The 2018 Bournemouth Marathon Festival took place on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October. The festival, which included a Marathon, Half Marathon 10K, 5K, and four Junior races, attracted in excess of 15,000 runners, each with their own reason for running.

The festival kicked off at midday on Saturday with the Kids’ Kilometre for 3-6 year olds. The morning rain did not deter hundreds of enthusiastic youngsters who took on the challenge along the Bournemouth coast, setting the tone for a fantastic day of running.

The 1.5K Junior race for ages 6-8 was next up, with the Jack Cooper first home in a time of 6 minutes and 8 seconds, while the first female was Isabella Garavini in a time of 6 minutes and 25 seconds.

The Junior 2K for ages 9-12 took place at 1.30pm, with Jon Pepin taking the win in a time of 7 minutes and 16 seconds. The first female was Daisy Wilkinson in a time of 7 minutes and 34 seconds.

The final Junior race of the day; the 5K for ages 11-18, saw two new course records set. Ben Brown raced to victory in a time of 16 minutes 57 seconds and the first female home was Holly Wilkinson in a time of 19 minutes and 1 second.

Continuing a breathless day of running, the Supersonic 10K saw yet another course record set as David Long raced home in an outstanding time of 30 minutes and 42 seconds. He was followed by Nick Marriage and Ben Lewis. The first female across the line was Bethan Francis, she finished in a time of 37 minutes and 45 seconds. Georgia Wood and Serena O’Connor took second and third respectively.

As dusk fell in Bournemouth, runners gathered for the final event of the day; the Supernova 5K. At 7pm, thousands set off, clad unashamedly in fluorescent gear and each donning an LED head torch, creating a stunning visual spectacle.

Emerging from the darkness to take first place was David Clark who finished in a time of 16 minutes and  10 seconds, denying eventual second placer Bayley Massey a third consecutive victory in the event, after wins in 2016 and 2017. Jamie Grose took third spot.

Lara Atkinson took her fourth successive victory in the Supernova 5K, racing home in a time of 18 minutes and 53 seconds. Izzy Rabjohns was second in 20 minutes and 12 seconds, with Lexie Brown finishing just fractionally behind to take bronze in 20 minutes and 13 seconds.

Also amongst the Saturday runners were superstar siblings Alanna and Taylor Dobson who completed the Kids’ Kilometre and the Junior 2K for the event’s official charity Macmillan Cancer Support. They were raising money in memory of their Grandad who sadly passed away from cancer before they were born. Their Dad Mike inspired the kids’ amazing fundraising efforts by running the 5K, 10K, Half and full Marathon at last year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival! Read more on their JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/taylorandalanna.

Layla Chandler ran the BMF Junior 1.5K for Back Up Trust who work to transform lives after spinal cord injuries. Back Up is a charity very close to home for Layla as her good friend Kevin has a spinal cord injury and has had some amazing opportunities thanks to the charity. Find out more and donate to Layla’s cause here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/layla-chandler.

Sunday runners will have been glad to wake up to a clear, bright morning as they made their way to the start line in King’s Park.

The Half Marathon was first up at 8am. The race eventually saw Alex Van Tuyl of Clapham Chasers take the win in a speedy 1 hour 10 minutes and 14 seconds. He managed to edge ahead of Richard Waldron (1 hour 10 mins and 35 seconds) and Sean Hogan (1 hour 10 minutes and 48 seconds) who claimed second and third place. Afterwards, Alex said:

“That was a personal best by two minutes so I’m really pleased! Richard (Waldron) was in front for most of the race and I managed to overtake him on the final stretch along the pier. I loved the course and the event, it was really well organised.”

Alissa Ellis of Hailsham Harriers was the first female home in a time of 1 hour 24 minutes and 32 seconds. She was delighted after her win:

“I did not expect to win today, and this was a big personal best for me. I am training for a marathon so today has given me a lot of confidence. I loved the event, it was really well supported and well organised”.

Lucy Barnes (1 hour 25 minutes and 47 seconds) and Alex Lane (1 hour 26 minutes and 40 seconds) claimed the remaining female podium spots.

The final event of the 2018 festival was the Marathon, which got underway at 10am from King’s Park under brilliant blue skies.

Iain Trickett of Dorset Doddlers battled hard to eventually pull ahead and take victory in a time of 2 hours 25 minutes and 46 seconds. He spoke after his win: 

“It feels great to take the win, I knew there was going to be some good competition here today. Temperature-wise it was pretty much perfect today, the sun was out but it wasn’t too hot. The support was awesome, there aren’t many events on this scale where you have so many people out cheering you on and giving you high fives along the route, so I really enjoyed it.”

Iain was joined on the podium by Richard McDowell and David Hudson who finished with respective times of 2 hours 26 miutes and 49 seconds, and 2 hours 30 minutes and 40 seconds.

The female race was won by Sarah Hill of Farnham Runners in a time of 2 hours 55 minutes and 42 seconds. At the finish line, she said:

“It feels fantastic to win, I wasn’t expecting that at all. The route was lovely, I forget how beautiful Bournemouth is! I was leading from mile two so it was hard work, but the support was amazing out there and it really drove me on.”

Taking the second and third podium spots were Juliet Champion (3 hours 1 minute and 21 seconds), and Becky Atkinson (3 hours 1 minute and 37 seconds).

Further down the field were some incredible people running for some equally incredible causes.

Daisie Bryan ran the BMF Half Marathon for PAPYRUS UK. She explained:

“I decided to run and raise money for PAPYRUS after my cousin made the decision to take his own life on Wednesday 2nd May 2018. I find it hard to believe that until that horrible day I didn’t even know that suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 27 to 35.

“He was just 27 years old and if I can help prevent one family going through the tragedy we have, it will all be worth it. Until very recently I had never even gone for a jog before so today was a big step for me.”

You can read more and donate to Daisie’s JustGiving page here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daisie-eleanor-bryan.

Emma Bevan ran the Bournemouth Marathon for SANDS UK. She explained the motivation behind her Marathon effort:

“My beautiful Nephew Benedict was born sleeping in 2014 and during this incredibly tough time for my family, SANDS were there for all of us every step of the way, and continue to provide support and information. By entering the Marathon it was my chance to raise vital funds for SANDS in Benedict’s memory, to ensure that any other family who go through this trauma can also be supported as we have been.

“The death of a baby is not rare. Every day in the UK around 15 babies die before, during or soon after birth. That means every 90 minutes a family is faced with the devastation of the death of their baby.

“I started a long, and somewhat painful, training plan back in April, quit smoking and watched my fitness increase each day, so I’m so happy to have got to the finish line today.”

You can read more and donate via Emma’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/pages/biz/Emmas-Marathon-Mayhem-169178100456975/.

Sean Doran completed an incredible four events at this year’s festival, taking on the Supernova 5K and Supersonic 10K on Saturday, and the Half Marathon and Marathon on Sunday. He was raising funds for Asthma UK. You can read more and donate here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/seandoran150.

Reflecting on an action-packed weekend of running, Sandra Scott, Race Director said:

“Yet again, I am left inspired by the dedication and courage of the participants who, having completed weeks and months of training, started and finished their very personal challenge this weekend. The journey that leads to this kind of accomplishment can often be both emotionally and physically tough and I want to say a massive congratulations to everyone who ran and who have contributed to over half a million pounds that has been raised for charities.

“My next thank you goes to all of the local residents and businesses of Bournemouth and Poole who supported the runners across the route.  A very heartfelt thank you also reaches out to the 1000 strong Event Team who have been there to support and ensure the safety and wellbeing of the runners this weekend.

“Bournemouth and Poole continues to prove itself to be one of the UK’s most beautiful running destinations, truly ‘running as it should be’ and we look forward to welcoming both new and returning runners to the event next year.”

2019 early bird entries open now!

For those who want to do it all over again next year, early bird entries for the 2019 event are open NOW! Grab a discounted entry for the 2019 Bournemouth Marathon Festival on 5th & 6th October today. Early bird entries will be available until midnight on Sunday 21st October: www.bournemouthmarathon.com.