Runners run towards the camera. In the background is the Brighton Palace Pier
Credit: Brighton Half Marathon

Thousands of runners turned out for the Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon at the weekend, in fresh conditions, running 13.1 miles around the city of Brighton. The event marks the 34th anniversary of the Brighton Half Marathon.

The event kicked off at 9am with the Youth Race on Hove Lawns, a dedicated 1-mile event for junior runners aged between 7-17. The Wheelchair race followed, starting on Madeira Drive at 9:27am, followed by the main race at 9:30am, started by rugby legend Gareth Thomas CBE. Gareth Thomas is one of the most iconic and respected figures in world rugby. He was the first Welsh player to reach 100 caps and captained both Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

The route took runners past the stunning seafront cliff tops of east Brighton, the Royal Pavilion, The Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel, the i360, the colourful beach huts of Hove seafront and the iconic Brighton Palace Pier. The field featured thousands of runners new to the half marathon distance, experienced half marathoners and elite runners, with thousands of spectators lining the route to cheer on the runners.

In the wheelchair race, Illias Zghoundi took first place in the men’s race with a time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 3 seconds, with the women’s race being won by Claudia Burrough who set a new course record finishing in 1 hour 5 minutes and 33 seconds.

In the men’s race, Marshall Smith took first place with a time of 1 hour, 7 minutes and 17 seconds; second place went to Matthew Merrick who came home in 1 hour 7 minutes and 28 seconds; third place went to Cal Mills who finished in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 29 seconds.

The women’s race was won by Cassie Thorp, who set a new course record, finishing in 1 hour, 15 minutes and 34 seconds, followed by Molly Smith in 1 hour 15 minutes and 49 seconds. Third place went to Henrietta Tarasewicz in 1 hour, 20 minutes and 42 seconds.

Alongside the elite field, thousands of charity runners took to the streets of the city, raising money for local charities such as the The Sussex Beacon and Rockinghorse, as well as national charities including Alzheimer’s Society and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Charity runners included Chloe Neilson-Hopkins from Bognor Regis who is running 40 races in her 40th year to raise money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and Naomi Garrick who ran the race dressed as a Dalmatian to raise money for International Animal Rescue.

The Brighton Half Marathon is the main fundraising event for The Sussex Beacon, a Brighton-based charity which provides a range of services for men, women and families living with or affected by HIV across Sussex. The event typically raises over £1 million for a wide range of charities large and small.

Matt Denby, Trustee at The Sussex Beacon said: “What a wonderful day, such an incredible atmosphere! Thank you to all the runners, our sponsors, the charities, the supporters, and the fantastic volunteers who make the event possible! See you all next year!”

Martin Harrigan, Race Director, Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon added: “Such a fantastic day, more finishers that ever before and amazing support all around the course. It is incredible to have had two course records smashed in the women’s wheelchair race and women’s race. Finally, we would like to say a massive thank you to all our volunteers who gave up their Sunday morning to support us, we really couldn’t do it without you!”