Brighton Half

Having run this race in 2019, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2013, it is safe to say it is one of my favourites.
Of course, February in Brighton can mean unpredictable weather, but whether it’s a balmy 17C (2019) or howling gale-force winds (2020) there is always huge crowd support and a great atmosphere.

The race starts at the seafront and for around two-and-a-half miles you head gently uphill towards Ovingdean. It’s the only hill of a fairly flat and fast race, and this year the wind was behind us on the way up! You turn and run back down towards the town centre again, with lovely views out to sea the whole way.  Just before the five-mile marker you’re back near the start and head inland to run past the Pavilion. At six-and-a-half miles, you’re back on the seafront, this time heading west towards Hove, on the road. There are always loads of people supporting, often there are some performers outside the big seafront hotels and as you get closer to Hove, more people will be blasting music from their windows to cheer you around (which this year was definitely needed — did I mention the wind?). At Hove Lagoon (around the 10-mile point — just a parkrun to go) you turn and head back along the seafront, this time running along the promenade past all the pretty beach huts, with the i360 and piers in sight (and the wind behind).  The crowd support gets even better along here, and the final miles always seem to fly by.

Once you crossed the line, there were foil blankets, water (in recyclable cans), bananas, cereal bars and of course the all-important medal.

You are then spoilt for choice as to where to go to refuel after all that running. Even with the horrendous winds I enjoyed it and I am sure I will be back again!

– Maria Wicks