Dave’s London marathon journey 2024

When the club announced that a place for the London marathon had been allocated to Brighton & Hove Front Runners and any members could put their name in a hat, I thought why not? I had already booked to run the Brighton marathon two weeks before and I had also booked a half Iron Man in May so I was focused on training for them at the beginning of the year.

The Christmas party approached and I was sipping my gin and tonic as Damo took the mic and announced the name for the London marathon next year representing the club is “Dave Farr”. I had a mixture of feelings all at once of excitement, anxiousness, fear and what am I going to do about the other events I’m booked into!

I soon was able to get my head around this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run London and I’m going to take this training seriously so postponed my other events. A week after finding I had a place in the London marathon I came down with the ‘100’ day cough they were calling and it put my training out by over 6 weeks as every time I started running I was coughing endlessly and my chest was so tight.

Mid-January I was back on track, increasing my short runs in the week to 3 times and adding a longer run at the weekend. This time round I added strength training into the programme as well at the gym.

As the weeks progressed I felt pleased with the progress and I started to ramp up the miles by running with individuals for the long runs between 15-20 miles. Also, attending the Sunday long runs and adding a few miles to suit the training plan helped massively. Having individuals and the club with the long runs helped keep on track with all the training and I couldn’t have done it by myself.

Marathon day arrives and nerves kick in, the crowds are massive and the runners come in their hundreds all for different causes. I felt proud to be running for the club wearing my bright purple top and name displayed. The first mile and the crowd are shouting names and the buzz is amazing.

I felt all the training had paid off and soaked up the crowd. At mile 11, I met my friend for a quick photo and a bottle of Lucozade to give me an energy kick. I got to Tower Bridge which was just over halfway and the noise from the crowds was huge, with cameras and photographers everywhere. This was such a boost at this point. At mile 15 and knee pain started which I had not had before I saw a friend at mile 18 who was a runner and stopped to see if she could give any advice – keep running, she said you’ll do it! Not sure about this advice but it was good to see a friendly face. With the knee pain not going away I slowed down dramatically and had to stop and stretch several times. Knowing that I was no longer not going to come under 4 hours as I had with previous marathons I was concentrating on that finish line. Coming up to the Mall I knew the end was in sight and I could see Buckingham Palace in sight, 200 metres and the VIP’s were all cheering in their boxes looking warm and cosy. London marathon done in 4 hours and 14 minutes.

You never know what is going to happen on the day with any run and I said to myself that I will enjoy the day and soak up the sights of London and the crowds. I certainly did and would recommend it to anyone so put your name in the club ballot for a place in 2025 and they will support you all the way!

Volunteering at mile 23.8 at Brighton Marathon.

BHFR had the opportunity to volunteer at the Brighton Marathon. Several months ago, Ernie, who does so much behind the scenes, acted as the point of contact with the organizers and managed to get us a spot of having a whole aid station to ourselves! Ernie was then on a mission to get the 30 volunteers needed so we could take over the station.

After much persuasion and cajoling, we had 30 “volunqueers” to have a station. We reported for duty at 9 am ish, and then started setting up our aid station. Banners were erected, barriers moved, and 13,000 ish cups filled (20 cups by 7 cups, three layers high, with hi5 drink). Some earlier confusion meant the concentration of drinks wasn’t quite right, so corrections were hastily made!

The wind really didn’t help, and there were concerns that the cups would blow off the tables and leave our runners parched late in the race.

The BHFR really worked well as a team, slick, with lots of giggles helped by the sunshine and endless supply of sweets, chocolate and other tasty delights!

Big rounds of applause to all our BHFR runners who in many cases got PBs in the marathon and 10k.

The post-event social at Bottom’s Rest was well received with many of the BHFR volunteering crew reunited with those who ran to reflect on the great day. We also met up with the Birmingham Swifts – a fellow 🏳️‍🌈 run club, a lovely bunch and it was nice to connect with another 🏳️‍🌈 club.

Fancy running next year? Early bird tickets are available…….

Tips for next year include bringing a drag queen and not filling up too many cups and getting the tablet concentrations confirmed by the station manager, also double shifts could work to increase engagement as it was a long but fun day.

Gay Games Mexico

3 of our members had a successful trip to Mexico for the 11th edition of the gay games.  they brought home 9 medals including 5 golds.  The games are held every 4 years and are open to all whatever your ability.  It’s also not just running/athletics there is an array of sports.  our members watched dancesport, swimming, volleyball and many other sports.  there were also many events and parties put on by the host city Guadalajara.  You also get to take part in the opening ceremony and walk through the stadium behind your national flag to the crowds.

Valencia, Spain is the host city in 2026. The exact dates are still being finalised but it is expected to be in June, so do keep that in mind for your summer holidays, there will be more sports than ever before and it would be wonderful to take over the streets of valencia with our purple and get an all Brighton and hove frontrunners relay team on the track.

If you can not wait that long there is a smaller version of the games packed into 3 days rather than a full week, next year it is in Vienna.  details below, July 17-20 2024.  club member Paul is planning on going so do liase if you are thinking of going too.

The gay games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that promotes acceptance of sexual diversity, featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (lgbt) athletes, artists and other individuals.


The purpose of The Federation of Gay Games, Inc. (the “Federation”) shall be to foster and augment the self-respect of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and all sexually fluid or gender-variant individuals (LGBT+) throughout the world and to promote respect and understanding from others, primarily by organising and administering the international quadrennial sport and cultural event known as the “Gay Games.”


South Downs Way 100 – Race report by Graham

Over the last couple of years, I’ve become increasingly involved and interested in the ultra community, and I’ve volunteered for Centurion Running’s SDW100 twice, meeting some fantastic people on the way. In the last of these events, I met a great bunch, who after hours of helping others persuaded me that I should have a go at trying an ultra marathon myself.

I gamely started the training and found myself enjoying it, and so I set myself the target of the Hundred Hills 50km, followed by the South Downs Way 50 mile, both of which I duly completed with a big smile on my face. With that in mind, I had a free place reserved for me in the 100-mile version (the perks of volunteering the previous year), and I thought to myself “Why not?” and decided I would continue the experience and see what my body can really do.

Roll on 10th June 2023, where myself and Claire duly found ourselves on the start line in Winchester’s Matterley Bowl, waiting to get going and suddenly feeling very nervous. The preparation involved just to get here had taken a lot of hard work so I was hoping I could do myself justice, and I promised myself I’d do everything possible to finish.  

We decided we would start together to help get us through the initial jitters, and after setting off I found I was starting to relax into the experience and enjoying it. It was going to be a very hot day, and realising this early established my game plan of going much slower early on than I had initially planned, in order to conserve energy for later. It turned out to be a wise move, as faster runners that had gone ahead early were already starting to tire, and by mile 40 almost a third of the race field had dropped out, citing overheating and sickness. I was feeling pretty good all things considered, and running with Claire for the first 50 miles helped us to take our minds on how our bodies were feeling, tired and scorched by the hot sun. We managed to sing and chat rubbish to each other most of the way which was perfect for us, perhaps less so for our fellow competitors! Lovely Gary came out earlier in the day to see us and cheer us which was so kind of him and it really lifted our spirits, as we were both starting to really struggle at this point. 

Arriving in Washington at mile 52 was a huge game changer, it was at this point we were allowed to meet with our team of pacers and crew, who had very kindly agreed to give up their weekends (and sleep!) to help us through the second half of this gruelling adventure. We had a fantastic team of Andy and Yusuf, John and Sunny as our vehicle crews, helping with nutrition, water and any kit changes we needed, with Marc, Dave, Scott, Brett and Sonia being our wonderful pacers, keeping us motivated and moving, and opening all the gates. 

After a longer stop in Washington to eat and change kit, we were on the move, and with the sun setting we were feeling a lot more comfortable and moved along at a good pace, enjoying the stunning views in the sunset, and bumping into Rob at the top of Worthing (thanks Rob!), until Devils Dyke where night fell and it was time for head torches, warmer clothes and a shift change for the pacers. At this point, I was starting to hallucinate and thought I was seeing things and becoming afraid of sheep (that had no interest in us of course), but Brett did a super job of putting me right and keeping us moving. We were having a fantastic night though, it was warm with little wind and the most beautiful moon was watching us. At mile 76 in Housedean I devoured a Pasta pot I’d had dropped there which was honestly the most delicious thing ever at the time, and this gave me the push I needed to get to Southease at mile 82 where my friends were waiting at the aid station with cups of tea and a chair – delightful. This got me up to the top of Firle where I met my crew for the last time and had a quick warm-up in a blanket and some food before I chose to continue on for the last section alone, so I could decide what pace I wanted to do based on how I felt. 

Getting through the night unscathed and seeing the sunrise gave me a new wave of optimism and it started to feel like I was really going to finish. This gave me a spurt of energy and I found myself able to run faster than I had all day. I was keen to get moving and make the most of the cooler temperatures, and I soon ticked off the remaining aid stations of Alfriston and Jevington, with the final ascent to do and then home.

I nearly took a tumble on the final descent into Eastbourne as I was by this point “sleeprunning” with my eyes fully closed at times. I had to pull myself together one last time and then did the final run to the athletics stadium, where Andy and Yusuf were waiting and I got to do my victory lap in front of the crowd, flying the LGBTQ+ progress flag, a moment of which I am incredibly proud. I crossed the line at 27:13:51 and received my finisher’s buckle and promptly collapsed. I was completely exhausted but happy.

It was an incredibly tough event, and I couldn’t have made it to the end without the incredible support from everyone in the Brighton & Hove Frontrunners, especially Claire, my incredible friend and our wonderful crew that got us through the night. Thank you all! 

Sonia’s London Marathon training

Another year, another London Marathon ‘sorry’ magazine – actually, not a magazine this time, just an email. An email with a broken hyperlink that achieved little more than delay my disappointment.

So when I heard there was a BHFR club space up for grabs (one of the many perks of EA affiliation) I put my name down and thought no more of it. It took me quite by surprise when my name was drawn from the hat at the Christmas do.

Up until Christmas my training had been strength-based – I’d gone all ‘CrossFit’. There were some token intervals thrown in for good measure but really, I wasn’t running much and this made running hard. My Strava monthly stats did not make good reading. Something had to change.

It didn’t, not in the way I’d hoped at least. I came down with a chesty cough that seemed to be going nowhere fast (much like me!!)

By mid-January, I was bored and starting to panic about training, so I went out on some short no-thrill jogs. This seemed to do the trick – I felt much better being out running again.

I then joined the Sunday club run group and started upping my distance. After a month of weekly long runs, running felt easier again.

By the end of February, I was doing weekly back-to-back long runs. It’s now March and long runs are anything up to marathon distance and nearly always hilly trails. But most importantly they are run at a relaxed conversational pace.

I’ve run all my long runs with friends from the club. I couldn’t imagine doing the training without them. I’m SO excited about taking part in the London Marathon but really, it’s been training with friends that I’ve loved the most. There are some truly amazing people at the club and I feel privileged to be a part of it. 

– Sonia 

East Sussex Cross Country League

The time to celebrate has come! For the first time, Brighton and Hove Frontrunners have competed in the East Sussex Cross Country League at different locations across Sussex.

After competing in 6 drizzling, hailing, sunny, frozen and torrential rain races for the past 6 months, our runners have come an impressive joint 12 as a team. Congratulations to everyone who took part.

A special congratulations go to Paul Howard who came 1st male V40 overall and Robyn Lumas for just missing the podium by coming 4th senior women overall. An amazing achievement for both.

This year may be over but we will definitely be back next year.

Glasgow Outrun 2022 trip!

Is there any better way to spend the August Bank Holiday than visiting our Glasgow Friends? I think not! 

We said it, We planned it and We did it! Last weekend saw nine Brighton and Hove Front Runners take a trip up to Glasgow for a weekend of sightseeing, socializing and Running. Our first Official club trip (ever!) was the culmination of a number of strategic Whats App planning to come together for a weekend of fun for the Glasgow Front Runners Outrun 2022. 

Sponsored by LEAP Sports Scotland & Queens Cross Housing Association, The 5-mile timed race around the beautiful Kelvingrove Park saw members from various Front Runner clubs including Glasgow, London, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester join for the run. 

The annual race raised money for Time for Inclusive Education, Scotland’s LGBT Inclusive Education charity. They work with schools across the country to embed LGBT themes (such as history, rights, and equality) into ordinary teaching and learning. 

The weekend was packed full of events including a Welcome Party, Out Run & Bake Sale, Front Runner Dinner, Front Runner Ceilidh, Sunday Club Run, Sunday Brunch and even Bingo & Karaoke. 

The race itself took place on Saturday morning under the beautiful and very welcome Scottish sunshine. Collecting Bibs in Kelvingrove Park the race commenced with a welcome from the Glasgow Front Runner Committee and a hilarious opening act from MISS BELLA HOUSTON followed by a vigorous warm-up with Kelly and a Bagpipe procession to the starting line. 

The 8-mile race started off fairly flat under the very leafy path to the cheers of various bystanders. As the race continued so did the incline which saw the path head steeply to the top of the park where runners (approx. 300) were rewarded with a Drumming Band and some sweeping views across the tree tops across to see the spire of Glasgow University. What goes up must come down and just as runners caught their breath at the top we headed down to run alongside some incredibly lush forestry.  A very welcome site for us southerners to see such greenery, it was like running through the valley of the Elven city, Rivendell, from Lord of the Rings in full summer bloom. With increasing DPM (Dogs Per Mile) the run continued parallel alongside the crystal clear babbling River Kelvin and one could not help but feel very lucky to be running in such a beautiful place with every inhale of crisp fresh air. Under arches and through dense trees the race path crossed stone bridges, passed some ruins of a mill and crossed the river to turn back on the other side.  On return many runners were greeted with friendly smiles, ‘well done’, ‘keep going’ and ‘almost there’ shouts from fellow runners, passers-by and marshals on the way back. Going back of course meant facing the hill again which was no easy task. Especially for runners who did the hill session in Hove Park a couple of days before.  Once at the top it was a swift decline to the finish line where runners crossed the bridge arriving to many cheers and friendly faces across the finish line. This was followed by a welcome banana, water and the most glorious bake sale ever seen before.  Race Results are below. 

The rest of the weekend was spent sightseeing and having a splendid time in the sunshine that lasted all weekend. Many runners took part in the evenings festivities across the weekend as we all had a jolly time mixing and mingling with our Frontrunners friends and enjoying the trip away! I’m sure we’ll be back! 

Many thanks to all those that volunteered their time from the Glasgow Front Runners making the weekend’s events amazing.

-Brandon Pfeiffer 

Damian Brewer 00:35:35

Graham Baker 00:35:58

Brandon Pfeiffer 00:38:17

Alex Darsley 00:39:49

Tommy Doyle 00:39:49

Ernie Stoddart 00:40:03

Jason Fairley 00:41:23

Scott Oakley 00:41:47

Iain Gowers 00:49:56

Brighton and Hove Pride 2022

Wow wow wow!

The parade with Brighton Hove Frontrunners at Brighton pride was probably the most fun I have ever had with the club!

There was so much positive energy, love and joy, flowing everywhere from everyone. The sun was shining too!

I really enjoyed the walk over from the peace statue to the sports area of the parade, where all the local LGBT sports clubs were positioning themselves.

We were marching with our Out To Swim Brighton (OTSS) brothers, sisters and themsters. It was such a great place to be on the parade. They had music blaring and watching them in their little red speedos and swimsuits.

We were able to copy the dance carried out by OTSS (set to the song “Came here for love”, by Ella Eyre), so was a great spectacle for the crowds to see approximately 100 people all doing the same dance routine! Crowds were going wild!

We were also able to display our banner and it was great publicity for the club.

We also threw in some “runs” as part of the run which got the crowds going even further!

We were doing “sprints”, “slow-mo runs” and “snake runs” where we all stood in a line and snaked our way across the road!

Come join us next year! I can’t wait……