I have been meaning to do Marathon for quite some time now, at least a year. Last year I did enter Portsmouth 2023 but had to withdraw at the last minute due to the snowstorm (Elin & Fergus) that hit just one week before the Marathon. And I didn’t want to injure myself trying to run a Marathon in those conditions, knowing I have international travel lined up and any injury would just jeopardise that. 

Sidenote, in January I normally take a 6-8 week long trip to India to enjoy better weather, and a bit of cycling in the sun. So I decided to not do the Marathon in the end. This video will jog (pun intended) your memory on what I am talking about.  

So you can imagine my urge to scratch that itch of unfinished business when I trained for three months and couldn’t do the Marathon at the end. So this year I was careful to choose a Marathon when running conditions would be more favourable. And as I never make the London Ballot I started looking around and Brighton caught my eye. (Actually it was the email which said, “sorry that you didn’t make the ballot, do you want to try Brighton?” 

And a plan started to develop in my head. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that I can still run 42.195 kilometres just before I turn 42! (The Saturday after Brighton, and before you ask… I am not running 43 kms next year.) 

A little short story about me with a few bullet points.

  • I used to weigh 116 kgs in June 2016 
  • I had successfully reduced the weight a bit by playing footy, badminton etc. 
  • However, I was plateauing after that, and ended up in the vicious circle of not eating, feeling hungry and then eating unhealthy again. 
  • I started running in February 2017 in order to tackle my overweight problem. 
  • Back then I was 108 kgs, and could not run 500 metres without stopping.
  • I was prescribed high blood pressure medication for life, to which I said I NO.
  • I joined my office running group to participate in a three day event called UK Challenge, and I followed through with a weekly twice running regime and started to build up from there. 
  • And by June 2017 I could finish a 10 km run in just under 60 minutes. (which was the parameter to enter the team event)
  • I was 87 kgs by June 2017
  • I am still fighting the overweight problem!

Meet Jish from 2015

Now that you know a bit about me, let me tell you how this year’s big run went for me.

So back to Brighton 2024.

As you now know, I was in India between Jan -Feb and I cycled over 1000 kms there (all flat) and it was extremely enjoyable. However, I made sure that I did due diligence and mixed up the cycling with a bit of running as well. And after I returned from my trip I started clocking the longer (10 miles of more) runs. I was following a Garmin heart rate / time based Marathon plan and I was just a week behind on my plan. International travel does come at a cost called ‘jet lag’, however, the handy (again pun intended) Garmin watch does help you if you have enabled the jet lag advisor! 

Now, on the day, it is all about calming yourself down. I made sure I did everything the same that I did during my training, same shoes, same socks, same clothes and same diet in the morning. Dates and bananas if anybody was wondering. I kept the fueling simple, one SIS gel every 5k, as that worked for me. Even after being so meticulous I did f’ck up. I tied the shoelaces on my left feet a bit too tight and I started feeling it from about 5k in. I didn’t stop to fix it, I ran with it and it still hurts a bit, but it is getting better. I think on these big race days something will go wrong eventually and you’ll just have to deal with it on the day. So always prepare and be ready to adapt on the day. 

This is not a new place for me, I have been to Brighton many times before as I love the beach and I also love fish and chips! When I used to live in London (2013-2020) I occasionally used to take the train and made a day trip out of Brighton during the summer months. Never did I ever think I will be running a Marathon here! 

I will say it is mildly hilly, the Marathon route that is, however I wasn’t prepared for the seafront splash of salty water spray in your face! It was extremely windy down there and it took a lot out of you when trying to maintain a certain pace. Thankfully a considerable bit was inside the city and we were being sheltered from the gusty wind of SSW at 20 mph. 

The temperature and atmosphere on the other hand couldn’t have been better. It was between 12-15 degrees, the sun was shining and the city just came alive. There was music every corner, there were friends and family of 15 thousand runners cheering everyone and my personal favourite, a very elegant looking elderly woman was holding a board ‘I trained months holding this board for you’. I think it was on my 24th mile, it cracked me up. 

Long story short, I did around 345 kms of running between Jan – April before the marathon in preparation, my longest run was 34.06 kms which took me 3 hours and 8 minutes on the treadmill as compared to  35k in 3 hours 11 minutes on the Marathon day. And I finished Brighton Marathon 2024 in 3:53:52 with a PB. And I couldn’t be prouder of myself.

Now a final pic from Brighton 2024