'Running as it should be', is the strapline for Bournemouth Marathon Festival this coming weekend (7/8 October) and there is still just about time to find out what that phrase actually means. Entries for the fifth edition of the two day festival will close at 5pm on Wednesday 4 October.
Records fell before Bournemouth Marathon Festival even started last year as 13,000 runners signed up to compete in the six-race weekend programme. Since the event started in 2013 some £5 million has been raised for good causes and Bournemouth's smiling volunteers have handed out 5,000kg worth of heavy metal in the form of medals.
Bournemouth Marathon Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday 7/8 October with eight races available over the two days. The action starts on Saturday with four children's races followed by the Supersonic 10K and the Glow in the Dark Supernova 5K as dusk falls.
Sunday sees the half and full marathon races from Kings Park, with beautiful coastal views as runners pass both Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers before a spectacular grandstand finish in Lower Gardens. There were a total of 5,500 finishers in both races last year.
The marathon will be the 300th for Karl Randall, aged 50, who aims to join the World Megamarathon rankings and around 600 other people worldwide who have achieved this number of marathons.
After realising his weight had crept up to 18 stone in 2008, Karl became determined to change and joined a gym. Nine years later and now a committed fitness enthusiast, Karl is looking forward to joining the 300 marathon club in Bournemouth: “Bournemouth is a special place for me of which I have many fond memories”, said Karl. “Following the Bournemouth Marathon in October 2013, I continued to run on average 50 marathons a year”.
However, the journey to this milestone hasn’t been easy as Karl recently spent 12 days in hospital undergoing an emergency operation. “After 4 weeks off and tentatively back to running, I’m back on target for Bournemouth to be my 300th marathon”, he said.
Image of Karl Randall courtesy Bournemouth Marathon Festival