Norman Cook – aka Fatboy Slim – started the Sussex Beacon Half Marathon this morning (Sunday 26 February), sending more than 8,000 runners on their way.
Shortly after sounding the starting klaxon the DJ slipped into the pack to join friends taking part in the 13-mile race. He finished in about 1 hour 50 minutes. He said it had been great to hear all the cheers and at the Lagoon he joked it was tempting to break off and pop indoors for a cup of tea.
The early fog was lifting as the pack headed from the start in Madeira drive, past the seafront statue of the Olympic runner Steve Ovett, up to St Peter’s Church and then towards Ovingdean.
The runners then double backed all the way along the seafront to Hove Lagoon, into the wind, before returning to the finish line in Madeira Drive.
First home was the men’s race winner Jonathan Tipper in 1 hour 8 minutes and 37 seconds, followed by Stuart Hawkes, six seconds behind, and Neil Boniface in third.
Paul Martelletti, who has won the event for the past four years, had to sit out the race with injury although he joined in with the commentary.
The fastest woman, Eleanor Davis, set a new course record in 1 hour 14 minutes and 26 seconds. Brighton runner Emily Proto finished second, one better than last year. She runs for Arena 80 at Withdean. Horsham runner Sarah Hill came third.
The Sussex Beacon charity organises the Vitality Brighton Half Marathon. It is the charity’s biggest annual fundraising event, raising about £250,000. But many of the runners were fundraising for other charities and good causes too. They included Water Aid, Scope, Rise and Chestnut Tree House.
The Brighton sick children’s charity Rockinghorse had a team of cheerleaders stationed by the Palace Pier to support the team taking part in the race.