So this weekend we were off to Bournemouth. For a few years I have wanted to do one of the BMF races, and finally the run fell on a free weekend. We both signed up for the 10K (the Supersonic 10K!) which ended up being at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. This was not totally ideal, because it meant we had to travel down on Friday night (check in might not be early enough to change etc) but that was OK in the end as we left after dinner so the traffic was a bit quieter.
On Saturday morning we walked around the town, had some breakfast in Caffe Nero, and then had a bit more of a walk. The weather was good- it clouded over a bit later on, but generally was nice and warm. We could not decide what to get for lunch- the race was sort of hanging over our heads a bit. In the end I got a salad from M&S- I have had it before- and sat by the seafront watching the junior races being set up.
I love the coloured beach huts along the front- like a dulux colour chart.
We even found some outdoor gym bits.
We then walked up the steps in the cliff to find a lovely memorial for Jon Egging, the Red Arrows pilot who died in a crash.
They were each covered in little disks- one had white, one red and one blue for the colours of the Red Arrows.
After that, we headed back to the hotel for a bit of a rest and a change of clothes, before heading to the start line.
At this point I was a bit worried because I had the same colour bib as Andy (both yellow)- normally I am one pen behind him. I think I had estimated a sub 55 finish, being wildly optimistic, and that made me a bit panicked. But that turned out to be the third of 5 pens, so then I didn’t feel so bad.
Sunshine! The race started very promptly, with the wheelchair racers being sent off a minute before the first pen, then the second pen walked forwards and were sent off, and then we were. I started my watch a teeny bit before the start line, although in the end I only looked at it a couple of times. I had looked up my previous 10K pb (55.23) and knew I needed to do 8.51 min miles to beat it, but because it had km markers and not mile markers and I didn’t always notice the mile beep of my watch, I pretty much just ran on feel.
The race was really enjoyable- it went out along the promenade for a couple of kms (past the outdoor gym and the coloured beach huts) before turning back. We were all told to keep left, because obviously we would be coming back on ourselves, but honestly the number of runners who thought it didn’t apply to them was astounding! The wheelchair racers passed on the other side fairly quickly, and as we came to the turnaround point I saw Andy on the other side- both still smiling!
I thought it could get congested, but as I was running back the other way I saw the final tail runner, which meant that the run could then open out a bit as runners were only on one side. As we got close to the place that we started, I realised that the route actually went on the pier! We had not gone on it earlier as it cost £1 each (not a big pier fan anyway) so I did think “I’m saving myself a pound here”- then I nearly got knocked over by a girl with headphones- she was ahead to my right but suddenly veered to her left to overtake some other runners, so I decided to overtake her in case she did it again and knocked me over properly!
The pier was great, and as it was in the centre it was thickly lined with people out cheering – it was a great atmosphere. I had on my “OH” vest and someone shouted “go Hatfield!” so I waved a thanks. I saw one of the wheelchair racers on the other side heading up the small slope to the finish, as I ran down it. At this point I saw the 5K mark, and noticed that my watch said 27 something- I would be pleased with that parkrun time, although of course my local parkrun is not flat like this!
The route then went along the promenade in the other direction. At a few points it narrowed, but there were plenty of marshals and signs warning runners, and I didn’t find it a problem at all. It had lovely views of the sea and beach- I loved it- just like Brighton. There was a water station (with bottles- grr- I nearly tripped over a few on the floor, although to be fair there were marshals picking them up right away), but I didn’t want to stop. At around mile 4 I started hoping for the turn around, but it wasn’t until I was past this that even the front runners went past the other way. I started to feel a bit sick- I could sort of taste my lunch again and was regretting that salad. Then of course, my maths got confused between the km and miles, and I flipped my watch around so I couldn’t look at it even if I wanted to. I saw the 8K marker and started telling myself that I had just over 10 minutes to go, and luckily my stomach settled- at times I did have visions of actually being sick which is not good!
I missed the 9K marker but thought I heard a marshal shouting “800m to go”- at this point I got overtaken by a show-boating superman! Then we rounded the corner, had a tiny slope ahead and the finish line was in sight! The announcer was cheering everyone over the line (“Superman is playing up to the crowds”- he was!)- but I think my vest confused him as I got “go ladies running club…… oh?”- nice to have a mention anyway!
I met up with Andy who had finished about 4 minutes ahead of me, and collected my massive medal and goody bag. It was so organised- you had the size t-shirt printed on your number, so you went through the corral for that number and picked up your bag, plus a small bottle of water right away, and a larger one just before you exited the finish area.
I love the medal- it has the pier engraved on it, plus the distance. We also got a lovely purple technical t-shirt.
The goody bag was pretty packed, although Andy had more than me! Mine had an Eat Natural bar, zero tabs, crinkles crisps (although I got cheese and onion boo- Andy won with salt and vinegar), mentos mints, and as well as that Andy got some spatone samples, dried cranberries, and teapigs tea! How come I didn’t get any tea???
We walked back to our hotel and had a quick shower- luckily I didn’t wash my hair as we had booked Pizza Express, we thought for 6.30, but when we checked it turned out to be 6pm! So it ended up being a bit of a rush to get there in time!
I had the results text that said a chip time of 56.07, which is my second fastest 10k time ever! I am so pleased with that- I think I could have gone faster but because of the lunch issue I wasn’t pushing it. I felt tired when I finished, but not shattered, so it gives me confidence to really have a good go at Brighton in November.
Also, finally, I was not impressed that they didn’t play the Oasis song at the start- what was the point of the name huh?
The charity village.
It was a really well organised event, and although it seemed busy, it wasn’t on such a huge scale that it would put me off. They had junior races in the afternoon, a 5K later on Saturday evening, and a full and half marathon on the Sunday morning. The 4pm time was my only issue, because the race did hang over us a bit and I didn’t really get the food situation right, but all in all it was fab, and I would definitely look at doing it (or maybe the half) another year.
What do you think of afternoon races? How did you enjoy the lovely weather this weekend?