Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races

Hundreds of runners, both young and old, enjoyed this year’s Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races...

Hundreds of runners, both young and old, enjoyed this year’s Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races and the main Brighton Half race last weekend, raising over £23,000 so far.

For the second year running Rockinghorse were the official charity partner of the Youth Races that took place first thing on Sunday 25 February, right before the main Brighton Half Marathon.

Around 400 young runners took part, with 44 running in aid of Rockinghorse, 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 Dylan from Uckfield, took part in the races and was raising money for Rockinghorse after being treated at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital when he was just four days old. Before the race Dylan said, “I’m feeling quote comfortable and excited about the race. This is my first proper organised running event, apart from some cross-country at school, but I do a lot of other sports like football, rugby, tennis and basketball.”

After the race Dylan was really proud of his achievement. He said, “It was really fun, I loved it! It was challenging and got me puffing but I liked the last leg.

“I managed to overtake quite a few people towards the finish line even though I was right in the middle of everyone.”

So far Dylan has raised over £1,000 which is a great achievement for his first charity run!

Arthur Vass, aged 8, also took part in the 7-8 age category, raising over £500 so far. He said, “I love running and as House Captain for St David’s at Brighton College, it was important to me to raise so much money for our house charity, Rockinghorse.”

Dylan (left) and Arthur and his sister Alba (right)

After the Youth Races we headed to our Rockinghorse cheer point at mile 8.25 for the main half marathon and cheered on all of our amazing 26 charity runners, who had to battle through some bitter wind and temperatures during their run!

One group who ran was a team of four staff members from Drove Road, a specialist respite and residential centre for children and young people with autism, learning disabilities and challenging behaviour that Rockinghorse support.

Sam Moore, Dawn Dunk, Vikki Whitham and Nicole Oliver have so far raised over £2,000 for their efforts. Sam said, “We all work together at Drove Road and Rockinghorse support us by providing funding for our Summer and Christmas parties, days out in the holidays and play and sensory equipment for all the young people to use.

“We are very grateful for all Rockinghorse do for us which is why we want to give back by raising essential funds for them by undertaking this huge endeavour. None of us are ‘runners’ but we are all enthusiastic and up for the challenge!”

Dawn and Sam from Drove Road

Another running group, consisting of Studio JRL owner Jack Laing and eight friends from his gym, took part with the aim of fundraising for two incubator extensions sets for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and have so far raised over £4,500.

Jo Zakiewicz was another Rockinghorse runner who has raised £598. She said, “Despite it being a bitterly cold day with a pretty fierce headwind, I was so proud to run the Brighton Half Marathon for Rockinghorse. I have a happy, healthy 7-year-old thanks entirely to the amazing team in TMBU and the Haywards Heath Special Care Baby Unit. I’m looking forward to doing it again in 2025!”

Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager from Rockinghorse said, “We were so proud of everyone who took part in the Youth Races and the Half Marathon on Sunday for Rockinghorse!

“Even the cold weather couldn’t dampen the fantastic atmosphere at both events, and we loved cheering on all the amazing runners who are all making a difference to local babies and children!”

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 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!