OFFICIALS at BCP Council have insisted they had nothing to do with a decision to cancel Bournemouth’s full marathon next year – days after the decision sparked furious debate.

As reported, 4,000 people took part in the 26.2 mile run at the Bournemouth Marathon Festival on Sunday. Just a day later, organisers announced the festival’s name has changed to Run Bournemouth – and the full marathon will not take place.

The decision was panned as “heartbreaking”, with many runners saying they’d have run the distance this year had they known it would be the last.

In a post on social media, organisers said “fitting in 26.2 miles of route” in and around Bournemouth is “fairly challenging without moving away from the seafront and onto residential streets”.

“We have been working closely with BCP Council to make the best decisions for the future of the event, and want to thank everyone involved with this,” they added.

However, the council yesterday confirmed it had nothing to do with the decision to cancel the marathon, although it will continue to back the event in the future.

Jon Weaver, head of resort marketing and events, said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with the event organisers and look forward to continuing that relationship next year.

“We are excited to build on the events that are still currently in place which allow around 10,000 runners to take part and enjoy such a fantastic and award winning location.”

Former Boscombe ward councillor and Bournemouth mayor Phil Stanley-Watts, who ran the first-ever Bournemouth marathon, said he is disappointed and has struggled to voice his concerns with the council.

“It’s a unique marathon course, not just in the UK but in the world,” he said.

“I think this is a significant and important event for Bournemouth. It draws thousands of people here each year.

“I just cannot understand why the decision has been taken to do away with it. I will be raising this with the council as soon as I can.”

On Saturday, October 3 2020, there will be a host of faster events, including kids’ races, a ‘dog jog’ and the 10k run. The half marathon will take place the following day.