Ian Robinson gives us the low down on the 2018 Bournemouth East Cliff Rotary Club Annual Easter Quarter Marathon on Easter Saturday 31st March
Organized by the East Cliff Rotary Club, their Easter Quarter marathon has been a fixture on the runner’s calendar for the past eighteen years, raising funds for local charities. This year, OS Runners fielded eleven of the 500 participants (Mark and Sue Stileman, Naomi Stanley, Rob Crocker, Rachael Evans, Tony Mabey, Diane Borris, Dean Paulley, Jules Klinko, Ian Robinson and Kate Robinson), split into two teams of five, with one reserve.
The overnight heavy rain had fizzled out by mid-morning so that by 11am, when we shuffled to the line and started, we ran in cool, overcast but thankfully dry conditions. The course began near Boscombe Pier, heading east for two miles along the promenade, made hazardous with slippy sand, safety rails, inattentive pedestrians and a lone deck chair. Those who survived began the short but steep ascent towards Southbourne Coast Road and were steered by marshals through the housing estate of Southbourne and back onto the Overcliff Drive heading west, having achieved level two in dodging dog walkers and cars. By this time a south-westerly wind had picked up and was being funnelled by the buildings, presenting a challenging head wind running along the undulating Boscombe Cliff Road for miles 4 to 6. The final 500m consisted of a steep, breakneck decent down towards the pier and onto the Promenade for a Baywatch-worthy sprint to the finish line.
Mark was first across for the OS Runners with a spectacular time of 39:38 with Dean close behind at 43:07. The rest of the team came in over the next 15 minutes and collected their prizes – a chocolate egg and a medal (not made of chocolate). The next challenge was bag retrieval as the cadets had surrendered handing them out in an orderly fashion and just lobbed them out of the bag van. Then a quick happy snap on the beach for posterity. No one fancied a bracing, post-race dip in the briny, preferring the café for well-earned coffee and cake.
Later in the week we were pleasantly surprised by an e mail from the organizers announcing OS Team 1 won the team event with an overall time of 03:53:47 and OS Team 2 came fourth at 04:43:15. A successful day for OS Runners!
Many thanks to Naomi for promoting the event and organizing the teams. It was a fantastic run and now we’ve set ourselves up as the ones to beat we hope to field more teams next year to defend that title!