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Bournemouth Marathon Festival: your essential guide
It's the first year of Bournemouth Marathon Festival so here's a handy guide to what's happening when and where over the weekend.
How many races are there?
There are six races in total - the marathon, half marathon, 10k Supersonic race, 5k Speed of Light road race, 3k junior race and 1.5k junior race.
When will they take place?
SATURDAY RACES: The junior races will begin at 2pm - the 1.5k for 6-10year-olds from the Bournemouth Marathon Festival Hub in the Lower Gardens and the 3k at 2.30pm for 11-14year-olds also from the hub.
The 10k Supersonic race will begin at 4pm with live music for the participants to run to. This will start and finish at the Lower Gardens.
The 5k Speed of Light race will begin at 7pm with the runners pounding the route wearing flashing LED armbands and fluorescent clothing to create a “human light show”.
SUNDAY RACES: The half marathon will begin at 8am at Kings Park Drive in Boscombe and end at the Lower Gardens in Bournemouth.
The marathon, which follows a similar but extended route will begin from Kings Park at 10am.
Which bands will be accompanying the Supersonic 10k?
The newly reformed Bournemouth Scout Band, Sound of Soul Choir and Gugge 2000 brass band will be some of the bands playing along the 10k route. There will be plenty for everyone to see while they cheer on the runners.
How many people taking part?
There are 9,500 people taking part in the whole event. Around 1,273 people have entered the 10k and there will be 285 in the junior races.
More than 4,020 have signed up for the full marathon and many more are expected to line the route cheering the runners on.
Which elite runners are taking part?
As well as elite runners including Joan Jepchirchir from Kenya, Ukranian Olha Kotovska and Wioletta Kryza from Poland as well as Ethiopian Ebisa Merga and Mohammed Hajjy from Morocco - some other familiar faces will be at the race.
The world's oldest marathoner 102-year-old Faruja Singh will launch the festival at 2pm on Saturday while Martin Yelling, husband of two-time Olympian Liz Yelling - is part of the official race crew for this year's event.
Can I still enter?
Unfortunately you can't still enter any of the races but entry for 2014's event opens on Monday October 7. Next year's event is scheduled for October 4 and 5, 2014 with a discounted entry until October 20.
Where is the best place to watch?
Obviously we're not entirely sure at the moment as this is the first event but we would think the seafront would be the best place to watch the races as it would have the best atmosphere. Obviously parking is bound to be an issue so perhaps park a little further out than the central car parks and walk a little way to soak up the excitement.
More than 50,000 bottles of water will supplied along the course of the BMF races.
Hydration stations for the 10k, half marathon and full marathon will be positioned around 5kms apart with energy gels supplied as well.
There will also be toilets at all the stations.
Experts predict that on a hot day a runner can lose as much as four litres of water through sweating before they cross the line.
Bournemouth marathon festival hub
The Bournemouth Marathon Festival hub and help desk will be located at Bournemouth Lower Gardens. Entrants can pick up race packs or find other information about the festival at the help desk there.
It will be open from 8am-9pm on Saturday and 7am-6pm on Sunday.
Within the hub will also be a charity village where runners can visit their charity should it be affiliated to the event.
Road closures - and Bakers Arms closure over the weekend
More than 100 roads will be closed in the area over the weekend with temporary parking restrictions also applied in various places.
Organisers have divided the road closures into four zones - the Southbourne area, Boscombe and East Cliff, the West Cliff and Poole.
Buses will be operating their usual routes as much as possible but stops may be altered slightly in Southbourne for Yellow Buses and More Buses.
There will be a shuttle bus taking the runners from four different points -Westover Road, Cotlands Road, the Sovereign Centre and Kings Park. They are also for spectators although tickets for the full marathon have sold out and the last remaining tickets are for the half marathon only.
You will probably need to have purchased tickets in advance as organisers warn they will be more expensive on the day, if there are any left.
The half marathon buses will run continuously from 6am-12.30pm and the full from 8am-5pm. These will stop running at 5.30pm.
The usual town centre car parks will undoubtedly fill up quite quickly on both days, especially as all the events finish in the Lower Gardens, near the Pier. The nearest ones to the town centre are Winter Gardens, Central, West Hill and Glen Fern.
It looks dry for the entire weekend with the possibility of some sunny spells on Saturday. There doesn't look to be any gusts of wind forecast at present - which is of course important for the runners.
Other interesting facts ·
- Participants will run a combined 142,050 miles over the weekend, which is the equivalent of running around the equator five and a half times.
- 50,000 bottles of water will be handed out to runners.
- The oldest entrant is 75 and the youngest is six.
- The race crew is a total of 1,138 people.
Don't forget to give all the runners a really big cheer as they go past you - weeks, months and even years of training has gone into this.
We will be live blogging all weekend at bournemouthecho.co.uk/marathon and will have photo galleries of all the races and action online as soon as possible after the events.
There will also be video from each day. Follow us on twitter @bournemouthecho or log onto our Bournemouth Daily Echo Facebook page
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