The stage was set and there was time for one last blast at the Wimborne 10 before the curtain closed on another gripping Dorset Road Race League campaign. That meant a final chance for runners to improve on their best of seven scorecards for the season and for the clubs, perhaps a late opportunity to climb the table or consolidate their place in the standings if they haven’t already done so.

It had been a somewhat underwhelming season from a Bournemouth AC perspective, with the men being knocked off their perch by Egdon Heath Harriers who had seized the First Division title in emphatic fashion, putting eight wins on the board, even though they only needed seven to secure the championship.

The Bournemouth AC men had fought gallantly but in the end they just didn’t have the strength in depth to compete with the relentless Egdon Heath Harriers movement. They had two wins and six second places to their name but it wasn’t enough to avoid relinquishing their crown.

After winning the previous fixture in the Ladies’ First Division, which was Gold Hill, the BAC women were in a three way battle for 3rd place, with Lytchett Manor Striders and Littledown Harriers. It was crucial for the BAC ladies finish ahead of Lytchett and Littledown if they wanted to seal that 3rd position so the pressure was on.

They had three category winners for the season in their team for the Wimborne 10. Debbie Lennon who had already sowed up the 55-59 division, Heather Khoshnevis who had sealed top spot in the 60-64 standings and Helen Ambrosen who had already secured 1st in the 65-69 category. They were ably assisted by Louise Price who was doing her 7th race of the season.

That would mean that she had a full scorecard and would be able to see where she measured up against all the other ladies who had done at least seven and verses those in her category as well.

Helen Ambrosen and Louise Price in the Wimborne 10

Helen Ambrosen and Louise Price were in action at the Wimborne 10

With the Gosport Half Marathon taking place on the same day and the focus of some of the faster runners shifting over to the Hampshire Road Race League, the men’s team was left with a little less artillery. They did still have Sam Jackson in their side though and he had already sealed the category win for the season in the 45-49 bracket.

Sam Jackson starting the Wimborne 10

Sam Jackson was the main contender from a BAC perspective

He’d done well to finish in the top 15 in five of his seven races thus far, which given the standard of the field in most matches, was quite an achievement. His brother Luke was competing in his ninth Dorset Road Race League event of the season.

Sam Jackson in the Wimborne 10

Sam had already won the 45-49 category in the Dorset Road Race League

Although he’d been struggling a lot of the time with a back injury, Luke still kept turning up and giving his best for the team and was pretty consistent in the levels he could produce in each league race.

They were joined by Adrian Townsend, who had done a fair few races recently, including the Solent Half Marathon, the Royal Parks Half Marathon and the New Forest 10.

Chris O'Brien starting the Wimborne 10

Chris O’Brien gets his Wimborne 10 race underway

After recovering from his monumental Run to the Sea 50k effort, Chris O’Brien was back in action and ready and raring to go in race of a much shorter distance. He was still experiencing breathing issues though as a result of Long Covid and that was making it difficult for him whenever he was trying to go fast.

Chris O'Brien in the Wimborne 10

Chris had been through some struggles with his running after contracting Long Covid

Completing the team of five scorers for the Bournemouth AC men, it was Jud Kirk. It was his seventh race of the season as well so again, he would get to see where he measured up against the top guys from the 60-64 age bracket.

The Wimborne 10 race gets underway

The runners take to the start line for the 2022 Wimborne 10

The course for the Wimborne 10 is on country roads, heading out from Pamphill Village Green. It’s sort of like an out and back but with a loop around Shapwick before making the journey back to finish close to where it started.

It starts with a bit of downhill on the first mile but that then becomes uphill for the last mile when on the way back. There’s also a significant climb that goes on for quite a bit of the fourth mile.

Start of the Wimborne 10

With the firing of a gun, the race got going

In the race for 3rd place in the Ladies’ First Division, Debbie Lennon delivered the first blow. The results were divided between male and female and she finished 11th on chip time in 1:12:17 but was 9th on gun time. The league points were allocated based on gun time.

Debbie Lennon in action at the Wimborne 10

Debbie Lennon was the quickest Bournemouth AC lady on the day

Unsurprisingly, she was 1st in the 55-59 category, as she has been in every single one of the Dorset Road Race League fixtures she’s entered. That was also four minutes faster than she’d managed the previous year, emphasizing the huge progression Debbie has made over that period of time.

Debbie Lennon comes in to complete her race

Debbie got to the line as 9th placed lady

That put Bournemouth AC in the driving seat for the 3rd place but it was short lived. Maria Everett and Louise Austin, both representing Littledown Harriers, arrived in 12th and 13th places with times of 1:12:32 and 1:12:38 respectively to swing it in Littledown’s favour. Then Philippa Shawyer arrived to seal the deal for the oranges completing the course in 1:15:06 which made her 21st woman.

Heather Khoshnevis comes in the complete the Wimborne 10

Heather Khoshnevis approaches the finish

Heather Khoshnevis was next in for BAC, clocking a time of 1:17:09. That made her 31st placed female and she was top of the standings in the 60-64 division, as she had been for every DRRL fixture she competed in.

Heather Khoshnevis in the Wimborne 10

Heather was the fastest woman in the 60-64 category

It wasn’t going to be enough to for 3rd place but it would potentially help them on towards a 4th place finish. Helen Ambrosen then made sure of that, crossing the line in 1:25:10.

Helen Ambrosen heads down the home straight in the Wimborne 10

Helen Ambrosen completed the scoring team for the Bournemouth AC ladies

That put her 61st placed female and she topped the standings in the 65-69 category, as she has in every DRRL race she’s done this year.

Helen Ambrosen comes in to complete her Wimborne 10 race

Helen was 1st in the 65-69 category in all the DRRL races this season

After suffering a bad reaction from a covid jab she’d had, Louise Price had been struggling to hit her usual heights. Reaching the finish in 1:30:52, it was actually her slowest ever 10 mile time.

Louise Price heads down the home straight

Louise Price approaches the finish

That put her 89th in the women‘s standings. The important thing was though she’d completed her 7th race and was now on the list in the final standings for a best of 7.

Louise Price approaches the line at the Wimborne 10

It was Louise’s 7th race of the season boosting her stats in the individual table

The highest Bournemouth AC finisher on the day was Sam Jackson. He got to the line in 18th place recording a time of 1:01:15. That was slightly slower than what he produced last year but he’d had a cold at the start of the week for that may explain why.

Sam Jackson comes in to complete the Wimborne 10

Sam Jackson ran well to finish in 18th place

Luke Jackson had an excellent run, completing the course in 1:05:26, which made him in 45th placed male and he was second scorer for the BAC men’s team.

Luke Jackson makes his way down the finishing straight

Luke Jackson was the next BAC man get reach the finish

The race also went pretty well for Chris O’Brien, who finished in 1:08:02. That put him in 72nd place out all the men in the field. It was the first race this year that he felt he ran quite well in places and it hurt his lungs less than normal.

Chris O'Brien nears the finish of the Wimborne 10

It was one of Chris O’Brien’s best performances of the season

He still slowed down considerably on any kind of incline but managed to find some speed on the flat and downhill sections. After that effort, Chris was happy with the progress he’s making.

Chris O'Brien approaches the line in the Wimborne 10

Chris struggled on the hills but was ultimately pleased with how he ran

Having had covid two weeks before the race, Adrian Townsend was expecting the worst but it actually went okay in the end and the uphill finish wasn’t as bad as he remembered from previous years.

Adrian Townsend in the Wimborne 10

Adrian Townsend had a decent run and was 4th scorer for the team

Clocking a time of 1:09:23, Adrian finished in 92nd place and was 6th in the Male 55-59 category. That made him fourth scorer for the team leaving only one more man to fulfil the quota of five to score for the team.

Jud Kirk heads down the finishing straight

Jud Kirk approaches the finish

Finishing in 1:13:38, Jud Kirk was next in, completing the scoring team for the Bournemouth AC men. He came in in 127th place by virtue of his chip time and he was 8th in the Male 60-64 category.

Jud Kirk completing the Wimborne 10

Jud completed the scoring team for the BAC men

Although the Egdon Heather Harriers women had already sealed the First Division title, with six wins to their name, there was a real grudge match going on between them and Poole Runners. They may have had to settle for second place this season but Poole Runners wanted to make a statement. This was a matter of pride.

The only lady to go under 60 minutes was Poole Runners star Vicki Ingham. She got round in 59:35. Mollie Rasch was the only woman who could wrestle the individual title away from Georgina Povall but she wasn’t there so Georgina was confirmed as ladies’ individual champion. She took 2nd place at the Wimborne 10 in a time of 1:02:40.

That meant Poole Runners and Egdon Heath Harriers had had a finisher each thus far. Former BAC member Helen O’Neile arrived to make it 2-1 to Poole Runners though, crossing the line in 1:03:01.

Vicki Ingham comes in as 1st lady in the Wimborne 10

Vicki Ingham was the only woman to get in under 60 minutes

Isobel Rea of West 4 Harriers was the only women who could interrupt the Poole Runners and Egdon Heath Harriers domination. She took 4th place in 1:06:33, although she wasn’t representing a Dorset Road Race League club so didn’t count in that.

Lauren Baker-Little completed the scoring team for Poole Runners, coming in in 5th place in a time of 1:06:38. Hannah Martyn and Alex Door completed the scoring team for Egdon Heath Harriers, crossing the line in 1:06:46 and 1:08:09 respectively. They took 6th and 7th positions. That meant it was Poole Runners who had taken 1st and Egdon Heath Harriers had to settle for 2nd on this occasion.

The overall winner of the race was Harry Lauste of Twemlow Track Club and he put together a fine display to complete the course in 52:33. That meant Christopher Peck of Egdon Heath Harriers had to settle for 2nd place on this occasion. He crossed the line in 54:18.

Harry Lauste in the Wimborne 10

Harry Lauste comes bounding down the finishing straight for a convincing win

Two Egdon Heath Harriers men assumed the next two places as well, with Jonathon Cooper taking 32rd in 56:56 and Jamie Barrington sealing 4th in 57:31. Andrew Ridley continued his excellent form to take 5th place in 57:35, with Andy Leggott of Lonely Goat getting 6th in 58:04.

Daniel Thomas of Bridport Runners finished 7th in 58:08, with Luke Terry of Poole AC taking 8th in 58:17. Although they’d both already won their respective division titles, it was great battle for supremacy between Egdon Heath Harriers and Twemlow Track Club.

Christopher Peck finishing the Wimborne 10

Christopher Peck of Egdon Heath Harriers took 2nd place

Jez Bragg gave Twemlow a 2nd scorer on the board when he arrived at the finish in 58:20. That put him in 9th place, just ahead of Dion Garner of Poole Runners who was 10th in 58:28.

Steve Cook was Twemlow’s 3rd scorer, crossing the line in 11th place and recording a time of 58:40. Then Martyn Bell of Egdon Heath Harriers arrived to give them their fourth man on the board. He completed the course in 58:49.

Andrew Ridley finishing the Wimborne 10

Andrew Ridley ran well to take 5th place

Lee Dempster was fourth scorer for Twemlow, getting round in 1:00:13 which put him in 14th place. That was enough to seal the win for them in the Men’s Second Division.

Julian Critchlow of Purbeck Runners was the first over 60 man to get onto the leader-board. He completed the course in 1:00:40 which put him in 16th place. Jon Spear was fifth man in for Twemlow Track Club, crossing the line in 1:02:25. That put him in 23rd place.

Julian Critchlow approaches the finish of the Wimborne 10

Julian Critchlow was the first over 60 man to make it to the finish

Completing the scoring team for Egdon Heath Harriers, Joel Scragg arrived in 1:03:02, which put him in 27th place. That was enough to seal the win in the First Division for them and it was another impressive showing from the 2022 league champions.

Littledown Harriers were 2nd best men’s team on the day, with Poole AC coming in 3rd best. The Bournemouth AC men‘s team were 6th in the end at the Wimborne 10 but they’d already been confirmed as runner up in the First Division standings for the season.

The Bournemouth AC ladies finished 4th at the Wimborne 10 behind Littledown Harriers who were 3rd and that was how it panned out for the season overall as well, with the orangers just shading it by one point.

The BAC ladies team after the Wimborne 10

The Bournemouth AC ladies finished 4th in the race and 4th for the season as well

In the Men’s Second Division, Dorchester RIOT needed a win to avert dropping into the Third Division next season when the league gets reformatted. They could only manage 3rd though which meant Westbourne will join Twemlow and Wimborne in the new look Second Division. They will be grouped with Poole AC and Dorset Doddlers who have been relegated from Division One.

The Ladies Second Division title race went to the wire, with Dorchester RIOT and Dorset Doddlers going head to head for the accolade. It was Dorchester RIOT who came out on top, winning the Wimborne 10 fixture ahead of Dorset Doddlers who were 2nd. That meant Dorchester RIOT took the title but both clubs had earned a place in the new look Second Division where they will be grouped with Poole AC and Purbeck Runners who got relegated from the First Division.

There was one more remaining place in the Second Division and Westbourne, Royal Manor of Portland, Wimborne and Weymouth St Pauls Harriers were all in with a shout coming down to the final day at the Wimborne 10.

Weirdly, none of them managed to field a full team and it was actually Westbourne who got the all important 3rd place in the end, so they will be in the Second Division next season. All the other ladies teams were condemned to the Third Division.

Medieval characters at the Wimborne 10

There are usually some medieval characters on hand to get the race started

Christopher Peck had already sealed the men’s individual league title, fending off last year’s champion Lee Dempster. Jez Bragg’s run at the Wimborne 10 elevated him to 3rd place, with Martyn Bell of Egdon Heath Harriers taking 4th. Luke Terry improved his overall score with his performance at the Wimborne 10, although he’d already sealed 5th place.

Richard Brawn and Sam Jackson were very close on points for the top Bournemouth AC man but in the end it was Rich who shaded it, finishing 7th overall, with Sam taking 8th. His run at Wimborne had improved his overall score but he’d already sewn up the 45-49 category win for the season.

Sam Jackson heads down the finishing straight

Sam Jackson finished 8th in the individual men’s standings

Luke Jackson finished 22nd out of the men for the season and 6th in the 40-44 age bracket. Jud Kirk was 37th overall and 4th in the 60-64 age bracket. In the women‘s individual table, Debbie Lennon was the highest placed Bournemouth AC member, finishing 7th overall.

Heather Khoshnevis was 11th and Tamzin Petersen came 13th and 2nd in the 30-34 age bracket. Helen Ambrosen was 18th placed lady in the individual table, with Louise Price taking 20th place and 4th in the 50-54 age bracket.

Luke Jackson completing the Wimborne 10

Luke Jackson finished 22nd in the men’s individual table for the season

Although it wasn’t a vintage season for the club in terms of league positions after all 12 fixtures had been played out, there were still positives to be taken in the fact that both the men’s and the women’s teams won two fixtures each and between them they four age category winners for the season.

As the league moves to a new five team per division format next season, the First Division contest should be ultra competitive next season. For the men, the task will be find away of stopping Egdon Heath Harriers from retaining the title they won so convincingly this season.

The Bournemouth AC ladies finished level on points with 5th place Lytchett Manor Striders last season so they will need to be on top of the game to stave off the threat of relegation to the second tier for the 2024 season. With the first fixture, as ever, being the Junction Broadstone Quarter Marathon on New Years Day, it won’t be long before the teams begin their campaigns for what promises to be an exciting and enthralling 2023 season.

Cake spread at the Wimborne 10

One of the highlights of the Wimborne 10 was the delicious spread of cakes for post race refuelling