Keep on running!

In these uncertain and frustrating times of COVID-19, it can be difficult to stay motivated to run. Thankfully government guidelines still permit us to partake in one form of socially distanced exercise.

Here at Brighton and Hove Frontrunners we are continuing to run – albeit alone, but checking in with each other on social media. We also have training tips and our very own ‘selfie challenge’! There has never been a better time to put on your running shoes.

Check out our social media to find out more about how we are continuing to run safely.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As you are aware the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all major running events. Following England Athletics guidance we are cancelling all training and race meets for the time being.

Also, in light of guidance issued by the UK Government regarding public gatherings, the commitee has also taken the decision to cancel our bi-monthly social events until further notice.

The situation is changing rapidly so please see our social media feeds and website for any updates, and if you have any further questions about this please email us directly on

Safe, happy and healthy running,

Brighton and Hove Frontrunners Committee.

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!

Our Annual General Meeting (& social)

Our second Annual General Meeting (AGM) and social will be taking place on Wednesday 26th February at 20:00 at The Sussex Pub, Hove after our regular weekly club run.

At the AGM we will be reflecting on the last year, electing our new committee, reviewing our mission statement and goals and setting what we would like to see the club doing over the next 12 months.

We would love as many FrontRunners as possible to attend and give their feedback on what we can do as a club to support our members. As we will be electing our new committee, we would love members to also nominate themselves for committee positions. As an LGBTQ running club, we are particularly keen to receive nominations from female, trans, and non-binary members to ensure we remain representative of the LGBTQ running community and our membership.

Below are the available positions and the name of the current person if they are seeking re-election. All committee members have indicated they are happy to stand aside if someone new is interested in a particular role. Input is flexible, the committee currently meets every 2-3 months and no previous experience in committees/ clubs is required.  If you are interested in volunteering, our constitution on our website gives an outline of roles and/or feel free to speak to a member of the committee or a run leader on one of our club runs.

Committee – Current member if seeking re-nomination:

  • Co-chair – Paul H
  • Co-chair – no current nominations
  • Secretary – Richard PW
  • Treasurer – Jen O
  • Social Secretary – no current nominations
  • Race Secretary – John B
  • Welfare Secretary – Neil H
  • Communications & Networking Lead – Claire A
  • Communications & Networking Lead – James B

Join us in 2020!

We’ve now started back our regular runs for 2020. Join us on a Wednesday night for our club run or come to our monthly interval sessions.

Wednesday 15th January is our Beginners and Returners night. A regular run with our run leaders on hand to answer any questions or queries you may have. We will also be popping to the Sussex after the run for a social drink and a chat.

Monday 20th January is a return of our monthly interval training, adapted for all levels, interval training is based around meeting your current running goals – whatever that may be!

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!

Happy Birthday Frontrunners!

We are now officially one year old! This week marked our first year of the club and to celebrate we spent Sunday at the pub enjoying a roast (sadly the beach BBQ was not possible due to the weather). Here’s to the next year and beyond.

Frontrunners now members of ARC

We are pleased to announce that Brighton and Hove Frontrunners are now affiliated with the Association of Running Clubs. ARC is the fully democratic and accountable governing body for running clubs and groups. This is great news for us and will be helpful in giving us status and allowing us to continue to grow. If you have questions about what affiliation to ARC means please feel free to contact us for more information.

London Pride 10K race report- 10/08/19

With weather forecasters predicting carnage from coast to capital, it was with a degree of trepidation that BHFR made its first official jaunt to the Pride 10k organised by London Frontrunners.

This long standing 10k race (in its 16th year) brought together LGTB clubs from the UK and beyond, as well as local clubs and allies. The race is a mixture of competition and well, outfits, all this year in aid of the clubs charity, Micro Rainbow International, which works globally to provide micro-finance for LGBTQ businesses as well as encouraging social support.

Held in Victoria Park, Hackney (surprisingly large when you’re at one end and the race starts the other!) the course is a flat, three and a bit circuit which could easily accommodate the 1000 or so runners. Organisation was first class with plenty of volunteers for the hq and bag drop etc, and access to the club room with free showers.

With gale force winds forecast, it was always going to be more sparkle than speed. Having said that the rain stayed off, and with us south coast runners used to a hearty westerly, some solid times  were achieved and even the odd pb.

Damian M Brewer was first home in 43.43 and a fine age grade of 64.97%. Next home was Richard Pineles-West in around 47 minutes, he forgot his chip and number so his time was not officially recorded, and was nursing a good Friday night for most of the course, but none the less was great performance and helping getting Brighton and Hove Frontrunners noticed.  Neil Harrison finished in 54.28, closely followed by Steven Chantrey in 55.12, with John Brown under the hour 59.10 and Ian Morris-Shek in 62.25.

Race prizes were dominated by local clubs, with London FR perhaps unsurprisingly winning the team prize – although this was evidently the first time in a fair few years. There was strong representation from other clubs too, with LGTB club the Birmingham Swifts having 30 runners, and strong contingents from Manchester and Scotland. Paris, Sydney and Rio were also seen in town.

After the race, most headed to the excellent after party set in a large beer garden in the park. As well as prize-giving, there were some interesting insights in to the work of the charity in developing LGTB businesses in more challenging environments. It was also a great opportunity to socialise and forge links with other clubs.

Whilst BHFR may not have won the costume prize (that went to the sunflowers) or been the largest contingent, our purple tops stood out and definitely got the thumbs up. I know many have  attended this race previously in different guises (and costumes), but as BHFR we were the new kids in town and all were very keen to welcome us to the FR fold. Organisers made a particular point of giving us a mention on mic’s and a plug in media which was very much appreciated.

Overall a great day, much more than just a 10k and certainly worth the effort. Another one for the diary next year!

(Race report written by John Brown)