Race Report: Brighton Marathon


Evening Harriers,

As one drove through the South Downs on the morning of 7th April, a glimpse of sunshine promised what was to be a glorious day, as long as you’d brought your suncream.

Pushed for time, I was on a late dash to the start line accompanied by Mark Mellors. Its safe to say that was the closest I ever got to him. After the start gun went for the first Red Wave, Mark sped off into the distance as if this were a mere 5k parkrun making a sub-3 hour time look like an inevitability.

Blue and yellow shirts began to pop up as the runners winded their way through Brighton – Sue Cooper looking consistent, George and Kannan pacing themselves well. Then your author was left for dead by the steam locomotives of Charley Conner and Amelie Jones (some people had clearly heard that Paula Radcliffe was handing out medals at the finish line).

It was about three quarters of the way through when your author began to realise that marathons are actually bloody hard. This is where the support of travelling Harriers was most welcome. To Robin Barwick, Geoff Turner and Ali Farrell (to name a few) your support was truly heartening. A sighting of Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) outside his Brighton home was also a booster.

The last few miles were interesting to say the least – the well-meaning signs that said “one more parkrun to go” had a distinct lack of context for tired runners like myself. But at mile 26.2 all the bother was made worth it as Harriers crossed the finish line in whatever fashion they could muster. The fish and chips were absolutely well-deserved for all. Some of us were even privileged enough to appear on BBC SouthEast!

Well done to all Harriers who ran and those who came down to support and good luck to the Londoners this weekend!

Tom Chandler