Two local runners were painted entirely in bronze to mark a prestigious award to the Bournemouth Marathon Festival (BMF) on Wednesday 28 January. BMF has been given bronze label status by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – the world governing body for running – in recognition of the high quality of the event, which will host only its third ever edition this year on 3-4 October.
The two-day long event features the spectacular Speed of Light 5K, Supersonic 10K and two Junior Races on Saturday, with the marathon and half marathon races on Sunday, providing the perfect event for groups of runners or families to enjoy a full weekend by the picturesque Dorset coast.
The 2014 BMF was a record-breaking occasion with around 10,500 runners taking part, an incredible six course records being broken and over £1 million raised for charity.
IAAF bronze label is held by only two other races in the UK including Edinburgh Marathon, also hosted by GSi Events, the team behind BMF. Races receive the status by fulfilling criteria that includes a quality international field, closed roads, equal prize money for male and female competitors, electronic timing, international anti-doping procedures and environmentally-friendly organisation.
Student athlete Megan Aitchison and volleyball player Michael Vellutato were painted bronze and photographed at the city’s iconic pier. They were pictured alongside Bournemouth Mayor Chris Mayne and BMF Event Manager Martin Yelling.
Poole-based Yelling, former international athlete and husband to Olympic marathon runner Liz Yelling said: “It is a massive honour for the event and for whole of Bournemouth to receive IAAF bronze label status. This award really puts Bournemouth on the map as one of the world’s premier running venues.
“The first two years of Bournemouth Marathon Festival have been hugely successful and we are getting ready to make BMF15 bigger and better than ever. There is still time to enter and with just over eight months to race day, still plenty of time to train and do yourself proud this year.
“With the range of options from the Speed of Light 5K, Supersonic 10K, half marathon and full marathon, there are distances to suit runners of all ages and abilities. It is also a brilliant way to raise funds for a charity close to your heart. So, come and be part of something great this October.”