Tell us a bit about yourself, how long have you been in Brighton and what do you like about living here?
Hi, my name’s Christian (he/him), I’m 35 years old and am currently training to become a Primary School teacher. I’m a south Londoner who moved down to Hove in June 2019. The big attraction to me was to be able to live by the sea within an eclectic, buzzing city that’s always got something new to explore, visit or offer. I love that the South Downs is just a short drive in the other direction, completing the city, seaside, and countryside triangle (it’s a thing).

How long have you been running, and what is it about running that you enjoy?
I’ve always loved sports, playing a variety (football, basketball, tennis) from a young age. I got into running to improve my mental health around 2009/10. Having barely ran 10k, I signed up for the 2011 Brighton Marathon about five months before the event. My love for running stemmed from this spur-of-the-moment decision and I’ve never looked back. When I run, I love to stick a playlist on and put the world to rights in my head. As well as the physical benefits involved, I really love the boost it provides my mental health also.

● What made you decide to join Frontrunners and how did you hear about the club?
Over the course of the three years, I’ve lived down here, I’ve slowly been introduced to new
friendships and it soon became quite evident that I was always about two degrees of separation from people in the club. They always spoke highly of the club and how much fun they have at both the training sessions and socials. I wanted to show my support* by signing the first 5km Rainbow Run to kick-start Pride weekend and from then I decided I should probably stop fighting the urge and join the club!! *Gave into peer pressure from Brett M and Grahame in the pub before a Years & Years concert!

● Have you run any races before? Have you signed up for any upcoming events and what are your goals?
I’ve completed three marathons: Brighton (2011, 2019) and London in 2014. The first two I really struggled with as I didn’t manage to achieve a 20-mile run in training due to injury (2011) and laziness (2014), but ran both regardless. I clocked in at 04:39 at my first Marathon, then shaved 10 mins off my time in London in 2014. After being inspired by a very good friend of mine who was running his first marathon, I decided to sign up again for the 2019 Brighton Marathon. This time around I really knuckled down with my training and managed to shave a whopping 31 minutes off my PB and finish in at 03:58.
The bug is back and I’ve signed up for a couple of 10k events to close 2022 and have the 2023 Brighton Half Marathon in February followed by the Brighton Marathon in April where I am hoping to achieve sub 03:45.

● How did the COVID-19 lockdowns affect you and your motivation to run?
I actually got into cycling over the COVID-19 lockdowns which helped keep my fitness up. I actually ran less during the lockdown and became very lazy!

● Why do you enjoy being a Frontrunner?
Having been to the Rainbow run, I saw the love and support the club gives to its members and it was really beautiful and encouraging to see. The welcome at my first training session was nothing short of incredible. I immediately was made to feel a part of the club, everyone was super friendly. It’s nice to feel part of a sports club with like-minded queer people. I especially love the fact there is no pressure to run the fastest or be the best (though the competitive side of me loves a challenge!), but that everyone has their own speed and pace they’re going. It’s very clear that the club’s ethos is very much about supporting each other no matter what.

You can find me posting all things running and gym related or sharing my latest tv show and movie recommendations on Instagram @thebaldedblue.