What a lovely trail run. And as my brother pointed out, 'London to Brighton' is the sort of route most people can picture and know where it is and roughly how far (supposed to be 56 miles - I clocked 57.8 on the Garmin).
Actually, the first 9 miles were not trail - we went through the deserted Bromley shopping precinct and followed roads to the first checkpoint. After that there was a mixture of trail and country lanes. The paths were generally good and there were some beautiful sections through woods (probably my favourite running). There were, oh, about sixty seven million stiles on the course. Maybe I exaggerate? Seemed more than strictly necessary anyway.
I met several runners I know either at the start or en route, which was good, as well as meeting new people. From a few miles in I ran with a runner called Helen and we stayed together right through to the finish. We actually ran most of it, with just a bit of walking up the hills (notably the big steep hill to get over the South Downs shortly before approaching Brigthon). That should have meant a reasonable finishing time, but the map reading slowed us down a lot. We didn't actually get very lost, but spent a lot of time standing around checking the map and trying to work out which of the vague tracks across the field ahead was the one we were supposed to follow. Even with the compass it was tricksy navigation.
I was looking forward to finishing on the beach in Brighton, until the reality of the pebbles confronted me on the very last weary hundred metres. It felt very good to get there though. Time? 12 hours, 36 minutes, 46 seconds.
I felt more tired than I have in ages on the Monday after. Probably because I didn't manage to eat much on the day, so expended around 5000 more calories than I consumed. But I ate plenty on Monday and Tuesday, including some protein powder to help the muscles, and felt much stronger on Tuesday's run. (You can get £2 off if you want to try some of the protein, by quoting 'Protein432' when you order. It's good vegan stuff, made from hemp.)
All in all it was a good day out - I'll definitely have to go do it again another year.