Ed Brunskill led the 26.2 contingent home in the third Brighton Marathon, seeming to relish the bright ‘n’ breezy conditions. His excellent time of 2:55:37 was a PB by 17 minutes and, unsurprisingly, he announced himself “very pleased” after having worried that he might gave gone off too quickly. He passed the halfway mark in 1:27, so ran more or less even splits, just slowing a little after 20 miles…”I tried to treat the last six like a training run.”
Next 26.2 man across the line was Luke McDonagh, a regular sub-three hours competitor, on this occasion an official 3:15 pacemaker. “I found it tough having to chop my stride,” he said. Luke is one of three club members also running London this coming Sunday when he will attempt to break the record of 3:09 for a runner dressed as a leprechaun! Enjoy the craic, Luke.
A greatly-improving Richard Goulder was able to declare his 3:17:22 a PB by half an hour and until 20 miles was even on 3:15 pace, though he modestly summed summed up afterwards “I suppose that was never going to happen.” Never say never, Richard!
Simon Gerrard and Mark Weight crossed the line within eight seconds of each other. However, chip times (which we take only for the marathon of the club championships) gave Simon 3:26:12 and Mark 3:31:58. “It’s a relief, everything came together,” was Simon’s verdict. Mark, observed in the later stages obviously fighting hard to maintain some fluency, explained afterwards: “My 12, 15 and 17 runs in training were not enough.”
Next in was our first lady, Zoe Ashcroft, a contender for best-turned-out in a lilac outfit. Zoe was another to gain a PB, knocking 13 minutes off her previous best with 3:41:08, digging in hard for the last six miles…”I thought I might be on course for 3:30 at mile 20.” Next time, Zoe!
For Pete Grecian (3:45:47) it was a 20th marathon completed…and number 21 is coming up in London. He found Brighton “tough and windy.” Greg Whiteman (3:57:55) is another club member up for the double. Good luck to the pair of them this Sunday! Splitting these two at Brighton was Natacha Goul-Wheeker, a new member this year who recorded a highly creditable debut marathon time of 3:54:27. Natacha, who is proud of French, Russian, German and Scottish ancestry, offered this after-run assessment: “Amazing! My aim was just not to stop running – and I didn’t!”
Two more first-timers were Grant Davison, “ecstatic” to creep under the four-hour mark at 3:59:48, and Andrea Bennett (4:34:05). who found the going tough between miles 20 and 23 out at “bleak and windy Shoreham” but nevertheless enjoyed the experience.
There was also, for those runners left standing, plus supporters including Kevin Stone, who deserves a special mention for driving the mini bus, the enjoyable experience of lunch and liquid refreshment afterwards.
Well done, one and all. As the offering on the back of the finishers’ T-shirt said: “There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.”
(Brighton Marathon report submitted by Peter Tozer)