The annual Heroes Run in Brighton has become something of an institution of late amongst the fun-runners of Brighton and Hove. It is a fun-run in the purest sense of the phrase, with no timing chips, no club-vests or pace-setters to speak of. No-one cares about their time and the emphasis is completely on having fun and seeing who can come up with the best costumes, all while raising money for local charity, Pass It On, Africa. Over the years, Heroes Run has attracted a range of runners from professional athletes to couch-to-10k challengers, but always the emphasis is the same. This year, things were no different.
On an overcast spring morning, a record-breaking 1116 runners descended on Hove lawns to run, walk and crawl their way along a choice of three distances. First of all, there was the Kids’ 500m Dash which saw children (some of whom, it seemed, had just learned to walk let alone run) tackle probably their first ever race. Everyone lined the course to cheer the runners on and the smiles on the children’s faces set the precedent for the day’s event.
Once the Kids’ 500m Dash was complete, everyone crammed towards the start-line for a quick warm up lead by the guys at British Military Fitness. Suitably limbered up, a very large group of Incredible Hulks stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Superman, Spiderman, Power Rangers and many more, chomping at the bit to get going. The route is simple, starting at Hove Lawns and going along the promenade towards Shoreham, around Hove Lagoon, back onto the promenade at the King Alfred Leisure Centre and back to Hove Lawns, a loop which measures 5km (3.1mi). Runners have the choice of completing this loop once (Super 5km) or twice (Heroic 10km) as identified on their race number. A fair few runners stuck with the 5km, so the field thinned out somewhat after the first lap, but there were still plenty of people who took on a second round to keep the running fun and interesting.
Once the run was complete, runners went into the main marquee for a prize-giving ceremony for the winners of each event (male and female), as well as a number of other categories such as best costume, best superhero finish, biggest team entry and best team costume. The whole atmosphere at Heroes Run is one of fun and enjoyment, and the sense of community felt in the marquee at the end makes this my feel-good event of the year.
Next year, Heroes Run is evolving to incorporate a villainous element whereby the ‘Goodies’ chase down the ‘Baddies’ who are given a 2 minute head-start. It is sure to be another fantastic, family-friendly event and one that I encourage you all to give a try.
To find out more about Pass It On Africa or to enter next year’s Heroes Run, visit the Pass It On Africa website.