Simon Hearn and Ollie Stoten cop a load of the Maverick inov-8 Hampshire

The Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire was an event that consisted of three races of differing distances. A Short race – which was 6km route, a Middle distance that was 13km and a Long race that was 22km. The Hampshire edition was held in the New Forest, starting out at the Avon Tyrell Activity Centre.

Although the Maverick inov-8 Original events are typically quite low key affairs, this one attracted two Bournemouth AC members. Simon Hearn took part in the Short race, whilst Ollie Stoten entered the Long distance one.

In the build up to the race, Simon wasn’t quite sure what to expect. He’d looked at the results from the previous year and seen that the times were not as quick as he would expect for go for a 6k race. But that kind of made him think, perhaps it’s a really tough course or extremely hilly.

Simon Hearn in the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire 6k
Simon Hearn was taking on the 6k race at the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire event

In fact, the route was comprised of varying types of terrain, from open pastures and heavy woodland and heathland. Whilst negotiating the trails, there is plenty to keep the runners occupied in the New Forest, with ponies, donkeys and cattle roaming freely on the land and there’s also a good chance of catching a glimpse of a wild boar or fallow deer. Snakes and lizards are also frequently spotted in the undergrowth.

Before the race, Simon had been offered the chance to run in a pair of inov-8 trail shoes, on a trial basis. Since it is inov-8 that organise the event, they bring some test shoes with them to allow runners the opportunity to give them a go and see how they feel. Then of course, if they like them they can go to the store and buy a pair afterwards.

Opting to take them up on the offer, Simon laced up the new pair of trail shoes and got ready to race. It was pouring down with rain that morning, so the surface was quite slippery, meaning having the right kind of footwear with some good grip would be quite crucial.

The races for all three distances began at the same time, so the runners from each were at first intermingled. Simon set off at a reasonably quick pace since he knew it was only 6k he had to do.

At first there was a group of about 6 to 8 runners in front of him. As they reached the first corner though, there were arrows directing the runners to go a certain way, depending on what distance they were doing.

As he turned to the left, Simon noticed that all those who were ahead of him had turned right. He did some quick maths and deduced that he must be in the lead.

Running at a comfortably hard pace, he kept on advancing and soon realised there was no one in sight behind him. He knew that if he could keep this up, he’d be in line for the win.

There were a couple of tough hills on the route and, knowing that inclines are often a weakness of his, Simon was half expecting some to come and catch him up on the elevation. But still, there was no one to be seen.

As he approached the latter stages of the race, Simon started to wonder if he had taken a wrong turn somewhere and got lost. Since there was no one else a round, it was a bit of a worry. But he kept pressing on and made to the finish.

When he arrived, there seemed to be no one around. He then went a spoke to one of the people working there and they looked surprised to see him. It turned out they weren’t expecting anybody back for a good few minutes.

For Simon, it was really pleasing to know that he had won the race, and as it turned out, he’d done so with a very convincing margin. His time was 21:44. The person who finished 2nd in the race came in 2 minutes and 27 seconds later in a time of 24:11.

It came as a bit of a shock to Simon, as he wasn’t expecting to win the race. It was a very nice surprise though and will be a good confidence booster to him going forward.

Simon Hearn won the Short race at the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire
As it panned out, Simon won the Short distance race by a handsome margin of almost 2 and a half minutes

When he spoke to the guy who had given him the trail shoes after, like a true salesman, he told Simon that he must’ve been down to the footwear!

Later that day, Simon did actually decide to take a trip down to the store and did end up buying some of the trail shoes he had tried out, along with some other running gear, so the idea of inov-8 to let the runners try the footwear out clearly did work, at least in Simon’s case anyway.

Next up for Simon it’s the Reading Half Marathon, an event he’s been training quite hard for over recent weeks and judging by his performance in the Maverick inov-8 Original, he has every reason to be optimistic.

Coming into the race off the back of a 26 mile run the previous weekend at LDWA New Forest Challenge, where he finished way ahead of the rest of the field, Ollie had every reason to feel confident in the longer distance race.

Ollie Stoten in the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire 22k
Ollie Stoten opted for the Long distance race at the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire which was 22k

It was 22k in length, so slightly further than a half marathon. Unfortunately though, the marked out route appeared to be different than the GPS route they had been provided with beforehand.

That caused some confusion amongst the lead runners and Doctor Ollie ended up having to stop on some occasions and do some route finding. This was a bit annoying but he was only really treating it as a training run anyway, so it wasn’t the end of the world.

Despite the orienteering, Ollie managed to make it to the finish, completing the course, or the route he had taken at least anyway, in a time of 1:31:19. This put him in 6th place overall.

When you factor in the confusion of the course, that is actually a really good time from Ollie on a tough off-road surface in very wet conditions. His average pace for the run was 6 minutes 38 seconds per mile, which is very strong over that kind of terrain.

As it turned out, Ollie was only 4 minutes behind the winner of the race, who was Chris Southern. He had a look at Strava after the race and saw that everyone seemed to have different finishing distances, which didn’t surprise him after what he had experienced. Nevertheless, he’d run harder than he would have in training, so all things considered, it was a good run out.

Ollie Stoten took 6th place in the Maverick inov-8 Original Hampshire 22k
Despite some route finding issues, Ollie had a decent run out, finishing in 6th place with a time of 1:31:19


Kirsty and Tamzin climb Imperial ladder in Larmer Tree 10

Kirsty Drewett in the Larmer Tree 10
Kirsty Drewett was looking to complete the Imperial Series by conquering the Larmer Tree 10 mile race

The third and final race of the Imperial Series and undoubtedly the toughest of the lot was the Larmer Tree 10, which took place on Saturday 10th March.

Having already completed the Lytchett 10 and the Bournemouth 10, it was time for Kirsty Drewett and Tamzin Petersen to put themselves to the ultimate test in the extremely wet, mesmerizingly muddy and harrowingly hilly setting of the Rushmore Estate.

Tamzin Petersen at the Larmer 10
Tamzin Petersen was looking to finish high up on the leaderboard the Imperial Series but first she had to tackle the testing slopes of the Larmer Tree 10

Completing the Imperial Series 10 was a challenge Kirsty had set herself at the beginning of the year so, although she knew she was in for a tough race, she was determined to give it her best shot.

After finishing 7th lady at Lytchett and 13th lady at the Bournemouth 10, she was looking for another good performance to potentially place her quite high up in the overall standings.

The course contained two big inclines, the first of which began a mile and a half in, then steadily increasing in gradient as it went up, eventually finishing at a round about four and a half miles.

Muddy field at the Larmer 10
The surface was wet and muddy in places making for an interesting and challenging excursion for the runners

The second sumptuous slope began on the 7th mile and was also pretty steep, although a little shorter this time. The last mile was also on an incline, really putting the runners through their paces on whatever their energy levels could muster up at that point in the proceedings.

The time flew by for Kirsty once she got going and she found there were many varying elements to concentrate on which helped keep her mind occupied.

Kirsty Drewett in the Larmer Tree 10
With a 7th place and a 13th place finish in her previous two Imperial Series races, Kirsty was looking to do even better in the Larmer Tree 10

Since it was the first race of the weekend, with a half marathon, a dark race, a 20 miler and a marathon all taking place throughout the weekend, conditions under foot were pretty good for the 10 miler at least.

A finishing time of 1 hour 27 minutes and 23 seconds made Kirsty 4th female on the day and 3rd in the F35 category. This was a decent result for Kirsty and she was pleased to post a time only 10 minutes off what she did at the Lytchett 10 which, given the hardcore profile of the Larmer Tree 10, seemed a respectable aim prior to the race. She came in 43rd overall, out of 445 finishers.

Kirsty Drewett in the Larmer Tree 10
Kirsty thoroughly enjoyed the experience and will definitely be back for more next year

Taking the position of 12th placed lady at the Lytchett 10 and 24th female in the Bournemouth 10, Tamzin was also hoping a good run at the Larmer Tree 10 could place her quite high in the overall standings for the Imperial Series.

Due to the varying terrain and the constant ups and downs, Tamzin found it difficult to get into a rhythm and wasn’t really sure how to pace the run. It was really just a case of gritting her teeth and battling through to the end.

Tamzin Petersen at the Larmer 10
Tamzin hadn’t really done many races with such a variation of terrain and elevation before

Some of the hills on the course were hellacious and there was one that had a 17% gradient, on which Tamzin said that she felt like she was bent double walking up.

Despite the tough terrain and the energy sapping lumps and bumps, Tamzin rallied well though and got to the line in a time of 1:34:15, which made her 14th placed lady on the day and 3rd in the F25  category. In the overall standings, Tamzin was 73rd.

Tamzin Petersen in the Larmer Tree 10
Tamzin was so focused she ignored the direction arrows dictating the route

Currently training for the Edinburgh Marathon on 27th May, Tamzin found the testing off-road 10 miler a welcome break from the longer training runs she’s been putting in most weekends recently.

The 1st placed lady in the race was Maria Everett of Littledown Harriers, who completed the course in a superb time of 1:22:18. She was just 10 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed female, Karen Mitchell of Dorset Sole Sisters. Helen Southcott of Maiden Newton Runners was 3rd in 1:25:40.

Even more hills at the Larmer 10
It was an uphill task for many just to make to the finish line

In the men’s race, Lee Dempster of Lytchett Manor Striders was the victor, crossing the line in a stunning time of 1:05:36. He was followed by Duncan Cooper of Poole AC who was 2nd in 1:06:42 and Ian Luke of Poole Runners who was 3rd in 1:07:34.

After securing a 3rd placed finish in both the Lytchett 10 and the Bournemouth 10, Josh Cole had been hoping he would be able to get a place in the Larmer Tree 10 as well. This would’ve given him a great chance of winning the Imperial Series.

Massive hill at the Larmer 10
The hills were big and bad – and at some stages seemed endless

The race organisers were not having it though and since he hadn’t entered by the time the race had filled up, he was sadly denied the opportunity to take that crown.

The Larmer Tree 10 race was over 1,000ft of elevation, which underlines how gruelling the course is. Kirsty said she learned a lot from the run though and can’t wait to put her newly accrued wisdom into practice next time.

Hills at the Larmer 10
The day was brightened up by some funny notices that had been placed around the course

In fact, she has vowed to return to the Rushmoor Estate next year with a view to potentially entering the 20 mile race! She is thinking there might be less dogs to contend with in that race as well.

Ironically, although there was a race for people running with dogs starting 15 minutes before, this time Tamzin had absolutely no trouble with any of the canines out on the course. Yet, at the Bournemouth 10, she somehow managed to be apprehended by one who had escaped from his leash as she approached the finish line on the promenade!

More hills at the Larmer 10
Another of the many hills that the competitors had to conquer throughout the race

In terms of the Imperial Series competition as a whole, Kirsty finished as 4th lady, with a cumulative time of 4 hours and 47 seconds. That’s a combined time of the Lytchett 10, the Bournemouth 10 and the Larmer Tree 10. She was 3rd in the senior female category.

Finishing up as the 8th placed woman overall, Tamzin registered a cumulative time of 4 hours 13 minutes and 17 seconds. This put her 5th in the senior female category. It was a fantastic result for the two BAC ladies and they can be immensely proud of their extraordinary efforts in the three races.

Kirsty Drewett in the Larmer Tree 10
Kirsty was 4th placed lady in the race, finishing in a stellar time of 1:27:23

Maria Everett of Littledown won the Imperial Series, taking the title the BAC’s Yvonne Tibble claimed last year. Maria’s cumulative time was 3:52:24.

Helen Southcott of Maiden Newton Runners was 2nd with a total time of 3:54:29 and Karen Mitchell of Dorset Sole Sisters took 3rd in 3:57:38.

For the men, it was Duncan Cooper of Poole AC who scooped the victory with a very impressive cumulative time of 3:08:30. Jonni Sucking of Slinn Allstars was 2nd, clocking a total time of 3:15:16, with Stephen Williams of Littledown taking 3rd in 3:19:34.

Tamzin Petersen takes on the Larmer Tree 10
Coming in 14th placed lady, Tamzin completed the course in a time of 1:34:15










Big PB in Big Half for Terrific Tag

Rob McTaggart in Vitality Big Half
Rob McTaggart was mixing it with some of the finest distance runners out there in the Vitality Big Half

The Vitality Big Half was a brand new event staged in heart of the nation’s capital that proved extremely popular, drawing a huge field of 11,600 people. Running from Tower Bridge to Greenwich and passing through the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham, the race was heralded as a perfect warm up for the London Marathon, taking place 7 weeks later.

With such a grand venue and with the event being designated the British Half Marathon Championships for 2018 , there was little surprise that it attracted some big names, including Britain’s greatest ever long distance track athlete Mo Farrah, plus Callum Hawkins and the 2017 London Marathon winner Daniel Wanjiru.

The prospect of such a huge half marathon also caught the attention of one of Bournemouth AC’s finest, as Rob McTaggart took to the start line, hoping he’d be in with a shout of a very fast time. BAC second claimer Craig Palmer was also in the line-up, representing his home club of Ampthill & Flitwick Flyers.

After what turned out to be a truly remarkable race, Tag kindly agreed to give us the lowdown of how the events unfolded from his perspective, so here’s a full, raw and unfiltered recount of proceedings from the man himself…

“This past Sunday, myself and second claimer Craig Palmer, running on this occasion in the colours of Ampthill & Flitwick, were entered in the inaugural BIG HALF marathon event in London.

The race was advertised as an ideal warm up for the London marathon, taking in many prominent features of the current route including Tower Bridge and Cutty Sark.

There was also a random mile long tunnel and lots of unwelcome cobbles to contend with. The race doubled up as the British Championships and had the likes of Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins duking it out at the front.

My initial plan was an £11 return trip on the National Express, travelling up on Friday evening and staying at my sister’s. Due to the shocking weather and lack of any public transport in Dorset, these plans were ruined and I’d basically written the race off and got on a sesh up the Tav that night.

Waking up with a heavy head on Saturday morning, a couple of phone calls confirmed there was one final train going from Bournemouth to London at 11:47, resulting in a 53 minute smash and dash to reach the station and a £60 expense on the train fare.

A shopping trip to snowy Bicester village via Hampstead followed and I was still convinced the race would get cancelled. However, on the day of the race it was about 2 degrees warmer and most of the ice and snow appeared to have melted.

I met Craig in the ‘Championship Start’ at some random school – where the standard sub 70 minute target time and usual abuse was exchanged. A minimal trot was done to warm up before we were ushered into the starting pen.

To be fair this is a cracking race. There were quite a few tight turns to negotiate and the cobble sections were a hindrance as they were slippery and generally bad to run on.

The main issue though was the starting area. The race contained a field of over 10,000 people but as it double backs on itself, the start is half a road width wide.

We started at the back of the ‘Championship’ pen and were stuck behind multiple charity and fancy dress runners, as well as some 90 plus minute female runners.

It took 8 seconds to cross the start line and within a minute of running I could see the lads of the calibre I should be with about 80 to 100 metres up the road.

A panic mile of zig-zagging through the masses at 5 minute/mile tempo ensued before I caught up with the group at about 1.5 miles. This group went on to run around 68 to 69 minutes.

A post-race stat indicated that I passed 91 runners in the first half of the race, losing only one place, whilst in the second half of the race I passed only four people and lost 2 places.

Rob McTaggart in Vitality Big Half
After a tricky start to the race, Tag soon got going and began to pick people off as he progressed toward the front end of the field

That confirms I really did cock up and should get to the start pen earlier in future as a remotely even paced run would surely get a better result.

I started to suffer from my fast start around the 4 mile marker but settled in with a group and started to tick off the miles. By around mile 6.5 to 7 miles, a motorbike with a cameraman appeared from nowhere.

A few seconds later my worst nightmare was confirmed and I had been reeled in by the lead women and was going to appear on the BBC getting dropped. I had to raise my game and latch onto the back of Charlotte Purdue and Lily Partridge at all costs.

For the rest of the race I did absolutely nothing other than stalk these ladies for as long as possible. The last 2 miles were pretty tough and I dropped off a few seconds.

However, despite what the photo evidence  suggests, I’m claiming that I didn’t get chicked, due to registering a chip time of 70:25 verses Purdue’s 70:29. As it turned out, those 8 seconds at the start saved me.

This was a new PB for me and, although not quite the time I felt capable of, the manner I ran in confirms I could potentially go about a minute faster and is a positive result on the road to the London Marathon.

Craig finished in 71:20, which was not as fast as his run a few weeks ago at Wokingham. He realised 3 miles in he wasn’t on for a sub 70 on this occasion and just focused on beating his rivals from Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, which he managed with no concerns.

Craig Palmer and Tag after Vitality Big Half
Craig Palmer and Tag enjoy a well earned post race refreshment after their cracking performances

Next we march on to either the Eastleigh 10k or the Reading Half and a period of three or four 100 mile training weeks in the chase for a 2:25 finish at the London Marathon.

For all the stats fans and people with far too much time on their hands, here’s a link to my Strava activity, showing my race splits for each 5k sector.”

Race results:
Rob McTaggart – 34th – 1:10:25
Craig Palmer – 51st – 1:11:20
Rob McTaggart in Vitality Big Half
A spectacular run by Tag saw him take 34th place in a terrific new PB time of 1:10:25 an most importantly of all, he didn’t get chicked!

Ollie Stoten strides to victory in the LDWA New Forest Challenge

Ollie Stoten in the LDWA New Forest Challenge
Ollie Stoten took on the extremely hilly 26 mile route of the LDWA New Forest Challenge

The New Forest Challenge was an event put on by the Wessex group of the Long Distance Walkers Association and featured either a choice of an 18 mile or 26 mile route that could either be walked or ran.

Of course, Bournemouth’s resident hardcore hill enthusiast Ollie Stoten took the running option. Ollie is no stranger to very long runs that include extremely high elevation gains.

Whilst the course for the New Forest Challenge would be most peoples’ idea of hell, with the off-road route incorporating over 3,000ft of elevation, Ollie was actually quite a home in this environment.

Regularly featuring near the top of the BAC leaderboard on Strava for weekly mileage, Ollie certainly puts everything into his training. In terms of elevation, he is usually right at the top of the table, sometimes racking up over 19,000ft of climbing within the space of a week.

The New Forest Challenge course started off at Burley Village Hall and was a circular route over forest tracks and paths, through woods and across heathlands. The participants were responsible for using their own navigation skills to find their way to each checkpoint.

It was a picturesque route, with some lovely open views throughout. Ollie wasn’t hanging around to admire the scenery though. He was tearing his way round the course, making light work of the hills as he advanced.

Soon finding himself way out front on his own, it wasn’t a case of whether he would win or not, it was more a question of how quickly could he get round.

As the miles were ticked off one by one, Ollie kept a very consistent pace, despite the constant undulation. A very quick last 4 miles saw Ollie get to finish line and complete the course in an incredible time of 3 hours 31 minutes.

The total distance he covered amounted to 27 miles and his average pace for the run was 7 minutes 32 per mile. A very impressive stat given the profile of the course, which contained 3,089ft of elevation.

No one else in the field could come anywhere near Ollie. In fact, Ollie was the only participant who did the full 26 mile route that came in under 4 hours. The next quickest person to complete the course did it in 4 hours 24 minutes, so almost an hour behind Ollie.

To be fair, very few people managed to get through the 26 miles in under 5 hours which gives an idea of the sheer dominance of Ollie over the rest of the field.

It will be interesting to see what Ollie has lined up for his next challenge. No doubt it will be a long distance route with a very hilly profile though. He wouldn’t have it any other way.

Ollie Stoten in the LDWA New Forest Challenge
Ollie completed the course in a tremendous time of 3 hours 31 minutes, which was almost an hour ahead of the next person to finish



Toby Chapman tackles Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge

Toby Chapman takes on the Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge
Back in his homeland area of North Somerset, Toby Chapman took on the Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge

Whilst many BAC members were making their presence felt at the Bournemouth 10, either participating in the race or helping out with the organising or marshalling, Toby Chapman was back in Somerset, the area where he grew up.

As he often does when he’s back visiting family, Toby took the opportunity to enter a local race. On this occasion, that was the Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge in Weston-super-Mare.

The Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge is a 10 mile, multi-terrain race along the North Somerset coastline. The race features some stretches across the beach in Weston Bay and Sandy Bay as well as some fast sections along the promenade, some woodland trails and some very challenging climbs.

The lead group make their way across the sandy beach
Some sections of the race were run across sandy beaches, hence why the call it the Two Bays ‘Tough’ Ten

It was a course that suited Toby quite well, since he possesses both the speed on the flat, as he had demonstrated in various Dorset races recently, and some decent climbing credentials, having competed in some of the toughest mountain ultra races out there.

Last summer, Toby took on the 80km Mont-Blanc Marathon and then in the autumn he was in the Spanish Pyrenees for the 110km Ultra Pirineu. So far this year, Toby has a victory in the Blackmore Vale Half Marathon to his name, having finished narrowly ahead of his Bournemouth AC teammate Steve Way.

The lead group charge along the sandy bay
The lead group make their way across the sandy bay, which does give the race something of a unique characteristic

In the Two Bays Tough Ten Challenge, Toby found himself again jostling for position at the front of the field. This time he was battling it out with Chris McMillan of Weston AC.

The pair were neck and neck for the first half of the race but at around the six mile point, Chris made the significant move, breaking clear of Toby.

There was a massive hill going from just after the 7th mile to part the way into the 8th mile that proved hard work, even for an experienced ascender of Toby’s stature.

Toby Chapman accelerates along the promenade
Toby zooms down the promenade at Weston-super-Mare

As they began the descent down to the finish, Toby tried his best to catch Chris but he ran out of road and Chris took the victory in a time of 58:35. That meant Toby had to settle for 2nd place on this occasion, crossing the line in a still remarkable time of 59:14. A total of 540 people completed the race.

This was a good result for Toby though, especially since it marked the end of his first 100 mile week for about 10 months, so the upping of mileage was bound to have taken it’s toll on him to some extent.

Toby is currently in training for the Highland Fling, a 53 mile ultramarathon following the West Highland Way, Scotland’s oldest official long distance footpath. The route takes the participants through Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park and features 7,500ft of ascent. The event is scheduled for Saturday 28th April, which is the week after the London Marathon.

Toby speeds down the Weston-super-Mare promenade
It was the last blast for Toby bringing to a heavy week of training to its end as he reached the 100 mile mark




Brilliant BAC 1,2,3 at Bournemouth 10

BAC team after Bournemouth 10 race
A total of 22 Bournemouth AC members took to the start line for Bournemouth 10 and many others were on hand to help set up and marshal the event

It was a cold, crisp February morning on the day of one of Bournemouth’s most eagerly anticipated and appealing races, the Bournemouth 10. This year’s edition brought together a field brimming with talent, including many of Bournemouth AC‘s big hitters, making it a showdown of biblical proportions.

It’s a great time of year to be staging a 10 mile road race, with many runners looking for middle distance races to break up the monotony of the marathon miles as they prepare for the London Marathon or other big events around the end of March to late April.

As well as being one of the three 10 mile races that make up the Imperial Series, along with the Lychett 10 and Larmer 10, the Bournemouth 10 was also a Dorset Road Race League fixture this year, which added further to the intrigue.

The race was organised by Bournemouth AC’s Ian White who, together with his team of helpers including Sam Laws and many other BAC members, worked tirelessly to ensure proceedings went smoothly.

Off the back of a distinct lack of cooperation from the town council, who again refused to allow any road closures or promenade restrictions, there were many challenges for Ian to overcome in order to make the event a success. It meant that the race had to begin at the even earlier time of 8:30am, forcing Ian and many of his helpers to arrive at 6 in the morning to get everything set up.

They didn’t complain about it though. They were up bright and early and got on with the job – and not only did they do that – they did it all with a smile on their faces as well, helping to enhance the experience even further for those who took part.

Prior to the race, as well as the cold weather, a lot of the discussion amongst the participants was about the direction of the wind. The easterly wind meant that the first 4 miles of the route, which were along the promenade from Bournemouth Pier to Southbourne, would be running into a headwind.

On the plus side though, on the return journey back along the overcliff road, there would be a tailwind. This was a reversal of the conditions last year, where the way back along the overcliff was into a headwind, making it a very tough second half of the race.

As the race kicked off, a lead group was quickly established and it contained 6 Bournemouth AC members, amongst others. They worked together, taking it in turns to drive the pace from the front with the rest of the group tucking in behind, peloton style.

That star studded lead group included last year’s race Steve Way, Stuart Nicholas – who was 3rd in 2017 and 2nd in 2016, Josh Cole – who won the race in 2015, plus Anthony Clark, Jez Bragg and Rob McTaggart – all of whom have huge credentials of their own.

The lead group on the promenade
The lead group took it in turns to drive the pace, peloton style, for the first 4 miles into a headwind

Once they got off the promenade, a new breakaway group formed containing Steve Way, Rob McTaggart, Josh Cole and Andy Leggett of Lonely Goat RC. Andy did his best to stay with the BAC trio but the blistering pace Steve Way was setting was hard to live with.

Soon it was only the three Bournemouth AC guys in contention and they tore their way back along the overcliff road from Southbourne back toward Boscombe.

At this point Steve was in full flow and began to pull away. Tag was trying to hang on and was hoping he was still in with a chance of catching Steve if he could maintain a small gap between them. He was thinking there was no way Steve would be able to maintain the pace he was going at for the remainder of the race.

The lead pack in the Bournemouth 10
The lead group of Steve Way, Rob McTaggart and Josh Cole tore away from the rest of the pack once they got off the promenade

That prognosis proved to be incorrect though, as Steve was running really strongly and he was indeed able to maintain the pace. In fact, he actually upped pace the significantly over the course of the second half of the race, finishing with a 5:07 and a 5:06 for the last couple of miles.

This was enough to see Steve reclaim his crown as the Bournemouth 10 winner for 2018, with a phenomenal time of 55 minutes 30 – a very similar time to what he did last year.

That meant Tag had to settle for 2nd place but did really well to stay so close to Steve, in the end finishing just 18 seconds behind in a time of 55:48.

Making it a magnificent 1,2,3 for BAC, Josh Cole took 3rd place, running a great race himself to stay very close behind Tag. The gap between those two was a mere 20 seconds with Josh recording a terrific time of 56:08.

This was a great performance from Josh, and followed up his 3rd place finish at the Lytchett 10 two weeks prior. He thoroughly enjoyed the run and said it had the feel of a proper old-school road race.

Andy Leggott crossed the line in 4th place with a time of 56:40 and Sean Edwards of Lytchett Manor Striders was 5th in a 56:59.

With the prospect of the Anglo Celtic Plate British 100k Championships looming large on the horizon, Anthony Clark and Jez Bragg saw the Bournemouth 10 as a nice bit of speed work, in amongst the seriously heavy mileage they’ve been putting in recently.

Anthony Clark during Bournemouth 10
Ant Clark was doing the race as part of a longer training run as he prepares for the 100k UK Championships

Having already done 8 and half miles before he took to the promenade for the Bournemouth 10, Ant was pleased to take 6th place in a time of 57:21 and he was 2nd VM40 behind Steve.

Gareth Alan-Williams of Poole AC came in 2 seconds later to take 7th place before Jez reached the line shortly after to post a time of 57:40.

It was actually only 30 seconds off Jez’s PB of several years ago, so that is a very good sign for his fitness levels. Jez completed  a further 11 miles throughout the course of the day, brining his total for the day to 21 miles.

Jez Bragg during Bournemouth 10
Jez Bragg is also competing in the 100k UK Championships and was using the Bournemouth 10 to get an idea of where his fitness is currently

Steven Yates of Poole Runners took 9th place in a time of 58:07 before the next BAC member, Stu Nicholas, arrived at the finish to complete the top 10 in a time of 58:31.

Despite not having the best of preparations, having spent most of the week in the lead up to the race on the beers at the Norwich Winter Ale Festival, Stu was pleased with his time. It was a 1 minute 19 second improvement on what he did last year, although the wind was a lot more ferocious on that occasion.

Stuart Nicholas during Bournemouth 10
Stuart Nicholas had a 3rd and a 2nd place in the previous two years at the Bournemouth 10

There was a new PB for the distance for Paul Consani who crossed the line in 27th place with a very strong time of 1:03:18. This was a 22 second improvement on his time in the 2016 Bournemouth 10 race.

For the first sector of the race on the promenade, Paul ran really well, settling into a group just behind the main lead pack and keeping a very good pace despite the bitterly cold Siberian wind.

After hitting the turning point and heading back towards Boscombe, Paul was relentless in his pace and just continued to push hard whilst heading along the overcliff.

A very quick last couple of miles put him in contention for his fastest ever 10 mile run as he hit the line he was really pleased to find out that he had done it.

Paul Consani during Bournemouth 10
Paul Consani motors round the course in what turned out to be a new PB for him

The next BAC member to complete the race was Richard Brawn, who also netted himself a fabulous new PB for the distance. Up until this race, Rich’s 10 mile PBs had always been set at The Great South Run, with his most recent being last October, when he posted a time of 1:05:17.

This year at the Bournemouth 10 though, Rich managed to write himself a new record, eclipsing his time at The Great South Run by almost a minute. He took 34th place in a time of 1:04:19.

After setting off at quite a quick pace for the first mile, Rich soon settled into a more moderate pace as the wind made the stretch along the promenade pretty tough.

Rich Brawn and Adrian Townsend on the promenade
Richard Brawn and Adrian Townsend formed part of a pack as they battled the chilly easterly wind

Initially he was at the front of the group but as he was finding it a real battle in the end, he dropped back into a group of Littledown Harriers and took shelter behind some of them for most the rest of the way along the promenade.

As the group began to approach the turning up from the promenade, Rich made a break for it to see if he could leave the group behind. A couple of the Littledown Harriers caught him up and they worked their way round the windy roads before getting onto the overcliff road and heading back toward Boscombe.

Most of Rich’s miles were at around 6:30 pace, so he was thinking that he wasn’t on for a particularly special time. However, the last two miles changed all that, as Rich put in a 6:02 on the 9th mile which contained the downhill road leading back onto the promenade.

Then the last mile he stayed strong, conscious that there was a Littledown Harrier not far behind him who would almost certainly overtake him if he dropped the pace.

He was pleased to see that the finish line was before the pier and was extremely surprised as he crossed the finishing line and stopped his watch to see that it was 1:04:19.

Richard Brawn during Bournemouth 10
Richard Brawn did his best to lift the pace after a tough first 4 miles into the wind

Rich has been making some good improvements recently, having set a new half marathon PB at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, a new 10k PB at the Boscombe 10k in November and a new parkrun PB on Christmas Day. He was glad to add a new 10 mile PB to that list of successes.

Another one who doing the Bournemouth 10 as part of a longer training run as part of his London Marathon programme was Tom Paskins.

Tom ran 6 miles at a steady jogging pace before the race began. His plan was then to run the 10 miles of the race at marathon pace with a 1 mile warm down afterwards.

Tom Paskins during Bournemouth 10
Tom Paskins remained disciplined and stuck to running at his marathon pace throughout most of the race

Even though he remained disciplined for the most part and resisted the temptation to go quicker, Tom still crossed the line in 42nd place, posting a time of 1:05:14.

If he’d actually been racing it though, Tom could have gone a lot quicker than that. In the 2016 Bournemouth 10 race, he completed the course in 1:00:53.

The next two BAC members, Adrian Townsend and Pat Robbins, crossed the line at exactly the same time, taking 48th and 49th position with a time of 1:05:43.

Tom Paskins and Pat Robbins on the promenade
Tom Paskins and Pat Robbins were doing the race as part of a longer training run as they prepare for their target races in the coming months

Adrian had been suffering from man flu in the lead up to the race and very nearly didn’t get out of bed. He was glad that he did though and still enjoyed the race, even though he wasn’t able to go on full gas.

He was running much of the race the leading lady, Diana Leggott of Lonely Goat RC. She then dropped him at Boscombe Pier and went on to win the women’s race in a time of 1:05:29.

Adrian Townsend during Bournemouth 10
Adrian Townsend ran a lot of the race with Diana Leggott who finished as 1st lady

As for Pat Robbins, he was another who was running the Bournemouth 10 as part of a longer training run. Pat is currently training for the IAU European 24 Hour Championships that are taking place in Romania on 26/27 May and he will be representing Great Britain.

The 2nd placed lady, Caroline Stanzel of Poole Runners, came in a second after Pat to take 50th place overall in 1:05:44. Clare Martin of Purbeck Runners was 3rd female, finishing in 63rd place in 1:07:04.

Pat Robbins during Bournemouth 10
Pat Robbins turns the corner to start heading down to the overcliff road

In the pre-race build up, Trevor Elkins had high hopes for a good time and was looking to finish in around the region of 1:03 or 1:04. He started off running with Rich Brawn as the pair desperately tried to get a good pace going against the extremely resistant easterly winds.

After a quick first mile, the wind soon began to take it’s toll and Trevor dropped back a bit to take some shelter from others in the group they were running with.

The race started to turn pear shaped for Trevor when he got a stitch, forcing him to stop and start walking for a bit. By the time he got going again, the chances of registering a time anywhere near what he wanted were severely hampered.

Trevor Elkins on the promenade
Trevor Elkins set off at a good pace but then got a stitch which hampered his chances of getting the time he was hoping for

Nevertheless, he persevered and battled on through the remainder of the race. The one highlight for Trevor was when he reached the finishing straight and managed to put in an almighty sprint finish to gain a place on the line.

Taking 68th place overall, Trevor‘s finishing time was 1:09:03. Although it wasn’t the time he was looking for, it was still a beneficial run for Trevor, who is currently in training for a 20 mile race he is competing in on 18th March at the New Forest Running Festival.

Trevor Elkins during Bournemouth 10
Trevor Elkins powers his way toward the overcliff road in a bid to make up the time he’d lost after his stoppage

Aiming to record his first sub 70 minute 10 miler, Pawel Surowiec knew he would have a tough task on his hands with the wind coming into play over the first 4 miles. The previous year, Pawel had had his race scuppered by the headwind on the return stretch back from Southbourne to Bournemouth, resulting in him crossing the line in 1 hour 13.

This time he was determined to hit his target though and battled well to sustain a reasonable pace into the headwind along the promenade before turning round and heading back toward Bournemouth.

Pawel Surowiec on the promenade
Pawel Surowiec set out hoping to achieve his target of a sub 70 minute finish

The second half of the race went much better for him this time and he reaped the benefits of the tailwind on his return journey, ultimately crossing the line in 76th place with a time of 1:09:55. Pawel was glad to get the time that he wanted despite the conditions – and in truth, he couldn’t have timed it much better.

Pawel Surowiec during Bournemouth 10
Pawel Surowiec worked hard to maintain a good pace throughout despite the challenging start along the promenade

Having been a Bournemouth AC member for some 25 years now, it was good to see Tony Chutter pulling on the yellow and blue vest again. It was Tony’s first run back after illness.

Tony had been suffering mantle cell lymphoma and had undergone a stem cell transplant as a result. Fortunately he’s now back fit again and is already looking forward to the next race. Completing the course in 1:11:22, Tony took 83rd place in the final standings, marking a very successful comeback race indeed.

Tony Chutter during Bournemouth 10
It was good to see Tony Chutter back in action again after a long lay off through illness

Both running in their first ever 10 mile race, Steve Parsons and Phil Cherrett started off running together and, as it panned out, stayed together for the  majority of the race.

It wasn’t the ideal preparation for Steve as he had to get up at 5am that morning to get to Bournemouth in order to set up the gazebos and the barriers.

At around the half way mark Phil got away from Steve but Steve didn’t panic. He got his head down and kept going and managed to catch up with Phil on the hill up to the clifftop.

Steve Parsons and Phil Cherrett on the promenade
Phil Cherrett and Steve Parsons were both competing in their first ever 10 mile race

Once he got past Phil, having the knowledge that Phil was right behind him was enough of a motivation for Steve to keep the pace up.

When they got down onto the seafront, they were both able to pick the pace up and finish strongly. It was only really the last 500m or so that were a real struggle for Steve.

Steve Parsons during Bournemouth 10
Steve Parsons got his head down and prepared to graft all the way back to Bournemouth to hit the target time he wanted

Phil found the increase in pace over the last couple of miles quite tough but he knew he had to dig in and give it everything he had to hit the 1:15 target he’d been hoping for.

Crossing the line in 121st place, Steve stopped the clock at 1:14:35, with Phil coming in 3 places later in 124th with a time of 1:15:03. Considering it was the furthest either of them had gone in a race before, they both did very well and can be proud of their efforts.

Phil Cherrett and Steve Parsons during Bournemouth 10
Phil Cherrett and Steve Parsons remained close to each other throughout the entire race

Another BAC member who was going for a 75 minute target time was Kirsty Drewett. Originally, she was going to run with Steve and Phil but she didn’t back herself from the start.

After suffering with some breathing problems in the early stages of the race, Kirsty started to panic and she never really got back in full control of her breathing rhythm.

Despite that though, her leg strength was good and she rallied well to complete the course in a superb time of exactly 1 hour 16 minutes. This beat her previous best time set at the Lytchett 10 a couple of weeks prior by almost a minute and a half.

Kirsty finished in 133rd position in the overall standings and she was 13th lady on the day and 5th in the VF35 category. She now has one more race to go in the Imperial Series, which is the Larmer 10. If she can put in another good performance, she could finish quite high up the cumulative results.

Kirsty Drewett during Bournemouth 10
Despite having some breathing problems on the way round, Kirsty Drewett ran well, securing an impressive new PB for herself

The next BAC lady to reach the finish was Tamzin Petersen, who managed a terrific new PB of 1 hour 19 exactly, putting her in 168th overall and 24th female on the day.

Again, Tamzin’s previous best time of 1:20:02 had been set two weeks earlier at the Lytchett 10. The day before the Bournemouth 10, she’d had an attempt at breaking her parkrun PB but that hadn’t gone so well.

As a consequence, she wasn’t going to the race brimming with confidence but on the whole she has been running well lately, as her half marathon PB at Blackmore Vale earlier in the month proved.

Tamzin Petersen during Bournemouth 10
Tamzin Petersen was looking for a sub 80 minute finish in order to secure a new PB

The Bournemouth 10 was a new day though and a new opportunity to make her mark and she did just that. She knew that to get a sub 80 minute finish, she just needed to average quicker than 8 minutes per mile and she is well capable of that.

In fact, she kept her pace very consistent, clocking just under 8 minutes for pretty much every mile and then managing to pick up the pace in the last couple of miles.

The only hairy moment she had was when Rex the dog ran out in front of her, almost sending her tumbling to the ground as she approached the finish. Fortunately, she managed to dodge the over-zealous canine and neither human or animal were harmed.

Tamzin Petersen making a gesture
Despite an unexpected encounter with Rex the dog, Tamzin ran very well to claim a super new PB

Only 17 seconds had passed when Louise Broderick arrived at the finish, registering a time of 1:19:17. That put her in 173rd place overall and 25th lady. This gave her 5th place in the VF45 category.

Louise is an assistant coach with the Junior Development Group on Wednesday nights and helps out with club matters whenever she can but she doesn’t get as much opportunity as she would like to run with the club.

In fact, this was her first race for quite a while so she was pleased with the time. She said she could’ve done with it being a few degrees warmer but she enjoyed the scenery and the sunshine.

The next BAC member to finish was Estelle Slatford, who took 213th place in a time of 1:22:04. That made her 36th lady on the day and 13th in the VF35 category.

Currently in the midst of her training for the London Marathon in April, Estelle was planning to do 7 additional miles after completing the Bournemouth 10 race.

Despite the tough headwind on the way out, Estelle really enjoyed the race and felt pretty good throughout. Her time was a 1 minute 21 second improvement on what she did last year, although of course, the wind was stronger then.

After the race she went on to do an extra 5 and a half miles, so all things considered, it was a very good day’s training for Estelle. She ran most the race with Louise Price, who finished 220th in a time of 1:22:45. This made her 40th lady on the day and 12th in the VF45 category.

Louise Price and Estelle Slatford during Bournemouth 10
Louise Price and Estelle Stratford ran the majority of the race together

A couple of days before the race Louise found out that she is anaemic, which explained why she’s been struggling with fatigue recently.

Off the back of that discovery, she did consider not running but decided to give it a go anyway to see what happened. Although she was a little disappointed with the time, ultimately, she was pleased just to get round.

The final BAC member to cross the line was Julian Oxborough, who came in 540th place in a time of 2:05:44. Julian was targeting a finish of around the 2 hour mark, so he wasn’t too far off what he was hoping for.

Julian Oxborough on the promenade
It was a return to a race that he competed in back in the 1990’s for Julian Oxborough

Now residing in Somerset, Julian still represents BAC whenever he does any races but he very rarely makes it to any in the Bournemouth area as it’s such a long way to travel.

For this one though, he booked a hotel in Southbourne and stayed there the night before. He managed to meet a few of his BAC teammates whom he had spoken to in messages but never actually seen in person before.

Julian Oxborough on the overcliff road
Julian powers his way along the overcliff road from Southbourne to Boscombe

The course was still the same as when Julian did it back in the 1990’s when he was in his 20’s. After a long spell out of running, Julian is now getting back into it and is working to get his fitness back, whilst also just enjoying the experience.

After the first 4 miles, Julian was feeling a little sick, but that subsided in the end and he was absolutely determined to make it to the finish. He said afterwards that he loved every minute of the race and appreciated the outstanding support he got on the way round.

Julian Oxborough approaches the finish
Julian approaches the finishing straight after a tough but enjoyable race

In terms of the team competition – Steve Way, Rob McTaggart and Josh Cole won the 1st team prize for the men and Anthony Clark, Jez Bragg and Stu Nicholas won the 2nd team prize. The trio of Sean Edwards, Lee Dempster and Tom Andrew of Lytchett Manor Striders were 3rd in the men’s team competition.

In terms of the ladies team prizes, Caroline Stanzel, Paula Barker and Kelly Amos of Poole Runners won 1st place. Maria Everett, Heather Khoshnevis and Jenny Beckett of Littledown Harriers were 2nd and Alexandra Door, Olivia Hetreed and Stella Campbell of Egdon Heath Harriers were 3rd.

Phil, Steve and Pawel after Bournemouth 10 race
Phil Cherrett and Steve Parsons hit their target of a 75 minute finish whilst Pawel Surowiec just dipped under the 70 minute mark

In the Dorset Road Race League, Bournemouth AC secured a resounding victory in the men’s team competition, with Littledown Harriers taking 2nd and Lytchett Manor Striders 3rd. The BAC ladies finished in 4th place in the women’s first division.

It was a glorious day for Bournemouth AC, all things considered and huge plaudits go to all those that competed. However, the most credit has to go Ian White for organising the race in such an impeccable manner and to all his helpers who got up at the crack of dawn to get things organised and ensure the race went smoothly.

Whether they were marshalling, giving out the numbers, looking after the baggage, setting up the gazebos and guard rails, filling up the water stations or just doing anything they could to help, it was a fantastic team effort by all concerned and their contributions made the day the monumental success that it was.

BAC team after Bournemouth 10 race
Some of the Bournemouth AC contingent bask in the sunshine after completing the race, although it was still rather chilly at that point it has to be said!