Hundreds of young runners enjoyed perfect conditions in welcome return of the Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races and the main Brighton Half race.
After three years away, the ever-popular Brighton Half Marathon Youth races made a welcome return to Hove prom on Sunday 26 February with Rockinghorse Children’s Charity as the official charity partner.
The event, which hasn’t taken place since 2019, saw hundreds of young runners taking part in a range of age categories, getting things going with the oldest runners in the first race which began at 9.00am.
The event gave youngsters the unique opportunity to experience the buzz of race day, just like their older counterparts who were taking part in the adult race later in the morning.
Every young runner taking part received a special t-shirt and medal to show off to their friends and family, along with prizes for the winners in each of the five categories.
One young runner, ten-year-old Cass from Brighton, is raising money for Rockinghorse after recently visiting the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. His mum said, “Cass is doing the Youth Races for Rockinghorse because he had to be a regular visitor to a loved one in hospital recently.
“This is his first time doing an event for a charity. He trains weekly in preparation but the magnitude of the fact that he can make a difference hasn’t quite hit him yet.”
After the race Cass was tired but exhilarated. He said, “It was tiring but fun! I really enjoyed the race and I’m really pleased to have raised so much money for Rockinghorse.”
So far Cass has raised over £500 which is a great achievement for his first charity run!
Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager from Rockinghorse said, “We are so pleased to be the official charity partner for the Youth Race this year. As a local children’s charity, partnering with such a wonderful event aimed at young people seems like a great fit.
“As many of the children taking part will have been treated at the Alex, or like Cass know someone who has, helping us raise funds for vital equipment and services to help other young people is fantastic. We’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone come out to run and cheer all the runners.”
Pharmaceutical Recruitment company Barrington James was Rockinghorse’s corporate sponsor for the Youth Races and sent a few volunteers along from their Crawley office to the event to help cheer on the young runners. Tia Lee, Contract Liaison, said, “We’re really proud to have sponsored the Brighton Youth race this year. It’s lovely to be able to support the runners along with such a worthwhile cause. Congratulations to all the participants!”
Along with being the charity recipient of the Youth Races, there were also several runners in the main half marathon event who were also raising money for Rockinghorse.
Megan Janman is running to support the people who took care of her sister and nephew when he was born early. She said, “Issac, was born in October 2022, 9 weeks premature, weighing just under 3lbs. It was a very sudden, scary time for my sister and her partner and Rockinghorse, along with the staff at The Trevor Mann Baby Unit and the Special Care Baby Unit in The Princess Royal, were incredible in their support and care for all three of them.”
After the race Megan said, “I finished the race in 2:06:29 which I am extremely happy about, but more importantly, with all of the support I have received, we have raised over £600 for Rockinghorse! It was a great day and was run in very high spirits. Thanks so much for everyone’s support, I really appreciate it and it definitely helped me finish strong!’
Chris Watson was also running for Rockinghorse after his family were supported. He explained, “Our son, Finley, was born at the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath and required the support of the Special Care Baby Unit for a few days.
“Whilst there, we saw the amazing work the unit does to support babies and parents, as well as the dedication of the staff in an increasingly under-pressure NHS. I’m fundraising to boost the support that Rockinghorse gives to the SCBU, TMBU and other units around Sussex”.
The money raised by all the runners will go towards helping hundreds of babies, children and young people throughout Sussex including supporting projects that support young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
So, if you’ve been inspired to sign up for a challenge after seeing the runners in this year’s half marathon and the youth races, just take a look at our events page here to sign up for your own event!