Each year the Brighton Marathon attracts a number of top-class distance runners. Previous editions of the race have seen participation from elite athletes from around the world. This year, all eyes will be on a UK based field.
The men’s course record is held by William Chebor of Kenya with a winning time of 2:09:25 in 2014. The women’s course record of 2:28:50 was set in 2013 by another Kenyan athlete, Eunice Kales. The Brighton Marathon course records rank Brighton as the second fastest marathon in Britain ever.
The best British athlete performances came in 2011 with Dan Robinson, a 2:12 athlete at his best, finishing in 4th place in 2:19:11. Aly Dixon won the women’s race that year in 2:34:51, which was enough to get her selected for the GB Team at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu. Aly has since gone on to compete for Team GB at the Rio Olympics over 26.2miles.
This year sees the most competitive British field in our race’s history. Leading performers in the Marathon are as follows:
- Helen Davies – Running for Ipswich Jaffa, Helen has a marathon PB of 2:34. Helen recorded her fastest half marathon performance in four years recently when winning the Great Bentley Half Marathon. After temporary retirement in 2013-14, Helen is showing some good form and will be very close to the front in April, when taking on her first marathon in five years.
- Hayley Munn of Winchester AC ran 2:38.04 for the marathon in 2016 so goes into the race with the fastest recent performance over the 26.2 mile distance. However Hayley finished behind Helen Davies at the Great Bentley Half Marathon but has the quicker PB, so has the potential to run a lot faster than her marathon best of 2:37.44 set in 2014.
- Kevin Rojas – WITHDRAWN 5.4.17 His debut marathon was in Brighton in 2011, finishing in 2hrs 48:36. Kevin has gone on to record a number of great performances over the 26.2mile distance. Local to Brighton and running for Brighton and Hove City AC, Kevin has the quickest PB in the field having run 2:18.44 in Berlin in 2015. Kevin is beginning to show some good shape early in 2017 and no doubt will want to win his home town marathon.
- Jon Pepper – Another Brighton resident running for Brighton Phoenix AC, was the first British athlete home at the Brighton Marathon in 2013, placing 8th overall in 2hrs 20:28. Jon is hoping to be the first Brighton resident to win the Brighton Marathon and has been preparing well with strong performances in a number of cross country races.
- Matthew Bennett – From Southampton, is showing some excellent form in the build-up to April. Having run his Marathon PB of 2:23.13 in 2016, Matthew recently ran his fastest 20miler in Bramley winning in 1hr 48. Matthew goes into the Brighton Marathon as the one of the most likely to challenge the local pairing of Rojas and Pepper.
Before the Brighton Marathon gets underway, the BM10k race starts at 8.30am.
In 2016 Adam Hickey got his revenge on Jonny Taylor and won in a course record time of 29:03. This performance ranked Adam as the fourth fastest British athlete in 2016 over 10k and the second fastest performance in the UK.
The BM10k women’s course record was set in 2014 when Aly Dixon ran 32:35. This ranked Alyson as the 3rd fastest British athlete in 2014 – hard proof that the 10k course is one of the fastest in the UK. British internationals Steff Twell and Gemma Steel have since won the BM10k but haven’t managed to better Aly’s time.
Both Men’s and Women’s races look to be as exciting and competitive as ever.
Lily Partridge (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC – 26) – PB 33:03 (London 30/5/16)
- Reigning UK 10K Rd Champion – won title easily when setting PB (see above). A prolific racer on Track, Road & Country, Lily comes to Brighton after a successful Marathon debut in Seville on 19th Feb (4th in 2:32.10) – making her currently UK No.1 at the distance.
- Comfortably won English National Cross Country title in 2016.
- Self-coached, that marathon strength will stand her in good stead for a great 2017 – and a series of PBs is likely despite 2016 having been a breakthrough year, which included a 54:41 for 4th at October’s Great South Run 10 Miles.
- Lily is a multiple-GB Team member and hopes to represent GB&NI at the World Championships in London this coming summer at the Marathon
Katrina WOOTTON (Coventry Godiva Harriers – 31) PB 31:47 (Paris, 18/12/16)
- Fresh from a fine 3rd place at the Reading Half (74:18) on 19th March.
- Set a huge PB at Houilles 10K (near Paris) last December 18th.
- Former winner of Brighton’s November 10k race in 2014.
- World Class middle-distance track runner (4:06 in 2009)
- Finished an excellent 16th (3rd GB finisher) at European CC Champs in Chia, Italy, last December 11th.
Jane POTTER (Charnwood AC – 35) – PB 34:12 (Marseilles, 2008)
- A top UK middle & long distance runner for nearly 20 years, Jane set her best time for 10K almost ten years ago, but as recently as last December, came within a few seconds of that time at Wilmslow.
- Able to boast the strength of a 74 minute half marathon runner, she is still a formidable force, winning the Midland Cross Country title both in 2015 and 2016.
- After three solid cross-country outings so far this year, it will be interesting to see how much trouble she can give others who on paper, look faster but perhaps lack her experience.
Juliet DOYLE (nee POTTER) (Charnwood AC – 35) – PB 33:27 (Caythorpe, 2008)
- The second of the Potter twins, Juliet is in very fine shape, proven by her 5th place in the English National CC Champs in late February and then her 7th at the Inter-Counties on March 11th.
- Having won the Midland title in late January (after her sister Jane had held it for two years), her excellent 4th at the Alsager 5 Miles in early February, indicates there is plenty of speed in her legs to bring to Brighton.
- In what is looking to be a highly competitive Women’s field on Sunday, her track speed endurance, could prove a decisive factor in the closing stages
- From Rotherham – 23rd at the Inter-counties XC in Loughborough earlier this month and with a PB of 34:14 Sophie on paper is the BM10k favourite.
- From Arena 80 is the fastest local athlete. With a PB of 33:27 it’ll be great to see if Caroline can improve upon her winning time of 35:53 at the recent Eastleigh 10k.
- Running for Brighton and Hove City AC, ran 36:14 to place 8th at the recent Eastleigh 10k, just behind Caroline Hoyte. They will be renewing their rivalry on Brighton seafront.
- Running for Kingston and Poly will be making her road 10k debut in Brighton. Recently finishing superbly in 5th place at the Inter Counties XC, she is in great form. Phoebe ran 16:45 for 5km as a junior in 2016, which indicates she could be on for sub 34minutes in Brighton.
- From the Enfield & Haringey club, has a 10k PB of 29:31 set in 2016 and can boast an excellent half marathon best of 65:03 from 2014. Matthew recently ran well on England duty in Bermuda and goes into the BM10k as the man to watch.
- A local boy from Brighton who runs for Brighton Phoenix AC, recently ran a 5km PB in Armagh of 14:28 and has been out in Ethiopia training with fellow Brightonian Charlie Grice and four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah. Finn is the leading local runner but could be favourite to take the overall title.
- Racing for Luton AC, is coming back from a 9 month layoff. John made a return to racing in September and the BM10k represents his return to road racing. With a PB of 29:29 the Andy Hobdell trained athlete could be in the frame to win.
- From Southend, came 4th in the 2016 BM10k and with 29:40 from 2012, has the fastest PB in the field. With none of the top 3 from 2016 taking part Paul will be one to watch on April 9th.
The Brighton Marathon Weekend comprises The Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Mini Mile Races on Saturday 8th April, the BM10k and the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 9th April and the Event Village on the 7th, 8th and 9th April on Madeira Drive.
Photos: The photo used here is available in high res from [email protected], caption as follows:
Pic 1: Jon Pepper, Brighton resident running for Brighton Phoenix AC
For further information on The Brighton Marathon Weekend:
Tel: 01273 201260