GET set runners- the marathon with the most stunning sea views is back and promises to showcase the very best of Bournemouth and Poole.
Entries open for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2014 which will see thousands of runners take to the streets of the coastal resorts on October 4 and 5, 2014. Bournemouth Pier which is set in the centre of seven miles of golden sand, framed by the Isle of Wight and the Purbeck Hills, is part of the spectacular finish area just one of the route highlights in a series of seaside races which are rapidly becoming an unmissable diary date in the running calendar. The award winning Boscombe Pier also features in the family friendly festival which as well as a marathon includes a half marathon, Supersonic 10K, Speed of Light 5K and two junior races.
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 42 seconds. The 25-year-old from Ethiopia was elated to set the course record benchmark. Now organisers are keen to build on that success with an unbeatable 2014 event.
Neil Kilgour, Bournemouth Marathon Festival director, said: “We’re proud to deliver the Bournemouth Marathon Festival in such a stunning location.
“We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part and thank all the crowds who turned out to cheer the runners on. It was a wonderful, sun filled weekend and all the volunteers who gave their time so willingly contributed greatly towards making the day a success.
“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.”
And there’s an early bird discount for everyone who signs up for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival before October 20. The running festival offers a race for almost every age and ability. An excellent half marathon – one of the fastest growing race distances. A 5K Speed of Light race where runners are provided with a luminous LED wristband and light up the coastal town as they run at dusk provides some magical moments for runners and spectators. And runners taking part in the fast and flat Supersonic 10k run are treated to music from bands along the route, providing an excellent platform for talented local musicians. And two junior races means kids as young as six can take home a medal. But at the heart of the weekend is the Bournemouth Marathon on October 5 – the pinnacle of endurance athletics.
Super slimmer Karl Randall completed his 100th marathon when he crossed the finish line of the Bournemouth Marathon this year. The 46-year-old dad of one from Tamworth who has raced in marathons all over the world tipped the scales at 18 stone before running changed his life and admits even three minute on a treadmill was a struggle at first. Today highways engineer Karl who at 6ft weighs a svelte 12 stone 4lbs is proud of the three hours, 53 minutes and 36 seconds personal best he reached at the inaugural Bournemouth Marathon. He can add that medal to an impressive haul which also includes the New York, Paris, London and Edinburgh marathons.
Karl said: “The years and the weight disappeared when I started running.
“Running has changed everything for me. But I’ve waited five years to run a marathon in under four hours and now I’ve done it. That’s why Bournemouth will always be special.
“I’m delighted to join the elite 100 marathon club. I just love running and I’m sure there are many more marathons to come. I’m definitely coming back to run Bournemouth next year. It was an unbeatable day.”
And caring Jennifer Sweetlove, a keen Poole Athletic Club member is just one of an army of runners who signed up for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival to raise funds for the marathon’s Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. Mum of two Jennifer, 37, of Broadstone raised more than £500 for the charity after completing this year’s half marathon in one hour, 41 minutes and eight seconds.
Jennifer said: “I enjoy the freedom of running and the ability to get away from it all.
“It helps to clear my mind. I loved running the Bournemouth half marathon. The crowds cheering along the way made it a great day so I’d recommend it to people out there thinking about taking on a challenge. I can’t wait to do it all again next year and this time I might even try the marathon.”
The Bournemouth Marathon Festival which in 2014 will be in its second year is also a chance to make a difference to other people’s lives by raising money for charity. Macmillan Cancer Support is the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Official Charity but there are hundreds of affiliated charities to choose to run for. More than 750 charity runners fundraised for 150 different Affiliate Charities in 2013. It is hoped that more than half a million pounds will be raised for charity during the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2014.
Entries are now open for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival on October 4 and 5, 2014. Just go to the website www.run-bmf.com and like the Bournemouth Marathon Festival facebook page.