An air of anticipation and excitement filled the air around Bournemouth Pier as the 2019 Bournemouth Marathon Festival rolled into town, bringing with it a tremendous buzz as runners from far and wide flocked down to the south coast for a seafront saunter.
As would be expected for such a popular local race, there was a big Bournemouth AC presence over the four main races which consisted of a 10k, a 5k, a Half Marathon and of course, a full Marathon.
Following the trend of previous years, the event began at 4pm on the Saturday afternoon with the Supersonic 10k. Six Bournemouth AC members were in the line up for the grand opener including Rich Brawn, Phil Cherrett and Simon Hearn.
The original plan for Rich Brawn was to be running the marathon as he was keen to address the ghosts of last year where a crippling cramp prevented him from getting the time he wanted.
Unfortunately, over the summer he began to suffer from plantar fasciosis in the heel and it prevented him from getting out on any long runs, thus putting pay to his chances of competing in the marathon.
Instead, Rich had decided to run round some of the marathon route with a friend from his previous club, Dacorum & Tring, who was coming down for the event.
Although he was glad that he would still get to be a part of the event, Rich was frustrated that he couldn’t compete in the showpiece race. As the weekend drew closer and the excitement built up, he began to contemplate running the 10k.
Having not been able to go out and do any proper long runs, he knew he wasn’t at his absolute peak but he thought there was a chance he might still have a decent 10k run in him. Plus knowing it was a fast course, being an out-and-back along the promenade, he gave into the temptation and signed up.
Simon Hearn does the BMF 10k every year, with his fastest time being a 39:41 which he set back in 2015. Simon has been running well this year though and secured a brilliant new 10k of 39:04 at the Royal Berkshire 10k in May. He then followed that up with half marathon PB of 1:27:18 at the Maidenhead Half Marathon in September.
After missing a substantial part of the year out with an IT band injury, Phil Cherrett is now back on the PB trail, having recently secured a parkrun PB of 19:34 at Bournemouth as well as a 5k best of 19:31 at the Lytchett Relays. And he secured a new 5-mile PB of 33:12 at the Littledown 5.
That spate of superb performances had led Phil to believe that he could have a chance of threatening a sub-40 at the BMF. Unfortunately though, his elevated expectation levels got the better of him and instead of running in a relaxed way, he was constantly watching the clock over the first half of the race.
When his prospects of a sub-40 time began to slip, he stopped enjoying the run and the second half of the race became a real struggle.
Still managing to muster up a strong finish at the end though, Phil‘s time of 41:39 was within two seconds of the PB he got in the same race last year. That put Phil in 78th place in the overall standings and 14th in the Over 40 category.
Although it wasn’t what he was looking for, Phil didn’t allow himself to be too disheartened as he knows he’s been progressing and making some great strides of late. And he says he’ll learn from the experience as well and look to put the things he didn’t do so well on this occasion right next time round.
Rich Brawn set off quite quickly and was going okay for the first few miles but he could tell that he isn’t running as well as he was when he was at his best.
Consequently, as the race went on, he began to tire and his mile times began to drop slightly. He was finding it difficult to maintain the pace running on the wet sand that was strewn across the promenade and the last couple of miles became a real battle.
As he headed round the finishing straight, Rich was disappointed to see the clock tick over 38 minutes, which for him meant that it wasn’t a very good time. In the end, his official time went down as 38:03, which put him in 24th place overall and 8th in the over 35 category.
Simon Hearn‘s main aim, as it usually is, was to finish in a sub-40 time. He managed that comfortably this time round, completing the course in a time of 39:13 which put him in 37th place overall and 2nd Over 50.
Young Thomas Farwell also had a good run in his first official 10k race, finishing in a time of 41:08 which put him in 65th place overall.
Having just recently joined the club, Leon Atkins crossed the line a time of 42:15, which put him in 89th place overall and 19th in the Over 35 category.
The only female representative in the 10k race was Lucy du Cros and she ran well to finish in a time of 49:50, which put her in 344th place in the overall standings.
That made her 54th senior female. Lucy’s main aim was to get under 50 minutes so she was pleased to manage that. A total of 2,154 people took part in the Supersonic 10k.