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Darren Brighton from Runner to Race Angel

Our popular Fitmums Race Angels will be back again this year, supporting and encouraging runners between miles 23 and 24, and among them will be Darren Brighton, a run leader with Hedon Fitmums & Friends. Darren was due to run the RB Hull Marathon this year but in January suffered a minor stroke while captaining a tanker crossing the Atlantic. Although he has recovered fully now and is running again he thought it best to postpone his first marathon until next year and has volunteered to be a Race Angel for our runners instead.

Darren has worked hard to regain his fitness after the stroke. Initially he was advised against exercise and spent seven weeks doing very little.  This was very frustrating as he had been training for the Silverstone Half Marathon and his first marathon – Brighton. Once given the go ahead to start exercising again, his goal was to get fit for the Great North Run.  His starting point was getting back to Fitmums and he led the two mile group each week for a month or so.  From there he gradually increased his distance and on Sunday he completed the Great North Run in 2:31:31.

Darren told us: “Though I could have opted to run in the relay, I just felt having done the Race Angels before, I wanted to help out again.  It was so beneficial to many runners seeing a friendly face when they were struggling, and great motivation for them to keep going and get to the finish.  For all of us who acted as Race Angels, we all got so much out of it on a personal level too.  It was a tough call to make, but one I think is in my best interests, and also most helpful.”

We think Darren has made the right decision and know that our runners will appreciate and benefit from his support and encouragement. He is now aiming to run his first marathon at Brighton next year. We wish him well and hope to see him run his home marathon in Hull in 2018 too.

You can read more of Darren’s story at and if you'd like to volunteer to help at the 2017 RB Hull Marathon go to for more information and online registration. Don't leave it too late - training briefings start on Thursday 14 September.

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