Brighton Marathon 2019

In the Marathon there were many stories to be had and told from our athletes. A few had gone in to the race with a time in mind whilst others had a personal target to achieve.
In the men’s senior category we had Gary McKivett as first Arena home in 2.48.45 and an impressive 38th position. Gary has had a long period out due to injury and hadn’t been able to put in his normal 100 mile a week training runs, indeed his words that his training had been more of a 5k plan than a marathon; no matter he achieved a great result and came in 38th place in the men’s category.
Having just completed Manchester last week and gaining a new PB of 2.51.47 which was his first sub 3 marathon, the ever impressive Tim Lodge came back 7 days later to go sub 3 again in 2.54.03 and came home in 67th place, not bad going for a second marathon in 7 days.
In the men’s 45-49 category the ever present Mark O’Gara, who has given so much help, support and leading training runs for so many of the men in the club, came home almost skipping down the home straight as he high fived his way down the Arena marshal’s to come 7th in a time of 2.57.39. Mark also completed Manchester last week with the time just slightly off this week but no surprise with only 7 days’ rest.
Touradj Derangi, AKA TJ, also had an impressive run as he clocked in with 3.05.53. TJ looked very strong coming down the home straight and looked every bit impressive as he crossed the line. TJ is another one of our athletes who hasn’t had the best of builds up to this race due to injury but he showed good strength out there and he achieved his goal that he hoped for.
In the 55-59 men’s category we should congratulate Andy Payne as he took 1st place in a time of 3.09.12. Without wanting to repeat myself, Andy was also out last year with injury and he has been coming back slowly and steadily and to achieve this was just the icing on the cake for him. I know Andy will be really pleased with this result especially as last year’s race was a real tough one for him. However back he came and what a return it was.
In the 60-64 men’s category we must say well done to David Kemp who had a goal in mind and with a time of 3.33.34 and an 8th place, we can say he achieved his goal. He wasn’t quite sure how the race would go as a lot of his training has been based on triathlon training and so the running has featured strongly. A great result for David in the end though.
It was an excited and nervous return to Brighton for Emily Proto as she came back to the place where she broke her fibia 4 years at mile 6 on the course. Emily has been building up for this one for many months with a lot of hard work going in to this one. Indeed her recent results have shown her to been in such good form and we were all hoping she would get the result she wanted to lay the demon of BM to rest. Of the race itself, Emily went out too fast and with the strong breeze on the return from Shoreham Power Station, Emily had to really dig deep and work a little harder than she had hoped for. None the less work she did and I don’t think you would have seen a happier face running around Brighton than Emily as she smiled her way to a fantastic 2.58.52 and an 8th place. It was great to see Emily back up there and after the race she took a 10 minute break only to then go and help out in the massage tent, legs of steel surely.
In the ladies 40-45 category it was Soulla Wright that made the grade here. Soulla had been unwell all week leading up this race and it was 50/50 if she was going to run it at all. Soulla had been in good shape leading up to this, even representing Sussex more recently such was her form. Soulla came home in 5th place in a time of 3.12.32 but was really fighting the last few miles and not really knowing quite where she was. It was a very gutsy run when many others may have decided to call it a day at that point, but such was her stubbornness and determination she pushed through to the finish line.
In the ladies 50-54 category we say huge congratulations to Fiona Bugler as she came home as second lady in a time of 3.30.23 and some 7 minutes ahead of the third placed lady, impressive stuff. Having caught up with Fiona after the finishing line, it’s fair to say that she couldn’t have given it anymore if she had tried as she was totally spent at the end of the race. She really had pushed herself to her limits but I’m sure she will be so pleased with this performance and result of hers.
A very special mention to one of our athletes on a super human marathon effort. Dave Gifford was running to raise money for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust. Dave was running in his flight suit carrying 15kg of kit, in an effort to raise awareness of, and money for, the charity. It’s hard enough to run a marathon but to add this weight to it, well that’s something special. Extraordinary achievement and If you want to read Dave’s story then click here: Daves Story
Now we love a story that captures the true spirit of Arena 80 ac. We talk about our strap line being ‘Be respectful, Be Supportive, Be the best you can’ well this next person definitely fits in to the be supportive category. Katie Wright was having a bit of a wobble moment at the Hove Lagoon and not quite finding her rhythm so one of our athletes, Rebecca Knight, who had a big thick coat on to keep warm from the very cold biting wind, decided to help her out and then proceeded to run the next six miles with Katie to get her back in to the groove and to help her on with her time she was aiming for. This really does reiterate our club strap line and encompasses everything about the club spirit of Arena 80. Its stories like this that makes you proud to be a part of the club. It’s so often mentioned that our member’s really are a great supportive bunch and this is probably why so many others now want to join Arena.
Congratulations to all of our athletes that ran and completed the Brighton Marathon. You’ve worked hard throughout the winter months so go and enjoy the rest and we’ll see you back for the warmer weather training. For those talking on London, may we wish you a safe and solid run and we look forward to hearing about even more great personal runs.

Rebecca Knights showing the true spirit of Arena 80.