Jacek Cieluszecki (pictured) of host club Bournemouth AC brought the fifth Bournemouth Marathon Festival weekend to a successful conclusion with victory in the flagship 26.2 mile event yesterday (Sunday 8 October).
There was a record entry of 15,000 lining up for an eight-race programme over two full days of 'running as it should be' on the Dorset coast. Events had begun with four junior races on Saturday lunchtime in beautiful sunny conditions. The first ever Kids’ Kilometre for ages 3-6 was followed by a 1.5k race won by Ono Anyan Hobbs (5:50) and Millie Fisher-Wyatt (6:32). Stepping up in age and distance there was a 2k headed by Jon Pepin (7:11) and last year's girls winner Megan Hulbert (7:55). The first ever BMF Junior 5K was won by Sean Harnett (New Forest Runners, 17:00) and Fern Kimber (Poole Runners, 19:49).
The Supersonic 10K started at 4pm on the seafront and saw victory for 16-year-old prospect Ben Lewis (Poole AC, 34:03). First female was Eilidh Bell (Team Bath), who exactly equalled her personal best (38:42). Eilidh reflected: “The course was really nice, and the crowds were great. I even got a PB so I’m happy with how the race went.”
As dusk fell it was time for the glow in the dark Supernova 5K runners to light up the night. With a 7pm start time, the runners set off along the promenade in fluorescent gear with head torches, creating a breathtaking visual spectacle. The winner was Bayley Massey (Cambridge Harriers, 16:17), who successfully defended his title from last year. Lara Atkinson, also from Cambridge Harriers, took her third successive victory (18:38).
Sunday’s conditions were equally good for the half and full marathon with 4,000 opting for the 13.1 miles and 2,000 tackling the longer journey. Peter Baksh (Beckenham AC, 1:10:29) was a clear winner of the half and there was a new women's course record set by Anna Boniface (Reading AC, 1:19:46).
The final event was Bournemouth Marathon, which started at 10am from Kings Park under brilliant blue skies. Pre-race favourite Jacek Cieluszecki broke clear early on and finished in Lower Gardens in a time of 2:32:00. After his win, Cieluszecki said: “I expected to be top three but I’m very happy with my win. I thought I had a chance as I was in control the whole way round. I won the half marathon in 2014 so I’m pleased to get on the podium this time for the marathon.”
The women's race was won by Laura Trimble (Wimbledon Windmilers, 3:05:20). Her post race verdict was: “The conditions were amazing – I really enjoyed it. It’s my first time racing in Bournemouth and I loved it. I have a two-year old and a four-year old so it was amazing that they got to see me out on the course and support me.”
Image courtesy Bournemouth Marathon Festival