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Brighton 10k – Jim Laidlaw finds a slightly less gruelling way of being part of the big Brighton Marathon weekend

I entered Brighton 10k as an excuse to get down to enjoy the atmosphere of the Marathon event and support a few friends that I had been doing my own marathon training with. My last visit to Brighton hadn’t been the greatest of days so it would also be a way to exorcise some of those demons.
I had also thought it was a good idea to have something in the race plan after running Manchester Marathon the previous Sunday! Just to see what strength/speed would be in the legs before the speedy season starts.
The 10k started in the same area as the full marathon. The bag drop worked well with the self-seal and numbered bags we had received with the Race pack. The loo’s had zero queues when we arrived but as the marathon mass arrived they certainly got a lot busier. As the 9am start time got closer we moved down towards the colour coded pens and down to the main start line. Normally I think most 10k have a rough time of running idea marked out but not today… This Jogged a mental note to get as close to the front as possible but also near the side so I would have a little room to squeeze past the slower runners who had just ended up right at the front. Lots of lots of runners had head phones in already which was a shame as the chap starting the race was doing a great job of getting everyone up for the event. Paul Sinton-Hewitt the founder of parkrun and the owner of a outstanding Tash started the Race and we were off!
The first couple of kms headed back towards the Brighton seafront, on a nice gentle downhill this certainly help my pace and I felt slightly optimistic that the legs were strong enough and would last me the distance. I’m pretty sure everyone would feel this during the early parts of a race, I reminded myself that it was better to run 10k steady than blast the first 5 and fade during the 2nd, please remind me of this! And then someone show me my race data from every race I’ve done to remind that I still don’t pay attention to myself!
Kms 3/4 approached this contained the very Hill that has killed my Brighton Marathon 12 months previously , I was very aware of it . I’ve also been carrying a niggle since Farnborough Half in my right glute and it doesn’t like hills! It had also caught me out at Bramley and Surrey Half and was just in my head at Manchester. My reckoning was that I could find 5 miles even if it flared again but I eased slightly on the climb and this was my slowest km and unfortunately my dreams of a sub 40 had gone. It was always going to be unlikely but you need a focus.
The route was pretty flat after that, kms 5/6/7 headed down to the pier and turned right down towards the 360 Tower. The mass of Marathon runners and supporters had started to appear on the pavements as they made their own way up to that start. Unlike local events I had no team colours to look ahead for to try and keep up with or pick off. So I just focused on my stride and technique; I had got into a steady rhythm and felt comfortable enough and moving well at the 8k mark. The final 2k turn you back towards the pier and the finish area. I had a quick look at the watch and just had to hang on now, the glutes and legs were starting to get a bit angry, trying to remind me of the punishment of the previous weekend but I did manage to squeeze a little bit more out and run a 3.57 for the final km.
I crossed the line in 41.11 and came 133 out of 4552. Overall I’m pretty happy with my run, I’d love to have another go next year with fresher legs as its a mostly flat route. Very well organised and you get to watch the marathon after with a free beer (non acoholic). The weather had also been very kind this year – not a bit of sunburn in sight.

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