Race Review: Bournemouth Half Marathon

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival Half Marathon or… 

The 19th of 20 Races for Pancreatic Cancer in 6 Months…

The Bournemouth Festival of Running on the south coast of England includes a 10K on the Saturday, followed by a starlight 5K. And on the Sunday the half marathon precedes the full. A whole lotta running to be endured by a coastal town renown as being one of the retirement havens of the UK. And for me it was deja-vu on so many levels:
  1. Marty Ewers was there and we would, as is mostly the case, miss each other. Marty was destined to do the 10 but opted for the 5 as he had a 10 the next day.
  2. Music was banned, like St Albans, but unlike St Albans, it was not policed. Thank God.
  3. I ended up staying at an Inn, like the York 10K and Longleat 10K.
  4. And like the York 10K it was a boisterous venue, where the clientele kept me up until closing.
  5. Like the York 10K I had a single room, and a single bed. And like that room this one had no phone and no alarm clock. Also, the hotel staff did not arrive until 8, when the race started. So if I did not bring a phone charger and alarm clock I would have slept through the whole event.
  6. Like the Tunbridge Wells Half, again one where Marty and I missed each other, the bed was about a foot and a half short, so my legs from mid-shin dangled in midair the whole night.
  7. It was bloody cold like Tunbridge Wells. An 8am start means getting up at 630, and I don’t care where you are in the UK, it is freezing at that time.
  8. The route was a there and back along the waterfront, which reminded me of an amalgam of several races. It was the coastal bit of the Rock and Roll Edinburgh half, with some of the Southend Santa 5 miler with the beach huts, and a lot of the Hastings and Torbay halves thrown in. In all, it felt like the Great South Run.
This was to be my penultimate race of 2014 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, and I am very proud to say that before this and the last race I had already reached my target of £1500 and then some. And I believe it is this that allows me to share with you some breaking news…
Yes! I will once more pull on the purple vest of #TeamPanCanUK at the Berlin Marathon. My original marathon target when I started running, and one I did not race in 2013 due to injury. In 2015, I will own it. And will thankfully get some closure.
Right, to business.
The Route

Am not a huge fan of races where the end and start are not the same place. But I can see why this worked this way. I don’t like the idea of leaving my bag with someone in place A and then hoping I can find it with someone else in place B. Hence me just taking an old fleece, that was binned at the start, and everything else was back at the inn.
How I did
I was tired. And, after a bad night sleep, I realised early doors that the chilli con carne I had wolfed down the night before was trying to make a guest appearance. Ok. This is gross, but you remember the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when they are holed up and the entire Mexican army is outside? And then they burst out through the doors? Well, imagine Butch as chilli con carne, and Sundance only liquids since then, and the doors of that adobe hut are my ass. Get the picture? Well, those behind me nearly did, if it wasn’t for a toilet break. See the red time around mile 8 when things had to take a pause, and I had to take a pew.
Also, I had one eye on my ultimate race, the Royal Parks Half next weekend. I really want to do well there. It is my favourite race, and I am so happy to be offered one of the Pancreatic Cancer UK places on it.
The race itself, looking back takes you through a small housed area before zigzagging down the seafront, looping one way then the other, culminating with a trip up and back down both piers, which I liked, before ending in town. Mostly downhill?
Yes, other than a horrendous hill by the first pier where you climbed and climbed and climbed. People thought it was just to the first bend, but it kept going and going.
The Bling.
The bling was the same for all the races, albeit with the distance along the bottom changing. And I like it. It is heavy, and if there was a zombie apocalypse sometime just after I had been handed it, I am sure I could do some damage with it. The t-shirt is great and will take pride of place on the charity quilt we are making with the race shirts I have been awarded for all the races I ran for PanCan.
Would I recommend it?
I think I would. It was well organised, well supported and you could go and score a quadruple. There was a team of people who did all four races. Crazy! If you could, I would enjoy the Bournemouth half, just stay at a different inn, and avoid chilli con carne where possible.

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