Four representatives from Bournemouth AC were there to compete in the first ever Dorchester Marathon, with some impressive performances making the headlines in the inaugural event.
The race was organised by White Star Running and Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary, who must have either had some good contacts or done some serious schmoozing to get the roads fully closed for the race. The route ran through the historic town of Dorchester and some of the picturesque surrounding villages, taking in all the splendour of the Dorset countryside.
Simon Way wasn’t hanging around to enjoy the scenery though. He was going for the win and actually led the race from mile 17 to mile 26. Unfortunately though, in the final 200 metres, Simon was pipped to the post by his nearest rival. Because the marathon race had mixed in with the half marathon, he was unaware that the eventual winner had snuck up and overtaken him.
Nevertheless, it was still a tremendous performance from Simon, on a course that turned out to be quite hilly, particularly in the last 5 miles. His finishing time was a very impressive 2 hours, 53 minutes and 21 seconds, just 21 seconds behind the winner.
Damian Boyle also put in an excellent effort, finishing in 20th place overall in a time of 3 hours 14 minutes and 8 seconds. Not only was this a PB for Damian but it was also a Good For Age qualifying time, a target he was very happy to meet, even if was slightly tighter than he’d anticipated.
Damian felt the race was very well organised and really felt the benefit of the great support that was there all the way round. He recalls the point at mile 12 when the crowd was at its most raucous as they went past a pub with several people sitting down enjoying a pint, making him rather envious at that moment in time.
Estelle Slatford made her marathon debut and crossed the line in a very commendable time of 4 hours 12 minutes and 34 seconds. This put her in 230th place overall out of just over 700 finishers and 19th in the female 40-49 category.
Estelle had been going well for the first 17 miles but she then began to tire a bit but was kept motivated by the amazing atmosphere. She struggled a bit through the last few big hills but was ultimately pleased with her final time.
She did confess that she had been unable to train as much as she would have liked for the event and would like to target a time of under 4 hours for the next one, provided she can get the proper training in. She has also made a mental note to choose a flatter one for her next marathon attempt.
Tony Hunt came in not far behind Estelle, in a time of 4:15:36, putting him 242nd overall. This is some way of the sort of times he is capable of though, but he was running with niggling injuries in both his glutes, which also caused a pain in his left leg and touch of cramp.
With hindsight, he perhaps shouldn’t have run it, but nevertheless, he enjoyed the rural scenery and the atmosphere of the crowd. Plus, it’s another ticked off the list.
Meanwhile, in the Casterbridge Half Marathon, which is part of the same event, Tom Paskins secured a place on the podium, crossing the line in 3rd place with a superfast time of 1 hour, 26 minutes and 31 seconds.
As it turned out, Tom was actually only 10 seconds behind the 2nd placed finisher and had been catching him for some time. He still got a decent array of prizes though for coming 3rd, including a £25 Up and Running voucher and a hamper containing tea and biscuits, jam and beer, plus an old fashioned map of Dorchester with the half marathon route drawn in.
Tom was pleased with his time especially given the humid conditions and undulating nature of the course. There was one killer hill between miles 9 and 10 that may well have floored a few people.