Organisers apologise after Brighton Marathon course measures 568m too long

  • Watch: ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw reports from Brighton

Organisers of the Brighton Marathon have apologised after the course for today's race measured 568 metres too long.

In a statement on Twitter, organisers said: "We are wholly disappointed that this has affected our runners and hope that it hasn't marred the experience."

An estimated 11,500 people took part in the event, the first in the city for 29 months.

Social distancing measures were put in place, with participants encouraged to take a lateral flow test before taking part.

The event, which normally takes place in April, was postponed because of Covid, with last year's cancelled entirely.

Organisers said they hoped the measuring mix-up hadn’t “marred” the otherwise “fantastic comeback” event. Credit: Brighton Marathon Weekend

Verity Hopkins won the women's race in her first ever marathon, while Neil McClements from Tonbridge was first back in the men's race.

They are both members of Tonbridge Athletic Club. Mr McClements said he was "absolutely delighted" while Ms Hopkins said it was "really good atmosphere, not too hot, perfect weather.”

The men's winner Neil McClements crosses the line

But this afternoon organisers confirmed that participants had been running a not-insignificant extra half a kilometre.

Some runners struggled to understand how such a basic error could be made.

Zara Dyer, who suffered a life-changing brain injury five years ago aged 29, walked the marathon over two days. 

Speaking to ITV Meridian, she said she wanted to “represent other people with brain injuries” and show “they can do what they want to do.”

  • Zara Dyer, marathon finisher:

The Brighton Marathon course starts in Preston Park before snaking its way through the city centre, along the seafront and finishing on Madeira Drive.

The course bests for the men and women are well under 2hrs 10min and 2:29, making it the second-fastest marathon in the UK. It is also the second-largest marathon in the UK and eighth-largest in Europe.