The Hoburne 5 commanded a little less attention from the Bournemouth AC hierarchy than it did the previous year when it was a Dorset Road Race League fixture. That didn’t stop six BAC members from making an appearance though, with some having the drag themselves through the mire a bit to even make it to the start line.

Christchurch Runners had rolled out a brand new course this year, although the race still started and finished from the same HQ at Hoburne Holiday Park.

The route wasn’t massively different but there seemed to be differing opinions about whether it was more or less undulating than last year. It still retained it’s twisty characteristics though which made it hard to maintain a constant pace.

One man who had absolutely no problem with the new route was BAC member Karl Welch, who tore the course up to take first place in a staggeringly quick time of 27:43.

Karl Welch made a victorious comeback, finishing the race in a super quick time of 27:43

Amazingly, it was Karl’s first race since the Hampshire League Cross-Country fixture at Kings Park last year. He hadn’t trained at all over the summer due to being promoted at work, which resulted in him doing extra hours. This made it it a bit of a struggle to balance out running and working out with the additional time he was putting in at work.

Fortunately this situation has improved a bit recently and Karl has managed to get back to hitting 35 to 40 miles a week. He had been mostly just putting the miles in tough rather than doing any sessions as he felt he needed to get his fitness back and lose a bit of timber first, which he has now done.

For the most part, Karl enjoyed the new route, although he did feel that there were some additional hills in there that he found quite tough. He didn’t really know what sort of time to expect as, like most of us, he hasn’t done many five races, but he can certainly be extremely satisfied with the result.

The winning margin was 33 seconds, over Aaron Froukhians of Totton RC. Andrew Ridley, who often comes to training with us on Tuesday and Thursday evenings took 3rd place in a time of 29:04, seeing off competition from Frank Handy of New Forest Runners, who was 4th in 29:10.

Finishing in 18th place overall was Jud Kirk, who took 3rd in the vm50 category. Jud preferred the new course to the old one, even though it was still quite twisty and he posted a similar sort of the time to what he did at the Littledown 5 a couple of weeks ago, finishing in 33:37.

Jud said he felt like he was going faster so he was a little disappointed when he got to the line and saw his time. It’s made him realise he needs to do more shorter runs to get the leg speed up.

Jud Kirk took 18th place on the day in a time of 33:37

The next BAC member over the line was Mike White, who recorded a time of 35:55. That put him in 32nd place and 9th in the vm40 category. Mike was sandwiched in between two Littledown Harriers, finishing 1 second behind Stephen Amey and 1 second ahead of Heather Khoshnevis.

Having only started training with Bournemouth AC this summer Mike feels that it’s really helped him up his game. This was his first ever race as a club member and he found that the benefits he’s gained from the Tuesday night interval sessions really came in useful on the day. He’s now on the cusp of hitting his PB targets again and he is sure that he if he keeps up the training he will push on.

The Hoburne 5 was also graced with the return to action of a certain Mr Ian White. Ian hasn’t been seen in competitive racing for quite some time but has been putting in a bit of training recently in an attempt to gain some fitness back.

He had chosen the Hoburne 5 as the ideal opportunity to make his long awaited return and dusted his trainers off and dug out his BAC vest from the back of the wardrobe.

Although he would have liked to have been in better shape, Ian still enjoyed being out there. He finished in a very commendable time of 38:02, taking 49th place overall and 11th in the vm40 category.

Two seconds later, Steve Parsons crossed the line, taking 50th place. Steve was having a dilemma in the lead up to the race as he had signed up to do the Hoburne 5 on the Sunday and had been invited to a beer festival on the Saturday night.

He was having a hard time deciding which one of the two events he should sacrifice. However, he couldn’t seem to make up his mind and in the end decided to do both. That meant turning up to the race feeling slightly worse for ware after a few too many ales at the beer festival.

Despite his hungover state, Steve was determined to make it to start line, as he had what he considered to be unfinished business with the Hoburne 5. Last year he started the race but unfortunately did not make it the end after suffering an asthma attack which forced him to pull out.

Steve Parsons put his hangover aside to complete the race, making amends for the previous year when he was forced to pull out

Although he wasn’t at his best, Steve was pleased to have finished the race this time, albeit sweating ale out all the way round. He managed to hang onto the back of Ian White most the way round, which gave him a bit of motivation and took his mind off the discomfort at least. He thinks the smell of the ale seeping out of his pores was probably enough to keep Ian going as well!

Also in the race for BAC was Samantha Laws, who finished in 125th place with a time of 46:55. Sam was 6th in the vf40 category and was reasonably happy with her run.

There was an added bonus for Steve after the race, when they did a raffle with the race numbers and wouldn’t you just know it, Steve got lucky. And of course, the prize turned about to be two bottles of Flack Manor ale and a glass to drink them with. He didn’t quite know whether to laugh or cry when he saw it. Knowing Steve though, he probably drank them when he got home anyway.