I didn’t run today. I was going to. The weather was perfect for once and I’ve grown to love those long Sunday morning runs, but this morning I had other plans. This morning was the Brighton Half Marathon and I wanted to check it out. Not just to support my friends and all of the other runners, but because maybe, just maybe, I might think about running it next year.
Despite the recent storms, the organisers had made a pretty good job of clearing the pebbles from the promenade, leaving a nice clear path for this morning’s runners.
After taking some pictures to test out my camera, I positioned myself by the beach huts somewhere between miles 11 and 12 and waited for the front runners to come in. And boy did they come in fast! The first twenty or so were looking really strong and I really had to be on the ball to get some pictures. But I did manage to get a few decent shots.
About one hour and three hundred or so photographs later, however, I ran out of pictures. But I was having so much fun that I decided to stay and cheer the rest of the runners on. There was only a smallish crowd of spectators at this section of the course so I joined in and clapped and cheered, shouting words of encouragement for those who had been running for close to two hours.
A lot of them looked pretty exhausted, but they were still smiling as they walked, jogged and paced themselves along the promenade to the finish line.
For many of these runners, this was their first Half Marathon. Some were running for friends or family, some for charities or good causes, and some were doing it just because they wanted to run. And I realised that, tired and exhausted as many of these later runners must have felt, I wanted to feel it too. Not just the exhaustion, but the determination and the exhilaration in knowing that they were about to achieve something amazing – their first half marathon!
Who knows who’ll be joining them next year!
There’s still a few more photographs to upload, but you can check them out by following the link here.