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There had previously been a similar race in this area that had been organised for many years; the Highcliffe 5. This race started in Lymington Road and went to Walkford before returning to the start. But by 1998 the route was considered too dangerous for the race to continue.
The first Hoburne 5 race was organised in 2003 by Terry Byrne (Yeovil Harriers but a resident of Burton) with the technical know-how provided by Keith Mitchell (then of New Forest Runners). Terry knew the management at Hoburne Parks, who were keen to show their support in the local community and the planning for the first Hoburne 5 began.
Chris Potter (Christchurch Volunteer of the year 2013, UK Athletics Official of the year 2012) has from the beginning helped to ensure the race was organised in a way that made it not just a friendly race but one that also satisfied all the rules of the road running governing body of the day.
This team established Hoburne 5 as a popular race and a mainstay of The Running Tree Series, attracting runners from all over the country and of all standards. However, in 2013, the Running Tree Series collapsed, the Bournemouth Marathon was introduced on the same day as the Hoburne 5 and Terry and Keith decided tht someone else needed to take on the race in future.
Current Race Christchurch Runners have organised the Hoburne 5 since 2014. Our aim has been to continue the legacy of a race organised by runners, to be a friendly competition that supported ‘grass roots’ runners while channelling any profit to benefit the local community.
Our initial race saw 85 finishers, which has seen a gradual increase to 105 in 2015 and following an artificially boosted year we had 175 finishers in 2017. Omitted from that sequence was 2016, when we had 312 finishers as the event was restored to being a Dorset Road Race League Event and will be so in alternate years.
Course Records The Men’s course record 25:26 is held by Steve Way who won this event in 2012. (Steve Way was third Briton home at the 2014 London Marathon (2:16:27), the Commonwealth Games Marathon V40 record holder (2:15:16) and holds the 100km British best time of 6:19:19). Note that the 2003 result is discounted for record purposes after a short course problem.
The Women’s course record 27:24 is held by Andrea Woodvine of Aldershot and Farnham District who won this event in 2009 leaving all the men trailing in her wake. >
In 2017 we introduced a new course, which should be about the same difficuty, but we hope will be better for both runners and drivers as it includes a bit of Nea Meadow nature reserve, avoids some awkward road crossings and makes it easier to leave the Hoburne site.
The new course records set in 2017 are 27:43 by Karl Welch of Bournemouth AC and 34:40 by Melanie Langer of Poole Runners.
If you have any further information to add to this article please do get in touch – particularly if you have kept any photographs of the earlier races that you don’t mind sharing.