I AM disappointed to read that the Bournemouth Marathon will not be taking place next year.

As the portfolio holder for tourism in 2012, I asked the council to introduce a Bournemouth Marathon. The officers decided to broaden it to be a Bournemouth Running Festival. It turned out to be, in the words of one councillor, “a staggering success”. Both the council officers and Neil Kilgour, who organised the marathon, did an excellent job.

My wife and I welcomed many of the runners back as they finished that first marathon and said what a wonderful race it had been, with excellent views.

There was one runner we did not stay to see cross the line. That was 71-year-old Barrie Corbin from Broadstone, who was taking part to raise funds for the Wessex Cancer Trust. He crossed the finishing line with a time of 7 hrs 10 minutes, having walked the course wearing a pair of short welly boots that he bought for £1 from a charity shop. This was his 41st such walk for charity. A letter to the Echo said that “Barrie epitomises, as did Eddie The Eagle Edwards, all that is best in life as well as sport and his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Wessex Cancer Trust are worthy of the highest praise”. The marathon's organisers broke their rule and awarded him a medal before a cheering crowd of 550 at half time in Poole Town’s FA cup match against Hungerford. In all he had raised £1,500.62.

That first marathon raised more than £600,000 for charities, with more than £1million being raised from all the races. Ninety per cent of the marathon participants came from out of town. Several of the entrants came from overseas.

Seventy per cent of entrants in the full marathon stayed in paid-for accommodation for at least one night. Most hotels were full for the whole weekend.

Many people only run in one marathon, but for them and for the charities they raise money for, it can be a life-changing experience.

I urge the council to sit down and talk with Neil to see whether a solution can be found that will keep the marathon next year.

DR RODNEY F COOPER, mayor of Bournemouth 2013/14, West Cliff Road, Bournemouth