Sunday 23rd February, Brighton – Nearly 8,000 runners turned out for The Grand Brighton Half Marathon this morning, despite the windy weather, running 13.1 miles around the beautiful city of Brighton. The event marks the 30th anniversary of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon, dubbed ‘the happiest half’ by runners and spectators alike.
The race klaxon was sounded at 9:30am by the original 1990 race winner, David Knight with Brighton’s favourite resident, Norman Cook, waving the runners off on their journey around the city’s sights. The race route includes the stunning seafront cliff tops of east Brighton, the Royal Pavilion, The Grand Brighton hotel, the i360, the colourful beach huts of Hove seafront and the iconic Brighton Palace Pier.
The race field featured hundreds of runners new to the half marathon distance, plus experienced half marathoners and runners training for a full Spring marathon. Thousands of spectators lined the route to cheer on the runners and crowds were entertained with music from The Sundaes and Alex Banks playing live at The Grand Brighton, headline sponsor of the race.
In the men’s race Brighton resident Kevin Moore took first place in an amazing time of 69 minutes and 5 seconds; second place went to Neil Boniface, who came home in 69 minutes and 17 seconds; third place went to four times race winner Paul Martelletti in 69 minutes and 40 seconds.
The women’s race was won by Phillipa Williams, who absolutely stormed home in an incredible 77 minutes and 55 seconds, followed by Heather Noone in 79 minutes and 53 seconds. Third place went to Maisie Trafford in 81 minutes and 08 seconds.
The Sussex Beacon Wheelchair Race also returned, with three entrants from the Coventry Godiva Harriers. First place went to Gary Cooper, who finished in 80 minutes and 49 seconds; Rob Smith came second in 92 minutes and 25 seconds. The female winner was local girl, Ellie Page who came home in 96 minutes and 39 seconds.
Alongside the elite field, thousands of charity runners took to the streets of the city, raising around one million pounds for over 35 charities, including local charities The Sussex Beacon and Chestnut Tree House, and national charities including Alzheimer’s Society and Macmillan.
The race is organised by 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.
Race director Martin Harrigan commented: “What a race we had today! We are deeply honoured that nearly 8,000 runners braved the high winds and stormy conditions to run The Grand Brighton Half Marathon this morning. So many inspiring people, running for fantastic causes. Thank you to all families, spectators and volunteers who came out today to make The Grand Brighton Half Marathon such an incredible event! We couldn’t be more grateful to you all.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to our headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton hotel and all of the other sponsors and charities who support this fantastic event.”
Andrew Mosley, general manager at main sponsor The Grand Brighton said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have been headline sponsors of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon for our third year. It’s an incredible sight to see so many runners come from far and wide for such a fantastic event supporting great causes. Your contributions to The Sussex Beacon and all of the other race partners is immensely valued, particularly on this year’s 30th anniversary celebration. The race village had an amazing atmosphere once again, and it was a real privilege to greet runners at the finish line. Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s race!”
Go to www.brightonhalfmarathon.com for more on the race.