RUNNERS have criticised the first ever Bournemouth and Poole marathon for being too expensive and having an uninspiring route.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival, which will take place on October 5 and 6, was officially launched earlier this month.

Those taking part in the marathon start at Kings Park and go through Southbourne, Hengistbury Head, Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers, West Cliff and Poole Harbour before ending at Bournemouth Pier.

But the route has been criticised for the number of times runners will have to double back on themselves. And some runners have claimed the £50 entrance fee is excessive.

Commenting on the marathon’s Facebook page, Nick Beck said: “It looks even more circuitous and convoluted than the bus routes around here!” while Darren Worton labelled it “boring”.

And on the Runner’s World website, several posters queried the price.

Millsy1977 said: “This must be one of the most expensive marathons around.

“I’d be surprised if they got anywhere near selling out.

“I wonder where they got the idea that £50 was a fair price to charge for a new event run by a company with some pretty poor feedback.”

Torquayrunner said: “I was interested until I realised the price and the fact that it was not run by a club.”

And Gertie said: “As a local there is no way I’m going to pay £50 to run that route. It’s not exactly inspiring.”

But Kirstie Armsworth, marketing manager for the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, said: “We are of the firm belief that the marathon is priced at the true value of the event delivering a world class marathon experience.

“As for those who say the course isn’t challenging enough – even boring – I could not disagree more.

“The course is fully compliant with the IAAF guidelines for marathon routes as well as offering stunning views of Bournemouth and Poole.

“If you were to ask any runner where they’d like to run then a stunning natural environment such as Bournemouth and Poole would be high on their wish list.”

Jon Sharkey, author of the website, said the marathon route would “appeal to the masses”.

He said: “For people who train on the course most days, it could be perceived as uninteresting, “But there will be thousands of people enjoying the very best Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch has to offer for the first time.”