RW Race Report - Bournemouth Bay 10K

When: April 3
Where: Bournemouth
First man: Jon Sharkey 33:06
First woman: Rebekah Gardiner 38:46
Last finisher: 2:35:52
No. of finshers: 1,322
Type of race:  Road
RW rating 2011: 92%

With golden sands and blue sea to one side, and rows of brightly painted beach huts to the other, the first 5K of the Bournemouth Bay 10K race was rather like running through a scene from a Donald McGill postcard. Wish you were here? The infamous 'Zigzag' might change your mind.

After the flat first half leading from Bournemouth Pier out along the promenade, anyone unfamiliar with the route might have been lulled into sense of slope-less security. The steep criss-crossing path joining seafront to clifftop, known locally as the Zigzag, seemed to come as a shock to runners (even those who knew what was in store), with many slowing to a shuffle.

Weather conditions were close to perfect: warm, sunny and with a very light breeze. A blustery morning might have made for quite a different race.

The next couple of roadside kilometres held some gentle slopes, but nothing too troublesome, as runners passed the impressive art deco hotels and homely guesthouses of the Boscombe area of Bournemouth. The route then swung back down towards the sea, once again joining  the promenade at Boscombe Pier.

The level final 2K gave everyone a chance to make up for time lost on the dreaded Zigzag or, perhaps for the easygoing type, enjoy a relaxed jog to the finish taking in the sea air.

Runners in the half marathon, which started half an hour after the 10K, filed past in the opposite direction along the esplanade, mutual cheering erupting from both sides.

The finish in front of Bournemouth Pier featured a slight upward slope right at the end, but the majority of runners still found the gumption to muster a sprint finish.  

Along with the 10K race the Bournemouth Bay Run event consisted of a half marathon, 5K and children's 1K race. There was chip timing for the 10K and half marathon and a medal, T-shirt and goody bag for all finishers.

What you said: "There was a carnival atmosphere with lots of cheering supporters. I had a good race, but running in the sun along the seafront is more important than  times in this event." Ben Banks