With just one week to the entry deadline, local running hero Steve Way has confirmed he will race in his hometown marathon for the first time this October.
The entry deadline for the marathon event at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival closes on Wednesday 8 July. Runners who sign up before then share the start-line with Way, one of the UK’s most inspirational runners who went from 16 stone smoker and takeaway addict to 10th place in last year’s Commonwealth Games.
Way did not take part in the inaugural Bournemouth Marathon Festival in 2013, but raced in the half marathon last year as he built up to last December’s World 100K Championships.
This year’s World 100K event falls earlier, taking place in the Netherlands in September and Way will hope to carry his long-distance fitness forward to his hometown race.
Way is sure to get a great reception on the streets of Bournemouth after his remarkable rise to international level aged 40. In finishing in the top 10 at Glasgow 2014, he set a new UK over 40 marathon record of 2:15:16 and - earlier in the year - set a new British 100K record.
Way said: “I have long wanted to race a marathon in my hometown and the schedule works well this year to make it a reality. I took part in the half marathon last year and then set the marathon runners on their way as the official starter last year, which was a real honour. The atmosphere around town has been brilliant for the first two years of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. I’m looking forward to enjoying the full 26.2 miles of it this October.”
Part of the wider Bournemouth Marathon Festival which launched in 2013, the race has quickly become one of the must-do events on the UK road running calendar, gaining IAAF Bronze Label recognition earlier this year.
With its stunning sea views, fresh crisp clean air and the very best of Bournemouth and Poole on show, the event attracts thousands to the lively Dorset coast for a weekend of ‘running as it should be. Easily reached by rail or road, Bournemouth offers a chance to run 26.2miles in one of the UK’s premier seaside resorts and enjoy a well-deserved ice cream and a calf-cooling dip in the sea afterwards.
The marathon is one of six events taking place across the 3-4 October weekend, consisting of Saturday’s 1.5k and 2k junior races, Supersonic 10K, the spectacular Speed of Light 5K before Sunday’s half marathon and marathon. Entries for events other than the marathon will remain open beyond 8 July, until they reach capacity.
All six races take place on fast, PB-potential courses and feature the unique chance to run to the end of Bournemouth’s historic pier and back.
Race director Martin Yelling, former international athlete and husband to twice Olympian Liz, said: “It is brilliant news that Steve Way will take part in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, he is an iconic figure for runners and shows just what can be achieved with dedication and commitment. We look forward to welcoming thousands of other people to the glorious Dorset coast in October to meet their own personal goals.
“Families, running clubs and friends love taking on a challenge, enjoying the stunning coast, relaxing post-race in the gardens and celebrating in the lively town afterwards. Around 15,000 took part in last year’s BMF and we expect 2015 to be bigger and better than ever. So if you are looking for an autumn marathon to remember, come and try Bournemouth. We’d love to see you.”
BMF races will take place on Saturday 3 October ahead of the Supersonic 10K (4pm) and Speed of Light 5K (7pm) and one day before the half marathon (8am) and marathon (10am). Entries close for the full marathon at 5pm on Wednesday 8 July.
For more information, including entry details go to the event website.