TWELVE THOUSAND lion-hearted runners pounded the streets in bright sunshine today in what turned out to be an unseasonably warm Brighton Half Marathon.

And thousands more turned out to cheer them on.

Despite fears that long-running work on the Mainline between Brighton and London and the resulting lack of trains would put people off, the city was packed.

Warm weather – temperatures reached 12C – beautiful blue skies and sunshine added to a carnival atmosphere on Madeira Drive as runners passed the finishing line.

Some were trying to achieve personal fitness goals, while many others were raising money for charity.

There were also plenty who just wanted to have fun.

Runners dressed as a giant banana and a clumsy T-Rex were among some of the eye-catching costumes.

The first man to cross the finishing line at Madeira Terrace was Paul Navesey, from Crawley Athletics.

He completed the distance in one hour, four minutes and 56 seconds.

The first woman to finish was Fiona de Mauny in one hour, 20 minutes and 26 seconds.

She was followed by Shoreham’s Emily Proto, a sports physiotherapist who finished 21 seconds behind Ms de Mauny.

Watching in the sunshine was Lizzie Walton, 23, of Brunswick Square, Hove, who said: “I came to support my twin brother, older brother and his girlfriend.

"Yesterday was also her 30th birthday so it’s a great day for her to celebrate it.

“It’s very motivational and lovely to see everyone coming together.

“Today is also a perfect day for a half marathon – it’s all about support family and friends.”

Lisa Funnell, 50, from Downsway in Southwick, was cheering on her daughter Maddie.

She said: “Maddie is raising money for a charity called Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre in Haywards Heath.

“She was motivated to support the centre because seven years ago, I had a brain tumour surgery.

“At one point when she was training she wanted to quit but then she told me, ‘I can’t quit, because the surgeons didn’t stop halfway and I must do something to support cancer care’.

"So far she has raised more than £500 on Just Giving.”

The event’s five main charity partners – Sussex Beacon, Alzheimer’s Society, Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, Rise and Macmillan – hope to make thousands from the day.

Runners also supported many other charities of their own choice.