Tell us a bit about yourself, how long have you been in Brighton and what do you like about living here?
I moved to Brighton in March 2021, coming from Oxfordshire. As well as being on the coast (my old hometown was about as far away from the sea as you can be in England), I love the amount of “stuff” there is in Brighton. Just about everything is right on your doorstep from theatre and shows to great food and drink. Being somewhere with more going on and a larger LGBTQ+ population were two of the big reasons for coming here.
How long have you been running, and what is it about running that you enjoy?
I first started running about 5 years ago with a charity 5k at Disneyland Paris. I just so happened to be on holiday there when it was happening so decided to sign up. The following year I did the 10k (half walked/half ran) and then I hung up my running shoes until just before lockdown when I decided to get back out there again in a bid to get healthier. I love the feeling of freedom running gives you. My favourite type of run is the one I do to catch a bus or train when I’m running late because there would have been times in my life I couldn’t have done that and would have missed out as a result. Running continues to open up the world around me and give me new experiences.
What made you decide to join Frontrunners and how did you hear about the club?
When I moved to Brighton I knew I would need to do things to meet people and I’ve always felt the best way to make friends is through common interests so I joined both Frontrunners and the Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus as soon as I could. I found Frontrunners through a Google search for LGBT running clubs in Brighton and emailed straight away.
Have you run any races before? Have you signed up for any upcoming events and what are your goals?
Prior to moving to Brighton the only organised runs I’d done were the ones at Disneyland Paris and a few Parkruns. Since moving here I completed Brighton Marathon! I’m doing the Red Run 10k for World Aids Day and have signed up for next year’s Brighton marathon. I’m also in the ballot for the London Marathon. I don’t really have any running goals, but I do want to beat my Marathon time next year. I know I have it in me.
How did the COVID-19 lockdowns affect you and your motivation to run?
It feels socially unacceptable to say, but I actually quite liked lockdown (at least the first one!) I’d been going through a lot of changes in my life before that and lockdown gave me time to really think about things and put them in perspective. I’d been going to the gym to lose weight and when lockdown hit I moved onto at home workouts and regular runs to fill the gap. I was lucky to be living somewhere rural at the time and could be in open fields within 5 minutes so running was a perfect way to blow away the cobwebs. I often replaced my morning commute with a run around the neighbourhood. Although I had been doing some running before that it was really lockdown that got me back out there properly.
Why do you enjoy being a Frontrunner?
I love how supportive of each other we are. Even as a new member I’ve never felt on the outside or like my relative lack of running experience excluded me. I’ve learnt so much as a Frontrunner and the group has pushed me to places I never thought I’d get. Being a Frontrunner has shown me what I’m capable of.