The 5th Bridport Jurassic Coast Run not only saw the biggest field of starters ever but also a female runner, winning the half-marathon for the first time: Ruth Barnes from Affpuddle, who has just recently moved to Dorset, won the gruesome 13 mile run along the Coast Path in 1 hour 35 minutes and 16 seconds, being almost 7 minutes faster than the next (male) finisher. The fastest runner in the 10k race was a local hero: Adam Gale of Bridport not only crossed but jumped over the ribbon in the finish after 47 min. 25 sec. Overall, 154 runners competed in the half-marathon and the 10k races which were a major attraction of this year’s West Bay Day.
Here are the preliminary results of the 10k and the half-marathon race (as of 7th of August 2017). Please find a gallery of pictures of the day which can be downloaded for free on the next page. All pictures taken by Astrid Rolle, Clive Whaley and Matt Camp (marked).
The races started with the famous ‘Broadchurch’ cliff at West Bay in the background, leading runners all the way up to the second highest hill on the South Coast of England, Thorncombe Beacon, then down to Seatown (half-marathon runners only) and back through Downhouse Farm, Eype to West Bay. The half-marathon consisted of two loops. The Bridport Jurassic Coast Run had once more been organised by local community groups Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary Club.
As with the other Bridport Jurassic Coast Runs before, there were many tales to tell about runners coming from far and wide: Like the one of Daniel who flew in from Malta and raised money for Faces charity; or the story of two deaf runners, who were accompanied by a guide on their 10k run; the adventures of the runners with the furthest travel, Stephen Forrest of Massachusetts in the United States, and Beate Lechenmeier from Winnenden in Germany, who are on holiday and signed in for the run; or the story about the oldest runner, Brian Grierson, who ─ being 77 years of age – had already done the Jurassic Coast Run the year before.
In its fifth year, the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run, has become a community event and a recommended race among club runners from all over the Southwest: 43 runners from 31 different running clubs had entered … the race ─ from Avon Valley Runners to Littledown Harriers, from Crewkerne Runners to Dorset Doddlers, Stamford Striders, Uckfield Runners and The Black Pear Runners from Worcester.
The spectators at the harbour, visitors to West Bay, friends and families of the runners, cheered the runners on when they got to the finish line near The Old Salt House. But despite the fierce competition, participators showed great fairness and camaraderie, looking out for fellow runners against whom they had just sprint-finished on the last metres.
Commenting on the event, Bridport Runners’ Chair Brian Shelley said: “With a record number of participants, such a strong field of competitors and an overall positive feedback of runners, our latest edition of the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run has proved that the race has established itself as a tough but attractive race for runners of all ages. We’re looking forward to next year’s event.”