A bad hair day for Claire at the Brighton 10m
Brighton 10 mile report by Clarie Bissett
The first thing to say about this event is – note to self – read the small print….! I had assumed it was 10k at the time of agreeing to run this with my old school friend. The penny only dropped about a week before but having done my longest distance of 17 miles just 3 weeks before on the monopoly run I sort of felt prepared……….didn’t I???!! So there we have it without any real planning my first 10 mile event.
My journey started the day before when I crossed the water to Kent to stay with Jilli just outside Maidstone. Joined by another pal Sean we started planning for the event. My turn to drive. With parking reportedly a nightmare in Brighton and road closures for the event we hatched the cunning plan of driving to Lewes station and getting the 07.48 train into Brighton. According to google maps a choice of the most direct route taking 1 hour 25 or the longer faster route 1 hour 6 minutes.
At this point there was the dawning realisation that it would be a 06.15 departure meaning a 05.30 alarm – ouch.
So rudely awakened at 05.30 on Sunday morning by the alarm. Three of us scurrying around the house jostling for bathroom time and its dark and with rain falling like stair rods – deep joy. Remind me again why we are doing this…? Crawling back under the duvet seems so inviting at this point.
Somehow with all the faffing we didn’t get into the car until 06.30 – 15 mins behind schedule and would you believe it the car SATNAV gave us 3 completely different route options to our researched google maps. This meant our eta at Lewes train station was 1 minute after the train left – doh.
So off we went and though I say it myself some pretty damn impressive rallyesque driving in the dark and wet. Gradually as I navigated the A26 the eta for Lewes station on the SATNAV moved in the right direction and we screeched into Lewes with 12 minutes to spare. Disaster – the signs to the station disappeared and obviously having missed it we ended up in some awful 1 way system gradually getting further and further away from the station. Once we did manage to turn round the SATNAV kept wanting us to turn down ‘roads’ that were too narrow for cars – things at this point were getting somewhat tense in the car – if we didn’t make the 07.48 train the next one would mean a sprint to the start.
On our 2nd passing we spotted the ridiculously obscure entrance to the station carpark. With 5 minutes to the train Sean rushed to the ticket machine whilst Jilli fed the parking meter – which just kept spitting out every coin she put in it. Arghhh! £10 later it had finally accepted the £1.90 fee due. Car locked and at this point, with our luck so far, we weren’t surprised to find the platform we needed was the furthest away from the carpark. We hurtled onto the platform just as the train rolled in.
Deep breaths all round as we settled in the carriage and started to put our numbers on our running tops. By now it is daylight but still raining and dank.
We arrived at Brighton Station at 08.10 and thought we would avoid the portaloos at the race start by using the station toilets. Guess what 30p required and we had left all our change in the car – really! Sean went off to break into a note as I noticed a rather strange looking staff member beckoning me over – he kindly opened the barrier and I had a wee for free. (Sean had to pay for his – lol)
And as we exited the station we realised the rain had stopped and although really really really windy there was even a hint of sun behind the clouds. After a tense start to the day things were looking up….
We had a relaxed walk to the start on the sea front – even more windy – and put our possessions in the baggage drop tent which was well organised and easy with no queue.
All that was left to do was a warm up with 15 minutes to go until the start at 09.00.The start times were clearly marked according to estimated finishing times – if only I had thought about how long I expected it to take me! Being my first 10 miler I wasn’t entirely sure so just doubled my 45 minute 5 mile time and plonked myself in that box.
And then exactly on time we were off and I have to say for comedy value the start was a 9/10. Have I mentioned how windy it was…? It was like a snow storm of caps flying gracefully through the air as they became liberated from runners heads. Some were jumping trying to catch them, others bending down to try and retrieve them as they landed. As they did this the poor people behind them fell over the top of them – it was like watching runner dominoes. Needless to say it was a slow start along the promenade mainly because I was laughing so much but also having to avoid tripping over caps and fallen runners!
Now at the start I had been worried about the wind being against us on the way back to the finish. Turns out this was an unnecessary concern as it soon became apparent that the wind was just hammering in off the sea so would just side swipe us in both directions. At times it was so strong that it almost took your legs from under you. It almost meant at no point was it behind us to push us along – boo. But the good news was by this time the sun was out – hurray.
So the route had looked like a flat straight out and back on the race information – how deceiving was that?! It actually went out along the promenade and up a flyover type thing – in other words up hill! Then we turned to head back so wey hey things were going well until all of a sudden we turned back on ourselves at a lower level and continued running away from the finish!!! Psychologically I start to lose the plot – I am so much better with a circuit where I don’t have to retrace my steps. Finally we turn round and start heading back towards the finish but as I get closer I realise that just to add insult to injury you have to run past the finish by about a kilometre and then back round onto the main promenade to the finish. At last over the line in 1:38:20 feeling a bit wind battered and quite frankly as if I had been in a washing machine for that amount time. We can definitely say the conditions were not kind to me as I looked as if I had been electrocuted by the end with my hair sticking up at all angles!!!
Jilli was just coming back from injury so considering I walked / ran this event to support her I didn’t think this was too shabby.
Oh and one last thing – the medal – with orange featuring it was perfect. Love it!
Overall a well organised event that I would recommend to all.