With the New Forest Marathon event featuring a 5k, a 10k, a Half Marathon and a Full Marathon, there was Bournemouth AC representation in every race. And in the 10k race, there were three club members taking part. They were Trev Elkins, Debbie Lennon and Nikki Whittaker.

Trev had picked up a gastro bug of some sort though the weekend before the race and been in bed with a fever for the next few days so it was far from the ideal race preparation for him. Since he’d already paid for the race though he though he may as well turn up at least and see what he could do. He wasn’t expecting to be at his best though.

Debbie Lennon had seen it advertised and fast, flat course so that’s what she was expecting. She was about to discover though that it was neither of the above and and was actually a lot tougher than anticipated.

Coming off the back of a performance that she felt was a bit below par at the Overton 5, Nikki Whittaker was hoping to produce something better at the New Forest Marathon 10k. That was always going to be difficult though on a trail route but of course, she was willing to give it her best shot.

The course was typical forest trail but there were some sections which went off the path and through the trees where there was no clear path to follow. Trev was really struggling with how he was feeling and he ended up coasting along at a tempo sort of pace rather than racing it hard. He was still in 4th place though until he took a wrong turn.

Trev Elkins in the New Forest Marathon 10k

Trev Elkins had been feeling under the weather but he gave it his best shot

Luckily Erin Wiillmers who was just behind knew Trev and called him back. As he neared the finish, Trev worked hard to fend off competition from Christian Folliot for 5th place and thought he’d done it but it turned out Christian had recorded the same chip time. That was 40:30, which meant Trev had to settle for 6th place.

Even though the course wasn’t quite what she was hoping for, Debbie ran pretty well and was 7th fastest female out of 452. With a time of 46:12, she came 30th overall out of 781 which was a really good result and took 2nd place in the F50 category. Her average pace for the run was 7:22 minutes per mile as the course had come up slightly long at 6.27 miles.

Debbie Lennon in the New Forest Marathon 10k

Debbie Lennon was 7th quickest lady in the 10k race

Debbie’s husband Bill was also in the race and he got round in 53:18 which put him in 114th place overall and he was 4th in the M60 category.

The conditions were a bit hotter than Nikki had been expecting and she tends to struggle in warm weather so that didn’t help. Crossing the line in 1 hour and 21 seconds, she was 95th fastest woman and 272nd overall. In the F30 category she was 33rd out of 121.

In truth, Nikki was a tad disappointed with how she ran but she’s not keen on trail running anyway so it wasn’t a huge surprise that she didn’t live up to her usual standards. She saw it as more of a faster Sunday run than a race.

Nikki Whittaker in the New Forest Marathon 10k

Nikki isn’t a natural trail runner but she wanted to test herself

Another chap who featured in the Overton 5, Richard Waldron of Southampton was the winner of the New Forest Marathon 10k. He completed the course in a very impressive time of 34:49. He had an advantage of over two minutes on his nearest rival Ian Jones, who got round in 37:10. Danny Mackney was 3rd in 38:21.

Erin Willmers of Wichester & District had run brilliantly to finish as first female and 4th overall in a time of 40:18. Then it was Christian Folliot and Trev in 5th and 6th. Rebecca Cannon fired herself into 2nd female spot and 9th overall in 41:15, then Kate Towerton arrived in 42:50 to take 18th position overall and 3rd female spot.

It was frustrating for Trev as had he not have been ill, he could well have been challenging for a top three spot. He’s going to do a few more 10ks though in the near future and train hard for them so hopefully he’ll be feeling tip-top when the next one comes along.

Solly Abu-Ghaba in the New Forest Marathon 5k

Solly Abu-Ghaba featured in the 5k race

The 5k race featured Bournemouth AC brothers Solly and Adam Abu-Ghaba. Solly did well to come 14th out of 217, recording a time of 24:02. Adam finished 42nd overall in a time of 29:16.

Adam Abu-Ghaba in the New Forest Marathon 5k

Adam Abu-Ghaba got round in 29:16

Former Bournemouth AC girl Erin Wells was also in the race and she finished 2nd overall and first female, clocking an excellent time of 19:46. On Edgar Zanin could beat that, getting round in 19:16.

Russ Forsbrook of North Somerset was 3rd in 20:09, with Alex and Mitch Wade taking 4th and 5th in 21:47. Freya Morrison was 2nd female and 7th overall in 22:03, with Zoe Nicholson coming in as 3rd female and 9th overall in 23:29.

Bill and Debbie Lennon after the New Forest Marathon 10k

Debbie’s husband Bill joined her in the 10k race