The start line is not a nice place to be.
Having arrived at the start of the Brighton marathon 2015, covering the 17 week training plan, raised my sponsorship and wearing the colourful running vest my charity had provided, the only comfort available to see out the nerves till the gun went off was a number of porta loos, a DJ creating an atmosphere and a strong smell of muscle rub creams mixed with nervous trumping from the other runners. If you don’t have any company with you the anxiety is worse. This was my very first marathon and little did I know that two years later I would be well on the way to running 100 of them (some ultra distance) with two twin boys to also add a different type of challenge.
This “blog” for me will make my memoirs as I journey through the experience of both my running achievements and my Twins. Both challenging in different ways.
Looking back two years ago my memories of Brighton 2015 are still very clear. I am a bit OCD and get totally lost in anything I take a massive interest in. A work colleague and I had entered the marathon off the back of office banter – nothing more. I was three stone heavier than my marathon weight and we had 30ish weeks till race day. I trained every day and pretty much all day. If I wasn’t running I was dieting, studying nutrition and running guides. All I talked about was marathon and back in those days it was exciting to the family and friends. Now when I have a marathon on the only thing that gets talked about is what time I will be finished and what needs to go in the shopping trolley when I take the boys round the supermarket in the afternoon so my wife can have a well-deserved, long overdue break. But for the purpose of this entry I am still 1.5yrs off fatherhood, not sleep deprived and raring to go.
Brighton marathon is a great experience and a strong contender should anyone falling short of a London Marathon entry feel the need to run one. A great atmosphere and sea views with a whistle stop tour round the town in the early miles. With all the big marathons the drama starts to unfold in the 20+ miles. At Brighton this happens to be an industrial estate where the crowds are scarce and the smell is a tad fishy. I call this area the graveyard where you see runners wrapped in foil, vomit, the walking wounded and St Johns out in force. If you make it out the graveyard around mile 23 you have a clear view along the seafront to the finish line by the Brighton pier. For me over the finish line in 3:11.
Tips for Brighton:
If you can, nominate someone to collect your race pack for you and save you the headache
Park at Haywards Heath train station on race day and let the train take the strain to the Preston Park start line.
Endure the graveyard – if you’ve paced right you will not be a casualty.