About 8,000 runners turned out to run the Grand Brighton Half Marathon in bright sunshine yesterday (Sunday 24 February).
And thousands more people lined the route to watch the 13.1-mile race which started and finished in Madeira Drive.
The men’s elite race featured a podium of Pauls – Paul Navesey took first place, setting a new course record in a time of 64 minutes and 56 seconds.
He was followed by last year’s winner, the Irish Olympian Paul Pollock, in 66 minutes and 35 seconds, with third place going to four times race winner Paul Martelletti in 67 minutes and 6 seconds.
The women’s race was tight, with Fiona de Mauny crossing the line first in 80 minutes and 26 seconds.
She narrowly beat Emily Proto, who finished in 80 minutes and 46 seconds, with third place going to Rose Penfold, in a time of 81 minutes and 20 seconds.
The route took the runners along the cliff tops of east Brighton to Ovingdean and back, inland towards St Peter’s Church and past the Royal Pavilion and i360 as they headed to Hove Lagoon and back past the Palace Pier.
Now in its 29th year, the race was again organised by the Sussex Beacon and sponsored by the Grand hotel.
It is the main fundraising event of the year for the Sussex Beacon, a Brighton charity which provides a range of services for men, women and families living with or affected by HIV across Sussex.
As well as the elite field, thousands of charity runners ran to raise money for more than 35 charities, including Rise and Chestnut Tree House locally and national charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society and Macmillan.
The Sussex Beacon Wheelchair Race also returned, with six entrants from around the UK racing. Paralympian Tiaan Bosch smashed the course record with a time of 53 minutes and 27 seconds. Jazz Turner, was the first female finisher, in 1 hour, 50 mins and 21 seconds.
The Youth Race found a new home this year on Hove Lawns where it was started by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas. More than 300 children between the ages of 7 and 17 completed the one-mile course.
Race director Martin Harrigan said: “What an incredible race – stunning weather and two amazing new course records set by Paul Navesey in the men’s race and Tiaan Bosch in the wheelchair race.
“But the biggest shout out must go to all the amazing runners, families, spectators and volunteers who turn up every year and make the Grand Brighton Half Marathon such an incredible event. We couldn’t be more grateful to you all.
“I would also like to say a huge thank you to our headline sponsor, the Grand Brighton hotel and all of the other sponsors and charities who support this fantastic event.”
The Grand’s general manager Andrew Mosley said: “We are delighted to have been headline sponsors of the Grand Brighton Half Marathon for the second year running.
“It is a fantastic event, and together with the Sussex Beacon and all of the other race partners, we are dedicated to developing the race. We are already looking forward to next year.
“It’s always a joy to see our beloved Brighton community come together and raise funds that make a real difference to such a lot of people. Well done to all that took part.”