Sunday, May 17, 2009

Heroes Run - Brighton Beach

Heroes Run” is a charity fun run along Brighton Beach with loads of people dressed in superhero costumes. I was there last year (blogged here) and it was very entertaining.

It is organised by local charity Passing It On who raise money to build schools and support education in some of the poorest areas of Africa, and this year they are raising money for 2 projects: The Tenderfoot school in Kenya and The Dreamlands school in Ghana.

I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it - as my wife’s due date for giving birth was a week ago so I am currently on red alert. As it was, there didn't look to be an immediate danger of the baby arriving, so we decided to head down to the beach. At that point the heavens opened and torrential rain started coming down - it looked like weather for Aquaman. Fortunately just as we stepped out of the front door the clouds parted and there was a beautiful blue sky for a good few hours, wo we were able to walk/ waddle to the beach without getting wet. I even got a touch of sunburn on my forehead. But I feel sorry for all those runners who had got there early for the record breaking count and were in the rain with nothing but a layer of body paint to protect them.

This year the big difference was that they were trying to win the Guinness World record for most superheroes in one place. The World Record for “The most people dressed as Superheroes” of 103 was set by Bournemouth University in 2008 and there were some tough rules:

1. Each person must be dressed as a recognised superhero.
2. A recognised superhero is one that has been used in a published book, comic, television programme or film.
3. Each persons costume must be instantly recognisable as the superhero they are portraying.
4. All participants must be gathered in one location for a minimum of 10 minutes.

We didn't see the record breaking line up - if indeed there was one, but the record seems to have been firmly crushed. There were (I think) 1,400-ish runners, so even if some of the more dubious entries were disqualified, there was still a big margin for victory.

Today was the 5th year or the run, with the 500M kids dash, and a 5KM and 10KM for the grown ups. The kids dash was over before I knew it. There were a lot of mini spidermans an the like being wheeled around afterwards a long with a collection of Super-Dogs. As I was walking along I heard one mum say to her son "Stop tugging on my cape!", not the kind of thing you hear in a normal everyday situation.

The adults' 5KM and 10KM started at the same time - from the old pier to Hove Lagoon and back = 5kn. After a little wait, they were off. One professional photographer (well he had a florescent vest at any rate) was standing right in the middle of the course and was practically run over as the flood of Superheroes sped past.

It was funny to see the trends in what people had dressed as. This year there were about a billion Wolverines, Batmen and Hulks, but the breakout star was Dr Manhattan, of which there were about 4. None went with the full balls out look, but were very brave nonetheless.

2 Dr Manhattans have an impromptue picnic after the race:

There were also a few people who were clearly in the know with what was happening in the world of comics, with a Red Hulk, and the new Batwoman:

There was also a "celeb" entry, Brighton local Peter, from Big Brother who was running around with a video camera on a pole.

And to finish off, a few of my favourite photos:

All in all, it was a lot of fun, hope to check it again next year. Maybe in between now and then I can get some practice in before I have a run myself.

Update: Photos from this blog are featured on Lying In The Gutters.

Other links:
News coverage at the Argus newspaper
Media Attention's photos
A couple of flickr photo sets 1 2
Sussex Sports Photography

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