THE sun shone down on the promenade as thousands of runners put their best foot forward in the Bournemouth Bay Run.

More than 4,500 runners, walkers and wheelers took to the start lines by Bournemouth Pier for the four races across the day on Sunday, March 24.

The first race was the 10km race, with runners under starters orders at 9.15am sharp.

The winner of the opening race was Jamie Grose, from Poole Athletics Club, in a rapid 34 minutes.

Bournemouth Echo:

He said the event was ‘brilliant’.

“We need more local events like this down in Bournemouth, we’re so spoilt for choice, you think of everything we’ve got down in Dorset, with the seaside, the New Forest nearby, the Purbecks,” Jamie said.

“It’s great to have a home crowd cheering you on.”

Next up was the turn of the children and families in the 1km fun run, with spirits high on the start line.

The first finishers crossed the line at a blistering pace, some finishing within five minutes of the start.

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo:

Others took it at their own pace and soaked in the atmosphere from the assembled crowds.

The longest race of the day, the half marathon, began next, at 10am.

Runners pounded the pavement as they set off away from the pier and towards Durley Chine, before heading inland on a loop that brought them back onto the promenade at Alum Chine.

They then continued back past the pier, to a loop in Southbourne, before returning to the finish line on the promenade.

Taking the win in this race, with a time of just under one hour and 15 minutes, was Stuart Holloway from the City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club.

Bournemouth Echo:

Stuart said: “I only entered on Thursday so I haven’t really trained for it so it was really hard today.

“It’s a lovely route, a lovely place, Bournemouth.”

The atmosphere was fantastic throughout the day, with large crowds turning out to support the runners, many of whom had travelled from far and wide to take part.

Many were also raising money for good causes, with Team Phil raising money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, while also aiming to be record breakers, after losing a friend to the condition last year.

Bournemouth Echo:

The sextet of Marcus Green, James Bewley, David Mills, Nick Wright, Hugh Tibbs and Rich Bidgood are hoping to break the world record for the fastest six-person costume marathon at the Manchester Marathon in April.

“We’ve just run a half marathon Guinness World Record two weeks ago,” Marcus said.

“We’re going for sub-three hours; the record is four hours 25 so hopefully we’re going to smash it.

“We’ve done about 4,000 miles together since October. We loved it today.”

The final race of the day was the 5km race, which saw a familiar runner cross the finish line first, with Jamie Grose winning after his earlier triumph.

Bournemouth Echo:

Jennifer and Patrick Retallick from Southbourne were running the 5km race for the second time, with Jennifer running last year’s race while six months pregnant.

“Amazing, such a buzz out there,” she said. “Really friendly, we definitely want to do it again.”

Theo and Charlie Stevens, both 11, were running at the event for the first time and had come over from Poole.

Bournemouth Echo:

“It was really hard, it feels really flat on the way, and then it’s really steep once you turn around,” the pair said.

“It was good, the crowd was brilliant.”