Bournemouth Bay Run 2019- Race Report

What a difference a year makes. I remember spending the start of last year’s Bournemouth Bay Run sheltering under the flyover from the rain. This year I arrived in short sleeves with 4 minutes to spare after a casual 9.5 mile warm up and jumped over the barrier ready to go…… again! After all, there’s nothing like finishing your Sunday long run with a bit of crowd support and a medal to boot.

I started last years race review with a question. To race, or not to race? I was talking about pushing for a PB, which at the time would have been anything sub 1.45.50. In the end I decided I wasn’t prepared to hurt. There were two differences this year. I’ve learnt to embrace that hurt. To respect it, but not be afraid of it. And the result is that I ran a 1.45.19 as the second half of a 22.5 mile long run! Sometimes it’s good to look back just to see how far you’ve come. Anyway, back to the race review…..

I’m lucky that the Bournemouth Bay Run is right on my doorstep. Consequently, because the route is so familiar the miles always tick by really quickly. Bournemouth is a really active area and it’s great that so many people put the effort into coming out to show their support.

This year’s race in numbers

0.05 miles-  False start! Not literally, but there’s always a bit of a bottle neck at the start and after only a few seconds, we were walking again. Although it doesn’t last for long, if you wanted a fast time on this course, you’d definitely need to start further forward (and not arrive with 4 minutes to spare, hop over the barrier and pretend like nothing happened!!!)

3- The number of people I heard arguing that it’s Poole Bay and not Bournemouth’s. With respect people, you’re wrong!

3.8 miles- Great crowd support as we were welcomed back to the start after completing a 5K loop of the Chines. Only 10 miles to go!

4 miles- starting a 5 mile stretch into THAT headwind. Brutal.

6 miles- Almost being taken out by a Frenchie on a long lead. Could someone please explain to me the purpose of a long, cheese wire style lead, while you’re walking your dog on the pavement??

11.8 miles- The support from the Jimmys Iced Coffee team at Boscombe Pier was fantastic. True superheroes.

12 miles- The guy I’d been leapfrogging for the last 5 miles turned to thank me for pacing him. I’d love to see his splits because he was surging to about 7mm and then dropping back below 8.30’s. So to be honest, if he was using me as a pacer, I’m not sure I was doing a very good job!

13 miles- I was greeted across the finish line by name. Thanks to the guy on the mic! Just to be clear, he did this for everyone, but it made me feel special!

I’m pretty sure that the picture below is me trying to call my legs to check if they were still there! There was no response.

Final Stats:

Official time: 1:45:18

Pace: 8.03 min/ mile

Elevation: 276 feet

Overall position: 228th/950

Women’s position: 26th/331 and 10th senior female

First man: Rob McTaggart 75:27

First lady: Gemma Bragg 88.32

Listening too: The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott. Part of the Tom Douglas thriller series. Not particularly uplifting, but it made the miles tick by quickly.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Results and race pics were up within 24 hours. And race pics were free to download, which is practically unheard of.
  • Immediate text message with your official race time.
  • Chip times and gun times. For the first time this year the chips were part of your race number which saved the palaver of having a marshal cut the timing chip off your shoe at the end.
  • Ample water stations. I think there were 4 or 5 in total, as well as at the finish. The bottles were huge though. In the end, the marshals were pouring half away, which although helpful, seemed like a complete waste.
  • As with last year, a fun course covering the beach, woodland and roads, but not ideal for a PB attempt due to the steep incline before the first mile and lots of bottle necking running back down Alum Chine. The beach is also quite exposed and this year, the entire 5 mile section from Alum Chine to Hengistbury was into a mammoth headwind. Not fun!
  • Great marshalling. Although the roads remained open, they did a fantastic job of stopping traffic where needed.
  • Medal and T-shirt for all runners, along with a mini race village including free massage.

We’re so lucky to have so many well organised races right on our doorstep. I know that some people think I’m crazy to pay to run somewhere I run most days for free, but who doesn’t love getting a medal for their Sunday long run efforts! Thanks Bournemouth Bay Run for another cracking weekend of running. I’m not sure my legs thank you, but I certainly do!

Final thought: Why do they make race numbers so big? If sorry health on line, but I had to fold you over. You just didn’t fit on my chest!



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