There were 6,923 men and 4,150 women competing in the seventh annual Brighton Marathon started in Preston Park by local presenter and broadcaster, Zoe Ball, on Sunday morning (April 17). The men’s and women’s course records survived on a sunny morning on the Sussex coast as a cold Northerly breeze kept the runners at a comfortable temperature for endurance running.
The marathon is the culmination of a festival weekend of running that includes the Brighton Marathon Exhibition, the BM 10K, the Cancer Research Kids & Teens Mini-Mile races and the American Express Healthy Living Seminar. It all concludes in unique BM fashion at the Beach Village next to the finish line, where friends and families can join the runners in a huge chill-out zone equipped with deck chairs and a giant screen to watch the action.
Perfect pace-making put defending champion, Duncan Maiyo (Kenya), on course record pace at halfway but a tightening left hamstring hampered the winner, who was still delighted to improve his personal best to 2:09:51. The 2010 Commonwealth 10,000m champion, Grace Momwanyi (Kenya), overcame an even stronger women’s elite field to win her first marathon title (2:34:11) after racing through halfway in a blistering 1:14:09.
There was a record entry and an estimated 150,000 spectators to cheer on the leading local athletes, Mike Ellicock (M40 Lewes) - seventh in 2:38:32 - and Sarah Kingston (W40 Worthing), who was fourth in 3:01:38.
The BM 10K did result in a course record for Adam Hickey (Southend, 29:03) and an encouraging victory for Gemma Steel (Charnwood, 34:11) after recovering from the illness that kept her out of the World Half Marathon Championships.
There were 1,482 women but only 944 men finishers in the 10k - perhaps a sign of the times - and more than 2,500 youngsters had competed in less favourable weather conditions the previous day in the Kids & Teens Mini-Mile races.
Tom Naylor, Brighton Marathon race director said: “This has been a superb Brighton Marathon weekend. We had a personal best for defending champion Duncan Maiyo; a course record for Adam Hickey in the BM 10K and a record field as the Brighton and Hove public turned out in their thousands to cheer on all of our runners. Every one of them is a #BrightonHero”.
Full results and event details here