Why I love running in Brighton

We’re very lucky here in Brighton. In the south we have a great expanse of sea to run next to, to the north the undulating trails of the South Downs. You can watch the sunset on the old pier as starling swirl round to land or dodge a tramp as he stumbles drunkenly out of a doorway. You can’t beat tramp dodging, adds a whole new dimension to running.

The weather in Brighton adds to the challenge, strong gusts slow you down and leave you ruddy in the face when you finally return home. It’s not unusual to see a pensioner float by in the wind like an abandoned balloon as you jog on down the seafront. In fact even the pensioners in Brighton lead an interesting life. I heard recently that in hospital some older patients are given ketamine as a pain killer! Ketamine. The horse tranquilliser that clubbers use to get high on! Next time I visit an elderly relative in hospital I’m leaving the grapes behind and taking them glow sticks. I can imagine it now…

“How’s things Nanny?”

“Banging!” [waves arms above head to the tune of Insomnia by Faithless]

You might even catch DJ Derek in Brighton, a 70 year old disc jockey who plays soul, ska and reggae.

Aside from OAPs that are closer to hip-hop than hip ops and more than the weather and the scenery it’s the people of Brighton that make running around it so interesting. Everyone is accepted in Brighton. You’ll run past people that anywhere else might be considered very odd but in Brighton are heartily welcome. You might get over-taken by the yearly “naked bike ride”. I saw a lady fall off once and get what can only be described as a “flap injury”. The rest of her was unhurt as her boobs had acted like fleshy airbags!

Stop for directions in Brighton and it wouldn’t surprise me if you got told, “I won’t tell you the way, but I will show you through the medium of interpretive dance…” The way people dress too would certainly raise an eyebrow elsewhere. In my first weekend in Brighton I saw a man who, from the waist up, was dressed like Shakespeare, high collar shirt, embroidered coat, the works. From the waist down he had bright yellow leggings and Dr Marten boots. I was totally taken aback. Now I hardly notice it as I run past people in multi-coloured garb. Mind you, I’m hardly one to talk on fashion….

Yes, that’s me in the middle. “Carb loading” with Belgium beer.

Brighton is growing as a running venue. The half marathon is hugely popular while this years marathon had 9000 competitors and in 2013 is estimated to have double that!

So if you like running, come to Brighton, run along the sea front and the cliff tops, dodge a tramp and then party with a pensioner!

 

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Crazy Coomba and Swino Hynes are running an Ultra!

2 of my lovely friends, Amie (Swino) and Andy (Coomba) are running a double marathon of 52 miles to raise money for the Rockinghorse Foundation. Considering they got lost on their last Ultra and ran an extra 4 miles this one could be closer to 60!

Andy, who is a Physio too and soon to be RunningPhysio’s first guest blogger has given me a little summary;

My fiancée Amie and I have been training for probably around a year now. It started with the 2011 Brighton Marathon, after which we decided to try and go a bit further. Since that time we have completed 1 more marathon and 2, 30 mile ultra marathons. There have been some hard times (running up and down the same 2.5 mile stretch of road for 3 1/2 hours in 30 degree heat in the south of France is one I would care to forget) and some sacrifices (giving up whole weekends to run 35-40 miles). But lets not get carried away, we entered this off our own backs and for the most part enjoy running, as one of my friends has commented I always seem to be smiling in every photo taken of me on race day. The 50 mile event means a lot to me and Amie, it is a challenge that is going to take a hell of a lot of hard work, some pain (probably a lot) and mental determination (a famous ultra runner said “the first 25 miles are a physical challenge the second 25 miles are a mental challenge”). Many of the children helped by the paediatric teams and the rocking horse foundation will endure a lot more than Amie and I will on 1st September, and they trump us on determination and we feel that showing our support is the least we can do.

We like to support charities on RunningPhysio so we ask if you could help Andy and Amie in raising money for a worthy cause. Any donation will be greatly appreciated.


You can donate online here.

Thanks!











 

Adventures with running injuries…a bit of fun!

A little later…

At the hospital….

 

Trying to convince his wife he’s ok to run again after special “leg fixy” surgery…

 

I hope no one find this series offensive, feel free to comment if you do! It’s not poking fun at people with genuine injuries but at us runners and our desperation to keep going no matter what!