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James & Chris raise 1,794.50 for SANE at the Brighton Marathon
Added: 9th May 2019

Our fundraisers Chris Saunders and James Pope tackled the Brighton Marathon on the 14th April and collectively raised an incredible £1,794.50 for us. This was raised through generous donations from friends, family and colleagues and a very entertaining leg wax!

Prior to the start of the run, Chris’s racing brain was buzzing: “There were so many thoughts going through my mind the morning of my first marathon. Have I trained enough? Will the huge pizza I ate last night help or hinder me on my way round? Can I even run 26.2 miles?... it was difficult not to let the nerves creep in as I walked, with thousands of other runners, up the hill through Brighton city centre to the start at Preston Park… Everyone looking at one another wondering if they can really do this. Then the huge rush of adrenaline as you make your way to the start line, hear the crowds cheer and set off on the first of many miles.” 

Despite feeling nervous as well, James also enjoyed the atmosphere: “I started my training in December and spent many dark, cold, wet evenings pounding the pavements. I didn't stick to the marathon plan I had diligently found and printed off, which is probably why I felt nervous on the Saturday when I travelled down to Brighton with my family.  The conditions were great on race day; bright and cool, if a little windy!  It was an amazing feeling being there with the thousands of others facing the 26.2 miles and there was a real carnival atmosphere in Preston Park and on the start line”

The marathon started in Preston Park and lasted 26.2 long miles to Madeira Park, close to Brighton Pier. The start of the race was enjoyable for our runners: “The first half of the race went well and I got through in 01:49 - right on target for my goal of 03:45” said James. Chris agreed, saying that “The start was a huge high - crowds on every street, strong legs and sea views. I felt invincible as I chatted to other runners and the miles flew by.”

As the race went on and their bodies naturally reacted to the challenge they were facing, this feeling slowly went away. Chris explained that, “The middle of the race was different. Tiredness crept in… The last third was so tough. My body, which had been through a lot of training was struggling and the finish seemed a long way away. At that moment, all I could think about was stopping -  it is a real struggle of mind over body.” James learned that “the old adage of ‘the first half of a marathon is the first 20 miles’ proved to be painfully true..... or in my case the first 17.... as I started to get some cramping and pain and thought to myself ‘I've still got nine miles to go… uh oh...’”

We would like to thank the incredible Brighton Marathon crowd whose support helped motivate our runners: “the Brighton crowd was absolutely amazing and kept me going” praised James.  Chris greatly appreciated the crowd too:  “the noise of the crowd helped to push me along and I started to think about what finishing would feel like and believe I could do it.

After running for 8 hours and 48 minutes collectively, our runners struggled towards the finishing line: “the last mile was the most painful thing I've ever experienced and completely cramped up 200 metres from the finish line and thought I was going to have to crawl...” described James.  Crossing the finish line was quite emotional: “there was an enormous sense of relief, followed by achievement and a little pride. I kept my medal on while I went for a celebratory, well-earned drink” as Chris explained.

From everyone at SANE and on the behalf of everyone your donations have allowed us to help, thank you Chris & James! We are extremely proud!

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