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On your marks for this year's Brighton Half Marathon
1:30pm Saturday 15th February 2014 in News
The Brighton Half Marathon, organised by The Sussex Beacon, has become increasingly popular over the last few years, with public places for the 2014 race selling out in record time by the end of last June.
After picking up the award for Most Improved Race at the Runner’s World Personal Best Awards 2013, the Brighton Half Marathon is going from strength to strength and thousands of runners will bear the brunt of the weather as they take to the streets of Brighton and Hove.
As the first major half marathon of the calendar year, it is seen as an ideal training ground for all spring marathons and attracts a mix of first-time half marathon runners, club runners, personal- best chasers and charity runners.
Paul Bond, Brighton Half Marathon event manager, said: “The 24th Brighton Half Marathon will be the biggest and best yet.
“The race has grown considerably over the past few years, with places for the 2014 race sold out in record time.
“The race is a firm fixture in the running calendar and a large number of new runners choose Brighton as their first half marathon due to the beautiful seafront route and iconic city location.
“It is a very popular race with club runners and the perfect training race for all spring marathons.
“We are looking forward to delivering a great race on Sunday and wish all the runners the best of luck.”
Arelatively newfeature of the event is the Brighton Half Marathon Corporate Challenge, which is returning for a third year as part of the main race.
It was introduced as a team event to assist companies and organisations to not only build teamwork in the workplace but also to promote health and fitness, and its popularity has seen it become a mainstay.
The challenge gives runners the chance to run on behalf of their company or organisation, and the Corporate Challenge Trophy will be presented to the group that has the lowest aggregate time of their first three runners.
The Youth Races will also take place again, and all 500 places have been snapped up by young runners of all levels and abilities.
Starting and finishing on Madeira Drive, the Youth Races go past the Brighton Wheel, Sea Life Brighton and Brighton Pier before looping at the Thistle Hotel on King’s Road and heading back towards the finish line. The runners, aged between seven and 17, will get their starting orders at 9.15 am.
Brighton Half Marathon is organised by The Sussex Beacon HIV charity. It supports men, women and families affected by HIV to improve health, reduce stigma and prevent premature death.
Other charity partners include Scope (National Charity Partner) alongside WaterAid (International Charity Partner) and Rise (Local Charity Partner).
Entry is closed, but anyone wishing to show support for the event can do so by lining the streets of Brighton and Hove alongside thousands more well-wishers on Sunday morning to cheer on the runners in their half marathon challenge.
The best places to watch the runners include Marine Parade and Hove Lawns, where spectators can watch the runners going past twice.
The Brighton Half Marathon has secured the support of a range of high profile sponsors and partners including
ASICS, Runners Need, Lucozade Sport, TomTom, Seattle Hotel, Studio57 Clinic, Visit Brighton and Brighton and Hove City Council.
The Brighton Half Marathon starts and finishes on Madeira Drive, where the race village and charity village are also located.
The main race starts at 9:00 am, followed by the start of the Youth Races at 9:15 am.
Both winners from the 2013 race, Paul Martelletti and Emma Macready (Worthing and District Harriers), will
be lining up on the start line to defend their titles this year.
Other contenders for the winning title include last year’s runner up Tom Aldred (London Heathside), Paolo
Natali (Cambridge University AC), Andy Maud (Clapham Chasers), Darryl Hards (Worthing and District Harriers)
and two-time previous winner of the Brighton Half Marathon Patrick Davoren (Brighton Phoenix AC).
Former British marathon number one and Olympian Mark Steinle (Blackheath and Bromley) will be amongst the elite start field with a half marathon personal best of 62:23.
Last year’s female runner up, Sarah Hill of Farnham Runners, will be competing and other runners to keep an
eye out for are Kevin Rojas from Brighton and Hove AC and Darryl Hards from Worthing and District Harriers.
Starting on Madeira Drive at Brighton’s seafront, the race heads north past the Royal Pavilion towards St Peter’s Church.
Turning at Gloucester Place, runners head south back down Grand Parade to the Old Steine before turning left onto Marine Parade.
The race then heads out on the road towards Ovingdean, past the Royal and Lewes Crescent architecture.
Continuing on Marine Drive, the route carries on towardsBlind Veterans UK centre, where a sharp U-turn before Greenways Roundabout will bring runners back west towards Brighton.
Runners will look to use the panoramic views of the city to pick up the pace as they trot past the iconic blue railings on Marine Parade, past Palace Pier with West Pier on the horizon.
Once past the two piers, runners will head into Hove along Kings Road, with the cream Regency architecture on their right and the sea on their left.
After passing King Alfred Leisure Centre, the athletes will run to Hove Lagoon before turning left onto the seafront.
A two-mile run past the colourful beach huts of Hove will bring the runners back to the Peace Statue, where the race rejoins the road for the last dash past cheering crowds and on to the finish on Madeira Drive.
The race was started by the local running clubs until The Sussex Beacon took it over in 2004.
Times have changed since the beginning when the race used to start at the Marina car park with 200 runners.
Over the past 24 years the race has grown to more than 10,000 entrants and it is now one of the largest running events in the region.
The Brighton Half Marathon organisers work with the running clubs and have representatives from local clubs on their advisory group
THE SUSSEX BEACON
Brighton Half Marathon is organised by The Sussex Beacon, a local HIV charity working to improve health, reduce stigma and prevent premature death.
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they support men, women and families affected by HIV to manage the life-long condition through inpatient and outpatient services.
The Sussex Beacon’s ten-bed Inpatient Unit helps people recovering from serious HIV related illnesses, initiating new drug therapies and those who are struggling with some of the extreme side effects of antiretroviral drug regimes.
They provide emotional and health support along with physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
They also offer end of life care. The Sussex Beacon supports the ‘whole’ person’s health – physical and emotional.
The Brighton Half Marathon is the biggest fundraiser for the centre.