Brighton Half Marathon 2020

Brighton Half Marathon was a wild and windy affair, but saw many of us from the club participate and achieve some fantastic times despite the weather! Congratulations to Richard, Damian, James, Graham, Sonia, Claire and Steven.

Frontrunner Graham was running for the Sussex Heart Charity, and kindly offered to write a race report on his experience:

“It was with some trepidation that I made my way down the start line of the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday 23rd February. The weather was pretty horrendous at the start of the day, and it wasn’t showing much signs of improvement. We would be facing gale force winds throughout the course, and this really was the overwhelming memory of everyone’s day. I was running with the Sussex Heart Charity and we were fortunate enough to have access to Yellowwave Clubhouse which was great for getting ready in the warm and dry.”

“After a few photos we made our way to the start line ready to go at 9:30am, and thankfully the rain had stayed away. I was very impressed with the organisation of this event, and it was great to be part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations. Although we had no proper start line (due to the strong wind deeming it unsafe!), the marshals and volunteers did a great job of getting us ready and having two checkered flags to wave us off and show us the start/finish line. Off we went, and the first 3 miles were a breeze, and a strong one at that, as we were carried in the tailwind out to Roedean school, the turnaround point, from where we all suddenly had a hard slog to face to come back into the headwind, which was really hard work, but the crowd were with us and all the support at this point was just incredible and really helped!”

“At this point we turned inland for some respite and I realised I was making good time so I pushed on and found some speed where I could. It was a new course for me as we carried on further to The Level, which was great as it thinned out the runners and I could take advantage of some space to stretch out my legs. The respite was over soon after and next came the hardest part of the race, already 7 miles down and now 3 or so miles of strong headwind out to Hove Lagoon. At one point I thought I had stopped moving! Luckily two of my friends spectating were standing just in the right place where I needed them and they cheered me on giving me a huge boost. Around the lagoon and suddenly it was like running a completely different race. I hardly felt like I was running at all as that tailwind really just pushed me along the final 3 miles along the seafront and to the finish line. The crowd here had built up and were really cheering loudly which helped spur me on to the end and I finished strongly. So much so that I had hit my “stretch” target of 1:45, with 14 mins off my PB! I was elated.”

“Big thanks must go to all the volunteers and marshals out on the course, and to my fellow BH FrontRunners for the training miles and support I’ve been given – the group runs really do help get me out and going and I fully intend to keep this up now the race is run. It was great to catch up with everyone after the race for a drink (in my case two) at Charles St Tap and to share our windy experiences. Well done to everyone who ran and big thanks to Paul, John and Yusuf for their support too on race day. “

Couch to 5K – Susannah’s journey

We hear from Susannah, who joined B&H FrontRunners and trained to run 5k in a fun and inclusive environment.

The friendly, supportive and fun FrontRunners Couch to 5k amazingly turned me from just about being able to run for a bus to being able to run 5k! I wanted to run to get a bit fitter, having never run in my adult life I did some “run-some-walk-some” park-runs with a friend but wasn’t able to get to running the whole 5k alone. Another friend joined the FrontRunners and told me about the Couch to 5k programme.

My run leader was very friendly and relaxed which really helped because I felt nervous especially at the first session. Session 2 I was scared of running for a whole 2 minutes but the course leader stuck with me. The big turning points for me were the jump to running 12 minutes without stopping and the realisation that I just needed to run at a slower pace. Once I had achieved a 12 minute run I felt much more confident, was getting just the support I needed at the Wednesday sessions and after a while I found myself enjoying my “home work” runs and even ran on holiday by a canal in Lancashire! (very flat which is always a bonus).

I was so amazed that I could run the whole 5k when it came to the end of the programme that I couldn’t help crying halfway round!

Brighton 10k – Race report

Written by Frontrunner – James Barron

Sunday 17th November saw several the Brighton and Hove Frontrunners participating and supporting the annual Brighton 10K. This iconic autumn 10km race has been held annually since 1984 and is a fast, flat course is ideal for runners of all levels and is held on traffic free roads. It is fully organised by the local Brighton and Hove Athletics club. As the Frontrunners participated in the race last year, we were very keen to run again so a good number of us signed up. The weather was on our side, with cool conditions, a light breeze and thankfully no rain clouds! Runners congregated on Madeira Drive from 8.30 and the bag drop, start area and signage made for a smooth and well organised experience as we arrived.

After dropping my bag, we had a quick chat with some of the London Frontrunners who had made the trip down from the capital to take part. After filing into our different starting pens, the gun fired at 9.30 and the runners headed out Westwards towards Hove.

The race was well planned and marshalled, and I made sure the volunteers got a thankful shout out as I ran past. The leading pack were fast experienced runners and some PBs were being sought. The race took us around the King Alfred Leisure centre and then back Eastwards towards the Pier, with beautiful views along the seafront taking in the Grand Hotel and the i360 tower. At around the half-way point we had a thankful shout out from Damian, John and Rosie who were supporting us with our now legendary Frontrunners flag!

As the race came back to the start area, came what, in my opinion is the hardest section of the race. We passed the start line again to continue and turn back on ourselves for the final 3K of the race. For myself this was the hardest section of the course, as you are running back out past the finish line, psychologically unprepared that you are only two-thirds of the way around. We were pushing hard trying to keep up the pace. The final turn and the last km was a challenging one, but it was as always made easier by the crowds lined up along the beach as the runners came home. Once we had all crossed the line, we were all a little surprised / shocked / tentatively amused to receive text messages with our results. We all had incorrect names and times! Luckily this was just a computer problem and our official results came through later in the day.

Paul Howard worked harder than ever before to secure a 10 seconds pb of 34.41. Richard Pineles-West got his second-best time ever, and fastest since joining frontrunners of 41.24, James Barron improved his Frontrunner best time to 43.16. Dean Sanders ran well with a 43.49 and Sonia improved her time to 47.11, hot on her heels with an absolute incredible improvement was Claire Alleguen with 47.23, proving those extra miles from marathon training have paid off. Andrew Smith clocked 56.27, and Ian Morris-Shek improved with 58.14, Steven Chantrey was back running dusting off his injury woes with 60.31, Glen Oswald McCready did massively well to finish in 77.35, and George Tester-Allen was suffering with injury and still managed 76.34.

Overall it was a great day for the club and the times above were celebrated with a slap-up brunch in Charles Street bar, along with some of the London Frontrunners who came to join us. We are looking forward to running again next year – early bird entries open soon so make sure you get in and reserve your place early!