Brighton Marathon, 15 April

Brighton Marathon, 15 April
Alex Portwine in a hurry to finish to give her husband assistance, achieves a massive PB of 3.43.

John Bennett completes his first of three marathons in consecutive weeks in 3.44. Next London followed by Milton Keynes Marathons.

Paul Stimpson with limited training finishes in 4.20 and kept Peter company as we waited for any remaining vegans to finish and visit our meeting point.
Approaching pacing group.
A further crowd following a pacing group.
Sam Wilson achieves 3:23:39, a massive PB of over 30mins.

Susie Munro in ‘red’ and dark glasses is one of our vegan contacts from the Brighton VegfestUK in March, finishes in 4.19. Paul Stimpson at halfway, late addition alongwith Susie to our list of runners.
The leaders at halfway, the winner finished in 2:12.

Arriving by train from London direction, the runners were still leaving Preston Park after 9.20am. The train deposited me at Hove station so I walked the short distance to the course in Church Street, the course passing the venue of Brighton VegfestUK held in March. Here the runners would be coming both ways which is similar throughout the course. I walked back along the seafront towards the finish and the eventual oncoming field of runners. At halfway I bumped into Dave Arnold and we decided to remain here to see most of the runners on the outward leg. Dave leaped onto a post like a monkey to get a better view.
A group of 6 or 7 Africans led the field by some margin and there was a gap of roughly a mile between about 12th & 13th. The leading two women were well up, not far behind the leading men. Eventually the runners came through regularly. Sam Wilson was our first vegan runner to pass wearing an Amnesty International vest, his chosen charity. Next to pass in the VRUK vest was Erik Seibold, a week after running the Northampton Marathon followed by Alex Portwine in the form of her life! John Bennett was running for the RNIB due to a family connection but still noticed John. It was easier to pick out Paul Stimpson wearing his VRUK vest. Taking photos of our runners on the run proved difficult close-up hence a few general photos.
Before we had seen most of the runners pass on their outward leg, the leaders had returned and finished in 2.12. I walked back along to the finish for 12 noon and beyond to see the well organised team ready to reward and care for the runners on their return. I took up position as the photographs indicate, between the t-shirt stalls and the St John’s Ambulance long marquee and attached the banner to the mesh fencing. There I remained until almost 3pm with still 100s of runners out on the course.  I was looking forward to a meal at the Aloka vegan cafe, my first since before 6am. Getting across the road from the seaward side took a long detour to the tunnel from the beach below and it was very congested. Paul Stimpson met me there via a different route to checkout a cafe selling if correct vegan pizza. Despite recovering from the marathon he was first to arrive! Dave Arnold also joined us with a friend.
Full results:
708th Sam Wilson 3.23.39
686th Erik Seibold 3.26.31 (personal time due to chip time missing)
1547 Alex Portwine 3.43.16 (PB by 37 mins?)
         John Bennett 3.44.52
3729 Christian Hearn 4.07.42 (vegan contact from Veg
festUK in March)
3970 Jonathan Wilkes 4.13.33
4659 Susie Munro 4.19.33 (also a vegan contact from VegfestUK)
4512 Paul Stimpson 4.20.40 
Well done to everyone on their achievement!
Other VRUK runners previously on the start list did not run due to illness / injury.
Peter Simpson