So, Saturday's weather was well and truly a thing of the past on Sunday! I joined the throng on the seafront with nerves and excitement bubbling in equal measure. The wind was squalling and there was occasional sheeting rain. It was freezing cold. But the mood was generally a good one, as of thousands of people suffering together for a good cause.

The camaraderie continued as we lined up to start. This coincided nicely with the onset of a sustained shower of wintry rain. We were packed in really tightly - I'm sure there are some people I should have introduced myself to formally - and couldn't wait to get started. And then we were off.

As ever, it took a couple of miles to get going properly. The first section, through the town centre, included numerous stop-start moments as the roads narrowed, or we encountered parked cars (?!?!?!?!?!) or huge puddles that had to be sidestepped, if you were lucky!

After that, as we hit the seafront, there was space to overtake those who were going slowly and settle down to a comfortable pace. The change of route (due to a safety worry over the undercliff walk area) worked out nicely, with the uphill and downhill sections of the revised route much less severe than the original plan. And then came the long, hard slog up and down the seafront.

Despite the conditions, I was feeling pretty good for the first 5 miles and pushed on a bit in miles 5 and 6. Good job too, since I wasn't really moving all that quickly. At 8 miles the woolly hat came off (it weighed about 5 pounds by that point) and the rain came down again. It was really heavy and unpleasant and did not stop from that point on. I put in another spurt for miles 9 and 10, but perhaps did a bit too much as mile 11 and the last 2 miles were really, really painful.

I know I said I wasn't trying to compete with my previous finish time of 1 hour 51, but I was still a bit disappointed when I eventually finished in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds. I've checked some colleagues' finish times, though and one person in particular was also about 8 minutes outside his previous time, so I am now happy to blame it all on the conditions!

I have to be honest and say I really, really did not enjoy it at all. Huge thanks and admiration must go to the spectators - there seemed to be many more than last time, and they were certainly more vocal. It really does lift a runner's spirits to get the cheers and encouragement, so thank you for coming out in such appalling weather. I'm proud of myself for finishing too, and of all my fellow runners, especially my friends and colleagues, a couple of whom stuck it out right to the end, which was eventually almost 2 and a half hours after the start!

And a lesson to be learned, both for future half marathons and for Brighton's first full marathon in April: Marine Parade is a nice, wide street and ALL OF IT MUST BE USED AS A FINISH LINE. At the very least, people removing timing chips from people's feet should be spread across the full width of the road, a good distance from the finish line. The queues to get across the finish line (and thus stop the timer) were ridiculous and I'm sure some people will have wildly inaccurate times in the official records. Mine, for instance, is 2 hours 13 seconds. Not too big a disparity, but hugely annoying as I know for a fact that I broke the 2-hour barrier. This can't be allowed to happen on Marathon day, when I suspect there will be many more starters (and, I hope, finishers)!

So, I'm really glad it's over with. And I must remember, that's not it! I have a marathon to continue training for. At the mercy of the elements again, I'll try to keep on keeping on.