SOME of the world’s fastest marathon runners will race along the promenade and jurassic seafront of Bournemouth and Poole on Sunday 5 October 2014 as part of the second Bournemouth Marathon.
More than 9,000 runners entered to take part in the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival which saw super-fit Ebisa Merga claim the inaugural marathon trophy, racing to the finish line in two hours, 16 minutes and 41 seconds. The 26-year-old from Ethiopia was elated to set the course record benchmark.
Abi Beautyman, Bournemouth Marathon Festival Elite Coordinator, predicts another “super fast series of road races on the ultra fast Bournemouth route” with Ebisa Merga, due to defend his title alongside fellow Kenyans Japhet Koech who set a personal best at this year’s Edinburgh Marathon in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 29 seconds and Andrew Lesuuda who is debuting in his first marathon after winning the Cardiff 2012 and Reading 2013 half marathon.
Neil Kilgour, Bournemouth Marathon Festival Director added that “The Bournemouth Marathon Festival delivery team see every entrant and runner as ‘elite’ given the massive training commitment and personal sacrifice that everyone of the participants have given in the build up to their big race”. This ethos is typified by the International elite runners being accompanied by fellow Kenyan athlete Japhet Koech, star of the international best selling running book ‘Running with the Kenyans’ by Adharanand Finn. His participation in the Edinburgh Marathon this year was in part paid for by crowd funding from within the international running community and the Edinburgh Marathon delivery team.
The women’s contest is equally as strong featuring some of the brightest female marathon stars. Risper Kimaiyo, from Kenya is the hot favourite to win the female champions title as she enters the race with a personal best of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 16 seconds which is just under the current female course record set last year by Olha Kotovska from the Ukraine in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds. She will race against fellow Kenyan Joan Kigen who was second placed female in the 2013 Bournemouth Marathon so she will be looking to step things up and win this year. Reigning Casablanca marathon champion Gulilat Serkalem from Ethiopia is also a contender with a personal best of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds.
Also lining up on the marathon start line will be Britain’s elite runner Ian Habgood from Bournemouth Running Club who will be flying the local flag and is back to defend his first British male finisher in the Bournemouth Marathon 2013 with a finish time of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 14 seconds.
There are six races on offer at the 2014 Bournemouth Marathon Festival, guaranteeing something for everyone from the seasoned runner to the charity fundraiser and beginners. The fun kicks off on Saturday 4 October at the Lower Gardens, Bournemouth with the Supersonic 10k, Speed of Light 5K which is run at dusk and two junior races. On Sunday 5 October is the Bournemouth Marathon and Half Marathon which start from Kings Park Drive and continues along the coastline offering stunning views and an unforgettable running experience.
Neil Kilgour, Director, said: “Bournemouth and Poole are preparing to welcome the world and we look forward to delivering another outstanding Bournemouth Marathon Festival that the local area will be proud of.
“With miles of glorious, unspoilt golden sands and clear blue sea, Bournemouth and Poole, provide a beautiful backdrop for the ultimate run in a pure and clean natural environment. Now is the time to make 2014 your year. The earlier you sign up the better, both to guarantee a place and set aside plenty of time to work out a sound training programme so you’re in peak condition on the big day. There really couldn’t be a better time to plan a trip to the south coast of England.”
Standard entries for the full marathon at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival are now closed after thousands signed up for the race but you can still enter the full marathon on Sunday 5 October with a charity place. More than 150 charities still have places available. Every single one offers runners vital support and training advice in the build up to the big day as well as tips on how to hit their fitness as well as fundraising goals.
Macmillan Cancer Support are the Official Charity for this year’s event. Craig Fordham, Head of Challenge & Regional Events said “Macmillan Cancer Support is delighted to be the Official Charity of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. Last year over 450 runners raised an incredible £105,000 to fund vital cancer services in Dorset and throughout the UK. We’re hoping to raise even more this year, so are asking runners to join Team Macmillan and help us reach even more people who urgently need our support.”
More than 750 runners from the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Official Charities took part in last year’s Bournemouth Marathon Festival. Together with the Bournemouth Marathon Festival’s Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support as well as Premier Affiliate Charities Cancer Research UK, Julia’s House – The Dorset Children’s Hospice, RNLI, Stroke Association, and The John Thornton Young Achievers Foundation and over 200 Affiliate Charities, organisers are hoping to break the previous record and raise even more in 2014.
Thousands have already signed up for the festival of running. Entries are still open for all the Bournemouth Marathon Festival races on October 4 and 5, 2014. Go to the website www.run-bmf.com and follow us on Facebook on www.facebook.com/BournemouthMarathonFestival or on Twitter @RunBournemouth – #bmf2014