Three Forts Challenge – 1st May 2016

9 05 2016

Most of my training for this year’s Brighton marathon was off-road, up on the South Downs. It’s my favourite place to run now – far more relaxing than the roads and it has really helped my endurance. After the marathon, hoping to make the most of my training, I entered the The Three Forts Challenge, also known as  The Tough One. It’s a 27 mile route on the South Downs, starting in Worthing. It takes in the ancient hill forts of Cissbury Ring, Chanctonbury Ring and Devil’s Dyke. 3450 ft of climbing and nearly 6 hours to complete. What was I thinking of?!

Tough it certainly is but to take your mind off the aches and pains, the route is set in stunning countryside and brilliantly marshalled by some wonderful volunteers.


3Forts Challenge May 2016 by 15:22:09

‘Running’ up the final slope to Cissbury Ring with Paul.


I ran the whole distance with my friend Paul who I’ve been running with for years now – we started running 5km parkruns at Hove park, 7 years ago and now look at us!

Coming up to the finish after nearly 6 hours felt like a real achievement and it has really changed my focus on what I’ll enter this year. The Moyleman in Lewes and Beachy Head marathon are definitely on my list of things to do and I’ll certainly be back for The Tough One next year.

3Forts Challenge May 2016 by 14:48:20

Finishing never felt such a relief !

Three Forts Challenge

Cissbury Ring

Chanctonbury Ring

Devil’s Dyke



Get Into Running #2

1 02 2016

I’ve just completed the poster for the 2nd evening of running talks, organised by myself, Paul Zara, Kevin Betts and Nick Rivett. Same format, same great Exeter Street Hall  and another great mix of speakers coming to share their running experiences. Fancy coming?


There are some truly inspirational stories out there about why people get into running. In our 2nd evening of talks to be held at Exeter Street Hall on Friday 12th Feb, we have a mixed bag of running treats!

The evening is an informal event with some wonderful examples of why running has had a positive impact of the lives of so many people.

Come and join us – doors open at 6.30pm for a prompt 7pm start. We aim to finish around 8.30pm or soon after. There is a licenced bar and entry is free.

Our guest speakers include:
Caroline Wood, Joan Lennon and Carol Killick – all active runners who have represented Great Britain recently.
John Jaap will be giving a report on the first parkrun at Bevendean Down.
Tess Agnew is a fitness blogger from Brighton and she is also Sussex Ambassador for This Girl Can. Enthusiasm guaranteed! You can follow her blog here
Brendan Spellman was once homeless in Brighton. Running and friends helped to turn his life around. He now works for Emmaus in Brighton

Look forward to seeing some of you on Friday 12th Feb!
Pete Golton


Bevendean Down parkrun

24 01 2016

This morning’s trial parkrun at Bevendean Down, Brighton,  was an uplifting experience despite the  foggy conditions.  Brighton is lucky enough to have 3 parkruns already with around 1000 runners starting out each Saturday morning. We are, of course,  the  #CityOfRunners 🙂 Now with the opening of Bevendean Down we have a 4th course that is unique in being entirely off-road and a bit more challenging than the others. In fact, I got a flash back to x-country runs from my school days as my trail shoes squelched in the mud!

Going for a PB? Don’t! My run today was 25 mins or so – at least 3 minutes longer than my normal tarmac performance at Hove park but I came away totally exhilarated after running on downland that is within the South Downs National Park. It’s going to be even more spectacular when the weather improves.

bevendean down parkrun

It’s a two lap course with just enough gradient to make it a challenge. I loved the gentle downhill section which must be around 500m or more in length. A chance to get your breath back!

After the run, Paul and I  headed off for our traditional post run coffee, this time at The Bevy pub. As I entered the front door, I was greeted with “Tea or coffee?”  The Bevy, Brighton’s only community owned estate pub,  is going to open for the regular 9am parkrun, starting on 6th February. I’ll definitely be back.


Here’s to the next million metres!

10 01 2016

On a day that saw 62 parkrun attendance records broken up and down the country, I reached a numerical milestone of my own at Hove Park today, running my 200th parkrun. Numbers at Hove were impressively high with the previous max of 533 being well and truly beaten into 2nd place with a new record of 583 – so high in fact that we ran out of tokens. With so much positive media coverage of parkrun recently and the inevitable New Year’s resolutions being put into practice, I suppose it wasn’s such a surprise.  My 200th run was also accompanied by several other notable stats! It was  my (at least) 200th black Americano at Hove park cafe –  and slightly fewer cooked breakfasts when the weather gets a bit chilly! I’ve gained so many great friends ( probably 200!) from my post run chats with good friends and fellow runners. I’ve definitely lost far more than 200 hours of sleep, getting up at 7am on a Saturday morning for the last 5 years or so. That is a positive, by the way. To have got up and done something early on a Saturday morning, always leaves me feeling I still have the whole weekend to play with.

Here’s to my next 200 5km parkruns,  my next 1000km and my next million metres! Looking forward to another Megametre 🙂



The smile is partly due to an imminent bacon sandwich but it was a fun morning all round.




Age graded stats

22 12 2015

I’ve never really paid much attention to age graded stats…until this week. For the first 2 years of parkrun, it was all about trying to get a PB. Then I started doing half and full marathons and my 5k times started trailing off – a pity because I love having a goal that is just out of reach. I’d hate to think I could NEVER get another PB but there’s a much better option (for me) and I’ve only just thought about it. My age graded percentage, when I got my last PB, was nearly 73%. My last run was almost bang on 69%, only 4% lower – so that’s my next challenge – to achieve an age graded ‘PB’.

There’s a handy Age Graded calculator at Running for Fitness that’s close to the one used by parkrun. You can pop in your target age graded percentage and it will give you the time you need to get it.

And if that is still too much of a challenge – just maintaining my current time will automatically give a me an improved Age graded result. At age 70, I’ll be over 80%. Happy days!


Get into running Friday 13th November

10 11 2015

Running eveningThere’s a fantastic running community in Brighton & Hove that caters for all abilities, including first timers. We are a group of running enthusiasts who want to share some of the great benefits that running can bring. For many, it’s not just physical health but also the positive impact on mental health and well being. There really is something for everyone.

Did you know, for example, that every Saturday at 9am, approximately 1000 people aged from 8 to 80, run a 5km parkrun in Brighton and Hove?

We have a number of speakers :
Lisa Smith-Wallace, Club Captain for Brighton & Hove Women’s Running Club (B&HWRC) will explain how first timers are encouraged and supported. Brigitte Groves has led groups of runners training for their first attempt at the Brighton marathon. Brigitte was also a founder member of B&HWRC.
Paul Zara started running as a complete beginner about 6 years ago when someone persuaded him to try parkrun in Hove park. Paul is now one of a rare group who has run in each one of the Brighton marathons. Paul, will be talking about how running gives you a different perspective of the city.
Kevin Betts took on the challenge of running 52 marathons in one year and survived to tell the tale. Kevin is a regular at Hove park parkrun where he completes the 5km course pushing a buggy.
Nick Rivett from NickRivettSports will be explaining Gait Analysis in which running efficiency can be analysed as you run on a machine.

For my part, I started running with Paul Zara and have now taken part in many 5k , 10k, half and full marathons. I particularly enjoy running on the South Downs. I have been volunteer coordinator at Hove park parkrun for the last 3 years

Hope to see you in the hall next Friday.
Pete Golton

150km, Vespas and a swim on Brighton beach

31 08 2015
2015-08-30 11.58.45

Overlooking Brighton from bridleway down from Woodingdean

Exploring off-road – that’s  going to be the focus of my running now. Yesterday, I headed out towards East Brighton, climbing up Bear Rd towards Brighton Racecourse. At the top, I normally head down Wilson Avenue, towards the sea but this time I kept going until I reached the golf course. It’s a view of Brighton I’ve never seen and there’s a great bridleway to run down. As soon as I get off pavements, my pace slows a little and it feels so much more relaxing, even the steep sections.

I’ve since looked at the map and realized that had I continued out towards Woodingdean, I could have easily found a path towards Castle Hill National Nature Reserve. Then I’d be only a km or two from the South Downs Way. Hmmm a half marathon route on the Downs would be amazing.

Once I’d got down to seafront near Brighton Marina I followed the seafront. There was a huge reunion of Mods along Madeira Drive with so many Vespas all looking immaculate. Then past the pier, under the enormous i360 and along to the less busy Hove lawns. The sea was so calm and inviting, I had to go in for a dip. Not cold but so refreshing.

2015-08-30 12.22.47

Big reunion of Mods in Brighton. Overheard a tourist saying “I’ve seen Vespas everywhere!”

2015-08-30 12.55.41

Après swim!

15km in all bringing up 160km this month. One more day to go for to have completed 5k every day in August.


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