Start of the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob Spencer was the big Bournemouth AC hope in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Providing athletes of all ages the chance to showcase their talents in a sunny seaside location, the Run Bournemouth event once again proved an extremely popular attraction. The range of distances mean there’s something for everyone to get involved in and there were plenty of Bournemouth AC members featuring over course of the weekend.

The first day of the event gives the youngsters an opportunity to steal the limelight. There is a Kids’ Kilometre for the 3 to 6 year olds, a Junior 1.5k for 6 to 8 year olds and a Junior 2k for 9 to 12 year olds. Bournemouth AC boys Leo Sims and Joshua Wells competed in the 1.5k race and finished 3rd and 4th, with Leo recording a time of 6 minutes 13 seconds and Joshua getting round in 6:22. That was out of 204 juniors.

Finley Hurst Atkins at the start of the Run Bournemouth Junior 2k

Finley Hurst Atkins was in action in the Run Bournemouth Junior 2k

One of the brightest stars to come out of the Bournemouth AC ranks of late is Finley Hurst Atkins and he performed magnificently to win the Junior 2k race in a blistering time of 7 minutes 7 seconds. That put him 10 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Finley Hurst Atkins after winning the Run Bournemouth Junior 2k

Finley was the fastest boy in the Junior 2k race

Bournemouth AC pair Solly Abu-Ghaba and Edward Davies finished 8th and 9th, with Solly getting round in 7:37 and Edward reaching the line in 7:40. Edward Davies won the 1.5k race at last year’s Run Bournemouth event which demonstrates the potential he has.

Ted Fewings completed the course in 7:56 which put him in 12th position. Then a couple of places later Jessica Long reached the line, making her 2nd female and 14th overall in a time of 8:05. Aisha Morris came 96th in 10:04 and Phoebe Clark was 142nd in 11:29.

Jake Ryan was 21st in a time of 8:21. Arthur Turner got round in 8:32 which put him in 30th place. Toby Sims came in in 9:06 which put him 48th. There were 202 participants in that race.

Finley Hurst Atkins with his trophy for 1st in the Run Bournemouth Junior 2k

Finley collects his trophy for winning the Junior 2k

Oliver Canavan with his trophy for 1st and Riley Austin with his trophy for 2nd in the Run Bournemouth Junior 5k

Oliver Canavan was 1st and Riley Austin 2nd in the Junior 5k

Bournemouth AC stars dominated the standings in Junior 5k race, with Oliver Canavan picking up the win in a tremendous time of 17:14. That put him 1 minute 26 seconds ahead of his teammate Riley Austin who claimed 2nd place in 18:40.

Isabel Cherrett with her trophy for 1st Female in the Run Bournemouth Junior 5k

Isabel Cherrett was 1st female in the Junior 5k

Finishing 4th overall and taking 1st female spot, Isabel Cherrett made it three BAC runners in the top four. She clocked a time of 18:59. Isabel has been absolutely flying this season, winning the Dorset County Championships and the Dorset County Schools Championships 1500m. She also came 11th in the English Schools Championships at that same distance.

On top of that she finished 2nd in the 3000m at the South West Inter Counties Championships. Her time of 10:06 put her in the top 10 in the UK for Under 15 girls.

Catching the eye in the Bournemouth AC Mile of Miles Relay when he courageously took the race on in the first leg against some talented senior athletes, Oliver Canavan completed the four lap of the track in 4:52.

He’s also produced some very impressive 1500m results this season, winning the Dorset County Championships and the South West School Championships. His time in that was 4 minutes 21 seconds. He also finished 12th in the English Schools Championships.

Going back to the Run Bournemouth event, Aiden Blagden completed the Junior 5k in 21:21 which put him in 10th place and Adam Abu-Ghaba came 15th in 22:16. After completing the 2k race earlier, Solly Abu-Ghaba had enough left in the tank for a 22:32 finish in the 5k which put him in 18th place. That was just ahead of his Bournemouth AC teammate Callum Pearson who came 19th in 22:40.

Amy Betts was 6th girl and 32nd overall in 25:13. Ellie Taylor was 10th fastest female and 43rd overall in 28:34.

The Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

Lights, camera, action! – The Supernova 5k

On the Saturday evening, as dusk fell it was time to don the head torches, fairy lights and high viz outfits for the Supernova 5k. This was a chance for the adults to get their first taste of the action but it was also open to the juniors as well.

Esmee Hurst Atkins in the Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

Esmee Hurst Atkins in the Supernova 5k

Like her brother Finley, Esmee Hurst Atkins has put in some pretty good performances at the Run Bournemouth event in previous years. She was 1st female in the 2k race in 2021, finishing 5th overall. Then last year she was 4th female and 13th overall in the Junior 5k.


Leon and Esmee Hurst Atkins at the start of the Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

Leon and Esmee Hurst Atkins at the start of the Supernova 5k

In this year’s Supernova 5k she also came in as 4th female, completing the course in 20:59. Her dad Leon also runs for the club and does some coaching and he was also competing in the Supernova 5k. He wasn’t quite able to keep pace with Esmee but he still ran well to get round in 21:19 which put him 35th overall and 7th in the 40M category.

Esmee and Leon Hurst Atkins at the Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

Esmee and Leon both ran well

Another daughter father combo featuring in the race was Emily Coltman and her dad Jason. They were doing the double, taking on the Supernova 5k on the Saturday evening and the Supersonic 10k on the Sunday. Emily finished 7th female and 37th overall in 21:21, with Jason running with her all the way, putting him 2nd in the 50M category.

Esmee, Leon, Jason & Emily at the Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

Esmee, Leon, Jason and Emily at the Supernova 5k

Emily and Jason are both now reaping the benefits of joining in with the road runners group on the Tuesday night track sessions and Emily’s had quite a lot of success in the 1500m Steeple Chase on the track, finishing 2nd in both the Dorset County Championships and the Dorset County Schools Championships. She also came 3rd at the South West Schools Championships and has won a couple of Steeple Chase races in the Southern Athletics League.

A unicorn in the Run Bournemouth Supernova 5k

There as proof in the Supernova 5k that unicorns are real

Another Bournemouth AC girl performing well of late is Laras McKenna and she completed the race in 21:10, making her 6th female and 32nd overall.

A rare race outing for Jack Barwick saw him take 76th place in a time of 23:40. He was presented with the Male Runner’s Runner award at the BAC Mile of Miles Relay event and has proved a popular member of the training group.

Getting round in a time of 28:40, Gaby Fisher-Wyatt was 27th in the U35F category and 188th overall. Finishing 2nd in the 70M category, Colin Fry made it the line in 34:59 which put him 430th overall.

Erin, Esmee, Emily, Laras & Lexie at Run Bournemouth

Erin, Esmee, Emily, Laras & Lexie at the Supernova 5k

Former Bournemouth AC girl Erin Wells finished 1st female, blasting round in 18:05 which was good enough to see her place 11th in the overall standings. Her Poole AC teammate Lexie Brown was the next girl over the line in 19:52, which put her 20th overall.

Luke Dunham of Herts Phoenix won the race in 16:07, with Rocco Sughayer taking 2nd in 16:51 and Conor O’Rawe of Trafford AC taking 3rd in 16:53. Poole AC man John Bassinder was 4th and 1st in the 55M category in a time of 17:02.

On the Sunday it was the Supersonic 10k, followed by the Half Marathon. The weather was unseasonably hot that day, but it wasn’t as bad for the 10k as that started earlier. The Half Marathon wasn’t scheduled to start until 11 though so it turned out to be much more of a factor in that.

Laura Rothwell in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Laura Rothwell in the Supersonic 10k

In the 10k race, Laura Rothwell put in a decent display to come in as 4th female in a time of 40:46. That was a PB for her by 30 seconds so she was well pleased with that. She would have liked to have gone sub 40 of course but will have to save that for another day.

Laura Rothwell in action at the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Laura was 3rd female when she reached Boscombe Pier

The only annoying thing from Laura’s perspective was that she lost her podium spot in the closing stages of the race when Abigail Fudge of Windle Valley Runners overhauled her. She wanted to fight for the place but just didn’t have enough left in the tank. Nevertheless, it was still a positive performance for Laura and gave her reason to be optimistic for her prospects in the Oxford Half Marathon the following weekend.

Laura Rothwell heads past Boscombe Pier in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Laura on her to a 10k PB

Sam Brewer in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Sam Brewer was the top BAC runner in the Supersonic 10k

Abigail Fudge made it to the line in 40:22 in the end to snatch that 3rd female spot. Emily Hilliar of Poole AC finished as 1st female in 36:49, putting her in 7th place overall. Erin Willmers of Winchester & District was 2nd female and 17th overall in 38:21.

The first Bournemouth AC man to cross the line was Sam Brewer. He recorded a time of 38:21 which was an improvement of 1 minute 16 seconds over his performance from last year. That put him in 16th place.

Simon Hearn in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Simon Hearn is a regular fixture in the Supersonic 10k

Knocking his half marathon PB down to 1:25:34, Simon Hearn had had an exceptional year, despite now being in V55 category. His hard work and endeavour in training had really been playing off and since he coaches the juniors on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, all his training had to be done on his own. That requires real self motivation but he’s been able to do it successfully.

Simon Hearn heads past Boscombe Pier in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Simon finished 1st in the 55M category

Topping the standings in the 55M category, Simon finished 30th overall in a time of 40:28. That was 11 seconds quicker than he did in the same race last year, so another good result for Simon in what will likely be his last big race of the year.

Making a comeback from some sciatica issues which kept him on the side-lines for a while and saw him miss out on some key races, Ryan Pegoraro was also on the start line. He was still yet to unleash his full potential as a Bournemouth AC runner but that will hopefully come somewhere down the line.

Registering a time of 41:18, Ryan finished in 37th place. That was just a steady run for him though to test his legs but the signs looked promising that he was finally over the sciatica.

Matilde Blagden in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Matilde Blagden was making her 10k debut

Getting her first 10k entry in on her Power of 10 profile, Matilde Blagden completed the course in 46:48 which put her in 125th place overall and she was 8th in U35F bracket.

Despite her brisk 5k the previous evening, Emily Coltman had enough left in reserve to get through the Supersonic 10k in 48:12, which put her in 166th place overall. She was also 11th in the U35F category.

Emily and Jason Coltman in the Run Bournemouth Supersonic 10k

Emily and Jason Coltman were back for their second race of the weekend

Her dad Jason was right there with her again, taking 165th place in 48:11 which put him 10th in the 50M category. Doing the double would be a good training exercise for Emily and Jason ahead of the Great South Run which they were taking part in the following weekend.

Ken Parradine ran the Supersonic 10k as well, completing the course in 57:51 which put him 489th overall and 4th in the 70M category.

Southampton AC man John Pepin picked up the race win, clocking a time of 32:50, giving him an advantage of over two minutes on his nearest rival. That was Henry Cornish of Poole AC who finished runner up in 34:59.

Thomas Corbin and Charlie Williams starting the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Thomas Corbin (black vest) and Charlie Williams (green vest) were in the Half Marathon

The field for the Half Marathon race included some top quality Dorset names such as Thomas Corbin of Poole AC and Charlie Williams of Egdon Heath Harriers. James Baker of Chichester Runners was another well known name doing battle in the sweltering heat.

The Run Bournemouth Half Marathon begins

Rob Spencer was likely to be a front runner in the Half Marathon

The lead contender from a Bournemouth AC perspective was Rob Spencer. He hadn’t done any races since finishing 3rd at the Round the Lakes 10k in the summer of 2022. But he had been training quite hard for the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon as he wanted to attempt a Championship qualifying time for the London Marathon. That would mean getting round in under 1:12:30.

Rob Spencer starting Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob was going for a Championship qualifying time for the London Marathon

That sounds incredibly fast but it was something he had done before. In fact, he managed it in this very race, back in 2019, when he finished 3rd in 1:11:06. Of course, not having done in any races he was bound to be a bit ring rusty but he had done quite a few parkruns in the build up and had managed to get back to a decent level of fitness in a short space of time with some intensive training sessions.

Rob Spencer comes past the roundabout in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob heads past the roundabout at Boscombe Pier

Former Bournemouth AC brothers Sam and Luke Jackson were also in action, as was Aidan Marlin who has been training with the group on a regular basis. Caleb Buys was also there, making his annual race appearance.

Rob Spence coming up the prom in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob heads back to Boscombe Pier

Rob Spencer strides down the prom

It was a hot day but Rob handled it well

Despite the intense heat, Rob Spencer performed admirably to complete the course in 1:13:31 which put him in 5th position. It was a minute off what he needed to qualify for a Championship place at London but it was a stellar effort under the circumstances.

Rob Spencer heads past Boscombe Pier in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob had trained hard to get in shape

Rob Spencer heading towards Boscombe Pier in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob made the most of his home advantage

He was over a minute ahead of Thomas Corbin and Charlie Williams and they are two of the finest runners in Dorset at the moment on paper. That tells you all you need to know about the kinds of levels Rob is capable of. His average pace for the run was 5:35.

Rob Spencer goes past in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

The heat made it a sufferfest for Rob

Rob Spencer finishing the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob races to a 5th place finish in 1:13:31

Ollie Garrod in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Ollie Garrod won the Half Marathon

The race winner was Ollie Garrod from Belgrave Harriers in a tremendous time of 1:10:01. He was down in Bournemouth on a stag do and had been out the night before. That was a few weeks before he was due to take part in the Ultramarathon World Championships.

Jaymee Domoney finishing the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Jaymee Domoney finished as runner up

City of Salisbury man Jaymee Domoney was up there with him for some of the race but finished up over a minute behind. He still ran a great race to take 2nd place though in 1:11:18.

Thomas Corbin finishing the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Thomas Corbin came 8th in 1:14:42

Phil Martin of Peterborough and Nene Valley was 3rd and 1st vet in 1:12:17, with Michael Roderick of Tri Hard Harriers taking 4th in 1:13:10. Luke Delderfield of Tring RC finished 6th in 1:13:39, just ahead of James Baker who was 7th in 1:13:48.

Charlie Williams finishing the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Charlie Williams races to a 9th place finish

Thomas Corbin finished 8th in 1:14:42, with Charlie Williams following in three seconds later to secure 9th position.

Sam Jackson in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Sam Jackson went the right way this time

Sam Davis in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Local runner Sam Davis also featured in the Half Marathon

After going the wrong way when he got up onto the Overcliff in last year’s race, Sam Jackson didn’t make that same mistake again this time. He completed the course in exactly 1 hour 21 minutes which out him in 17th place.

Another local runner there was Sam Davis and he got round in 1:22:52 which put him in 22nd place. Thomas Cawley and Robert Jones, both of Littledown Harriers finished 32nd and 33rd in times of 1:25:31 and 1:25:45 respectively.

Aidan Marlin in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Aidan Marlin goes past at Boscombe Pier

Luke Jackson completed the course in 1:26:02 which put him in 34th position. Aidan Marlin was going well for the first 10k but he ended up taking too much water on board which caused him some problems. He ended up crossing the line in 1:34:08 which put him in 123rd place. Caleb Buys clocked a time of 1:59:12 which put him in 962nd place.

Caleb Buys in the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Caleb Buys (right) made an appearance

Aidan would be immersing himself in an even tougher challenge the following weekend when he was set to tackle the Maverick Jurassic Coast 56km Ultra. He hadn’t even really done any really long runs in preparation for it so that was likely to be an interesting one.

Olivia Tsim winning the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Olivia Tsim was the fastest female by quite some distance

Pontypridd Roadents star Olivia Tsim was 1st female, clocking a time of 1:19:25. That put her in 14th place overall and she was almost three-and-a-half minutes ahead of the next lady who was Sophie Delderfield of Vale of Aylesbury. She got round in 1:22:52, with Daniella Bailey of Taunton AC taking 3rd in 1:24:31.

Olivia Tsim finishing the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Olivia was very much enjoying her run and that was clear to see

Poole Runners woman Lauren Little was 1st in the 35F category and was 8th lady over the line in 1:33:31. That put her 113th overall.

It was great to see so many Bournemouth AC members out there doing their club proud over the course of the weekend and it certainly showcased what the club can offer in terms of nurturing and developing athletes and helping them to realise their true potential.

Rob Spencer after the Run Bournemouth Half Marathon

Rob Spencer has clearly rediscovered his mojo