After a great couple of days checking out London, it was time to meet Jen and Ed and head down south for the big race. Luckily Ed’s parents and sister live in Seaford, which was just a short train ride away from Brighton where the race was. So we got to spend some time with them as well. We arrived on Saturday night (the race was on Sunday) and Ed’s family was preparing us a wonderful ‘carb-filled’ dinner of homemade lasagna, delicious salad, and the most amazing cheesecake I think I have ever eaten! They were so sweet to make sure we were well prepared for our big race the next day. So we headed off to bed kind of early after some great conversation and of course a couple of cups of tea. (It wouldn’t be England without tea, right?!)
The next morning, Sarah, Ed’s mom, was up and ready to take us to the starting line. Although it was a bit of a cold morning, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sun was shining and as we arrived we were greeted by over 15,000 runners, all ready to get moving. Sarah dropped us off, wished us luck, and promised she’d be back a bit later with the rest of the gang to meet us at the finish line…
Energy was high as we started the race. The music and the announcers were getting everyone amped up and ready to run 13.1 miles along the seaside. We started the race first running in one direction along the water and then turned around, came back across the boardwalk and started our way down to the other end, still staying on the waterfront. What a beautiful place to run!! After 6 miles, we were feeling great; we were keeping a great pace! There were so many fans cheering us on and clapping the whole way, it was really easy to stay motivated.
I think the whole town of Brighton came out to support the runners! As we neared the end, we couldn’t believe how well were doing. We crossed the finish line and we were stunned to find out that we had run this half marathon a whole 20 minutes faster than the one we ran together almost 4 years ago when we were both living in Phoenix!! We were amazed with our accomplishment and couldn’t be happier about completing it all!!
When crossing the finish, we spotted Ed and his mom waiting for us there and we were off to meet Ed’s dad and his sister, Frank, for a celebration lunch at a really nice Vietnamese restaurant in town. (Luckily we had brought a change of clothes…didn’t do much for the hair situation though! Haha!) We were so excited to get some food in our bellies after all that running and then it was time for cupcakes!! At our last half marathon, Jen’s mom had brought us cupcakes from Sprinkles (a very famous cupcake maker in the States) and so I wanted to keep the tradition alive. I had brought these cupcakes all the way from Notting Hill in London from a little bakery that I had found. They were delicious!! And even though Ed didn’t run the race with us, he still got his celebratory cupcake!!
The rest of the day we were very lazy ladies just sprawling on the couch and basking in our glory! Haha! Ed’s family made us another fabulous dinner (famous English Sunday dinner) with meat, potatoes, veggies, and something called Yorkshire pudding! It was all so delicious!! The next day, Ed, Jen, and I headed back to Brighton to meet up with one of Ed’s friends and we spent the day walking the ‘lanes’, famous ally ways with lots of cool little shops, and just enjoying another day of sunshine!! It is VERY abnormal for England to have this much sun all at once, especially in February…we were very lucky to have such beautiful weather!! Ed and Jen headed off that evening to go back home to Manchester, and I was off the next day back to London to catch a flight back to Spain! What an amazing and successful weekend in Brighton!!