Bournemouth Bay Run Half Marathon 2017

Review by James Davies 03/04/2017.

Drive to event: 4hrs. It’s quite long but not tricky; A30, M5 and A35.

Accommodation: Bournemouth is a big seaside town and therefore there is a lot of choice. Jen and I went cheap at about £65 for a double with breakfast. The room was simple yet pleasant, unfortunately we had a rogue radiator that was stuck on full blast! I complained (as I do) and we were moved to a new room preventing dehydration from setting in before a step was run! The new room was one of their largest and was pleasantly cool.

One other thing to note, it’s a bit of a party town and therefore wasn’t quiet overnight…  I made some ear plugs out of tissue.

Event pre-race: The organisation of the event seemed slick; our numbers were posted out in a pack that included a foot chip as well as lots of other info that I didn’t read. What it didn’t include was safety pins and Jen and I spent quite some time on Saturday traipsing around shops looking for some.

On the day there are several races that start from 9am (1k, 5k, 10k and the Half) in total circa 3k people were racing one or another. Despite the relatively large event the bag drop was quick and there are loads of loos without a long wait. Oh and there were safety pins at the bag drop…

The main event: After running up and down the prom we go to the start line, Jen aims for the sub 1:45 pen and I pop just in front to the sub 1:30 (she’s getting so fast :o) ). Lining up on the line it was clear that not everyone was listening to the pens’ suggested times and on the hooter this caused some jostling but not for long as the race opens out to the full prom within 200 metres.

The route itself can be summed up as:-

  • Mile 1 – 3: this section heads inland from the prom and contains the biggest hill at 250 ft. After the hill it twists and turns and is slightly undulating before going back down hill to the prom.
  • Mile 4 – 8: this section is basically flat and straight. Sounds great doesn’t it but in some weird way we both found it quite psychologically hard.
  • Mile 8 -11: again this section meanders inland and up some hills (think of the lumps on Malpas Road at worst)
  • Mile 12 – 13.1: slightly downhill and part of a mass finish with the 5k runners.

There is plenty of support out on the route and if you are looking for a PB this is a great route. Jen got hers, I missed mine by 20 seconds or so.

Event post-race: We may have been a touch spoilt by the weather but we had hours laying on the beach with the familiar hullabaloo of the event finishing in the background whilst we tucked into Harry Ramsden’s fish and chips. During this time I think the commentator may have used the same joke about a Colin Jackson finish about 10 times, but I guess he had a long day!

Would we do it again: Most definitely yes!