It may not have been quite the table topping, champagne popping season that the Bournemouth AC Road Runners would have wanted, with the men’s team finally being toppled by a gallant Egdon Heath Harriers uprising. They still rallied well though to take 2nd place whilst the ladies put in a late surge to battle Lytchett Manor Striders and Littledown Harriers for 3rd place. In the end it was the oranges who got it though, finishing just a point ahead of both BAC and Lytchett.
In the individual competitions though, Bournemouth AC had much more success, with four members topping the charts in their respective age categories. Sam Jackson won the 45-49 age group, finishing in the top 15 overall in six out of the eight races he completed. That was enough to see him finish 8th in the men’s overall standings.
Managing to run consistently well all season, once he realised he was in contention for an age category prize, that gave him a goal to work towards. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The Bournemouth AC veteran ladies delivered what can only be described as a season of sheer dominance in their respective age categories. Debbie Lennon won the 55-59 age group, finishing 1st in that category in every single one of the nine league races she competed in. She seemed to get more and more impressive as the season went on, recording a top ten female position in her last four fixtures. She even managed a 5th place finish at Gold Hill.
It was a similar story for Heather Khoshnevis. She bossed the 60-64 division, again finishing higher than anyone else in the category in each of the ten races she participated in. That included the North Dorset Village Marathon where she finished 6th placed lady in 3:34:26. Incredibly, Heather finished 342 points ahead of her nearest rival. You couldn’t get a much more resounding category win than that.
And yes, you’ve guessed it. Repeating the same trick in 65-69 category, Helen Ambrosen topped the chart in all ten of the races she competed in. It was a convincing category win for her, finishing 122 points ahead of her nearest rival.
The fact that the three Bournemouth AC ladies were so dominant underlined how rare it is to still be running at the levels they are, at the ages they are. A lot of it comes down to hard work and having the dedication to train and keep in a good physical condition. The longevity of these three ladies can serve as an inspiration to us all.
Debbie also picked up a trophy for finishing the highest up Bournemouth AC lady in the overall standings. She finished in an impressive 7th place, with Heather coming in 11th and Tamzin Petersen taking 13th. Tamzin finished 2nd in 30-34 category, marking a pretty solid season for her.
Helen Ambrosen finished 18th lady overall for the season and Louise Price also nailed down seven races to finish 20th woman overall. She finished 4th in the 50-54 category.
In the men’s individual standings, it was Rich Brawn who finished highest. He claimed 7th position overall, achieving a top 15 finish in six out of his seven races. His highest placing was 9th in the May 5 and he finished 3rd in the 40-44 category.
It was very close between Rich and Sam though and in the end there was only one point in it, with Sam taking 8th place on the leader-board. Sam’s brother Luke finished 22nd overall, completing nine races out of twelve. He also registered a 6th place finish in the 40-44 category and was one of the five scorers for the club in a lot of the races he did.
The only other Bournemouth AC man to complete the required quota of seven races was Jud Kirk. He finished 37th overall and 4th in the 60-64 category.
The target for this season as Bournemouth AC are concerned will most likely be to consolidate their places in the First Division for both the men’s a women’s leagues. With the divisions being cut down to five next season, the threat of relegation looms larger, with two teams facing the drop.
They will have to pool their resources carefully to ensure they aren’t the first big club to fall victim of the Dorset Road Race League‘s impending restructure. No doubt there will be plenty more category prizes to aim for and win along the way though and Bournemouth AC can certainly consider themselves lucky to have a fair few athletes capable of bringing home an age category crown. Roll on 2023!!