By Rich Hook
For many people, running the Brighton Marathon will be a voyage into the unknown, but for one man it will just be another weekend and another race.
Terry Avey has been running marathons for 26 years, and this will be his 20th Brighton Marathon.
Terry first ran a 26 mile course when he completed the Worthing Marathon back in 1985, and said he tries to get in eight or nine marathons or half-marathons every year.
Not only does Terry run a lot of races, he wins a lot of races. So far this year he has clocked up four victories in his age class (60+) at Woodcote 10km, Romsey 10km, Hastings Half-Marathon, and Brighton Half-Marathon.
In this year’s Brighton Half, Terry beat his age-grading (the benchmark time for runners in different age classifications) by over nine minutes, and he believes that he is getting better with age.
He said: “It’s great to be improving my times year-on-year, and now I’ve moved up an age category I’ve started winning more regularly again. But that’s not what it’s all about – each race is an achievement in itself.
“It’s such a special feeling every time you cross the finish line.”
Terry appreciates the positive reactions he gets from other runners when he’s out training, and thinks it’s this aspect of “Brighton’s running community” which makes it easy for him to keep on running.
But more important for Terry is the contribution of volunteers “whom the race couldn’t function without.”
It’s this support and quality of organisation that makes Brighton Marathon “the second best marathon in the world, after the London Marathon,” according to Terry.
Terry Avey is running the Brighton Marathon on behalf of Chestnut Tree House.
If you want to support Terry and the 13,000 other runners, the race starts at 9am this Sunday April 10 at Preston Park.