Alan Oliver’s Bournemouth Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society

Alan Oliver’s Bournemouth Marathon for Alzheimer’s Society

Having seen first hand the devastating effects Alzheimers can have, Alan Oliver was inspired to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society (a Premier Affiliate Charity of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival) – and in a big way. 

Alan has already taken part in eight ultra challenge events, and not wanting to lose momentum, then entered the Bournemouth Marathon on 6th October. Alan’s mum Irene sadly passed away at the age of 69 after being diagnosed with Alzheimers in her late 50s, and it was this that inspired his epic challenge.

Alan said: “(Alzheimers) not only affects the individual but their family and friends who see the person they knew change forever and in my case watch my mum fade away to nothing over a period of years. It started with just not being able to find the odd word to express herself, then moved on to forgetfulness until she ended up in a care home, existing rather than living. She went from a person who loved life and was full of joy to a shell who could not communicate.”

With a sub 4 hour time the target in Bournemouth, Alan is ready to embrace the pain: “I want to push the boundaries to raise money to help end this terrible disease. I know I will suffer but when I feel like quitting, I will just think that the pain I am going through is nothing to the suffering she must have gone through.”

Alan has raised well over £3,000 already and looks on track to surpass his £5,000 target for the fundraising campaign. You can read more and donate via his JustGiving page here.

Why not sign up to run for Alzheimer’s Society, or one of over 300 affiliate charities at this year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival?

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Edgard’s Marathon for Julia’s House
“I’m hoping for 3 hours 30 this year,” said local marathon runner, Edgard Zaldua, as he trains for his fourth Bournemouth Marathon for Julia’s House. “I ran 3 hours 40 last year, so always like to improve. It’s a personal challenge for me as well as a chance to support Julia’s House who has helped my son Daniel and our family for eight years now. It’s a real honour to run for them.”

Edgard runs one or two marathons a year, he’s just run the off-road Hampshire Hoppit, but the Bournemouth Marathon is a highlight in his running calendar:

“The atmosphere on the day is amazing. There are thousands of runners and so many people come out to support us. There’s something for everyone too, with all the different races for different age groups.

Last year, Daniel ran the Kids’ Kilometre with his mum holding his hand all the way round, which was amazing for a child with his condition. His sister, Isabella, ran the Junior 2k race and both of them were raising money for Julia’s House. It was a lovely family thing to do.”

Edgard’s son Daniel, 14, has a rare condition called Sanfilippo Syndrome (or mucopolysaccharide III B). It’s a rare degenerative and progressive condition that affects a child’s learning and developmental abilities, although its impact on each child is different. “The progression has been fairly slow for Daniel and he’s still running around and very active. He’s very bright and while non-verbal is very demonstrative and tactile. He’s a very happy boy,” says Edgard.

Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice, help Edgard’s family by sitting with Daniel at his home for a few hours once or twice a week. “It’s a great help. The carers from Julia’s House will usually take Daniel out and about, either to the park, on a picnic or swimming. It really helps manage time for the family and Daniel’s sisters, so they can have the life experiences they need too. It is a great support for all of us.”

Edgard’s right in the middle of his training programme: “You can never do enough preparation. I’m just working up to 20-21 miles but it still hurts when you go up to 26 miles. The support always keeps you going though. So many people come out on the day and the Julia’s House team are there in force, making a lot of noise, cheering and giving out water.

“While it’s a fairly flat course, I have been doing some hill training for stamina and also cardio and strength work at the gym. This whole body approach has made a real difference to my running. As it’s a road race, I always make sure I’ve got the right shoes to keep me as comfortable as possible.

“I have been trying to get some friends to run with me but haven’t convinced them yet. Although, in a way I actually quite like to run the race solo, so I can enjoy the atmosphere and the personal challenge.”

Edgard has raised thousands of pounds for Julia’s House over the last few Bournemouth Marathons and he’s just about to set up his Just Giving page for this year’s race. “I usually start fund-raising a bit closer to the time. I always put on new pictures of Daniel as it’s a nice way of updating everyone on how he’s getting on. Everyone is always so generous with their support, even though I’ve been asking for donations for a few years now.

“I know the race will come around quickly. I’m hoping it’s going to be one of those bright, warmish autumn days and am just looking forward to it. It’s always such a great event.”

Julia’s House is a local charity dedicated to supporting the families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions in Dorset and Wiltshire. Many of these children require round the clock care, which has a huge impact on family life. Julia’s House relies on public donations, fundraising and legacies for 95 per cent of the money needed to run its vital service.

You can donate to Edgard’s JustGiving page here.

Why not sign up to run for Julia’s House, or one of over 300 affiliate charities at this year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival?

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St Peter’s Catholic School claim their first BMF Junior Schools Competition crown

St Peter’s Catholic School claim their first BMF Junior Schools Competition crown

PUPILS from Bournemouth’s St Peter’s Catholic Comprehensive School are celebrating after they were revealed as winners of the 2018 Bournemouth Marathon Festival Junior Schools Competition for the first time.

Over 1,000 children from schools across Bournemouth, Poole and the South of England took part in last year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival in October.

Young runners aged 6-8 took part in the 1.5K race and 9-12 year olds raced over 2K as part of an action-packed weekend of running which also included the 5K, 10K, Team Relay, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Due to the success of the events in recent years, two new junior races were introduced to the Festival line up in 2017; the Junior 5K open to kids aged 11-18 and the Kids’ Kilometre accommodating ages 3-6. 

Liz Wogan, Head of the Primary Phase at St Peter’s said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to have won the Junior ’Super Active Schools’ Competition for the first time! Our children run a ‘mile a day’ and are passionate about being physically active. Many of them love running and some attend a weekly running club, led by Harriet Slade. 

“They were very proud to represent St. Peter’s School in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival last year and shared their fabulous medals in our Achievement Assembly the following week. They are thrilled to discover that their efforts have also earnt us a trophy for our special cabinet – we are extremely proud of them. Huge thanks go to their parents for supporting their participation in this wonderful event.”

The children who ran their hearts out, were equally delighted; Harley Vincent, aged nine said:

“It feels good to have won a trophy for the school. I’m really proud of everyone who took part!”

Seven-year-old Alfie Wagner added:

“Running in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival is so much fun. I took part because I love running and my family all love running too.”

And finally, five-year-old Kasper Russ said:

“I love running along the beach because it helps me to get faster and faster!”

Neil Kilgour, Director of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival congratulated St Peter’s Catholic School on their efforts: 

“We’re delighted to see St Peter’s crowned Bournemouth Marathon Festival Junior Schools champions for the first time. Their pupils and staff are a fantastic example of why we do the Junior Races and we’re really proud that these events make a positive change for so many aspiring young runners.

“By participating in The Daily Mile, St Peter’s have shown their commitment to encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle for all their pupils. We hope that the Bournemouth Marathon Festival continues to be a special event in their calendar that the children can look forward to running in the Festival each year.”

Four different Junior Races will take place throughout the day on Saturday 5th October at the 2019 Bournemouth Marathon Festival. Proving very popular, these races have sold out very quickly in recent years.

For more information and to enter, visit

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Winter running tips
Winter running tips

Top 5 Tips for Winter Running

There’s no denying there’s been a definite shift in temperature recently, autumn is here and winter is definitely on it’s way. Here are our top 5 tips for training during this nippy time of year:

1. Make a Plan
Make plans to meet someone for a run, then there’s no backing out if you’re not quite in the mood for it. Making plans will help you to get motivated and stay on track throughout the winter.

2. Dress for the conditions
The general rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer. You want to be warm but not overheating when you run. 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of gloves, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.

3. Gone with the wind
Wind is brutal when running, especially in Scotland! Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating.

4. Old habits die hard
Traditionally a morning runner? Why not try a lunchtime run instead when the temperatures are a bit warmer? Alternatively, try running twice a day, in the morning and in the evening – it’s better than doing one long run where you might get very cold toward the end.

5. Winter sun
If all else fails, book a flight and head somewhere warm for your Vitamin D fix!

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Bournemouth Marathon Festival
Local club athletes set to battle it out at this year’s Bournemouth Marathon
This year’s Bournemouth Marathon promises to provide an intriguing race with local club mates Anthony Clark and Jacek Cieluszecki set to battle it out on the Bournemouth Marathon course.

Anthony Clark of Bournemouth AC is one of the favourites in the men’s race heading into the race after an impressive run at this year’s Virgin London Marathon, finishing in a time of 2:33:26.

Another contender for the marathon title is club mate and experienced marathon runner, Jacek Cieluszecki, who will fancy his chances after winning the 2014 Bournemouth half marathon, and finishing a respectable 6th and 7th place in the 2016 and 2015 full marathon behind a strong field of elite athletes. Jacek will be looking to improve on previous positions and gain a marathon podium finish for the first time.

On the women’s side, Laura Trimble, a former triathlete who competed at the 2011 Duathlon European Champions looks a firm favourite to win the women’s race, with a marathon PB of 2:53:26 at this year’s Virgin London Marathon.

The main contender to Laura is likely to be Elizabeth Dyson of Haldon Trail Runner, who recorded a time of 3:19:15 at the Virgin London Marathon. Behind the quick times, there’s some incredible marathon feats to look forward to. Bournemouth Marathon regular Steve Edwards is on course to complete his 799th marathon before attempting to secure a New Guinness World Record for running 800 official marathons in the fastest average finish time, which he aims to do at the Birmingham Marathon. While Karl Randall is set to cross the finish line for his 300th marathon.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival takes place on Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th October and is set to the biggest yet, with over 14,500 runners signed up to take part in the festival weekend. For more information visit

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Marathon man Karl aiming for number 300 at Bournemouth
KARL RANDALL, aged 50 is on track to complete his 300th marathon at Bournemouth next month.

Once completed, Karl will join the World Mega Marathon Rankings list, with only around 500 other people worldwide who have achieved this number of marathons.

After realising his weight had crept up to 18 stone in 2008, Karl became determined to change his ways and joined a gym.

Nine years later and now a fitness fanatic, Karl is gearing up to enter the elite 300 marathon club when he reaches the marathon milestone in Bournemouth on Sunday 8th October.

“Bournemouth is a special place for me of which I have many fond memories.”

“Following the Bournemouth Marathon in October 2013, I continued to run on average 50 marathons a year and now find myself on 291 marathon completed with Bournemouth confirmed to be my 300th.” said Karl.

The journey to number 300 hasn’t been easy, as Karl recently spent 12 days in hospital undergoing an emergency operation just three months out from marathon number 300.

“After 4 weeks off and tentatively back to running, I’m back on target for Bournemouth to be my 300th marathon!”

If you’d like to join Karl on the start line, there’s still time. Late entries for the half marathon, 10k, 5k, and kids’ kilometre are open until Wednesday 4th October at 5pm and charity entries are still available for the full marathon. Sign up online at

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Run for Team Macmillan at BMF
Be inspired to run in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival for Team Macmillan

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival will take place on the 7th and 8th October, and there is still time to register for a charity place with Macmillan Cancer Support, the official charity partner of the running festival.

If you are not sure that the weekend-long celebration of running is for you, then maybe you will be inspired by a Bournemouth woman who will be running in the 5k, 10k and the half marathon.

Amy Spreadbury who completed the Half Marathon in 2015 and in 2016 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support has this year decided to run the 5k, 10k and the Half Marathon.

Amy the Director of Sales at the Village Hotel in Bournemouth says “Cancer has affected so many of my loved ones. Sadly, I have lost two relatives this year and three other people close to me have been diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, we have had family and friends to support us, but not everyone does. So that is why I am running for Macmillan Cancer Support because nobody has to suffer alone, and with the fantastic work Macmillan do, nobody has to”.

If you have been inspired by Amy’s story, then visit Team Macmillan’s page on the Bournemouth Marathon Festival website to register for a place. 

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Emma Richman
Half Marathon Challenge in Mum’s Memory
CHARITY RUNNER Emma Richman is gearing up to take part in the Bournemouth Half Marathon to raise funds for Target Ovarian Cancer in memory of her mum, Linda, who tragically passed away from the disease aged 64.

Emma decided to run the half marathon to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, and to raise funds to help aid future research.

“There’s 14 of us running and we’ll all be wearing charity vests to show our support. I’m not a natural runner so this is a real challenge to me but with the support of my friends, I know I can cross the finish line where my dad will be waiting.” said Emma.

Emma is also keen to highlight the common symptoms which are associated with this particular type of cancer, urging women to visit their GP if they notice any changes. Having a bloated tummy, feeling full and the need to go to the toilet more than usual are all symptoms associated ovarian cancer, especially if you have any of these symptoms more than 12 times a month.

“Nothing can prepare you for the sudden death of a parent but I knew when my mum, Linda, passed away I had to do something about getting this information out to women. My mum had every single sign & symptom but as a family we were unaware of them at the time.” said Emma.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival takes place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th October and with eight races on offer over the two days, there’s something for all ages and abilities. If you’d like to donate to Emma and her team, you can do so here

If you are inspired to run for charity or a cause close to you heart you can sign up online at

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On your marks for St Marks
PUPILS from St Marks Primary School in Swanage were celebrating this week as they found out their medal design was chosen as the winner of a Bournemouth Marathon Festival competition.

Local school children in the local area were asked to get their creative juices flowing and come up with some designs for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival junior race medals, for the event taking place this October 7th.

The organisers managed to single out 3 designs, which were them uploaded to their Facebook page and the public were then asked to ‘like’ the design which they deemed best.

St Marks Teaching Assistant & Running Coach, Paula Lawton-Archer, said: “We are delighted that our design won and will be transformed into a medal for this year’s event! The children were so pleased when they found out they had won.

There are a group of us taking part this year and we can’t wait to wear the medals with pride!” There are 4 junior races on offer as part of a packed weekend of running which also includes the Supernova 5k, Supersonic 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon. Over 500 kids took part in last October’s event, which was the biggest yet.

The winning team from St Marks Primary School will see their design transformed into a medal to be used across all of the junior races. They have also been awarded 10 free places to the event for the school children to use.

Annette Drummond, Marketing Director said: “Congratulations to St Marks Primary School on winning the Medal Design Competition. We were inundated with lots of fantastic designs from all over Bournemouth & Poole, but St Marks were the deserved winner and we can’t wait to take their design forward and create an ever-lasting medal which all of our junior runners can be proud of for years to come.”

“The Bournemouth Marathon Festival is now into its fifth year and is already established as one of the UK’s top autumn running festivals. It’s great to see children getting fully involved in the junior races. Better still when they get to watch mum and dad taking part in the other events. It really is a fantastic weekend for all the family.” Annette added.

The junior races kick-start the weekend on Saturday 7th October and are a great way for children to be active, have fun and get involved over the weekend. Each finisher receives a medal, wicking technical finishers t-shirt, race recovery pack, chip timed result and a fantastic running experience. 

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Stanley Kiprotich, winner of the Bournemouth Marathon 2016
Thousands take part in biggest ever Bournemouth Marathon Festival


A record breaking 13,000 runners signed up to run in the fourth edition of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival on 1st and 2nd of October. Runners from across the UK and beyond gathered on the Dorset coastline for the biggest event yet.

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

Saturday saw the Supersonic 10K, Supernova 5K and Junior 2K and 1.5K races take centre stage. The Supersonic 10K started at 4pm on the seafront and saw victory for Genci Pepaj of Redway Runners, who finished in a time of 34 minutes 42 seconds. He spoke to us afterwards: “It was lovely, the weather was good and all the locals came out to support so I can’t complain. I took the lead up after the first kilometer and held it from there, I’m very happy to win here.” The first female over the line was Christina Squire with a winning time of 42 minutes 10 seconds. Christina reflected on her race: “The second 5K was pretty windy, but it was nice to see that I had a gap on the second female as I made the turn. It’s great to get the win here.”

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, in a time of 17 minutes 7 seconds. Bayley commented: “It was fantastic, the fact it’s a night time run gives it something different, it was great seeing everyone coming round behind me as I made the turn. This is my third time down here in Bournemouth and I love it every year.” Bayley was followed home by Michael Johnson of Wimborne AC, and Cameron Telford of Poole AC, in second and third.

Lara Atkinson, also from Cambridge Harriers, was first female finisher – successfully defending her title from last year. She raced round the 5k route in 18 minutes 51 seconds. Lara said: I’m really happy with the win, seeing all the other runners and having such great support from the crowds really pushed me on. I ran here last year and it was great to be back!”

The two junior races got the ball rolling at Saturday lunchtime, with hundreds of enthusiastic young runners crossing the finish line in the bright Bournemouth sunshine. The 1.5K for ages 6-8 was first up at 1:30pm. Eight year old Jon Pepin from the New Forest Juniors club raced to a new course record of five minutes and 20 seconds, while the first female home was eight year old Ruby Moroney, in a time of seven minutes and one second.

An hour later, it was the turn of the 9-12 year olds in the 2K. Finn Pardy (aged 11) of Poole AC was first across the line in seven minutes exactly, and Southampton AC’s Megan Hulbert (aged 11) was first female home in seven minutes and 49 seconds.

Sunday’s half marathon event saw Alex Wall-Clarke from Southampton AC cross the finish line first, with a time of 1:11:04. Afterwards he said: “I really enjoyed that race today – it was a beautiful, scenic route. I’ve been in good shape recently and felt confident going into the race, but you never know who is going to turn up, so I’m really happy to come away with the win.”

The women’s race was won by local girl, Emma Dews, who set a new course record of 1:21:26, having giving birth just one year ago. Afterwards, Emma commented on her win: “That went really well! I wasn’t expecting that so I’m really, really pleased. I have been wanting to do this race for a while but had just had a baby last year. I actually ran past my house twice on the route!”

The final event of the 2016 festival was the full marathon, which got underway at 10am from Kings Park under brilliant blue skies. At the front end of the race, a group of four broke clear early on, including Kenyans Stanley Kiprotich Bett and Julius Kiplagat Korir, along with Moroccan Abdelhadi El Mouaziz. The pack of four, which also included Japhet Koech of Kenya, were still together as they ran over Bournemouth Pier and through the finish area in Lower Gardens with nine miles remaining. But it was Bett who surged clear in the closing stages, crossing the line in a swift two hours 17 minutes and 59 seconds. El Mouaziz stayed strong to claim second in two hours 20 minutes and 45 seconds, with Korir third in two hours 25 minutes and 44 seconds. After his win, Bett said: “The route was good and I felt good the whole way round. There was some strong wind on the shore but I just ran my own race. I enjoyed the Bournemouth sunshine too so I’m very happy.”

The female race was won by Eddah Jepkosgei of Kenya, who held off a strong challenge from compatriot Hildah Cheboi. Jepkosgei said: “I liked the route. I was with a group until about 7km and then I went on my own. I enjoyed the day and the sunshine was lovely.” Brit Emma Prideaux of Billericay Striders came home in third place finishing in three hours one minute and 15 seconds.

Ben Smith, who was the official starter of the full marathon, sounded the start of the race at 10am which saw thousands of runners set off from Kings Park and complete the coastal marathon route around Bournemouth and Poole.

Ben completed his 398th marathon on Sunday, which is part of his 401 challenge – to run 401 marathons in as many days and raise money for Kidscape and Stonewall.

He said: “It was an absolute honour to be the official starter of the Bournemouth Marathon. I actually ran a PB for the challenge – 3:39:22. This is the third year I’ve done this event and it gets better and better every year.

“I’ve seen some amazing places and run with some incredible people all over the country through the 401 Challenge, I’m excited for the future.”

Elsewhere, there were plenty of other inspirational people doing truly incredible things. One such example was Holly Jobling. Last year, Holly had life saving surgery for cervical cancer. One year on and she has just completed her first ever half marathon for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival official charity partner – Macmillan Cancer Support. Holly said: “I chose this charity to say a massive thank you. My journey would have been a lot harder without them.”

Neil Kilgour, Race Director said: “It’s been another incredible record-breaking weekend 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.

“Come and see us again next year for BMF 2017!”

Early bird entries are now available for 2017 until Sunday 16th October. Find out more at

Stanley Kiprotich, Bournemouth Marathon Winner 2016
Eddah Jepkosgei, first female in the Bournemouth Marathon 2016
Bournemouth Half Marathon 2016
BMF Junior Races
BMF Supernova 5K
BMF Supersonic 10K
BMF Supersonic 10K
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