Inspiring stories behind some of the people running the Brighton Half Marathon

The Rubix VT Brighton Half Marathon takes place on Sunday, February 25, and the race has again attracted a huge number – and range – of runners from across Sussex.
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Here are just a handful of them – and the stories inspiring them to take part.

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Will Shand, 59 and Darren Winter, 53, Worthing

Brighton half marathon entrants Will Shand, 59 and Darren Winter, 53, Worthing | Picture contributedBrighton half marathon entrants Will Shand, 59 and Darren Winter, 53, Worthing | Picture contributed
Brighton half marathon entrants Will Shand, 59 and Darren Winter, 53, Worthing | Picture contributed
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Running from Worthing to the Brighton Half start line, running the Brighton Half and then running home again (43.1 miles in total!) for Sussex MS Centre

Will said: “I run a lot, and the idea of asking people to give me money to run a half marathon is a bit like asking for funding to drink a cup of coffee; however the Sussex MS Centre is such a good charity that I wanted to find a way to do them justice. They provide a space, a community and services for people with MS that they can't get anywhere else. My wife, Annette, has had MS for over thirty years and this centre has provided the most useful support she has ever had.”

“So, the plan is that my friend Daz and I will run from my house to the Brighton Half Marathon (15 miles), then run the event (13 miles) and then run home again (15 miles....probably into the February!). This sounds hard, but is nowhere near as hard as having MS. We hope to raise £1,000 for the centre, to keep it working and helping people.”

James Sicilia, 28, of Burgess Hill | Contributed pictureJames Sicilia, 28, of Burgess Hill | Contributed picture
James Sicilia, 28, of Burgess Hill | Contributed picture

James Sicilia, 28, Burgess Hill

Running to raise money for Brain Tumour Research in memory of his grandmother Brenda Thorne

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“I am fundraising for Brain Tumour Research in memory of my late grandma who unfortunately passed away back in 2015 due to a brain tumour. She was one of the most incredible women in my life, always there for anyone in the family and we all miss her greatly.” This is James’s first half marathon.

Anwar Karimi | Contributed pictureAnwar Karimi | Contributed picture
Anwar Karimi | Contributed picture

Chloe Neilson, Bognor RegisRacing 40 races in her 40th Year

“I am taking on 40 races, in my 40th year, to raise money for the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to help more disadvantaged young people to overcome adversity and realise their true potential. Some of the young people the Trust supports, have faced so many challenges in their lives, their bravery has inspired and motivated me to share my journey back to running, which has been challenging....having had severe incontinence after my second child.

Over the past 2 years, through exercise, physio and diet I've made huge progress, but it's something that can affect me daily and almost always when I run! But I'm persevering and hope that by the end of my year I will take part in an ultra-event!! I know this isn't a sexy topic, but it would be great to raise awareness of this important issue affecting so many women's health”

Luke Rickett | Contributed pictureLuke Rickett | Contributed picture
Luke Rickett | Contributed picture


Luke Rickett, 19, Brighton and Anwar Karimi, 46, Brighton/London

Running for the Brighton Table Tennis Club

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The Brighton Table Tennis Club is a Brighton charity founded in 2007 with the belief that table tennis can be used as a powerful tool to engage people of all ages and transform lives. The club runs over 200 tables across the city and has a full time centre in Kemptown. The club includes people with learning disabilities, people from traveller sites, Looked After Children, people with physical disabilities, the LGBT community and young asylum seekers. The youngest player is 2 and the oldest is 100!

In 2019 the club started to attend parkrun and loved it, with many of the club members running and volunteering. Anwar and Luke are now involved in helping to set up a new junior parkrun in Queen's Park. This year some of the BTTC are taking on the challenge of running the Brighton Half Marathon to raise money for the club.

Luke is a 19 year old who has been involved with BTTC for over 10 years. He recently won the ‘Care Leaver of the Year Award’ for Brighton & Hove. This video was made about his table tennis achievements and his recent award. He started coming to parkun 15 months ago and doesn't miss a week, also volunteering most Sundays at the junior parkrun. The Brighton Half Marathon will be Luke’s first half marathon.

Naomi Garrick | Contributed pictureNaomi Garrick | Contributed picture
Naomi Garrick | Contributed picture

Anwar is a 46 year old Kurdish asylum seeker who has been in the UK for 15 months and has run 37 parkruns and volunteered 9 times at junior parkrun. He has recently been moved to London by the Home Office while he waits for his decision but has continued going to parkrun in Mile End. He misses his community and friends in Brighton and talks about how running is great for connecting with people, places and helping improve mental health. The Brighton Half Marathon is Anwar’s first half marathon.

Anthony and Anna Seddon, Portslade

Raising money for Run2Ukraine by running 1569 miles!

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Anthony Seddon from Portslade is running the Brighton Half Marathon as the final event in a 1569 mile challenge he has set himself to run from England to Ukraine to raise money to send medical aid to Ukraine. So far he has run about 1400 miles and has raised over £23,750. Anthony has recorded a two minute video on his gofundme page here to explain his mission.

He says “I met my wife in Ukraine when I was watching England play football there in the European Championships in 2012, so I’ve said I’ll run the equivalent distance from the Amex Stadium, Brighton (where I’m a season ticket holder) to the Dnipro Arena (Anna’s local football stadium). I am doing this by running 5Ks, 10Ks, half and full marathons.” Along with asking for donations Anthony is also asking for people to run with him to raise awareness. So far over 36 people have been inspired to join Anthony at various events.

Naomi Garrick

Running as a dalmatian for International Animal Rescue

Guinness World Record holder Naomi is lacing up her running shoes for a great cause as she prepares to run the upcoming Brighton Half Marathon to support International Animal Rescue.

Naomi, known for her athletic achievements and philanthropic spirit, will run the half marathon dressed as a dog in support of International Animal Rescue. Naomi's journey is deeply personal, driven by her commitment to honouring her late mother's legacy. Naomi's mother dedicated her life to supporting animals, and in her memory, Naomi has pledged to continue the fight against animal suffering.

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This isn't Naomi's first run; she secured two Guinness World Records, including an impressive marathon time of 3 hrs 41 minutes while wearing a wedding dress. Her remarkable achievements even landed her a feature on the popular morning show, This Morning, where she was interviewed live on air by Phil and Holly the day after her televised marathon.

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