Coast Along To Bournemouth
Beginner-friendly ultra by Ultra Violet Run...
The photo above perfectly illustrates the brief moment of calm, controlled excitement as 500 runners get ready to Run to the Sea Bournemouth. You can almost smell the linament as the head torches are focussed and GPS watches set for the 50K journey from Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood to the end of Hengistbury Head at Bournemouth!
As Race Director Chris Donald said to runABC South: "With over 500 entrants each year, many of whom are returning runners, we must be doing something right."
Ultra Violet Run are the experienced organisers of Run to the Sea Bournemouth on Saturday 14 October 2023 and race reviews particularly praise the smiley marshalls, clear course marking, and hot soup at the finish.
Run to the Sea Bournemouth is the sister event to Run to the Sea Brighton that saw precisely 300 finishers on the 50K route from Horsham to Brighton on Saturday 6 May 2023 and both events are combined as the Run to the Sea Ultramarathon Series.
While RTTS Brighton can be a bit lumpy in the second half, RTTS Bournemouth is an exceptionally flat ultra, as Ultra Violet Run explains: "The first half is mainly on trail; the second half is a mixture of pavement and promenade. Although the trail section may be wet or muddy, it is not extreme, therefore road shoes are recommended for comfort for the non-trail section. This course is pretty much flat. Very beginner-friendly but also a good challenge for those wanting a quick 50km race."
Last year's winners were Peter Lawrie (Undercover Runners, 3:36:17) and Annaka Charters (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets AC, 4:02:42) in chip times by Timing Monkey which would have been impressive for a road marathon. More than 50 runners beat the five-hour mark which represents an average 6:00min/km pace. There were 321 finishers in 9:35:57.
The course follows the Castleman Trailway along the old Southampton to Dorchester railway line that once connected a string of settlements between Ringwood and Poole, named after Charles Castleman, a Wimborne Solicitor who was responsible for building the original railway line and the first to connect Dorset to the wider rail network – closed by Dr. Beeching in 1964.
The spectacular finish on Hengistbury Head is reached via the Bournemouth Promenade with a final kilometre that includes a short section on soft sand! For detailed race information, including the option to book a shuttle bus to the start, click here.
Previous results and link to the race website at runABC South race listing here.
Photo of 2022 race start by Pete Down for Run to the Sea Bournemouth