Charities reap rewards from Bournemouth Marathon

Hundreds of runners took part in the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival earlier this month to raise money for charity.

Participants have been reflecting on the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival and their involvement in raising funds for local and international charities.

First-time marathon runner Guy Taylor raised £600 for the Barth Syndrome Trust during the event, which took place on 5-6 October.

“Run BMF was brilliant. It was so well organised and the support of the people in Bournemouth was fantastic,” Taylor said.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever physically done. It was more a day for sunbathing than running.” He added that he will definitely sign up to do it again.

Bournemouth University student, Ben Godbold, ran in support of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research UK describes the feat as “tiring and a tough one, but a good one.”

“The hardest part was the 18th mile … running uphill and knowing you still have another eight miles to go when you reach the top. But the people made it, the best part was the finish line, the people cheering on the last mile” he said.

The festival hosted six races: the Bournemouth Marathon, the Half Marathon, two junior races for children, Supersonic 10k and the 5k Speed of Light.

Runners donned flashing LED armbands and fluorescent clothing for the nightime 5K Speed of Light race, which the marketing manager of the event, Kirstie Armsworth, described as a “human light show.”

Armsworth said it was a privilege to work with the runners.

“The Bournemouth Marathon Festival has been flooded with stories of runners telling us how taking part in it has made a difference to their life, if it be losing weight, raising thousands of pounds for charity or helping them get fit,” she said.

However this was not just an event for the runners, she added. “An event of this scale brings out community spirit and gives residents a sense of pride and coming together.”

Macmillan Cancer Support was the festivals official charity but organisations including the Stroke Association, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, RNLI, Cancer Research UK and Julia’s House were also represented.

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