Bournemouth Marathon 6th October

On Sunday, Sarah Priestley ran the 1st Bournemouth marathon ever, achieving a time of 4:03:29 with a massive personal best of 25 minutes. Sarah has wrote the following sharing her experience and this event below.

Having tackled the Edinburgh Marathon in May 2013 and struggled when unseasonably hot weather hit the Scottish capital I decided I had unfinished business with the marathon. To banish my demons I headed off down to the South Coast resort of Bournemouth to tackle the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival Marathon to crack another 26.2 miles before I hit the big 4 0!! Having quickly reviewed some of the undulating course & carb loaded I packed off to bed only to be greeted by clear sky & unbroken sunshine on race day. I had that sinking feeling that Bournemouth would become a repeat performance of Edinburgh.

The first few miles were relatively uneventful running through residential areas with local residents out & about providing support, the lack of seaviews on this part of the course were made up for by all the banter from runners & supporters alike as I found myself running next to a bloke dressed up as a cow!!! I did push on and moooved away from the cow as we headed gradually uphill onto the cliff tops to the first part of the course which was an out & back route, at this point I then found myself running next to a guy dressed as a knight more banter from runners & spectators & at this point we got achance to see the front runners who flew passed at a rapid rate of knots I put the speed down to the fact that when we saw them they were heading passed us down the hill we were climbing!!!

On heading down off the cliffs the course took us initially along the seafront & then onto Boscombe Pierbefore sending us towards the finishing area including a run along Bournemouth Pier, the finish was in arm reach but we were sent off again up towards the cliff tops & this time it was definitely a massive uphill climb!!!! The hill at 18 miles just made me want to stop & weep, there was no end, it just kept heading towards the sky. At this point I did my best power walk, managed to get to the top before heading off into a lovely leafy park, & depositing my stomach contents!!!

Then the rollercoaster ride continued and it was back towards the seafront & the last out & back part of the course heading towards Poole. At about 21 miles I started to hear the sound of cowbells & I did panic that I was becoming delirious due to the heat & the LERC training has actually re-routed to Bournemouth, but no it was a group of locals with alpine cow bells & saucepans splitting my eardrums, the familiar sound of cowbells did spur me on and I got a second wind and did feel really strong from mile 22, however the last mile & a half back to the finish took its toll & unfortunately the 4 hour barrier beat me this time, so I still have unfinishedmarathon business.

If you fancy a seaside marathon Bournemouth certainly is a well organised & well supported event and good fun!!! Plus where else do you get a race route that takes you along 2 piers??

Looking back now probably storm forces winds & rain would have been worse than scorchio weather & little breeze as the majority of the final 4 miles were literally on the beach front.

Race report brought to you by Sarah!


This report was brought to you by woolly

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