Friday, 17 February 2012

A feat for the feet – Brighton Half Marathon

This weekend 10,000 people will set off from Madeira Drive for the Brighton Half Marathon 2012. And I’m one of those donning my trainers to go for a run around the city on Sunday morning.

Now in its 22nd year, the Brighton Half Marathon is a popular fixture in the sporting calendar. Places for the 2012 event sold out in record time.

For many runners, the February date is perfect for gauging how well they are gearing up for full marathons taking place a few months later, such as the Brighton Marathon on April 15th.

For others, like me, thirteen miles is a very very long way.

I have to admit to be being daunted by the distance. I’d never run further than five miles before signing up for the Brighton Half and for various reasons (read poor excuses) I didn’t begin training in earnest until the New Year.

I slowly built up my miles, thanks to support from friends with true running credentials and a few sessions at Withdean track nights (where I consistently finished last).

According to numerous training plans I am sufficiently prepared to reach the finish line, despite not having run as far as 13 miles in one go. Let’s just say I expect to be at the back of the pack.

The route takes participants from the start line on Madeira Drive inland to the Level then to Ovingdean before turning round to head to Hove Lagoon for another U-turn back to the finish line near Brighton Pier. Runners are expected to take no more than three hours to complete the distance (gulp).

There is always a real sense of community spirit among the spectators lining the roads wishing the runners well and looking out for amusing costumes. Experienced runners say the encouragement from the watching crowds is truly magnificent and can help even the most exhausted to keep plodding on. This is probably why the Brighton Half Marathon was a finalist in the community event category of The Argus Achievement Awards 2011, a worthy accolade for a well organised sporting celebration.

I am still unsure what motivated me to attempt a sporting feat so far beyond my usual level of physical activity (my mum delights in telling me she thinks I’m mad to do it). Yet with just a few days to go I am really excited about being part of such a fantastic event in our fabulous city.

I wish good luck and much fun to everyone getting ready to take part, watch or help with organisation of the Brighton Half Marathon 2012. Fingers crossed for good weather and fast feet!

And finally, as it is now too late to sign up to run on Sunday, I thought I’d just quickly mention a couple of other chances to take to the roads in Brighton in the coming months…

Sunday March 25 - Sport Relief. Sign up for the Brighton mile to get active, raise cash and change lives.

Sunday April 15 - Brighton Marathon. There are still charitable places left for anyone wanting to tackle the full marathon experience in this Olympic year.

On your marks, get set, go!


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