Tara Betts & Kirsty Lack both took on Brighton Marathon - very well done to both of them and from what I hear some fabulous supporters along the course.
Kirsty has written up the race report:-
I always remember when I started running and had finished a parkrun, someone said to me ‘marathon soon’ and I was very much ‘no way’ as I wouldn’t be able to commit enough time to all the training required. Roll on a few years and I’ve been completing a half marathon a month as a personal challenge to myself. I then had the opportunity last year for a place in Brighton marathon which I decided to take up. I made myself a training plan which fitted around being a mum and working full-time and committed myself to it. I really enjoyed the training, even the long runs; there was just one day where I doubted myself but the lovely Rnts crew were there with support as always.
So Brighton weekend came. And it was AMAZING! We had all been so hyped up and excited in the weeks leading up to it. We had to collect race numbers the day before and the buzz in the air was brilliant. Up until we stepped into the tent for collection I’d felt absolutely fine but then the nerves kicked in a little but soon passed, it just didn’t seem real. We then dropped off my bag with what I wanted post-race in the bag drop area and looked at the merchandise. I didn’t want to jinx myself by buying a finisher top before the actual run so I had a look at what was on offer and made some selections which Paula and Clare would then get for me once I passed the halfway point. We also bumped into Hayley and Mat who were there for the 10k and also Ian which was really nice to see some familiar faces.
Race day! I’d slept awful the night before so was up earlier than planned and prepping myself for the day. Felt a bit nervous again on the park & ride bus but it soon passed thanks to Paula and Clare. The bus dropped us off and it was a short walk to Preston Park where the 10k and marathon started from. Paula and Clare had worked out where they were heading for spotting and supporting but I didn’t know so every time I saw them it was a lovely surprise. They left to get to their first spot and Hayley and Mat went down to the corrals for their race to start. The compere was talking about some of the runners and he spotted the Rnts top as I heard him read it out! Standing on my own was a bit weird as everyone else seemed to be in groups but then Ian found me so we started together.
Starting at Preston Park the first mile was a loop around that on a gradual incline and then we headed out into the city. Having all the crowds clapping and cheering was such a boost and I was trying to look both sides for Paula and Clare desperate not to miss them, especially as Paula had made me a poster! Even though I was running on my own, it wasn’t lonely. I was trying to spot people wearing leggings by the brand that I wear so we could boost each other and it was nice seeing people with their charity vests on, their reasons for running and some amazing costumes: batman, a rhino, Scooby Doo, the Gruffalo, a team from a hospital running together pushing a hospital bed, there was a man who ran it all backwards and we also spotted a barefoot runner too. I loved looking at the posters as well, some people had made generic ones which made me smile and there was so many personalised ones – you get a bit emotional reading them all. A few times the route doubles back on itself so you get to see runners in the faster groups and some of the runners who are behind you too. A couple of killer hills are thrown in for good measure but the hilly parts are mainly in the first half and a lovely flat last six miles to a glorious finish line. Such amazing views and luckily the wind had died down from the previous day and the sun came out – I am sporting a rosy glow today and some odd tan lines!
The crowd support was amazing, especially as I got to see Paula and Clare five times and Hayley and Mat came to support once they completed their 10k’s.
The hardest part of the course was in the dock area which had very little supporters (it’s the furthest point away from the finish line in the last six or so miles) and I was flagging a little. There was so many fuel stations and I made the most of them even though I was carrying all my drinks and snacks – I definitely needed a lot more drink than I had anticipated due to the heat.
The last four miles took us back along the seafront which was a mixture of angry stomping/power walking and running as my Garmin had a meltdown!! I was so angry but I think it helped me to just keep going. Seeing friends and everyone's posters, cheers of support and other runners encouraging each other just made the whole experience a fantastic one. Now to work on a few more longer runs during the day to get used to running in the heat...bring on the next one – I can’t wait!
Unofficial Results at the time of typing:-
Tara Betts - 03:49:19
Kirsty Lack - 05:45:54