Lightning Strikes In Brighton Marathon
The UK's second largest marathon drew 18,000 runners to the Sussex coast for the ninth Brighton Marathon on Sunday (15 April). Despite the late arrival of mild Spring weather, lightning struck twice in the main event as both defending champions retained their titles.
The start was signalled by parkrun founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE as 150,000 spectators lined the route from Withdean Stadium to the seafront to cheer on race victors M40 Stuart Hawkes (Tipton Harriers, 2:22:32 PB) – five minutes faster than last year – and W35 Helen Davies (Ipswich Jaffa, 2:38:39) who lopped four minutes from her 2017 time.
Podium places were claimed by Dan Nash (Cardiff, 2:22:54) who led for 25 miles and local favourite Kevin Rojas (Brighton, 2:23:53) in the men's race and Sarah Webster (Isle of Man, 2:48:40) and Sara Bird (Ipswich Jaffa, 2:52:19) behind flying club-mate Helen Davies.
Improvements this year included an earlier start and minor course alterations to remove pinch points. Event director Tom Naylor said: “This has been the best Brighton Marathon Weekend yet. The amazing weather and atmosphere in Preston Park on Saturday with the Cancer Research UK ‘Kids and Teens’ Mini Miles set the tone for the weekend. Yet again, the races have been superb with lots of PBs, course records and amazing personal stories and the City of Brighton came out in force to support. We’re already looking forward to 2019.”
The supporting BM10K started before the marathon at 9:00am and enjoyed cooler conditions. Four men broke 30 minutes in the race: Luke Caldwell (Dorking, 29:24), Doug Musson (Notts, 29:25 PB), Adam Hickey (Southend, 29:30) and John Beattie (Newham, 29:44). Hickey retains the course record of 29:02 set in 2016.
The women's race was also a high quality event with seven athletes going sub-34 minutes, headed by GB internationals Charlotte Arter (Cardiff, 32:18 PB), Phoebe Law (Kingston, 33:12 PB), Faye Fullerton (Havering, 33:20) and W35 Charlene Thomas (Wakefield, 33:28 PB). Arter smashed Aly Dixon's 2014 course record of 32:35 en-route to victory by 54 seconds.
Entries will open later this month for next year's event (14 April, 2019) and full Brighton Marathon results are available via runABC South race listings
Image courtesy Brighton Marathon Weekend