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!
As part of the Trans Pride celebrations last weekend, the festival held their first fun run on Sunday 21st July. Some of our Frontrunners were proud to take part and join in the fun – a fantastic effort all round (especially given the night of celebrations on the Saturday night before!).
The event also marked the end of the Couch to 5K course run in conjunction with Trans Can sport, who are dedicated to transforming the wellbeing of trans people through physical activity. The course was run by one of our leaders in running fitness, George. Well done to George for leading and many congratulations to all of the graduates – hopefully this marks the start of a strong relationship with Trans Can sports and the fantastic work they do. We are hoping that we will also have some new Frontrunners joining us as a result.
To find out more about Trans Can sport you can visit their website here.
Wednesday saw a change from our usual gathering as 10 of us headed to Black Rock to take part in the annual Jog-Shop Weakest Link relay.
This innovative relay format sees teams of four battle it out around
an undulating 2.5k circuit with each member doing their own leg – then
the whole team completing a final circuit and finishing together.
With over a hundred teams competing, it was fantastic to see two BHFR teams as well as a mixed team which Kelly and Sonia joined.
Damian, James, Richard and Paul ran this in a team and came in 11th against some of the top running clubs in the region, and only 3 minutes off a podium place. Kelly and Sonia’s mixed team ran a strong group run to come in 36th whilst Steven, Neil, Ian and Claire also ran strong legs and came a creditable 74th. They and the mixed team also share the BHFR award for listening to the instructions and perfectly delivering that coordinated finish!
All agreed what a fantastic event it was, with an
inclusive format and great organisation. Whilst generally a fast
circuit, the ramps were surprisingly arduous and many reported faster
and more consistent running on the group leg.
Overall a great race and certainly one for the calendar, with a target of more BHFR teams and a top 10 place next time!
Check out some pictures of the event on the photos section of our Facebook group here.
Last week saw the start of our second couch to 5km group and our first new member’s night. Our beginner’s group runs to help people who have never ran before gain the confidence to run 5km over 8 weeks while our new member’s night is designed for established runners who want to give us a try and meet the committee for a drink in the pub afterwards.
There is still time to join our beginner’s group (sign ups will close this week) and catch up with the rest of the group. Check our beginners page.
As well as our regular runs on a Wednesday evening – we have a number of extra events for new and current FrontRunners over the next few weeks.
Wednesday 5th June at 7pm sees the start of our next Beginner’s Group, there are still spaces. Following feedback from our last Beginner’s Group – our session is now at a later time, and at the same time as our regular run, so you will get to meet current FrontRunners as well as new ones.
Wednesday 5th June is also our New Runners night – if you already can run 3km without stopping and been thinking about coming along but haven’t yet – our new member’s night is a chance to meet current FrontRunners in a more relaxed environment. We will also be heading out to the pub after our run, new runners are good to either run and pub, just run or just come meet us in the pub for a chat. We will be in the Better Half from 8pm – just come along and say hi.
On Saturday 22nd June we will be doing a social outing to see the Actually Gay Men’s Chorus of Showstoppers, featuring one of our own FrontRunners.
Finally our parkrun Tourism stop on Saturday 29th June sees us staying locally and visiting Hove Prom park run, which we are still yet to officially do as a parkrun tourism stop off.
You can check all our events on our Events page. Potential members can just turn up to any run or social to meet us and get to know us before making any decisions about joining us.
Our next Beginner’s Running Course is now open to sign up and will start on Wednesday 5th June at 7pm.
Our Beginner’s Course is a great way to try running, meet some new people, and build up your fitness and confidence to run 5km. The course lasts 8 weeks, taking place every Wednesday at a new later time of 7pm and will finish with a graduation run at Hove Promenade parkrun on the Saturday.
The course is free for members. Membership for Brighton & Hove FrontRunners costs £15 for the year. This means once the course is over you can carry on running with us until April 2020, making each run less than 30p each!
The beginners course takes place on Hove Prom, with free parking and free use of the changing facilities at King Alfred Leisure Centre.
Membership helps us to train more run leaders with England Athletics and helps support the clubs activities. We do offer reduce or waived fees for people where a lack finances are a barrier to fitness.
Still unsure if it’s for you? You can run up to three times with us for free before deciding if you want to become a member.
You can sign up for the beginners course and to become a member here.
Trans Pride Brighton & Hove is hosting its first ever fun run on Sunday 21st July 2019 to help raise funds to support Trans Pride and future events. The Fun Run is open to all trans, non-binary, intersex people, friends, family and allies.
You can also walk, jog, skip or wheel if you don’t fancy running.
Want to take park but worried about the distance? Brighton & Hove FrontRunners have teamed up with Trans Pride to provide a Trans Pride Couch 2 5km training programme. Starting in June, the programme will give you the confidence to take on the 5km on the 21st July. Training is included in your Fun Run entry fee. You can sign up for the couch to 5km by emailing Trans Pride at Couchto5km@TransPrideBrighton.org
Our next Monthly Monday meet will be on 29th April in Hove Park 7pm – 8.15pm.
Our Monthly Mondays are an intervals based session for runners of all abilities but with a focus on becoming quicker runners/ joggers. Following a warm up there will be some running drills & interval based running.
We move it round the city to provide maximum opportunity for people to attend. This month we will be meeting in Hove Park, there is free parking alongside the park. Monthly Mondays are open to anyone – even if you can’t normally join us for our club run on a Wednesday. Let us know on our Facebook Event page if you have any questions.
On the last Saturday of every month FrontRunners meet up at different Sussex parkrun location to try somewhere new and meet up for a coffee after, this month’s tourism parkrun will take place on Saturday 27th April at Tilgate parkrun in Crawley. Tilgate park is a lovely venue, taking in woodlands and a lake on the course.
We will be arranging car shares and meeting for coffee after in the Tilgate Forest Golf Cafe. Let us know if you can make it on our Facebook event page and message us if you would like a lift!
The weekend of the 13th and 14th April 2019 saw a festival of running descend on Brighton, with a whole range of different race lengths to suit all FrontRunners – who were also out in force over the weekend taking part.
The whole thing kicked off on Friday night, with the first Tug-o-Run, a friendly cheeky run pitching Brighton against Hove, as participants ran a 5km loop on Hove lawns in opposite directions and the best average time of all runners in a team being declared overall winners. Brighton and Hove FrontRunners opted to run for Hove – who, despite Brighton going on to claim the first three finishers – clocked up the best overall average time and were declared winners. BHFR Sonia also claimed first overall female, bagging herself a pair of trainers for doing so. Check out the little video the sponsors of the run put together to spot a few of our FrontRunners doing their thing.
Saturday saw our routine parkruns, with FrontRunners representing at most of the city’s courses, whilst our co-chair Paul took part in more competitive racing at outdoor track in London.
However, Sunday was the main event with 12,000 runners taking part in the annual closed road Brighton Marathon. Three of our very own FrontRunners were taking part, from a first timer to a seasoned Brighton marathon runner, with the BHFR cheer-squad out with our rainbow flag cheering everyone on the route. We will soon have a race report up and pictures from those taking part, but congratulations to all those who completed the 26.2 miles in nice but very windy conditions!
At BHFR we are about supporting runners in whatever type of running they want to take part in, whether it is a friendly 5km parkrun, competitive road or track racing, or just getting out and challenging themselves on a marathon and raising money for charity in the process. If you were inspired by last weekend’s events come to one of our sessions to find out a bit more about who we are and what we do.