Plans for the inaugural Bournemouth Marathon Festival on 5/6 October, 2013 have received a boost with the announcement that the junior events in the six race programme will feature prizes for local schools. Pupils at 78 schools have been invited to take part in both the 1.5k race for 6 to 10 year olds and the 3k contest for 11 to 14 year olds.
Organisers are expecting hundreds of pupils from across Dorset to take part in the races which are run in partnership with Active Dorset. The winning school will receive £150 worth of sports equipment to help boost pupils' fitness levels and every youngster who finishes will receive a medal, t-shirt and goody bag.
Active Dorset's chief executive Martin Kimberley said: "The Bournemouth Marathon Festival offers a tremendous focus for runners of all ages and abilities and we are delighted that so many schools have entrants taking part. Sporting experiences when young are a catalyst to lifelong participation therefore events like the Bournemouth Marathon Festival and the County School Games are great examples of inspiring opportunities for young people."
Eight year old Katie Few from Verwood, Dorset has already signed up. Katie has completed two triathlons, a number of charity runs and is a keen swimmer, mountain biker and martial arts enthusiast. She said: "I'm really looking forward to being part of the Marathon Festival."
Bournemouth Marathon Festival director, Neil Kilgour, said: "We are proud that the Bournemouth Marathon Festival is the most inclusive festival of running in the UK. From the UK's fastest runners, through to the first time marathon runner, to youngsters standing in the start pen for the first time in their lives, we welcome them all. Each of these people are changing their lives and many are changing the lives of others too through raising vital funds for charity. It is a positive experience for all."
The top three girls and top three boys score points for each school in the Bournemouth junior races. Points are awarded equally to the position in which the runners crossed the finish line. The first place gets one point, the second place two points etc. The points for these runners are then added up and the school which finishes with the 'lowest' score of all will be officially announced the winners.
Entries are open for all events at Bournemouth marathon festival on October 5, 2013 - marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K plus the two Junior Races. Full details at the BMF website. You can like Bournemouth Marathon Festival at their Facebook page.