This is the third consecutive time I have done this race. It’s basically an out and back course along the promenade, not the most exciting course, but it’s a flat and potentially fast course. As a Brooks athlete it’s part of a weekend where all the Brooks folks get together (a sort of Brooks party) on the Saturday evening, which incorporates a competition amongst athletes, staff and retailers called the “lace race”. One basically has to lace up a Brooks Adrenaline shoe in the fastest time possible, this is one race I’m totally inept at, I’ve managed 39 seconds, which pales in comparison to the guy that won in just 12 seconds!
In the past I’ve arrived late on the Saturday after work, but on this occasion I booked Saturday off and travelled down on the Friday night with my girlfriend Hannah. We decided to make a weekend of it and for once I’d actually get to see more of Brighton than the train station and race route! After spending Friday night in a scabby Travelodge we had a look around Brighton, then went over to the luxurious Thistle hotel to meet the Brooks crew.
Off a light training period since Preston marathon, with weeks of 70, 70 and 82 miles I wasn’t expecting much as it’s a race I traditionally struggle with, in November I’m always trying to get back in form off autumn marathons. I decided that I would hold back at the start and not set off at sub 30 pace, but I reckoned I could possibly dip under 31:00. The conditions were perfect, one could be forgiven for thinking it was early spring, the sun was out and there was no wind at all. The race set off fast, as expected and for the first kilometre I was about 7th, but still did 2:58. The pace slowed after 10 minutes or so and I was able to work my way past a few runners and by halfway got to 3rd (15:05). I was about 15 seconds behind the leader and gradually closing up to Joe McAllister, who I overtook somewhere after 6 km. I was unable to close the gap on the leader, Paul Martelletti and Joe picked up his pace and was right on my shoulder. The gap gradually increased, but Joe and I were working well together. At 9km I could sense Joe increase the pace and I was struggling to respond, in the end Joe crossed the line a few seconds ahead and coming up fast behind me was Ian Rawlinson with an impressive run. Paul Martelletti won with 30:00, Joe McAllister did 30:25, followed by myself with 30:29 and Ian Rawlinson ran a pb with 30:32.
Overall I was happy with the result, last year I did 31:03 and was 4th, so it’s a considerable improvement. We had a dinner put on by Brooks afterwards before the long journey back up north. It was great to catch up with everyone and as always, I’m very grateful for the hospitality of Peter and Reina Alston and team who put this weekend together for all the Brooks athletes.