The Brighton Half Marathon 2013Held on Sunday 17 February, the Brighton Half Marathon attracted 7539 runners and an unexpected but sadly short-lived bout of decent weather. MR photographer Eddie Macdonald reports This is the third time I’ve taken part in the Brighton Half Marathon and it’s one of my favourite races because of the mostly flat course and the amazing atmosphere in Brighton. The race started promptly at 9am on Madeira Drive by the seafront and then we headed out through the streets and back out again towards Rottingdean. There’s a slight hill that goes on for a mile or two here, but other than that the race is mostly flat. It’s one of the busier races I’ve taken part in, even though I’ve done races where there have been more entrants, some parts of the course are quite narrow and it can be difficult to get past other runners. However, the atmosphere is electric. The local crowd support in Brighton is always amazing, with spectators on most parts of the course cheering you on, including local kids who were handy out jelly babies. On the way back from Rottingdean the course becomes very scenic, because you’re literally running parallel to the beach as you head back into the centre of Brighton, so the views of the sea are spectacular. Strangely, the weather was unbelievably warm. The sun shone, the temperature sizzled at around 9 degrees which was incredible for February. For the last stages of the race I actually felt too hot. Now I know how my wife felt when she ran the Brighton Marathon two years ago in blistering temperatures.
Fuel upThere were plenty of fuel stations where Lucozade bottles were on offer and several water stations, so at no point did I suffer from energy dips. I took an energy gel at mile 9 and pushed on ahead for the last four miles to try and finish inside two hours. I actually ran in 2:03 as I ran most of the race with my wife who was recuperating from a knee injury, so I can blame her for not being the fastest runner. On the last few miles of the race, you run along the seafront back towards the pier and the crowd support at that point is exceptional. This year there was a new grandstand by the finish line that really added to the atmosphere – a nice touch. Highlights for me were the views, the atmosphere, the support and the flat course. Low points were the lack of toilets and the narrow parts of the course making it difficult to overtake fellow runners. Also the goody bag was a bit light on goodies – a leaflet, Mars bar, a bag of crisps and a magazine that I didn’t want were the only items on offer at the end. I did like my medal though. The most amusing element of the race? The girl I saw hula hooping her way around the course. It must have taken her well over three hours but she looked like she was having the time of her life. I’ll be back next year.
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