Bridport Jurassic Coast Run 2016: Successful debut at West Bay Day

BJCR 2016 - Brians last instructionsThe Bridport Jurassic Coast Run which was held for the first time at West Bay Day on Sunday was without a doubt a success. Great event and fantastic marshals, friendly atmosphere and great scenery.” “A great event, amazing marshals and spectacular scenery, oh and the odd hill. Will be back next year.” “Every little detail was just perfect – topped off by the mooing cow at the last downhill before we turned back!” A day after the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run took place for the first time at West Bay Day, participants of the event thanked the organisers, local running group Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary Club, for all their efforts with numerous comments via email and on Facebook. Almost 120 runners had started at the Salt House on Sunday morning to go on the challenging 10k route along the Coast Path or, even more daunting, do another loop to make it a half-marathon.

Here are the updated results of the 10k and the half-marathon race (as of 8th of August 2016). Please find below a gallery of pictures of the day which can be downloaded for free. All pictures taken by Astrid Rolle and John Dobinson (marked). More photos can be found on the website of race photographer Charles Whitton.

Nigel takes home two awards

Winner of the 10k race was an old acquaintance: Nigel Gates from Litton Cheney. He finished as first runner in 46 minutes and 1 second. Being 63 years of age he was also the first male veteran over the distance and could take home two awards. Nigel had already won the award as … fastest veteran last year. First woman in the 10k was also a winner from last year: Lydia O’Donoghue only needed 54:54 minutes to complete the gruesome course which took runners on the Coast Path westwards to the top of Thorncombe Beacon, the second highest hill on the South Coast, further towards Seatown and then back through Downhouse Farm, Eype and to West Bay.

Spectators and organisers were also very excited about the other event, the half-marathon: It was the first time that this longer distance was part of Bridport Jurassic Coast Run. Especially Bridport Runners were nervous to find out how big the interest in this race would be. It exceeded all their expectations: Almost 50 participants undertook the challenge, the majority of them coming from running clubs all over the country. Winner Edward Knudsen, 28 years of age, for example belongs to a running club in Ipswich. He conquered the two loops in an astonishing 1 hour 33 minutes and 21 seconds. Fastest female on the course was Jessica Bennett, 29 years and also a club runner, in 1:46:09.

Annette and Tanyia travelled all the way from Moore, USA

Of course, as always with the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run participants came from so many places, there were many personal stories to tell. Like the one of Taniya Smith and Annette Barnett who had travelled all the way from Moore in the US to visit friends and relatives in Dorset. “Excited to run my first overseas race!”, said Annette before the start. The race also allowed the two oldest runners in the race, Brian Grierson, 76 years, and Jenny Pride, 66 years, to meet for the first time. The youngest participant on the other end was Kieran Dunning, 17 years old, from Bridport who finished 8th in the 10k race.

What made this year’s event so special was that it was organised together with the Harbour Master and the West Bay Committee as part of West Bay Days. Many visitors cheered the runners on on their last metres towards the finish line at the Salt House. The new setting proved to be just right for this kind of event. Brian Shelley, Chairman of Bridport Runners, said: “It was a great race day and we are very happy about the good turnout and the positive feedback that we received from all sides. As a local Club we take our responsibilities towards the community very seriously, so we would like to thank everyone living along the race course for their patience and support.