Brighton Marathon 2019: Three-time winner praises 'wonderful city'

There was a new British course record for the Brighton Marathon men's race this year – with the women's winner taking the top spot for the third time.

Sunday, 14th April 2019, 5:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 14th April 2019, 5:32 pm
Helen Davies won the women's race for the third year running (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

The tenth Brighton Marathon took place today (April 14), with the crowds turning out to cheer on 12,000 runners taking on the challenge.

Related stories: Brighton Marathon 2019 live blogBrighton Marathon 2019 - pictures from the raceThe men's race saw Peter Le Grice, 31, set a new British record on the course (previously 2:18:04), running the 26.2 miles in 2:16:23.

Next up was Paul Navesey, 32, with 2:18:17 and Ian Leitch, 43, was third with 2:18:34.

Helen Davies won the women's race for the third year running (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

On setting a new British record at Brighton, men's winner Peter said: "That was a real shock, something I can't really comprehend. Unbelievable and I'm thrilled."

It was also his first marathon win. He said: "I've run four, and it's the first I've actually won. What better place to do it, an iconic marathon and place. It's brilliant."

Helen Davies, 39, running for Ipswich Jaffa became the three-time winner of the women's race with a personal best of 2:34:08.

Jill Collett, 36, was second with a time of 2:48:16, and Johanna O'Regan, 36, was third at 2:49:41.

The three men's winners, Paul Navesey Peter Le Grice and Ian Leitch (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

Helen said: "It's absolutely amazing. It's amazing to be back here for the third year in a row, and even more amazing to win it.

"The aim would have been to come back for the hat trick and that's objective achieved.

"It's just a wonderful marathon, a wonderful city, it's a really great experience.

"The city is just full of so much energy, it really comes alive. Everybody really gets behind it. There's so many spectators around the course.

Three times Brighton Marathon winner Helen Davies (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

"It's not like London where the crowds are so immense that you're swamped by it, it's kind of overwhelming. But here the crowds are all the way round the course, it's much more intimate. Brighton does a really good job of it.

"The tough bit was the first out and back section facing the wind, that was a bit of a shock. Even though it was quite early on in the race it sort of rattled me a bit. It took me a while to recover from that. On the way back the wind was behind me and I then felt really good again, but I did keep thinking hang on I'm going to have to face this wind again for the final four miles, which is often the case here at Brighton.

"The last two years the wind direction has been the same as today which means you've got a really tough final four miles at your tiredest. Today it was the worst I've known it so it was really tough hitting that wind at that turn point at the power station.

"The only thing that keeps you going is you know when you hit the seafront again you know you're gonna get the crowds. Although it's really hard you've got this lovely energy carrying you through to the finish."

Peter Le Grice set a new British course record at this year's Brighton Marathon (Photograph: Jon Rigby)

On whether she'll be back next year, Helen said: "We'll see, maybe. I'd love to come back."