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101-year-old athlete launches first bournemouth marathon festival
the first-ever bournemouth marathon festival, believed to be the only event of its kind in the uk, was officially launched by record-breaking runner fauja singh – at the ripe old age of 101 years.
the world’s oldest “marathoner”, fauja took up competitive running at the age of 89 and has since completed six london marathons, as well as similar events in new york, toronto, hong kong and lahore.
the former farmer from the indian state of punjab was one of the torch-bearers for the london 2012 olympic games, a role he had previously played at the 2004 athens olympiad, and he holds no fewer than eight world records as the fastest centenarian over 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, one mile, 3,000m and 5,000m.
fauja has already signed up to take part in the bournemouth marathon festival over the weekend of october 5/6, when he will be joined by thousands of local, national and international runners.
at the opposite end of the age range, the youngest competitor to have signed up so far is eight-year-old katie few, from verwood in dorset.
katie, who aims to complete her second triathlon next month (march 2013), has already completed a number of charity runs and is a keen swimmer, mountain-biker and martial arts practitioner.
bournemouth and poole to host first marathon festival
stunning sea views, fresh crisp clean air and the very best of bournemouth and poole will be on show as the south coast is home to a new international marathon for the first time.
entries open today for the running festival which will see thousands of runners from all over the world take to the streets of the coastal resorts on october 5 and 6, 2013. bournemouth pier which is set in the centre of seven miles of golden sand, framed by the isle of wight and the purbeck hills, is just one of the route highlights in a series of races predicted to become a vital addition to the uk running calendar. the award winning boscombe pier will also feature in the new family friendly festival which as well as a marathon will also include a half marathon, 10k, 5k and two junior races.
neil kilgour, race director, said: “the perfect environment has produced the natural environment for running as it should be”.
“with miles of glorious, unspoilt golden sands and clear blue sea, bournemouth and poole, provide a beautiful backdrop for the ultimate run in a pure and clean natural environment. we’re proud to launch a brand new marathon festival in such a stunning location. the spectacular, natural running environment and fresh air of bournemouth and poole will be loved by runners who want to run as it should be making it an exciting addition to the uk running calendar”.
“there’s so much more to the bournemouth marathon festival. people can use the weekend as a goal for fitness, fundraising or as part of a fun weekend with the family. it’s not all about running though, people can participate by helping out as race crew or simply by cheering the runners around the route. an event of this scale brings out community spirit and gives residents a sense of pride and coming together”.
typically, if you want to enter a major run such as a marathon, half marathon, or 10k you have to choose different venues and dates. the bournemouth marathon festival brings all of these together in one unique festival of running. a 5k “speed of light race” which takes place at dusk with emphasis on light around the route, providing runners and spectators with an unforgettable race and runners taking part in the “supersonic” 10k run will be treated to music from bands along the route, showcasing local musical talent. two junior races designed to fire children’s enthusiasm for fitness will guarantee there’s something for all the family. but at the heart of this weekend will be the establishment of the bournemouth marathon - the pinnacle of endurance athletics.
jon weaver, marketing & events manager from bournemouth tourism said: “we can’t wait to host the 2013 marathon festival and welcome the thousands of runners expected over the weekend. our established record of great award-winning family festivals and the stunning location is sure to excite everyone - runners, supporters, families, friends and the local community.”
cllr judy butt, portfolio holder for public engagement and participation with direct responsibility for sports and leisure said “we are delighted to be hosting world class runners in our vibrant scenic town and showing off poole’s outstanding natural beauty. i am certain that our residents and community groups will take this opportunity to be part of this exciting new event and come out over the weekend to show their support for all those taking part.”
the bournemouth marathon festival is also a chance to make a difference to other people’s lives by raising money for charity. macmillan cancer support is the bournemouth marathon festival official charity but there are hundreds of affiliated charities to choose to run for.
entries are now open for the bournemouth marathon festival on october 5 and 6, 2013.
just go to the website www.run-bmf.com and like the bournemouth marathon festival facebook page.
the 5k speed of light race, supersonic 10k and two junior races for juniors will be on saturday october 5, 2013 and start from 2pm.
the bournemouth marathon starts at 10am on sunday october 6, 2013 from kings park. the route includes running on both piers as well as the promenade and the fantastic coastal arena of poole and bournemouth. the bournemouth half marathon will start at 8am.
the bournemouth marathon festival is brought to you by the experienced team at gsi events who are also behind the edinburgh marathon festival which is in its 11th year.
more than 30,000 runners will be welcomed to the scottish capital on may 25 and may 26, 2013 to take part in the edinburgh marathon festival races. the edinburgh marathon recently joined the world’s elite road races by becoming the first in scotland to be officially recognised by the iaaf, the athletics governing body. last year alone, more than 4.6 million pounds was raised for charity.