Keep on running
In search of a new running event to sink her trainers into Charlotte Pearson heads to Brighton.
Taking place in October the Great South Run is the biggest ten mile event in the UK and the most popular in Europe.
But for some it is a little too big.
For those that would prefer something a little more intimate, but like the ten mile distance, Brighton has just the answer.
Gavin Stephens and Paul Bond of running event management company Runbase will this year be hosting its first Bright10.
A week before the Great South Run, it offers runners the chance to experience Brighton and Hove at its very best, with a race route taking in the sights and landmarks of the city.
“Ten miles is great for people who want another challenge after doing a 10k but who may not want to jump to a half marathon,” explains Gavin. “It is a good mid way point for training.
“What we don’t want is people going from a 10k to a half marathon and hating it and being discouraged from running.
“Any distance is an achievement and I think people should respect distances no matter if it is a 5k or a marathon.”
Having both run since they were children, Gavin and Paul met at Worthing Harriers running club where Gavin is chairman.
The pair have organised a number of events, such as Brighton half marathon and Worthing 20, while supporting many others – something which has helped them with their own events.
“We look at other races and see what works and what doesn’t,” admits Paul. “We are always looking at the racing calendar.
“There is that saying in sport to ‘copy, collaborate and compete’.
“We copy the bits that work well, collaborate with other organisers on events and then we obviously compete to get people to sign up for ours.”
It is one of the reasons why you will find bike racks at Bright10 with the pair hoping people will cycle to and from the race village.
“We saw the racks at Hackney half marathon this year and thought it looked like a great idea,” explains Gavin.
As runners themselves both Gavin and Paul are keen to give the people who take part an experience they will never forget.
“We put ourselves in the runner’s shoes,” says Paul.
“We want them to walk away with their medal around their neck having had a memorable experience that they really enjoyed,” adds Gavin.
“If people don’t like an event they talk with their feet and won’t sign up again.”
Earlier on this year Runbase organised the Worthing 10k, bringing it to a new audience.
“It used to be that about 60 or 70 per cent of the people running were from running clubs,” reveals Paul. “But this year it was more like 30 per cent with 70 per cent amateur runners.
“It was a really great event.
“What we want to do is introduce people to new places, so someone may come to the Worthing 10k to watch a loved one and then stay and have a coffee or go see the pier.
“It is about building a community and getting people involved.”
In its first year they hope they will get between 3-5,000 people entering Bright10 compared to the 25,000 that pound the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea each year.
But the pair do have big plans for the future.
“We want to make it the running capital of the UK,” enthuses Gavin. “It already has two well established running events with the half marathon and marathon but we want to help build on this with the ten mile event.”
So if you are new to running or just fancy a new challenge this is an exciting time to get involved with an event.
The run starts at Hove Lawns.
“Sometimes with running events people start and their families see them run off into the distance and then come back again at the end,” says Paul.
“We didn’t want that, so they do the first two miles around the lawns and then head out for a larger lap so their families can see them.”
Runners then go through towards Brighton Pavilion along to Brighton Marina back down along Madeira Drive, past the pier to the finish.
Roads will be closed for the event.
“We are very lucky to get road closures,” explains Paul. “We organised Brighton half marathon in 2013 and 2014 so I think we showed them that we can be trusted.”
A fast and flat course, both say it is great for people looking for a new personal best.
The event takes place on Sunday, October 18, 2015. For more information, visit www.bright10.co.uk
For more information on Worthing 10k which will take place in June 2016, visit www.worthing10k.co.uk
And for Runbase, visit www.runbase.co.uk
Pictures: Epic Action Imagery