A TOTAL of 13,000 runners took to the streets for the 27th Vitality Brighton half marathon yesterday.

People came to the city from all over the country for the race, which was started by Brighton DJ Norman Cook, aka Fat Boy Slim.

He was taking part in the event for the seventh time and was raising funds for the Young Epilepsy charity, based at Lingfield in


As he was about to officially declare the race open Fat Boy Slim was barracked by a small group of protestors looking down from the promenade along the seafront.

He is performing in Tel Aviv on March 12 and the campaigners were urging him to cancel the gig for political reasons.

One of the first major half-marathons in the running calendar, the race is now one of the most popular in the UK with thousands taking part to raise money for charity.

There was also a youth race and wheelchair event.

Worthing Hospital doctor Mia Heming, 24, from Hove was supporting Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

She said: “I have previously volunteered at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and I am delighted to be running for such a worthy cause.”

Sue Baker, 58, travelled from Northampton and she was supporting Macmillan Cancer Support.

She said: “Cancer has affected both my family and my friends. I power walk the whole 13.1 miles because I have a bad back.

“I completed this race last year for the first time and I felt ecstatic.

“I love coming to Brighton. It’s a great place.”

Max Brown, 27, from Bromley was running in aid of disability charity Scope UK.

He said: “Scope has been absolutely fantastic to my disabled nephew.

“They are brilliant and I want to raise around £1,500 for them.”

Headline charity this year was the under threat HIV support service The Sussex Beacon as well as a number of other good causes.

Jade Smith, events fundraiser for the dementia support and research charity Alzheimer’s Society, said the organisation had secured around 150 places.

She said: “The target is an amazing £47,000, which will make such a difference to the work we do.

“The money will be used very wisely as we continue our vital research work.”

Richard Morris, media manager for Albion in the Community – the charity part of the Albion – said there were around 20 running for AITC.

He said: “We are keen to make a difference to the

hundreds of people we

support and we rely so much on the kindness of volunteers.

“This is a fantastic event.”