Thousands coast to glory at sixth annual Bournemouth Marathon Festival
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.

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Winner of the 2017 Bournemouth Marathon Festival
Thousands take part in biggest ever Bournemouth Marathon Festival
A record breaking 15,000 runners signed up to run in the fifth edition of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October. Runners from across the UK and beyond gathered on the Dorset coastline for the biggest event yet.

The South Coast festival included a Marathon, Half Marathon 10k, 5k, and four Junior races which made for an action-packed weekend.

The four junior races, which included two brand new races for 2017, kicked the festival off at Saturday lunchtime, with hundreds of enthusiastic young runners crossing the finish line in the bright Bournemouth sunshine. The first ever Kids’ Kilometre was first up at 12noon for ages 3-6. The 1.5k race then took place and saw Ono Anyan Hobbs first home in 5 minutes 50 seconds, while the first female home was Millie Fisher-wyatt in a time of 6 minutes and 32 seconds.

An hour later, it was the turn of the 9-12 year olds in the 2K. Jon Pepin of New Forest Junior AC, last year’s 1.5k winner was first across the line in 7 minutes and 11 seconds, and Southampton AC’s Megan Hulbert successfully defended her title from last year, coming across the finish line in 7 minutes and 55 seconds.

The winner of the first ever Junior 5k was Sean Harnett, who crossed the finish line in 17 minutes exactly, while the first female Fern Kimber, came home in a time of 19 minutes and 49 seconds.

The Supersonic 10K kicked off at 4pm along the seafront and saw victory for sixteen-year old Ben Lewis of Poole AC, who finished in a time of 34 minutes 03 seconds. He spoke to us afterwards: “I took part last year but really struggled at the 4.5k mark, so I’m happy to come back this year and do it justice.”

The first female over the line was Eilidh Bell with a winning time of 38 minutes 42 seconds. Eilidh reflected on her race: “The course was really nice, and the crowds were great. I even got a PB so I’m happy with how the race went.”
 

As dusk fell in Bournemouth, it was time for the glow in the dark Supernova 5K runners to light up the night. The final Saturday race kicked off at 7pm; runners set off along the promenade clad with fluorescent gear and each with a headtorch, creating a breathtaking visual spectacle. The eventual winner was Bayley Massey from Cambridge Harriers, successfully defending his title from last year. He finished in a time of 16 minutes 17 seconds. Bayley was followed home by Bournemouth AC club mates Rob McTaggart in second and Billy McGreevy in third place.  

Lara Atkinson, also from Cambridge Harriers, was first female finisher – successfully defending her title from the previous two years. She raced round the 5k route in 18 minutes 38 seconds.

Sunday’s Half Marathon event saw a new female course record set by Anna Boniface of Reading AC with a speedy time of 1:19:46.

Peter Baksh of Beckenham AC crossed the finish line first, with a time of 1:10:29. Afterwards he said: “The crowd and marshals were brilliant, it was a great day and I really enjoyed it. I really just wanted to get under a time today, I wasn’t expecting to win.”

The final event of the 2017 festival was the marathon, which got underway at 10am from Kings Park under brilliant blue skies. Pre-race favourite Jacek Cieluszecki broke clear early on and was in the lead as he ran over Bournemouth Pier and through the finish area in Lower Gardens with 9 miles remaining. Cieluszecki kept his pace up and came through the finish line to claim first prize in a time of 2:32:00.

After his win, Cieluszecki said: “I expected to be top 3 but I’m very happy with my win, I thought I had a chance as I was in control the whole way round. I won the Half Marathon in 2014 so I’m pleased to get on the podium this time for the marathon.”

The female race was won by Laura Trimble of Wimbledon Windmilers, who was the first female home in a time of 3:05:20. After her podium finish, Laura said: “The conditions were amazing – I really enjoyed it. It’s my first time racing here in Bournemouth and I loved it. I have a two-year old and a four-year old so it was amazing that they got to see me out on the course and support me.”

Elsewhere, there were plenty of other inspirational people doing truly incredible things. One such example was little Jake Dixon who took part in the first ever Kids’ Kilometre to raise funds for local hospice Forest Holme in memory of his dad Shaun, who sadly passed away from cancer in 2014.

Another inspirational charity feat took place by Michael Dobson and his team of supporters who took on the 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Michael said afterwards: “Normally we just take part in the Bournemouth Half Marathon, so it was very different this year. We took on this challenge in memory of my dad and I’m so proud of us all.”

It was also a day of celebrations for Karl Randall who crossed the finish line to complete his 300th marathon, only a couple of months after two emergency operations and deciding to take up running after he found himself overweight in 2008. Afterwards he said: “Completing 300 marathons is an absolutely fantastic feeling and achievement and it feels even more special to do it in Bournemouth.”

Sandra Scott, Race Director said: “It’s been another amazing weekend of seaside running at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, with over half a million pounds raised for good causes.

“Thanks to all the runners, supporters on route and to our fantastic team of volunteer race crew from all over the UK and beyond for making Bournemouth one of the UK’s ultimate running destinations: running as it should be.

“We’d also like to say thank you to the phenomenal support by local residents who came out to cheer and encourage the runners all along the route.

“Come and see us again next year for BMF 2018!”

Early bird entries are now available for 2018 until Sunday 22nd October. Find out more at www.bournemouthmarathon.com

ENDS

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