3 Oct

Bournemouth Festival ready to rock

Edgard Zaldua at Bournemouth Marathon 2018

Bournemouth Marathon Festival dominates the runABC South race listing with eight races planned this weekend (5-6 October). The weather forecast looks pretty good for the 15,000 competitors, who organisers GSi Events hope will once again come and experience 'running as it should be', as their strapline says.

Since the inaugural event in 2013, Bournemouth Marathon Festival has raised over £6million for charity; given 6,000kg worth of medals and seen more than 37.5 million calories burnt in the pursuit of health, happiness and good causes. The age range of participants is 3 to 101 years and the seventh hosting expects to exceed last year's record entry of 13,000 runners.
 
Competition starts on Saturday at 12:00 noon with the Kids Kilometre for children aged 3-6 years, followed by junior races at 1.5K, 2K and 5K – the longest event restricted to runners aged 11-18 years. Saturday at 4:00pm sees the Supersonic 10K underway, followed by the bright lights of the Supernova 5K as dusk falls at 7:00pm.
 
BMF Half Marathon starts at 8:00am followed by Bournemouth Marathon at 10:00am on Sunday. BMF races are timed so it is possible to run all four of the main events for a unique challenge. The half and marathon start in Kings Park and enjoy superb coastal views as the route passes Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers before a grandstand finish in Lower Gardens.
 
Last year there were more than 6,000 finishers in the headline races. The marathon winners were Richard McDowell (Hercules Wimbledon, 2:26:49) and W45 Sarah Hill (Farnham Runners, 2:55:39) as 48 runners beat three hours. The half marathon champions were Alex Van Tuyl (Clapham Chasers, 1:10:14) and W40 Alissa Ellis (Hailsham Harriers, 1:24:25).
 
Local runner Edgard Zaldua (pictured above) is hoping to trim 12 minutes from his 3:42:11 finish in last year's marathon as he raises funds and awareness for Julia's House, the charity that supports his son Daniel, 14, who has the rare degenerative condition Sanfilippo Syndrome.      
 
 
runABC South will have race reports next week and full results will be at our race listing here
 
Image of Edgard Zaldua courtesy Bournemouth Marathon Festival