Peter LeGrice, charged round the fast Brighton route to claim the men’s title at the 2019 Brighton Marathon this afternoon, breaking the British course record in a time of 2:16:23, while Paul Navesey made it across the line in 2:18:17.
LeGrice made the most of another gloriously sunny day for the event, as he stormed ahead of his rivals with a finish of 2:16:23, smashing his personal best by five minutes, as well as taking 2 minutes 10 seconds off the British course record.
It was an impressive victory for the 31-year-old who burst away from the group early on and ran the majority of the last 26.2 miles on his own in windy conditions, cheered on by Brighton’s infamous crowds.
“I felt amazing at half way but when you turn into that wind you’ve got to have something left for that. For the last five miles I was digging deep and hoping for the best,” said LeGrice. “My pace per mile dropped by almost a minute … but I hung on.”
Paul Navesey had started as the sixth fastest man in the field, faster than LeGrice but had to settle for second behind the aggressive mid-race running of LeGrice.
Navesey crossed the line in 2:18:17, while Ian Leitch completed the British medal sweep, finishing third in a time of 2:18:34. A record total of 6 Brits broke the 2:20 barrier in the men’s race.
Winner of the women’s race was Helen Davies, who retained her 2018 title as well as knocking 4 minutes off her time with a time 2:34:08. She led almost from the gun, coming in at just over 14 minutes ahead of the 2nd and 3rd place contenders.
“I absolutely love Brighton Marathon,” she said. “It’s amazing. The crowds really come alive.”
Behind her, Jill Collett hung on to second place, clocking 02:48:16 while Johanna O’Regan came in behind her at 02:49:41.
BM10k incl. England Athletics National Championships
This year the BM10k played host to the England Athletics National Championships attracting a strong field for the men’s and women’s races.
Not surprisingly, two course records were produced this year with the quality of the field being at its best ever on the fast, flat course.
In the women’s race, former World Junior 1500m Champion, Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District) blitzed to a new course record and significant personal best of 31:58. The battle for second was won by Mhairi Maclennan with 33 minutes exactly just ahead of Emily Hosker-Thornhill in 33:04.
Nick Goolab, with arguably the performance of the day, smashed the old men’s course record by over 40 seconds in a time of 28:22 to comfortably take the English title.
Pre-race favourite Chris Thompson, suffering from a cold, dropped out at around 6km leaving Adam Hickey to take the runner up spot in 28:53 improving on his third place in 2018. Just behind him to complete the top three was Andy Heyes with 28:56. A further three men broke the 29-minute barrier in a display of unprecedented strength and depth, with no less than 19 men breaking 30 minutes.
The inaugural BM Ride was a success with over 1100 cyclists taking to the streets of Brighton & Hove to ride on closed roads through the city and long the seafront. Whilst the event is not a race, first cyclist across the line was Christian Faires who completed the 50k distance in a time of 01:16:44.
Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Mini Mile Races
It was another exciting day for the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Mini Mile Races on Saturday 13th April. Nearly 2,000 children taking to the one-mile course in Preston Park for a day of family fun. Sponsored by Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens, the event is a fantastic fundraiser with many of the children raising money for the charity. Gatwick Airport sponsored the event once more, making the event free to enter for all.
Beverly Sawyers, Vice President, American Express said: “We’re proud to have backed the Brighton Marathon Weekend since the start in 2010. This year’s 10th anniversary event has been amazing for the Sussex community. It’s also been great to see many of my Amex colleagues come together to
enjoy sport, support local charities and celebrate individual achievements. A huge thank you to the cyclists, runners, volunteers and all the spectators who have helped mark this milestone occasion.”
- Over 10,000 runners took part in the Brighton Marathon and 3,335 in the BM10k mass races, with a figure of around £6million raised for charity.
- Entries for the 2020 event will open online on Tuesday 16 April at 10am at www.brightonmarathonweekend.co.uk
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