More than 130 runners in Bridport Jurassic Coast Run 2019: “Challenging course, great atmosphere, well organised!”

Dena Whitehorn of New Forst Runners, still smiling (picture by Clive Whaley)

Under perfect weather conditions, yesterday’s Bridport Jurassic Coast Run attracted 131 runners in the two races – among them many familiar faces (and winners) but also quite a few newcomers from far and wide. Overall 75 runners participated in the 10k race and another 56 in the half-marathon. Among them were many from the local area and neighbouring running clubs (such as Axe Valley Runners, Honiton Running Club, New Forest Runners and Poole AC), but also runners coming all the way from London, Birmingham area – and even a couple travelling to the Jurassic Coast from Sweden. The race, which is in its seventh year now, had been jointly organised by Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary Club.  

Runners going up Thorncombe Beacon, the second highest hill on the South Coast (picture by Clive Whaley)

Winner in the 10k was Ryan Obrien from Reading AC in a time of 51 minutes and 51 seconds. Fastest female runner over that distance was Juliet Morrice in 1 hour, 3 min. and 59 sec. Quickest male veteran runner (over 60 years) was Nigel Gates (Westbury Harriers) in  57 min.; he had previously won the 10k in 2016 and 2015. Madeleine Lomas from Charnwood AC was the fastest female veteran over 10k in 1:15:47, repeating her victories from 2018 and 2016. You can find all preliminary results of the 10k race here.

The half-marathon race saw Rob Collier of Axe Valley Runners dominating with a winning time of 01:45:27 – more than 10 minutes before the second placed runner, Philip Snarey. Fastest woman on the course was Rebecca Carven in 1:57:13, who was only pushed from third place overall with a sprint finish by Swedish participant Erik Mullers (FK Herkules). Kevin Lomas of Charnwood AC, who had won the 10k veteran competition last year, not only stepped up this year by competing in the half-marathon for the first time but also won his age category as fastest male veteran in 2:11:30. Fastest female veteran runner was, once more, Eleanor Wood of Axe Valley Runners in 2:14:26. See all preliminary half-marathon results here.

“It’s a very challenging fell race!”: An exhausted runner in his second loop of the half-marathon (picture: Clive Whaley)

“It’s not hard to understand why the race is so popular among other running clubs”, says Bridport Runners’ Chair Ben Renshaw, “as it is not only a beautiful course but also a very challenging fell race.” Both races had been, once more, classified as fell races by The Fell Runners Association (license number 2019-6112).

The tough 10k(ish) course and the even tougher half-marathon (two loops of the 10k) along the beautiful Jurassic Coast led runners all the way up from West Bay to the second highest hill on the South Coast, Thorncombe Beacon, down to Seatown and back.

Runners praised both the smooth organisation and the beautiful course afterwards: “Great event, well organised, super supportive marshals and helpful admin on arrival. It was challenging, but that’s what I wanted!”, wrote one participant on Bridport Runners’ Facebook page. “Definitely challenging course! Plenty of marshals who were friendly and supportive. Great atmosphere and it was so great to be cheered in by spectators”, commented another one. Members of local community groups, Bridport Runners and Brit Valley Rotary Club were pleased to hear that as they had put in many hours of voluntary work before, on and after race day.