With the Men’s First Division title race done and dusted, the Hoburne 5 took on a slightly different feel as the pressure on the Egdon Heath Harriers and Bournemouth AC squads eased somewhat. There was still all to play for though with individual league positions and category points up for grabs. The Women’s First Division wasn’t quite decided yet but Egdon Heath Harriers only had to stop Poole Runners winning one of the three remaining fixtures to seal the title.

Wimborne AC also needed a win in Men’s Second Division in all three remaining fixtures to prevent Twemlow Track Club from taking top spot and sealing promotion to the First Division. And it was the same for Dorset Doddlers in the Ladies Second Division. They had to win at Hoburne to stay in the hunt for top spot, otherwise Dorchester RIOT would seal promotion.

Start line for the Hoburne 5

The runners line up on the start line at the Hoburne 5

The Hoburne 5 race was organised by Christchurch Runners and started and finished at Hoburne Holiday Park. It was supposed to begin with a lap around the Holiday Park and then head out onto the roads from there. However, the was an incident at the start that threw the race into complete chaos.

As the leaders sped off down the pathway, there was supposed to be a turning point they were to go down. The marshal who was supposed to be on the turning point was not at his post though when race started and that resulted in the front group continuing on past the turn and heading in the wrong direction.

Some of the runners who did know the route then tried to call them back to get them to turn around. When they eventually realised and turned round, they had suddenly gone from being at the front of the race to being right at the back. Hence they had to run back as quickly as they could and try to catch up with the rest of the field.

Szymon Chojnacki, Sam Jackson, Matt du Cros and Adrian James were all in that group. They then had to work much harder than they would otherwise have had to in that first kilometre to get back to the front of the field. It was certainly not the ideal start to the proceedings for the quicker runners.

Adrian and Szymon on start line of Hoburne 5

Adrian and Szymon line up unaware of the pandemonium that was awaiting them

The mishap at the start resulted in Szymon bolting through the first kilometre in 3 minutes and 4 seconds, since when he realised he’d gone wrong he practically sprinted back to re-establish his position near the front. And Adrian went with him as well!

There was a small incline at the beginning of the second mile which slowed him down and that in turn led to him stabilising his pace. His mile splits were of course heavily impacted by the incident at the start and he went through the first mile in 5:05, before settling down to a 5:39 for the second mile.

After that he managed a 6:01 for the third mile, followed by a 5:49 for the fourth mile. In the last mile Szymon was able to ramp up the pace again significantly, showing he’d recovered well from his earlier exertion. Finishing with a 5:24 for the fifth mile, he reached the finish in 28:40 which put him in 8th position.

Even though he fell away a bit towards the end, Adrian James wasn’t far behind, weighing in with a brilliant time of 29:11. That was enough to put him in 11th place. He’s used to experiencing difficulties when starting off too fast in parkrun but on this occasion, it had almost cost him for a very different reason. He managed to recover well from that though considering the extra effort he had to put in.

It wasn’t long before the next Bournemouth AC pair arrived and that was Matt du Cros and Sam Jackson. Matt completed the route in 29:32, which put him in 14th place, with Sam coming in just 8 seconds later to take 15th in 29:40.

Aside from the first mile, which was faster than he otherwise would have gone due to the calamity at the start, Matt’s splits were really consistent. It was a 5:29 first mile for him, followed by a 5:52 and a 5:55 for his third mile. He then ran another 5:55 for the fourth mile before ending with a 5:47 for the fifth mile.

Even though the issue at the start did him in a bit, Sam recovered well and it was a strong performance from him considering. He was 11th in terms of Dorset Road Race League points which was a huge boost to him in his quest to top the 45-49 standings. Neither of his main rivals Simon Arthur or Paul Hilton featured in the race and it was Sam’s best placing yet, thus strengthening his position at the top of the category table.

That left Bournemouth AC needing only one man left to complete the scoring team of five. Crossing the line in a time of 30:46, Robin Copestick was the fifth man over the line for BAC and put them in 2nd place in the Men’s First Division for that particular fixture.

Luckily for Robin, he wasn’t quite close enough to the front to have gone the wrong way so his race hadn’t been wrecked in any way at the beginning. Opening with a 6:01 first mile, he then followed that up with a 6:18 second mile and a 6:12 third mile. Putting in a 6:11 for the fourth mile, he then finished strongly with a 5:50 for his fifth mile.

Robin was placed 22nd in the final standings and in terms of the league placings, that should have been 17th. Unfortunately his club wasn’t properly listed in the results, or it had brackets round it which meant it wasn’t counted as one of Bournemouth AC’s first five.

The next BAC man to arrive was Luke Jackson and he came in in 36th place in the overall standings, reaching the line in 32:08. That was 27th in terms of league placings. Either way though, Poole Runners picked up the win for the fixture.

They had Dion Garner who finished 2nd in 27:28, Haydan Clarke who was 7th in 28:38, Joe Godden who took 10th in 26:57, Neil Sexton who was 17th in 30:11 and Esref Ozdemir who was 24th in 30:59. That just edged them ahead of Bournemouth AC.

Christopher Peck of Egdon Heath Harriers continued his fantastic form to bring home the race win, registering a time of 27 minutes exactly. James Phillips was 3rd in 27:57, with Jez Bragg of Twemlow Track Club claiming 4th in 28:13.

Adam Jundi finishing 5th in 28:29, although like James Phillips, he wasn’t representing a Dorset Road Race League club. And it was the same for Andrew Ridley who took 6th place in  28:36.

Making a rare appearance in the yellow and blue vest, Harriet Slade finished as 9th placed female and 50th overall in a time of 34:08. Then Chris O’Brien arrived shortly after in 52nd place, recording a time of 34:19.

Ever since he had covid a long time ago, Chris has struggled with his breathing and just hasn’t been able to run fast ever since, which is really frustrating for him. He does have the Run to the Sea 50km ultra pencilled in for next weekend though so that might be one he’ll be better suited to, since it’s more about endurance than speed.

Completing the course in 35:29, Debbie Lennon finished as 12th female and 1st in the 55-59 category. That put her her 58th overall and her average pace for the run was 7:09 which was pretty strong. She was also 31 seconds quicker than she had been at the May 5, earlier in the season. Debbie is absolutely bossing the 55-59 category for the season so far and looks certain to take home that crown.

Finishing in 66th place overall, Jud Kirk was the next Bournemouth AC member to arrived back at the Holiday Park and he clocked a time of 36:20. That put him 3rd in 60-64 category for the league and he currently occupies 4th position in the standings in that category for the season so far.

Another BAC lady currently well clear at the top of her age category standings in the Dorset Road Race League is Heather Khoshnevis and she got round in 38:19 which out her 74th overall. She was 17th lady in the race and of course 1st in the 60-64 category.

That completed the scoring team of three for the Bournemouth AC women in the Ladies First Division. It was enough to see them finish 3rd for the Hoburne 5 fixture.

Jessie Lutwyche had a tremendous run to finish as 1st female in a time of 29:23. She came in just ahead of Matt du Cros in 13th place overall. Running for Birchfield Harriers though, her result didn’t actually matter as far as the Dorset Road Race League went.

Georgina Povall of Egdon Heath Harriers was 2nd female and 1st point scorer. She got round in 30:51 which put her in 23rd overall. Poole Runners of course knew that they needed to win the fixture to keep the Ladies First Division title race alive.

Their hopes were boosted when Kate Wilkinson was the next female to come in and she finished in 38th place in a time of 32:21. Laura Baker-Little then followed shortly after in 40th place and she recorded a time of 32:28. Now it was getting interesting.

Poole Runners’ hopes of getting the win they needed were dashed though when Alex Door arrived to finish as 4th scoring female in 33:10. Then Julie Wargent followed shortly after to take 5th scoring place and 46th overall in 33:21.

That sealed the Women’s First Division title for Egdon Heath Harriers and they had matched their male counterparts in coming out on top, in a very competitive season.

Finishing within one second of each other, Tamzin Petersen and Lea Lohk were very evenly matched, taking 79th and 80th places with times of 38:46 and 38:47 respectively. In terms of league placings, that put them 15th and 16th and Tamzin was 3rd in the 30-34 category, with Lea taking 2nd in the 60-64 category.

It won’t be a race that Tamzin will look back on too fondly and she hadn’t slept well all week in the build up to the race so that wouldn’t have helped her cause. She also suffered a stitch so bad that she had to stop, right on the lovely downhill stretch, which was a bit of a blow when she could have been getting up to full speed.

Tamzin is currently 3rd in the 30-34 standings, behind Molly Rasch of Dorset Doddlers who is leading overall and Hannah Martyn of Egon Heath Harriers who was 6th scorer at the Hoburne 5 with her time of 33:26.

Lea is also currently 3rd in the 60-64 category for the season so far, although she would be 2nd if she had done more races. If she competes in the last two though, she will then have a full quota of seven and should at least finish 2nd behind Heather.

Also finishing very close to each other, Helen Ambrosen and Nikki Whittaker took 103rd and 104th positions, with Helen finishing in 42:32 and Nikki in 42:38. They were 25th and 26th in terms of league placings and Helen was 1st in the 65-69 category, with Nikki taking 4th in the 30-34 sector.

Getting to the line as 1st 75-79 year old, Ian Graham clocked a time of 45:20 which put him in 120th place overall. Although he paced his run pretty well, Ian was glad he wasn’t needed to score for the team on this occasion.

Bournemouth AC team at Hoburne 5

Bournemouth put out a surprisingly strong side at the Hoburne 5

With Bournemouth and Poole Runners occupying the top two positions in the Men’s First Division for the fixture, Littledown Harriers finished as 3rd placed team, with champions Egdon Heath Harriers taking their foot off the gas a bit and coming in in 4th place.

In the Men’s Second Division it was Westbourne who won the fixture which meant that Twemlow Track Club were confirmed as champions, since it was Wimborne AC who needed the win to keep the title race alive.

Both Dorchester RIOT and Dorset Doddlers failed to field scoring teams at the Hoburne 5 which mean that Dorchester RIOT were confirmed as champions of the Ladies Second Division. That was another scenario where the 2nd placed team needed to win the stay with a shout.

It wouldn’t be long before the clubs were getting their teams together once again and heading out for the next fixture in the calendar which was the Gold Hill 10k. There they would be doing battle over some Dorset’s steepest and sharpest inclines in the penultimate race of the Road Race League campaign.