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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.