By Alex Winter
RUNNERS say they are “heartbroken” after it was revealed that Bournemouth won’t host a full marathon next year.
Just a day after 4,000 people took part in the 26.2-mile event, organisers of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival revealed the event has changed its name to ‘Run Bournemouth’ – and the flagship race won’t take place in 2020.
A statement released on social media reads: “We’re excited to announce that 2020 will mark the start of a new chapter with the introduction of a new series of events, Run Bournemouth.
“The 2020 event will offer the perfect vision of running as it should be, next to the sea, sun and surf along Bournemouth’s promenade, award winning blue flag beaches and famous piers.
“Incredibly flat and fast routes hold the promise of personal bests for those taking part in the Bournemouth Half Marathon, Supersonic 10K and 5K races. “Sadly, after seven years, we will be saying goodbye to the marathon distance.
“Bournemouth is a forward thinking and enthusiastic location, constantly improving the seafront offering to the visitors who flock here every summer.
“This does make fitting in 26.2 miles of route fairly challenging, without moving away from the seafront and onto residential streets.
“We recognise that a hilly, residential route can be found anywhere, and it’s not the running experience we want to offer you, our runners.
“As such, we will be focusing our energy on creating the perfect running holiday destination for you in 2020 instead.
“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.
“We’re incredibly excited to invite you to join us for a jam packed Run Bournemouth in 2020, and know this marks the beginning of something very special.”
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, October 4.
However, scores of runners have taken to social media to say they are unhappy to lose the marathon.
One said he was “absolutely gutted at this heartbreaking decision”.
“I was really looking forward to next year and it’s not that difficult to set up a tourist ‘lane’ along the seafront surely?” he said.
Another said: “This is a shame for the runners hoping to do it next year.”
“Such sad news that a massive town like Bournemouth won’t have a marathon next year and Run Bournemouth are wrecking such a great race,” said one runner.
“I’ve run it every single year since it started and people come from miles around to run it too.”