Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2013


FROM: GSi Events, race organisers of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2013

DATE: Sunday October 6 2013

THE UK’S newest marathon was at the heart of a spectacular sporting weekend as thousands of runners today took part in the first Bournemouth Marathon Festival.

In glorious sunshine, runners from more than 30 countries enjoyed stunning sea views as they set off  on the 26.2 mile course which includes Bournemouth Pier at the centre of seven miles of golden sand. They included super-fit Ebisa Merga who won the inaugural marathon, racing to the finish line in a time of 2 hours and 16 minutes and 42 seconds during the two-day running festival. The 25-year-old from Ethiopia was elated to set the course record benchmark which runners in future years will have to follow.

He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to finish first at the first ever Bournemouth Marathon Festival.”

“I loved the race, I loved the spectators and the weather was perfect for me. I’ve run a lot of marathons this year but this one has definitely been one of my favourites. Hopefully I’ll be back to defend my title next year”.

Olha Kotovska, 29, from Ukraine was the first woman home crossing the line in 2 hours and 30 minutes and 4 seconds.

Today is also a proud day for Karl Randall from Tamworth who took up running to lose weight in 2008 as the Bournemouth Marathon marks his 100th marathon. 18 stone Karl could barely run for 3 minutes on a treadmill before he decided something needed to change so he took up running. The 46 year old finished in a personal best time of 3 hours 53 minutes and 36 seconds saying “I waited 5 years to run a sub 4 hour marathon and now I’ve done it!”. Karl joins The 100 Marathon Club and commented “I’m delighted to be joining such an elite group as The 100 Marathon Club today. I just love running. I’m sure there are many more marathons to come!”

Super fit Nick Hitchings won an ambitious race against time to complete all FOUR adult races running a total of 48 miles over the two-day running festival.

The 44-year-old, who lives in Malvern, ran the half marathon today then raced back to join the crowds in the nick of time and run the full marathon. Nick, who yesterday (Saturday, October 5th) also completed the Supersonic 10K in 49 minutes and 55 seconds and the Speed of Light 5K in 22 minutes and 1 second, was exhausted but elated when he finally crossed the finish of the full marathon.

Nick said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to finish. I’ve had the most amazing day and I loved every minute of the festival. The last 10 miles of the marathon was tough but I knew it would be.”

Nick has raised over £1,000 for the charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as his mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and he wanted to do something positive for her.

The award-winning Boscombe Pier also featured in the new family friendly festival which today also included a half marathon winner. Local lad from Bournemouth Athletics Club, Manol Dimitrov, 24,  raced home in 1 hour and 18 minutes and 43 seconds. Commenting on his run he said: “I felt great and the atmosphere was brilliant! The weather was perfect and I just went for it today”.

Amanda Kerr, 32, from Wiltshire was the first female half marathon finisher in 1 hour and 29 minutes and 14 seconds. Amanda usually runs triathlons but decided to give the Bournemouth Half Marathon a go – it’s her first half marathon this year! She said: “It was an incredible experience and such a lovely course and event. I was shocked and a bit overwhelmed” to be the first female home.

21-year old half  marathon finisher and local girl Kimberley Bracher enjoyed a double celebration when boyfriend Scott Hudson proposed to her at the finish line seconds after completing her race. She said: “my first half marathon and diamond ring, thanks!”. Finance Scott added: “It was brilliant! I’m ecstatic that my beautiful wife to be, Kimberley, said yes!”.

And the world’s oldest marathon runner Fauja Singh yesterday (Saturday, October 5th) officially launched the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, starting both junior races. With nine marathons under his belt, all completed after his 89th birthday, 102-year-old Fauja was the perfect choice to inspire the kids.

14-year old Piers Copeland from Poole Grammar School was the first youngster home in the 3k in just 10 minutes and 20 seconds. And local lad Thomas Farwell, aged 10, won the 1.5K race in just 5 minutes and 33 seconds.

Yesterday at dusk, runners were each given a luminous LED armband to wear on a 5K Speed of Light race which created some magical moments for runners and spectators as they lit up the coastal town. Rob Mctaggart from Bournemouth raced to the finish line of the 5K in 17 minutes and 22 seconds, whilst 17 year-old George Goodwin from Dunchurch claimed victory in the fast and flat Supersonic 10K race with a time of 35 minutes and 22 seconds.

Neil Kilgour, Bournemouth Marathon Festival Race Director, said: “With miles of glorious, unspoilt golden sands and clear blue sea, Bournemouth and Poole, provided a beautiful backdrop for the ultimate run.

“We’re proud to host a brand new marathon festival in such a stunning location. The spectacular, natural running environment and fresh air of Bournemouth and Poole has proved a perfect choice for runners who want to run “as it should be” making it an exciting addition to the UK running calendar.

“From the elite runner through to the first time marathon runner, to youngsters standing in the start pen for the first time in their lives, it was a great pleasure to welcome them all. Many of these people were changing their lives and many were changing the lives of others too through raising vital funds for charity.”

More than 750 runners from the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support took part, together with 150 Affiliate Charities with organisers confident more than £500,000 in total has been raised for charity.

ENTRIES open for the 2014 Bournemouth Marathon Festival on Monday October 7 2013 with an early bird discount for everyone who registers for any race distance before October 20 at Like us on Facebook at


Annette Drummond on or 07730 564 128

Photos of today’s races are available now on dropbox here: includes all winners, Nick Hitchings, Kimberley Bracher and route shots

Photos of Saturday’s races are available on dropbox here: winners and route shots

Please credit Kathi Archery if you wish to use any of these pictures.


·    The Bournemouth Marathon Festival is brought to you by the experienced team at GSi Events who are also behind the Edinburgh Marathon Festival which in 2014 is in its 12th year.

Read some other runners comments here –

2013 Bournemouth Marathon Festival Results

Sunday 6th October

2013 Bournemouth Marathon

Top 10

1 Ebisa Merge 2:16:42

2 Ivan Babaryka 2:19:41

3 Mourad El Bannouri 2:28:50

4 Olha Kotovska 02:30:04

5 Ian Habgood 02:31:14

6 Joan Kigen 02:31:27

7 Jacek Cieluszecki 02:33:14

8 Edward Catmur 02:34:57

9 Christopher Dettmar 02:35:53

10 Ben Hukins 02:40:52

Top 3 women

1 Olha Kotovska 2:30:04

2 Joan Kigen 2:31:27

3 Valeria Sesto 3:00:05

Top British male and female

Male: Ian Habgood 2:31:14

Female: Valeria Sesto 3:00:05

2013 Bournemouth Half Marathon

Top 10

1 Manol Dimitrov 01:18:41

2 Mark Herbert 01:20:41

3 Brendon Gilbert 01:21:17

4 Stewart Mcandie 01:21:58

5 Mike Lawson 01:22:07

6 Michael Longley 01:22:26

7 Jonathan Spear 01:22:34

8 Jasper Niesing 01:22:42

9 Damien Lane 01:23:36

10 Mike Grundmann 01:23:38

Top 3: Women

1 Amanda Kerr 1:29:14

2 Rebecca Jakeman 1:30:46

3 Vicki Ingham 1:31:17

Saturday 5th October:

2013 Supersonic 10k Top 10

1. George Goodwin 00:35:22

2. Richard Gould 00:36:23

3. Kevin Newell 00:36:57

4. Kevin Wotton 00:37:29

5. Neil Crisp 00:37:58

6. Harri Kane 00:38:05

7. Benjamin Warner 00:38:09

8. Tony Rendall 00:38:11

9. Hamish Murray 00:38:20

10.Steven Reading 00:38:22

2013 Speed of Light 5k Top 10

1. Rob Mctaggart 00:17:22

2. Ryan Walbridge 00:17:33

3. Eric Dol 00:19:13

4. Mike Coogan 00:19:43

5. Matthew Riggs 00:19:50

6. Raul Simmons-Perez 00:20:16

7. Tom Gould 00:20:18

8. Andrew Beckett 00:20:31

9. Serena O’Connor 00:20:36

10.Jamie Cornuaud 00:20:48

2013 3k Junior Race Top 10

1. Piers Copeland 00:10:20

2. Grace Copeland 00:10:53

3. Oliver Howse 00:11:06

4. Michael Johnson 00:11:26

5. Matthew Yates 00:11:34

6. Bess Bickel 00:11:47

7. Jake Halligan 00:11:52

8. Amy Mills 00:12:04

9. Macy Godden 00:12:36

10.Christopher Todd-White 00:12:41

2013 1.5k Junior Race Top 10

1. Thomas Farwell 00:05:33

2. Finn Pardy 00:05:44

3. Liam Nixon 00:05:55

4. James Cass 00:05:57

5. Ajay Coombes 00:06:00

6. Matthew Lissenburg 00:06:04

7. George Lewis 00:06:08

8. James Griffin 00:06:18

9. Edward Page 00:06:21

10. Jack Leach 00:06:23

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