Friday, 11 October 2013

Bournemouth Marathon : The Spectator's Review

Today we have a guest post from my mum. I wrote about my experience of the Bournemouth Marathon earlier in the week but I thought it would be interesting to hear about it from the other side of the barriers. As ever we'd love to hear what you think, whether it be about the post itself or the race. Don't be shy, comment below!

We have been along to many races to support Vikki over the years, including the London Marathon. Last weekend we set off to Bournemouth to support her as she ran her second marathon. Apart from having arranged our accommodation, we had not really planned the weekend at all, in fact it was only the afternoon before that I actually looked at the race route. It filled me with dread as I realised that unlike London, we had no idea at all of how to get around Bournemouth to see Vikki at different points of the route. The shuttle bus had to be pre-booked (we didn't even know there was one) and all tickets had been sold anyway. How to see Vikki at the start, at the finish and ideally at least two other points along the route to encourage her, which she really needed during the London marathon? I envisaged running a marathon myself! We were not getting to Bournemouth until late afternoon, so there was no chance to familiarise ourselves with the route beforehand either.
Red sky at night, runner's delight!
So after a hearty breakfast, we set off to the start area, about a mile from our B&B. Everything about this day turned out to be the complete opposite to the London marathon. The start area was the football stadium, so we all had the use of the stadium's facilities, including toilets and cafes. All very civilised, no burger vans here! The start area was not busy at all, so very easy to meet up with Vikki's friends. There wasn't much of an atmosphere at the start, yes people were excited, chatting and laughing, but there was no loud music or warm up to get people psyched for the race. Being the first Bournemouth, the number of runners was much smaller than I expected, so it didn't take long to see them all set off, then it was time to find our way around the route.
Vikki and co.
In the end, there was no need to have been concerned. The route twisted and turned along the way and we were able at some points to stand in one place and see them pass twice, say at mile 5 and then again mile 8. We then only had a shortish walk down to the sea front to see them run along there. This was a particularly lovely part of the route for runners, as it was a beautiful sunny day and many of the locals had come down to sit outside their beach huts to watch the race.
Wave your hands in the air like you don't care!
Along the route there were plenty of proper toilets, (I never once had to venture into a portaloo!), plenty of cafes if we fancied a coffee, and ice cream vans if we wanted an ice cream to cool us down (have I said it was hot?!) We managed to see Vikki at least half a dozen times along the route which was fantastic. We had no reason to have need of the shuttle bus, although it would have been nice at the end as the finish was quite a way from the start, so therefore a long walk for the already tired runners. Don't worry, we left Vikki on a bench and went to get the car for her.
Sporting a fab finishers t-shirt and medal.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, the weather obviously helped, but the route was lovely, very well thought out from the point of supporters.  The only thing I would have changed about it would be not having the 18 mile point next to the finish, passing that and being told you ONLY had another 8 miles to go, seemed a bit mean. All the volunteer marshals (and there were many) were very good, especially the ones at the finish, some of them helping the odd runner overcome with cramps, across the finish line, and shouting much needed encouragement.

The finish area was great too, it was very easy to find Vikki, having first acquired the compulsory ice cream! We thought the medals were particularly nice too, possibly the best Vikki has, and she has a few ;)
Just one or two medals from 2013... can you spot the Bournemouth one?
We are extremely proud of Vikki having finished this marathon almost one hour faster than the London one and we were very relieved she had no injuries and managed to smile all the way round, even at the end. Yes our feet ached from all the walking, but we didn't have to run a marathon to see Vikki as we feared, everyone was happy and cheerful, and the sun shone. What a great day!


  1. aww, so nice to have a supportive family :) your mum sounds really proud :p
    - and i LOVE the medal hanging "thing", where can I get one!?

    1. I'm so grateful to my parents for coming along to so many of my races to support me, they are the best :) They choose to, I don't ask any more. It makes all the difference on the longer distances!

      I got my medal hanger at the VLM expo this year but you can get one here:

      Not cheap but I think well worth it if you want to make a proper display (hold out for a Christmas present?)

  2. Now that I am back home in Poole after living in London for four years the first thing I did was go here! I have been craving and missing these Fish and Chips for ages! Taxi Bournemouth to London

  3. I seems to be great fun, i think everybody is having a great time. Gatwick chauffeur parking

  4. Very useful article buddy keep it up I came to know a website that are having good motivational Books on Hill Running and other motivational contents..

  5. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well..
    running medal holder