It's a very early start for the runABC South weekend preview. How does 5:30am on Friday morning (20 July) in Brighton sound? This weekend we highlight three races that start at unusual times but might suit shift workers or anyone with a penchant for the unconventional.
5.30 Brighton is the UK launch of the running phenomenon that has taken Italy by storm. More than 150,000 have taken part in 5.30km runs in major Italian cities at 5.30am on normal working days and now you can join the 5.30 movement and be part of the very first Brighton running event to be granted permission to run through the beautiful Royal Pavilion gardens.
Why run 5.30km at 5:30am I hear you ask? According to organisers 5.30 Events
it promotes daily physical activity; you discover the city in a unique atmosphere; it's because the day is always so busy; a little movement helps start your day; there is no traffic; it does not steal family time; the course is short and accessible to all; it won’t affect your weekend plans; you get to eat delicious fresh fruit and, finally, it's because it takes very little to be happy!
At the opposite end of the day but geographically close there is the LUNAR-TIC Night Marathon from Shoreham by Sea Scout Hut starting at 8pm on Saturday (21 July). Promoted by experienced race management company Sussex Trail Events
this is a spectacular 26.2 miler through the Sussex countryside beside the banks of River Adur.
Last year's winners were unattached runners Phil Howard (3:32:17) and Sarah Sawyer (3:59:46) and there were 117 finishers in 6:08:13 – although there is officially a six hour time limit for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, for anyone who has a busy weekend planned the revered ultra running pioneer and meditation teacher, Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007), comes to the rescue with the eponymous Sri Chinmoy 5K Series
– the latest of which is Silver Starling 5K on Monday (23 July) at 7pm.
The evening start time and the flat Battersea Park course (net elevation gain 67 feet) could facilitate fast times, as illustrated by the course records of 14:37 by Jonny Hay (Aldershot) and 16:37 by Steph McCall (South London Harriers).