Brighton Half Marathon Recap

Hey everyone! This weekend was almost a perfect weekend. Parkrun, cake, a race, seeing friends, good food and lots of chilling.

Netley Abbey Parkrun cricket pitch course

Saturday we went to Parkrun. It was a bit chilly, very windy but the rain held off…for a little bit. We were on the cricket pitch course which is very flat but very boring (5 laps!). Also a bit precarious underfoot at the moment as it’s quite wet and muddy. In the summer it’s excellent for PB potential. At the moment it’s better than the other more hilly course but you still need to mind your step a fair bit, especially round the corners!

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I decided just to see how I felt for this run. In the end one of my running friends from a different run club ran with me. At first I felt a bit pressured as he’s normally quite speedy (we used to be fairly evenly matched but since my injury I’m definitely slower than him) but it was nice as it pushed me harder. I didn’t want to hold him up too much! 2nd female with 22:30. I just couldn’t catch the first female!

Then we rushed home, did the housework, showered and headed out for…yep, afternoon tea – again!

Elsie's Valentine's afternoon tea That’s Ben’s “I hate you taking photos” face

It was, as always, lovely. Ham and mustard sandwiches, fruit scones (with ginger and rhubarb jam) and butterscotch banana cake with chocolate chips.

Elsie's afternoon tea 15.02 If you’re ever in Botley check out Elsie’s Tea Rooms – it’s lovely and very reasonably priced.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing after a drizzly walk with Alfie. And in bed fairly early because we had a delightful 5.20am start the next day.

Ah yes…I may not have mentioned this on the blog. I had a bit of a change of mind. Ben and me decided to do the Brighton Half (despite deciding against it a few weeks ago). We reasoned that if we survived the very tough 11 miler the weekend before without issue, 13 very flat miles would be OK. I promised myself I wouldn’t go faster than 8-8.30mins/mile and would see it as a training run – a lovely route with thousands of other people.

So we left at 6am. Ouch.Early start Brighton half On route to Brighton

I ate my porridge and drank a coffee as we drove over. It was about an hour and some to get there. We parked in the Park and Ride and then got the bus down to the race village.Pre Brighton half Feeling lovely and warm in the bus, but dreading standing the cold!

Through Twitter I managed to find someone to run with who was in a similar situation. Cathy (check her blog out HERE) kindly offered to run with me and we agreed it’d be way more fun to run together slowly than on our own!

image So we met up in our optimistically fast pen. The race was like no other half marathon I’ve ever done in that I was quite relaxed, didn’t care about pace and was able to chat someone the whole time.

The weather was fantastic. Cold, but clear, sunny and no wind! Perfect running conditions.

Brighton half marathon 2014

It was a fairly flat course (though there were some minor sneaky gradual inclines). The views were great of the seafront and surroundings. But I just found it a little dull running all the way up the seafront and then running all the way back.

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But the company was lovely. We chatted about races, running and life in general. It was great! We both were a bit miffed at not being anywhere near a PB but reflected it was for the best at the moment.

The pace felt very comfortable and chatting was easy so I feel in a good place about that 🙂 We had a little sprint finish (to pick off some females…just couldn’t help it) and then finished. 1:49:01 official time, 2,126th.

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Thank you Cathy!

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My knee was OK during the run. At times it felt slightly uncomfortable in that it felt tired. Not painful, nothing like before…just hard done by. But this was intermittent and nothing I’m worried about. No pain on finishing and afterwards either. Well, my whole body ached but that’s to be expected!

Ben got himself a cheeky PB as well, despite saying he was going to take it easy (1:52:30).

Brighton half finished

We then met up with some friends who live in Brighton for a lovely roast.

Post Brighton half roast I had roast venison with the largest Yorkshire pudding known to man and lots of veggies and roast potatoes. Food never tasted so good.

Then we headed home and I fell asleep in the car! I did lots of stretching, foam rolling and icing while just chilling on the sofa, before promptly heading to bed at 9pm shattered.

Brighton Half was a great race, definitely PB potential, well organised, beautiful scenery and great crowd support. The goodie bag not too shabby either.

Brighton Half Goodie BagBen picked up quite a few Lucozade drinks as he loves them

So that, my friends, is what a great weekend in my eyes looks like. I wish I could have smashed a PB out to make things perfect but I have a bigger goal in mind to jeopardise anything at the moment. Slowly, gradually, I’ll hopefully get there.

How was your weekend?

Did anyone run any races? Eat cake?

Has anyone done Brighton half/marathon before? Thoughts?

20 thoughts on “Brighton Half Marathon Recap

  1. Well done- mainly on sticking to your plan of keeping it a training run, it can be hard to do that once the actual race gets going.
    I did Brighton last year (and was meant to do it the year before too but that was when I was waiting for my op)- I really love Brighton anyway so I like an excuse to go there for the weekend- I thought the course was good as the sea always looks so pretty- although I found it tough towards the end last year as I wore too much and ended up being baking. I got a pb there although I beat it on a hilly course in the summer, who knows why.
    For the last 3 years it has been wonderful weather though- the year I couldn’t do it Andy did and so I watched him- it was sunny and bright then too.
    We did a 10K in Brighton in November and that was basically the second half of the half marathon route- so very flat- great pb potential there.
    This weekend I did two runs from home, no parkrun or races, but I did have some cake, and tomorrow I am meeting some friends for afternoon tea so today I need to make a cake for that.

    • Yes after mile two I got very hot. Thankfully I was wearing capris and I wasn’t wearing a jacket but I was still baked by the end. Not complaining though as it wasn’t windy! I did enjoy the race but I don’t think I’ll do it again – such an early start and I find such long stretches in a course quite mentally tough. I like more windy courses.

      • I think I wore a thick base layer and a jacket over the top, and so I was baking!
        I like it as we would travel down the day before so for us it is not an early start as we just have to walk from the hotel which makes a change from the usual races where we drive in the morning.

        • Yeah that would have probably been better. We could have stayed with the friends we met up with afterwards but there’s something about sleeping in your own bed and doing your own routine in the morning that helps with race nerves for me.

  2. Oh my gosh I feel like I missed so much!! 🙁 Well, I guess this is as good a post as any to catch up on 🙂

    What a great time! Good job and glad to hear your knee held out. Totally worth having to sit out on a few past races I bet for this one!

  3. I went for afternoon tea yesterday and thought of you!
    Well done on keeping your half marathon at an easy pace. It’s so difficult when you’re in a race to keep a sensible head on and not get swept away with the other runners. Well done to Ben on his PB as well!
    No races for me this weekend. I spent time at the gym on Saturday, 7 easy miles Sunday night then 10 easy miles Monday morning. Can’t believe London is only eight weeks away now!

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