A very successful day for Bournemouth AC at the North Dorset Village Marathon saw club members securing joint first place in the men’s race, first in the ladies race and first in the men’s team competition.
Steve Way was a late entry into the race, seeing it as a good opportunity to further his training for the Comrades Ultra in June. Before the race though, he found out that Chris Wood of Wimbourne AC was going to attempt a sub 2 hour 45 minute marathon for the first time. Steve then took it upon himself to do all he could to help Chris achieve his target, pacing him the whole way and shielding him from the difficult crosswinds at certain points in on the course.
There was one minor hitch where Steve had to queue up for two minutes to use the porter-loo at mile 12, meaning he then had to go some to catch Chris back up. Besides that though, the plan worked to perfection and Chris and Steve crossed the line together in a time of 2 hours and 42 minutes, a 10 minute PB for Chris. Naturally, Steve recognised that it was Chris’s moment and allowed him to take the glory of first place in official standings.
Anthony Clark was also using the NDVM as a training run as he works toward his 100k ultra which is in just over a couple of weeks time. Like Steve, Anthony was also in action at the London Marathon the week before. However, shortly after the VLM, Anthony then jetted off to Portugal with the infamous Peter Thompson to join him in the next stage of his consecutive marathon adventures. They completed the Lisbon Marathon together. That meant the NDVM was Anthony’s third marathon in the space of a week. This didn’t seem to effect him too much though as he coasted in in third place in a superb time of 2 hours 45 minutes, much quicker than his planned training run.
Nikki Sandell was hoping she’d recovered okay from the Brighton Marathon two weeks ago where she managed to turn her ankle over, leading to a considerable amount of swelling. She wasn’t going to let this get in the way of her putting in a fantastic performance at the NDVM though, as she finished in 12th place overall and was the first lady over the line. Nikki’s time of 3 hours 11 minutes was 5 minutes quicker than her previous best time in the NDVM, which she did in 2015.
Next BAC member in the standings was Nick Kenchington, who had a remarkable run to seal a Good For Age qualifying time for the London Marathon next year. He finished in 3 hours 13 minutes, comfortably inside the 3.20 time he needed, and giving him 15th place overall out of a field of 236.
The men’s team prize was worked out by the cumulative total of the first three finishers from each club. Steve, Anthony and Nick had a combined time of 8 hours 41 minutes which was good enough to take the top spot.
Steve Cox had also been through the rigours of an intense marathon training schedule in the lead up to the race. He completed the course in a time of 3 hours 50 minutes. By many peoples’ standards this would be an excellent time but Steve was a little disappointed and had hoped to go quicker. The conditions on the day were pretty tough though, with the strong crosswinds providing a real battle at times during the race, not to mention the undulating terrain.
Andy Gillespie was another who was coming off the back of having completed the London Marathon the week before. Fitness wise he was feeling fine but his hips were hurting from around the 18 mile mark which made it quite a painful one in the end. Nevertheless, Andy was determined to finish as Ian Graham had mentioned to him that it would be worth some points in the Dorset League if BAC had six members completing the race. He ended up clocking a very respectable time of 4 hours and 8 minutes, which was only 6 minutes off the time he set at the VLM.
Stuart Nicholas opted to run the NDVM with his brother Matthew, thereby taking it a lot slower than he otherwise would have. Matthew had planned to finish in around 4 hours but his wheels fell off around the 17 mile mile mark and they had to run/walk the remainder. The pair came over the line together in 4 hours and 32 minutes. Stuart had raced round the VLM course the previous week in a terrific time of 2 hours and 43 minutes.
Although it was a fairly tough course and the conditions were testing, most of the competitors enjoyed the NDVM and were kept motivated by the prospect of the hog roast they each got to enjoy afterwards with a nice cold beer. It’s not all bad, this marathon running lark!