Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2014

After having a great time last year, a number of us headed down to Bournemouth over the weekend of 4th/5th October to take part in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. This was the second year for the festival with the setup being the same as 2013: a 10K on Saturday afternoon; a 5K Saturday evening; half marathon at 8am Sunday and full marathon at 10am Sunday. Last year’s festival was a great success and was very well organised so not a lot had changed this year apart from the 5k route, which now runs between Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers. We had runners taking part in all four races, with some people doing the 5k “speed of light” race on Saturday evening for fun and the half marathon for serious racing on Sunday morning.

Matthew Pritchard’s family had set up base in one of the beach front huts which was on the 10k, half marathon and marathon routes, so this became “camp 26.2” for the weekend. This gave us a point to cheer on our runners twice during their races and with the weather being kind to us and Bournemouth having sandy beaches, it also gave a great location for the kids to enjoy themselves.

(Note: apologies if I miss anyone from the results below. The BMF website doesn’t allow you to search the results by club name which isn’t very helpful)

The “Supersonic” 10K started at 4pm on Saturday with Simon Pritchard and Ben Brook taking a step up from parkrun to run double the distance. Simon and Ben both finished in 01:12:27 and seemed really chuffed with tackling the distance and their times afterwards. Janneke Zoeteman also managed to dip under the hour mark which surely must be a 10K PBPB (post-babies personal best)? Finish times for our 10K runners were:

Rob McTaggart




Janneke Zoeteman



Ben Brook



Simon Pritchard




Caryn Smith



Keeping up the family presence, Matt’s wife Sonia also ran in the 5K along with Greg Whiteman, Danny Norman, Libby Marchant, Steve Ramek and Joe Chang. The “Speed of Light” 5K starts at dusk so lots of runners were wearing glow in the dark gear or luminous clothes. Danny, Libby and Steve didn’t disappoint with their choices of clothing, looking like extras from a rave version of the Kids From Fame. The 5K route had been changed from last year and seemed to meet with everyone’s approvals as it was fast and flat and also took in both Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers. Finish times for our 5K runners were:

Simon Dill




Danny Norman



Joe Chang



Steve Ramek



Libby Marchant



Greg Whiteman



Sonia Pritchard




Rebekah Feltham-Brown



With the half marathon starting at 8am on Sunday morning the cabs arrived at our hotel at 6:30am (urgh!) and it was definitely on the chilly side waiting around at the start at the King’s Park Athletic track. The course starts on suburban streets which were closed to traffic but the first mile was very congested due to the number of runners and things didn’t thin out until we reached the sea front. Apart from one short but steep climb at 9 miles the course is mostly flat or undulating, with lots of gradual up and downs that are fine earlier on in the race when you have plenty of energy but would prove a challenge for tired legs/brains in the second half of a marathon. Steve Ramek, Richard Kirk and myself all agreed that we faded from 10 miles onwards which seemed a coincedence, but I blame that on my lack of long distance training for the race more than anything else. Performance of the weekend has to go to Vicki Kirk who smashed her PB and also ran a sub 1:50 half marathon. The original plan had been for Vicki, David Pearce and myself to run together and try and pace me round for a PB, but I’m glad I stopped for the loo at 6 miles and lost them as otherwise I might have held Vicki back! Danny Norman had a recurrence of his back problem so after walking a while he was caught up by Vicki and David and then converted himself to “Vicki’s pacer”, so managed to turn around what was going to be a disappointing race into a glorious shared achievement. Kate Hancock unfortunately had a fall at 7 miles and landed on her face so had to withdraw from the race, although she did get a ride in an ambulance for free. Maria gallantly stopped to help Kate and only continued when she was sure Kate was ok, adding 7 minutes to her race time.

Finish times for our Half Marathon runners were:

Jacek Cieluszecki




Steve Ramek



Libby Marchant



Greg Whiteman



Vicki Kirk



David Pearce



Danny Norman



Kevin Furlong



Richard Kirk



Maria Cenalmor



Brendan Frawley



Maria Frawley



Kate Hancock



Stephen Tait



With the start times of the half and full marathon’s and the halfway point being at Bournemouth Pier close tour hotel, we were able to get a shower then head back to cheer on our marathoners. We managed to do a great supporting job and saw all of our runners, although with a big group of us shouting their names, most didn’t notice us until they had gone past!

Jacqueline Chang has written a report of the full marathon from a runners perspective:


I decided to have the Bournemouth marathon as my “comeback” marathon. I haven’t run a marathon since 2009 and I’ve since had 2 children so I wasn’t hoping for a PB, just a nice day out on a not too challenging course.

I was lucky, I had chosen well. The marathon starts at 10am and there were 6 of us ‘running’ the distance. Finishing times for our runners were:

Andrew Lesuuda




Martin Threakall



Peter Grecian



Dan Hookey



Matthew Pritchard



Jacqueline Chang



Kevin Stone




Marbellys Bayne-Azcarate



The start was just off the Bournemouth Track which took me surprise as I realised I had spent some time there before counting laps while some of our male runners did the Bournemouth Track Marathon a few years ago. After some reminiscing we wandered to the start zone and into our pens.

Of course this race was chip timed but it did not take long to cross the start line, having been started by none other than Steve Way. This run is entirely tarmac with lots of out and back bits and wiggly bits. The route is traffic free and well supported. It’s quite relaxing to run along the promenade, were it not for the pain of running a marathon. There are 2 steep bits on the course one of which is quite short and the other (at 18 miles) rather long but otherwise the route is, as they say, “undulating/flat”.

We had amazing support from the club members who had participated and supported in other aspects of the running festival or some who were there supporting the whole weekend which was brilliant.

Only slight negative is that the water stations are a bit random and the bottles are not sports caps which makes it slightly challenging to drink. Still, a small gripe for a great event.

Overall, I would recommend this marathon!



It seems the same “curse of Bournemouth” that got me last year affected Kevin Stone as he suffered from nausea and Dan Hookey had problems with cramp again. The course is definitely a tough one to handle mentally with lots of “out and backs” and sections where you can see where you are running to (e.g. Bournemouth Pier) miles away in the distance but it doesn’t seem to get any closer! So well done to everyone and all in all a very enjoyable weekend and definitely something I’d consider doing again. There are races for runners of all abilities, and scenic and not too hilly course and enough to keep spectators an kids entertained. Most of us stayed the whole weekend and drove back on Monday so it gave us an opportunity to do some socialising in the evenings, although the heavy rain on Monday curtailed our plans for crazy golf and arcade games on the pier!