Stories and Interviews

This is a regular feature of stories and interviews which we hope to be of interest to the running community living in, or visiting, the Brighton area.

If you have your own story which you would like to share with RunBrighton, please email a brief synopsis to .

100 for Jan

JANUARY 2018: If you want to know anything about running a marathon, speak to Jan Lavis. Not only a running coach, she has just completed her 100th marathon. We first met when I was organising the pacers for the 2017 Brighton Marathon. I was short of a 5-hour pacer, and RunBrighton ambassador Brigitte Groves suggested […]

New David

DECEMBER 2017: Not so new anymore, but since joining RunBrighton at the start of the winter 2016/17 season, David Gillies has regularly received a mention in ambassador Brigitte’s blog, as “New David”. Recently having retired from a senior-management career, and one of our older RunBrighton members, New David took up running at a relatively late […]

Ireland from Kenya

NOVEMBER 2017: Clearly a natural talent – could it be the Kenyan genes? – Tom Ireland completed the April 2016 Brighton Marathon in 2hrs44. And that was without (at his own admission) a structured training plan. He’s a regular at Hove Promenade parkrun on a Saturday morning, and often helps out there as a pacer. […]


OCTOBER 2017: Ruth Maughan signed up to RunBrighton for our Summer 2016 training, subsequently stuck around for Winter 2016/17 and Summer 2017, and is now ready to get stuck into Winter 2017/18. Hindered, initially, by ongoing knee problems, Ruth took our advice and began a regular strength & conditioning regime, rather than just running. And, […]

Ragnar White Cliffs

SEPTEMBER 2017: Back in early 2017, I was made aware of a 24-hour relay event, to be organised by Grounded Events, who also organise Brighton Marathon. They were to put on a Ragnar Relay race that has had huge success across a range of locations in North America. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if […]


AUGUST 2017: Helena Tobin might well have good running genes, but the success that she has achieved has not come purely from raw talent – she knows how to train hard! Helena, I know all your family have always been involved in athletics. I guess you therefore got into running at an early age. What’s […]

Darren’s on a Roll

JULY 2017: Darren Teague is a Strength & Conditioning Coach. He has worked, not just with runners, but with men and women from a variety of sports. Although still helping a range of clients in Brighton on a one-to-one basis, most of Darren’s time these days is spent in his capacity as UK Distributor for […]

Jason – the Best is yet to come

JUNE 2017: Jason Best joined RunBrighton in November 2015, to train for Brighton Marathon, and hasn’t missed a season with us since. He also came along on our Algarve training camp this March. Definitely a part of the RunBrighton family now and, with his running going from strength to strength, I met up with Jason […]


MAY 2017: On Friday, 28th April, Steve Scott, Kevin Bush, Dave Rogers, Chris Mallinson, Neil Walford and I (Brian Friend) flew out of Gatwick to have a run around Italy. This is basically our Sunday morning training group that also has its own little table, apres parkrun, in Hove Park, that normal runners view with curiosity and […]


APRIL 2017: The name RUN is about as minimalist as the store itself. Whenever I walk into the RUN shop on Blatchington Road in Hove, I feel an immediate sense of calm, often with light classical music playing in the background. Rather than be bombarded with heaps of stock and a hard sell, what you […]

Algarve 2017

MARCH 2017: Gosh, that went quick! Another week in the Algarve.  Over in a flash and I’m already looking forward to the next one. It was three years ago that I first had the idea to set up a RunBrighton warm-weather training camp. Nick Anderson of RunningWithUs told me about a training camp already set […]

Harrigan of the Half

FEBRUARY 2017: Later this month, the Brighton Half Marathon will be staged for the 28th time. Heading up the organising team are cousins Martin Harrigan (Race Director) and David Hill (Event Director). It’s a charity event, raising the profile of, and, more importantly, raising funds for, Sussex Beacon. The two have been managing the event, which […]

“Me vs. the terrain”!

JANUARY 2017: I only met Emily Hutchinson for the first time, last autumn. It was just after the challenging, off-road, Beachy Head Marathon. Travelling back to Brighton with Emily after that race, her Arena 80 clubmate and RunBrighton ambassador Andy Waters called me to say he thought Emily would make a great ambassador herself. I […]

Powerlifter Turned Runner

DECEMBER 2016: Since I first met James Turner, two years ago, I have taken a keen interest in his progression as a runner. Back in the days of there being a lead bike at parkrun in Hove Park, I regularly took on the role. And it was a great opportunity to spot up-and-coming talent at […]

Christine, Chair of parkrun Global

NOVEMBER 2016: Last Saturday morning, in Hove Park Café, post parkrun, I found myself chatting to a delightful couple who had just moved to Hove. Mike and Christine Gibbons were clearly running enthusiasts, keen to find out about the local running scene in the Brighton & Hove area. It transpired that Christine was appointed last […]

Riptide Matt

OCTOBER 2016: Matt Bartsch is well known, throughout Brighton and Hove, for having run Riptide gym for the last couple of decades. It was a sad day for all involved when, at very short notice, his incredibly successful set-up adjacent to the beach, at the foot of West Street, was forced to close. Its roof […]

Running and Cake!

SEPTEMBER 2016: Lisa Smith-Wallace is one of those runners who seems to get a huge kick out of supporting and encouraging others, particularly those complete beginners who are daunted at the prospect of taking up their newfound sport. And she still seems to find time to fit in the training required to prepare for races […]

Go Joe!

AUGUST 2016: I first met Joe Ashley when he was training with RunBrighton over the 2013/14 winter season, preparing for Brighton Marathon, which he went on to complete in 3:04. His ability as a marathoner, for someone relatively new to running, combined with his keenness to support others, led to his agreement to be a […]

Brian and Butch

JULY 2016: I know many people who have taken on the challenge of running a marathon as one of those must-do things that you have to tick off at some point in your life. And a fair few of those who have embarked on such a challenge with a once-only mind-set have been unable to […]

Steeple Bumpstead

JUNE 2016: David Hull has regularly signed up to RunBrighton membership for our summer & winter training, going back to when we originally formed in 2010. And, at 68, he is currently the oldest runner in the group. No matter how much jip his knees give him, he is always to be seen running with […]

Ray’s Tent

MAY 2016: Ray Matthews of Brighton Phoenix is on course for being only the second runner in the 50-54 category to break 17 minutes for Brighton & Hove parkrun (current best, 17:07), second only to Olympian Richard Nerurkar. He is convinced that the recent improvement in his performance is, in no small part, down to […]

Running to Pogo

APRIL 2016: You may be forgiven for thinking Karen Amsden looks less like a runner and more like she belongs on stage as the frontwoman of a punk band. Actually, she is both. Karen has been jumping around on stage since her teens, and is the lead singer in punk band Hagar the Womb. The […]


MARCH 2016: Last Autumn, we announced the dates of RunBrighton’s Spring 2016 warm-weather training camp with 2:09 Events in the Algarve… 10th – 17th March. This followed the success of the March 2015 trip, and the desire to return for more of the same! But RunBrighton’s Irish contingent immediately spotted a problem; we’d be flying back on […]

Howard, V40 no1

FEBRUARY 2016: I can’t think of any other runner who has progressed at such a phenomenal rate as Howard Bristow of Brighton & Hove AC. Albeit already pretty fit from a background of mountain biking, Howard only started running 8 years ago at the age of 33. He completed the Brighton 10k in 37:25. Howard’s […]

Hugh – 73 Years of Running

JANUARY 2016: If you’re relatively new to the running scene in Brighton, you may be forgiven for not knowing the name Hugh Foord. But you should know that, of the thousands of runners across the city over the years, there is no one else who has been around, running and competing, for as long as […]

Daz does a Dozen

DECEMBER 2015: Just before Christmas, RunBrighton Ambassador Darren (Daz) Avery completed his 12th marathon this year. What makes this so impressive is that last year he was off running for several months, owing to a stress fracture in his heel. Furthermore, Daz hasn’t always been into running; in fact, up until a few years ago […]

Olympian, Founder of Brighton Marathon

NOVEMBER 2015: In the 1980s, Tim Hutchings (pictured right, just ahead of Steve Ovett), who was predominantly a 1500m, 5000m & cross-country runner, earned himself medals at the European Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the World Cross-Country Championships. He also finished fourth in the 1984 Olympic Games. Nowadays, he is an established TV commentator covering […]


OCTOBER 2015: Emily Proto completed her first marathon in Brighton in April 2011, in a time of 3hrs59. In the Florence Marathon, November 2012, she ran 2hrs59. In the build-up to Brighton Marathon this year, all of Emily’s training suggested she would run inside 2hrs50. Unfortunately, she landed awkwardly when stepping off a curb in […]

Comedy Joe

SEPTEMBER 2015: Often, when I have an evening in, I find myself flicking through the TV channels and stop flicking when I get to ‘8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown’. Knowing that it features Joe Wilkinson, there will be no immediately apparent reason why I should turn off and go for a run. Over […]

A Healthy Addiction

AUGUST 2015: I first met Gary McKivett when he was training with RunBrighton over the winter 13/14 in preparation for Brighton Marathon. Reflecting back on that season, my feeling is that he blended in well – one of a large number of runners all going about getting themselves ready to complete the 26.2 mile course […]

Bionic Bladder Man

JULY 2015: Richard Carter has been involved with Brighton & Hove Athletics Club for the last four decades. In his teens he ran for his country.  Since then, he has gone on to coach some of the club’s elite distance runners and, more recently, has switched to coaching children. He was instrumental in the establishment […]

Michele & Brigitte

JUNE 2015: You’d be forgiven for thinking they could be Siamese twins. But no. Brigitte Groves and Michele Saunders are just a couple of best mates who share a passion for running and for giving up inordinate amounts of their time to support other runners. Both current active members of Arena 80, Brigitte and Michele […]

Ant’s Army

MAY 2015: It’s 11am, Monday 18th May. I’m in a 16-seater minibus on the M4. Wales behind us, we’re now en route back home, everyone dreaming of a good sports massage and of a restful night in our own beds. The seat in front of me is occupied by a bike, others piled high with […]


APRIL 2015: Could Rosie Gasson be a name to look out for in the future? And perhaps not just in local running circles but at a higher level? Rosie is currently the fastest 8-year-old at parkrun in Sussex. She has won a number of local cross-country races and has just come second in her under-11 […]

The Fittest I have Ever Felt!

MARCH 2015: Annie Broe joined up with RunBrighton for the first time this winter and has fully immersed herself in training for this year’s Brighton Marathon, attending all but one of the long Sunday runs. But it only came to light a couple of weeks ago what Annie has been through prior to embarking on […]

Pepper – Always a Hot Favourite!

FEBRUARY 2015: This winter’s Sussex Cross-Country Championships, which took place at the beginning of January in Bexhill, attracted a number of class athletes. The fastest on the day was Jon Pepper of Brighton Phoenix (Athletics and Triathlon Club). And three weeks later, in the South of England Cross-Country Championships, he came an impressive 3rd, just […]

Caroline, Queen of parkrun

JANUARY 2015: Caroline Wood of Brighton’s Arena 80 has just clocked her 100th parkrun victory, only the third person in the UK to do so. And at 51 this makes her the oldest runner to reach such a tally. In the last 4 years, Caroline has twice been selected to run for her country. On […]

Running – it’s just not tennis!

DECEMBER 2014: Graham Godden, at 46, is a man on a mission. Until June 2013, his name was unfamiliar to everyone on the Brighton & Hove running scene. Just 18 months on and with 21 Brighton and Hove parkrun wins under his belt, people now start asking questions if he doesn’t show up on a […]

Hanoi to Sydney!

NOVEMBER 2014: It’s 9am in Preston Park Velodrome and there’s a distinct sense of calm-before-the-storm! The course mark-out was started a couple of hours earlier, thousands of bottles of water stacked at the finish line, tea tent erected, inflatable arch inflated, sound system plugged in, radios tested… A plethora of volunteers from City College are […]

1500m Champion Charlie

OCTOBER 2014: Brighton & Hove has churned out some great athletes over the years, but not many to the standard of Charlie Grice. Every result he has produced so far would suggest we are witnessing the city’s best athletic product since Olympic Gold Medallist, Steve Ovett. Ironically, Charlie represents Brighton Phoenix, which was co-founded (originally […]

From Beginner to Chair of the Club

SEPTEMBER 2014: Throughout the 2013/14 winter, Carol Kennedy regularly turned out for RunBrighton’s long Sunday run, in training for this year’s Brighton Marathon. Not at all deterred by the cold, the strong winds and the driving rain, she battled on over hilly terrain, determined to get fit enough to fulfil her objective of competing the […]


AUGUST 2014: In April this year, at the age of 13, Almi Nerurkar won the under-15 category of the Brighton Marathon Mini Mile in a time of 5 minutes and 29 seconds. A week later she proved she was no one-hit-wonder as she proceeded to win the Virgin London Mini Marathon over 3 miles in […]

Awesome Lawson

JULY 2014: The first time I heard the name Dan Lawson was in the context of him having run Brighton Marathon, immediately preceded by him having run the Brighton Marathon course in reverse, immediately preceded by him having run the Brighton Marathon course, immediately preceded by him having run the Brighton Marathon course in reverse!!!! […]

Heroes & Villains

JUNE 2014: It’s the 17th May 2014 and it’s shaping up to be the hottest day of the year so far. On Hove sea front promenade and spilling out onto the adjacent lawns, I’m surrounded by Supermen, Spidermen, Wonder Women, escaped convicts, vagabonds and a plethora of other heroes and villains. They’re all on the verge […]

Mexican Kev

MAY 2014: London Marathon day. 13th April 2014. It was an early start. And the moment my 4 hour drunken sleep was rudely and abruptly disturbed by my 6.45am alarm, I immediately realised my error. I had stupidly arranged RunBrighton’s monthly social bash (and post-Brighton-Marathon celebrations) the night before. At the end of our evening in […]


APRIL 2014: If you find yourself on the sidelines of this Sunday’s Brighton Marathon, and you see a runner wearing number 5050, please give her a special cheer. In fact, shout Happy Birthday! It’s not just any birthday though – it’s her 50th! But that’s not all. It’s her 50th marathon. Yes, that’s right, she’s […]

The Moyleman – featuring the late Chris Moyle

MARCH 2014: Sometime in the Summer of 2013 I was chatting with a mate who’d just completed a ‘brutal’ off-road cycle circuit of the hills around Lewes. He jabbered excitedly about the severity of the hills, the muddy trails, how you could see the whole course laid out before you from key points along the […]

Dimos the Destroyer

FEBRUARY 2014: Dimosthenis Evangelidis – or Dimos the Destroyer as he’s affectionately known amongst his club mates – has been demonstrating what an asset he is to Brighton & Hove City AC. When I say ‘club mates’, I should really use Dimos’s favoured description of his training group as ‘his running brothers’; in fact he’s […]

One addiction quit, a new one is born

JANUARY 2014: I first met Danny on a Saturday morning in March 2013 in Hove Park Cafe. He’d just done Parkrun, completing the 5km course in 17 minutes 50 seconds. Not bad, I thought! Sub 18 minutes is a respectable time. I was surprised not to have met him before. Having myself been on the […]