Tell us a bit about yourself, how long have you been in Brighton and what do you like about living here?

Hi, I’m Brett and I moved to Brighton (Hove Actually) in April 2018. Travelling down from Essex at weekends to be with my then partner, I fell in love with Brighton’s diverse landscapes where it seemed living here you could have it all, the coast, the city and the Downs. I decided to leave my job, sell my home and move here to readdress my work/ life balance. I am 46 this year and work as a design consultant.

How long have you been running, and what is it about running that you enjoy?

I took up running around 8 years ago as a way to control my weight which had steadily increased after quitting smoking a few years previously. My first organised race was in 2015 the Royal Parks Half Marathon, and I have been addicted ever since. I love the freedom of running, no planning, no specialist equipment needed, just my legs, a good pair of running trainers and off I go. I often find that I use my time running as thinking time, working things out, mulling things over in my head or simply not thinking at all.

What made you decide to join Frontrunners and how did you hear about the club?

After Googling running clubs in Brighton and Hove I decided to join Frontrunners, although this was around the same time we went into lockdown back in April 2020, so my first experiences within the club were all virtual. Initially, I wanted to join a running club to help with my technique and performance, especially in long-distance races. The weekly sessions have made such a difference to my training with a variety of content and activities, which have already improved my performance and timings.

Have you run any races before? Have you signed up for any upcoming events and what are your goals?

I have run quite a few organised races from 5km – 42km including 6 marathons to date. I am currently working on my Abbott World Marathon Majors medal which is presented after completing all 6 marathon majors: London, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Boston. I have completed 3 and scheduled to run Chicago this October. I have also signed up for my first Ultra Marathon (50km) this June with 4 other members of the Frontrunners team, alongside Brighton Half, Worthing 10KM and Manchester Marathon so far….  

How have you managed to stay motivated during recent lockdowns and have you participated in any Frontrunners or other online challenges?

I am quite a motivated person but with multiple lockdowns throughout the year there have been times I have struggled to don my trainers and get out there, so to have the Frontrunners encouragement either in person or through virtual challenges has been vital to my continued training. I especially enjoyed the running bingo as I am a little competitive and this gave me a goal to aim for.  Also being able to buddy up with one other runner throughout has been great for trying different routes and getting to know fellow members.    

Why do you enjoy being a Frontrunner?

As a gay man it is important to me to be part of such a diverse and accepting group of runners, where everyone is welcome regardless of ability. There is so much support and encouragement offered within the group, and I have developed some true friendships. I also get to talk endlessly to others about running and running related topics without their eyes glazing over. Why wouldn’t I want to be part of Frontrunners?