up putting weight on.”
This is definitely true. Chocolate milk rehydrates, it’s got the right combination of carbs and protein, and it’s also got the right combination of the right types of carbs and protein. After a workout you’re going to need to refuel glycogen stores and repair muscles. You’re going to need an easily digestible carbohydrate and the lactose and sugar from the chocolate does that. And you’ll need an easily digestible protein which you’ll get from the whey in the milk, so it’s a really good choice.”
“You can indeed use jelly sweets in replacement for gels; it’s very much an individual preference on what you like to take during a run. Most energy gels will provide you with 20-30g of carbohydrate, so you’d need about 5 or 6 jelly babies to get the same amount. I tend to use gels because I find them easier – I find it too difficult to chew while I’m running, but my friend prefers to eat a jelly baby every few minutes to keep her going. It’s really just preference.”
“Yes it can. I would never advocate a pure protein diet; I think you definitely need some carbohydrate in there but a high protein diet will help with satiety levels – so keeping you fuller for longer – and also help to maintain lean muscle mass while restricting your energy intake. Often when you restrict your calorie intake you’ll lose lean muscle and fat mass, but the more lean muscle mass you lose, the less metabolically active you are, so by having a high protein diet you’ll maintain your muscle, which means you’ll remain metabolically active and the weight loss will continue.”
“There used to be a belief that eggs increased your cholesterol level, but actually you make cholesterol within your own body so if you have a very high fat diet and you are prone to high cholesterol, you will make it anyway. Eggs themselves are not contributing to high cholesterol.”
“It can and I do help ultra runners with fat adaptation, but we never ever take carbs out entirely; we periodise their intake. So if they’re going to do a track session, they will still have carbs in their diet. Your body will always use carbohydrate preferentially as fuel and it will use it a lot quicker and lot easier so you’ll be able to maintain a higher pace. It’s the fuel you tend to need in a race or high intensity session. But if you’re going out for a long slow run where you’re not worried about the pace, by all means do it fasted or without carbs in your system – so for example rather than eggs on toast you’d have eggs and avocado, or something similar. Eating in this way makes you become better at utilising fat as fuel. We all have huge stores of fat within us, no matter how thin a person is, and we become better at using that fat as fuel. So when you go into a race situation where you are taking on carbs, although you will use carbs as fuel, your body will also be burning a higher percentage of fat than normal because it’s got used to using fat as fuel as well.
“As yet, however, there is no study to prove that a high protein or a high fat diet actually improves performance – they’ve done studies to show that you can use protein and fat as a source of fuel, but there hasn’t been a study so far which has tracked performance. So far, all the scientists have said that periodising your carb intake according to when you need it can help your body to learn to use fat stores for fuel. It can be hard at first for your body to get used to, but your body does adapt.”
“For some people a gluten-free diet is essential, but others eat gluten-free because they think it’s healthier. But recent studies have found that a gluten-free diet when you don’t need it doesn’t benefit you in any way so there’s really no point in doing it unless you need to. Some people say they feel bloated after a bowl of pasta or bread and they blame it on the gluten, but the thing that most people don’t realise is that for every gram of carbohydrate you have in your body, you tend to store 1-4 grams of fluid as well so you do tend to feel fuller. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got an intolerance to it – it can just mean you’re holding more water, and to a certain degree that’s good because it will make you feel fuller. And if you eliminate anything you don’t need to from your diet, your body will struggle a little when you introduce it in the future.”
Keen to join us on race day next year? Our early bird window will be closing very soon so don’t leave it too late to sign up.
The race date for 2019 is 24th February, so once again we’ll be one of the first half marathons on the running calendar and a perfect training run if you’re planning to run a Spring marathon.
We’re delighted to welcome back The Grand as our headline sponsor again for the 2019 race, and it promises to be another race to remember!
Get inspired with our 2018 race day video…
Congratulations on completing The Grand Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday – despite the chill!
You may be feeling a bit stiff today in which case further massage here at Sundial can improve your recovery. A long run can cause muscles to tighten and shorten and massage works to elongate the muscles, relieve muscle tightness and restore joint range of motion.
Another benefit of post-run massage is to improve circulation. This helps improve tissue healing as more blood circulation means more nutrients to the muscles which reduces soreness and fatigue. The effects are cumulative too, so several therapeutic massages spaced a few days a part brings big benefits.
Sometimes in spite of massage and other post-run activities like stretching and foam rolling the soreness persists. This can be a sign of a deeper injury in which case our physio, James, can help.
Although our laser is also great at reducing muscle soreness a sure sign that you might need a check with James might be if the pain is around a joint and worsens with weight bearing and movement. Normal post-run muscle soreness tends to improve through the day with gentle activity but this will tend to aggravate a more serious joint or muscle problem.
If you are having back pain or neck pain then a check up with one of our chiropractors might be worthwhile. Sometimes running can irritate and stiffen the spinal or pelvic joints especially if your back and core muscles aren’t as strong as they should be. Chiropractic can improve spinal flexibility with gentle joint techniques.
If you have post run aches and pains and some help, then give us a call – we will advise whether you need massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic. Everyone who ran on Sunday can claim a £10 discount off a session here at Sundial.
After months of training and staying clear of life’s indulgences, head to GB1 restaurant in The Grand for a treat you deserve!
When enjoying two courses in GB1, choose either a cocktail or dessert and it’s on us! Show your server a picture of you with your medal to qualify. See T&Cs below.
Terms & Conditions:
James Masterton, physiotherapist at Sundial Clinics, shares his three secrets to prevent running injuries – and explains how to save £50 off Sundial’s Runners Training Package for Brighton Half runners.
As a keen runner myself, I know that running injuries are extremely common. However, being a physio, I also know the best way to prevent these injuries and how to recover quickly if I do get injured. Here at Sundial we believe we have the secrets for staying injury free and we would love to share these with you…
Getting the basics right should be the starting point for any runner. Assessing your footwear and taking some video footage of your running style can help eliminate poor movement patterns and training error that may lead to injury.
Understanding past and present injuries, training plans and personal goals is a great way of preventing injury and helping you to stay on track with your training. A physio assessment will help to highlight range of movement, postural and strength issues that could have a negative effect on your running.
Massage is a great way to improve flexibility and avoid muscle fatigue. A regular massage will allow you to train more efficiently and help you to recover quicker.
Now that you know the secrets, here’s the Runners Training Package available at Sundial:
1 hour physiotherapy assessment including video gait analysis:
30 minute physiotherapy follow up session:
1 hour sports massage with the Sundial massage team:
The normal value of these combined treatments is £149. The Sundial Runners Training Package is a bargain at £99, saving you a massive £50! (All sessions included in this package can be used anytime between the 1st of January and the 30th of September 2018).
To enquire about this offer or make an appointment, please call Sundial Clinics on either 01273 774 114 or 01273 696 414.
Brighton Half 2018 is creeping up fast. From planning your travel arrangements to eating a runner-friendly diet, don’t leave it too late to get set for race day. Here are some pointers for getting race day ready.
Brighton is well connected but we advise you to get ahead and check your travel arrangements now. We recommend you arrive at race village for 8am: the race start is 9am. Trains to the city are often subject to engineering works at weekends, so please do check you can arrive on time to ensure you can drop off baggage and find your start pen in good time. We are aware that the London-Brighton line is subject to works on the weekend of the race, so please do check Southern Railway’s information on planned improvement works.
If you plan to drive by car, Brighton gets very busy on race day and parking in the city can prove difficult. We run a Park & Ride service, which this year has two locations. You can book this in our Shop. Note that in previous years, Park & Ride has sold out, so we recommend you book early.
With the high mileage weeks creeping up, take care and listen to your body. Try to get enough sleep and eat well, with a balanced diet geared for running. Maintenance sports massage will help to prevent any niggles getting worse and treat your body to a little TLC when it needs it most. Our physio and sports massage partner Sundial Clinics have locations in Brighton and London and often run deals for Brighton Half runners.
Treat weary limbs to a massage on race day through our brilliant physio and sports massage partner Sundial Clinics. You can book both pre and post-race massage, bookable in our online Shop.
If you need a steer with your training as we head into the high mileage weeks, take a look at our training page. Our wonderful training partner RunBrighton organise weekly training runs, which can really help with motivation on cold weekend mornings when you need to put in some mileage (the group is also a great way to meet other runners). We also partner with Mbition, which create bespoke online training plans to help you train well for the half marathon distance.
Enjoy the final few weeks of training!
Chestnut Tree House is the children’s hospice for East and West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, and South East Hampshire and cares for 300 children and young adults.
Since opening in 2003, they have provided specialist palliative care to babies, children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions and support for their families – both at the hospice and in families’ own homes.
Chestnut Tree House helps families live For the Now. They are the hand that reassures, a hug that comforts, a safe port in a sea of life-changing diagnoses and round-the-clock care.
Now is precious moments that give a lifetime of memories, the chance to be a parent for a few hours, rather than a carer, and the opportunity for kids to just be kids, to do all the things that kids their age should do. Now is all about exploring, creating, enjoying and treasuring. And for supporters it’s all about the high of doing something important, something that they didn’t think they could do. It’s about making their own memories whilst making a difference.
Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, and they want to encourage people of all ages across Sussex and South East Hampshire to take on a challenge to mark the occasion, live For the Now and help them to continue caring for local life-limited children and families.
So make this a year for taking on a challenge. For crossing the finish line. For yourself. For local families. For living. For the Now.
Make your half marathon count – join the Chestnut Tree House 15th birthday team today!
Watch the video below to find out more about our work and read more on the Chestnut Tree House website: www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/brightonhalf
Sign up for a Chestnut Tree House place now >>
We don’t for a minute under-estimate the hard-work, sacrifice, chafing and blisters it takes to complete a 13 mile run… which is why we’re so grateful to each and every amazing person who chooses to run for us!
One of our runners in last year’s event said: “It made such a massive difference running for a charity that were really kind and felt like you valued our efforts. RISE takes on such an important role keeping the community safe from domestic abuse, but it was really admirable how much you also managed to take care of me and the other runners today. It was a privilege to run for you.”
In the lead up to the race another runner was given a £10 donation at a local community meeting in Brighton, by someone who said that RISE had helped her leave an abusive situation and start a new life. Our lovely runner decided to carry this £10 note in her pocket during the race, to give her motivation when she started feeling tired at mile 10!
Whether you’ve got your own place or are looking for a charity to run for we’d love you to join Team RISE. In return we’ll give you:
A staggering 1 in 4 women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime, but RISE believes that no-one should live in fear of abuse and violence. With the help of our supporters RISE is able to offer the following support to residents of Brighton & Hove:
2.5 million. That’s how many people are currently living with cancer. And with this number set to rise to 4 million by 2030, we need your support more than ever.
Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. It’s a big task and we can’t do it alone so join Team Macmillan now and help us help people affected by cancer.
Whether you’ve got your own place or are looking for a charity to run for we’d love you to join us. You’ll get the best support, have the greatest experience and most importantly every step you take will help support people affected by cancer.
In return we’ll support you every step of the way – our amazing runners receive:
Help us smash our £130,000 fundraising target which could:
Get in touch
We always love hearing from you. Please contact the Running Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 100 0200 if you have any questions at all.
So what are you waiting for – sign up
You run the Brighton Half Marathon.
We’re in a race to beat dementia.
Dementia devastates lives. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. But dementia won’t win. Until the day we find a cure, Alzheimer’s Society will be here for anyone affected by dementia – wherever they are, whatever they’re going through. Everything we do is informed and inspired by them.
Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.
You decide to run for us.
We’re right behind you.
When you run for us, you run with the support of a dedicated team.
You’ll tackle the home straight like a pro.
We’ll take research in a new direction.
By running the Brighton Half for us, we can continue to deliver ground-breaking research. Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity funding dementia research into a cure, cause, prevention and care.
£50 could help us investigate how one type of dementia develops by paying to grow one day’s worth of nerve cells in a lab.
£250 could accelerate the search for an effective treatment for vascular dementia by paying for a year’s worth of clinical trial drugs.
£380 could allow a researcher find out more about a specific type of dementia and how we might treat it by studying a person’s genes for a day.
Let’s take on dementia together. Sign up to run the 2018 Brighton Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society.
Get in touch
We always love hearing from you. Please contact the Events Team on email@example.com or call 0330 333 0804 if you have any questions at all. We hope to welcome you to the team soon!
Over the last two years of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, Team Beacon has rapidly grown and over 460 runners have fundraised £66,000 for The Sussex Beacon! Thanks to their dedicated support and generosity, we have been able to give specialist care and support to many people living with HIV.
This incredible accomplishment deserves a celebration. That’s why we have listened to our runners, and have made exciting new plans to maximise the race day experience for Team Beacon. With a brand new substantially bigger team marquee for 2018, we can provide our runners with exclusive baggage area, separate toilets, massage facilities, catering, post-race reception and much more – all in one place in the race village! Thanks to our new sponsor Glencairn Consulting Ltd, our runners will also receive their superb technical Team Beacon running vest straight to their door, so they can train proudly in their team colours. Fundraising resources, competitions, training runs and race day information is just a few taps away with our Brighton Half Marathon Team Beacon Facebook Group, where runners can ask questions and share training tips. All runners will be supported by our Challenge Events Fundraiser, Rosie, from the moment they sign up, to the moment they receive their personalised celebratory certificate in March 2018.
Plans are underway for an unmissable cheer squad, to make some noise for our Team Beacon runners on the course. If you, your friends or family would like to be part of the fun, email our Challenge Events Fundraiser at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be in touch with further information closer to race day.
The Sussex Beacon needs you!
Over 100,000 people live with HIV in the UK, a number which increases every day. With daily medication people living with HIV can lead normal lives, however many suffer with psychological effects and HIV-related illnesses, such as cancer and dementia. The complex combination of HIV and related illnesses require specialist treatment. Brighton has the 2nd highest HIV prevalence in the UK, and access to specialist care and support is vital. With a 10-bed inpatient unit, The Sussex Beacon provides 24 hour medical and psychological care to people struggling with a new diagnosis, starting new medication, recovering from HIV-related cancer treatment and dementia, requiring family services and end of life care. Most of all, it provides a safe, comforting place for patients in their time of need. You can help us continue to offer support to those who need it most.
Click here to find out more and join Team Beacon
We’re very excited to announce that we have a new sponsor for the race – The Grand Hotel Brighton will be our headline partner for the next three years.
Situated on Brighton’s famous seafront (and on our course route), The Grand is one of the most famous buildings in the city, loved by locals and visitors alike. Built in 1864, it’s a luxury Victorian hotel featuring a day spa and its own seafood restaurant, GB1. It is also a fabulous venue for meetings and conferences in the city, with 13 meeting spaces and holding gold accreditation from the Meetings Industry Association.
As our new headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton will be able to give back to the Brighton community in supporting our runners and their fundraising efforts.
Andrew Mosley, General Manager at The Grand Brighton, says: “We are so excited to be the headline sponsor of The Brighton Half Marathon in 2018. As a business, it is so important that we give back to our local community and show support of fantastic and impactful local events such as the half marathon. It is such a popular race, enjoyed by so many residents of Brighton and beyond, and most importantly the funds raised each year make such a difference to so many people.”
The Brighton Half Marathon’s Race Director, Martin Harrigan, adds: “Our new partnership with The Grand is the culmination of a long-term working relationship and we are incredibly excited that they will be the new headline sponsor for the Brighton Half Marathon for the next three years.
“As a business, The Grand Brighton has a passion for running, and over the years they have shown their commitment to the city of Brighton & Hove and their support for community based events – values which we, as an event owned and delivered by a local charity, find incredibly important.
“For the race team, this partnership is a big vote of confidence in our plans for the race, and it provides a fantastic platform to enable us to continue to develop the event over the next three years.”
If you’re still to sign up to the 2018 race but haven’t quite got round to it, sign up soon as our early bird entry closes this bank holiday Monday (29th May). You can sign up here.
Entries to the Brighton Half Marathon 2018 are now open – sign up to get savings on one of the UK’s favourite half marathons!
Race day for 2018 will be on Sunday 25th February so add the date to your calendar.
For the next four weeks you can sign up for £35 affiliated (UK Athletics runners) and £37 unaffiilated, so be sure to take advantage of the early bird price.
The men’s elite race featured a nail-biting finish today as Jonathan Tipper from Kent AC closed in on the front pack in the final stretch, overtaking to storm to the finish line in a time of 1:08:37.
Stuart Hawkes was close behind in 1:08:43, while Neil Boniface from Horsham Joggers followed to claim third place.
Course record holder and four times winner Paul Martelletti unfortunately had to withdraw from the race following a last minute injury but he joined the commentary team to report on the elite race. Sussex runner Kevin Rojas, also a regular on the podium in previous years, also had to sadly withdraw his entry in the race, leaving the race an open field this morning.
In the women’s elite race, Eleanor Davis from Newquay Road Runners stole the show, taking home a course record in a time of 1:14:26, while Emily Proto from Arena 80 followed in a time of 1:21:27 and Sarah Hill took third place in 1:21:32.
Brand-new for 2017, this year’s event included a Wheelchair Race, with eight entrants from around the UK. Rob Smith took first place in the inaugural men’s race, in a time of 1:14:23, while Yasmin Somers came first in the women’s race in a time of 1:49:05.
Despite the best efforts of Storm Doris midweek, race village is starting to take shape down on Madeira Drive. With more high winds forecast today (before settling down again for tomorrow), for safety reasons we have decided to go for the option of providing a baggage area that is not covered.
Baggage will be in the same location as it usually is (at the bottom of Duke’s Mound), enclosed and secure, but we suggest that you bring along a waterproof bag or bin liner just in case – and of course our normal advice remains on not carrying expensive personal items that might get lost around race village.
See you tomorrow!
To help you get set for race day – and recover afterwards – our brilliant physio partner Sundial Clinics are offering all VBHM 2017 runners a free 20 minute runner’s MOT and 20% off massage before and after Sunday’s race.
Simply show your race confirmation email, race number (or medal after the race) to take part in the offer.
Sundial Clinics have two chiropractic and physiotherapy clinics in Brighton – one on Queen’s Road close to Brighton train station and one in Kemp Town – plus one clinic in London. Find out more and book a treatment here.
Don’t forget too that you can book a massage on race day. Drop-ins will be available, subject to availability, and you can book ahead (up to Friday 24th Feb) in our Shop.
This race day, look out for the brilliant entertainment from our partner The Grand Brighton‘s Community Stage. Entertainment runs from 9.30am — 12pm in front of the hotel (which is close to miles 7 & 12 on the course – see map here). If you’re running the race you can’t miss the entertainment as you’ll run straight past, and it’s also an ideal place for any spectators. Here’s the line up:
9.30am – Introduction from Jennie Castell
9.45am – Traditional Charleston Dancing from Savoy Kicks
9.55am – Learn some moves with the Savoy Kicks with a Mini
10.15am – Bird Studios Stage School
10.40am – Popular music from Will Mavin
11am – Bird Studios Zumba Troupe / Street Dance Group
11.20am – Samba from Marta Scott Dance Company
11.50am – Finale performance from singer Jennie Castell
Please note that all entertainment is subject to weather conditions.
We’re very pleased to announce that Brighton local DJ Norman Cook – aka Fat Boy Slim – will be the official starter of the race this year.
Norman, one of the city’s most famous residents, will sound the starting claxon at 9am on race day to get the 13.1 mile race around the city underway.
A keen runner himself, Norman is very familiar with the 13.1 mile route, as he has run the race on numerous occasions. In 2016, Norman ran for the charity Young Epilepsy and this year he will once again run the race, after his official race starter duties have ended.
Norman commented: “As a keen runner, Brighton local and seasoned Brighton Half Marathoner, I’m hugely looking forward to starting the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon 2017. The race is renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and each and every year the crowd support throughout the route is just fantastic. The race really brings the city together. It’s great to see so many people – especially those new to running and those running for charities – taking on the challenge of 13.1 miles. Bring on 26th Feb!”
Our Race Director Martin commented: “We’re thrilled that Norman Cook will sound the starting claxon this year to get runners on their way around the city. He’s been a big supporter of the race for years, so it’s brilliant to have him waving runners on for their half marathon journey. We’ll make sure he conserves his energy though as he’ll be joining the crowds to run the race himself!”
Standard entries closed over the summer, but runners keen to enter can still sign up to run for charity. But you’ll need to be quick – charity places close on Sunday 29th January.