Here at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel, we’re limbering up for a summer of fitness. It’s Lycra and rubber all the way for us, with running, swimming and triathlon events galore gracing our shores.
Bournemouth, it has to be said, is becoming something of a Mecca for fit Brits. We thought it might be useful to provide a rundown of the main endurance sporting events on offer this summer. Some have been running for decades, others are relatively new. You may decide you want to take part – all in a good cause, of course – or just come along to admire the sheer vim and vigour on show in the sport.
However you feel like flexing your muscles this summer, why not combine it with a stay at the Green House Hotel and a meal at Bournemouth’s most sustainable and ethically minded 2 AA-rosette restaurant, Arbor? After dining on top-quality, locally-sourced produce creatively combined, you’ll find a soak in one of our reclaimed Victorian rolltop baths is just the thing to ease your limbs before tumbling into a super-king, super-comfortable Hypnos bed.
Running since 1993, this testing event starts right next to Bournemouth pier. The sea swim starts on our award-winning blue flag beach before heading out of Bournemouth on a fast bike course towards the market town of Ringwood, on the edge of The New Forest. The final run course takes in the seafront promenade towards Boscombe Pier with views of the Isle of Wight on the way out and The Purbecks on the way back.
The biggest charity swim in Europe heads back to Bournemouth for its 25th year. Starting from Bournemouth Pier, this challenging 1.4 mile swim takes you along the coastline to Boscombe Pier. About 1,900 people took part last year raising more than £100,000 for the British Heart Foundation. Still a few places left!
Known for the stunning views from its bike course, this event was first held way back in 1986. The transition area overlooks Swanage Bay with amazing views across the Purbecks towards Old Harry Rocks, the eastern gateway to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. A mix of steady climbs with some of the steepest descents in Dorset make for a thrilling event whether to take part in or to spectate. This year Swanage hosts the 2015 Triathlon England South West Championships (Standard Distance).
In only its second year, this is a sprint distance event held on the Eastern side of The New Forest National Park. The run is a multi-terrain course around the expansive grounds of the brilliantly-named Gang Warily fitness and recreation centre. The scenic road bike course heads to the fringes of historic Beaulieu and then down towards Lepe Beach with the best views across the Solent to the Isle of Wight.
Still time to put your name down before entries close on 8 July! Starting 10am at Kings Park Drive, this is a good place to cut your marathon teeth with a fairly flat topography, cooling sea breezes and stunning views between Christchurch and Poole Harbour. End on a high with a reunion area, charity village, catering and cheering crowd at the finish area around Bournemouth Pier and Lower Gardens. There’s a half marathon too following the same route!
Need more inspiration? This is what two of the participants from last year’s Pier to Pier Swim had to say about it:
“This is the third year running that I’ve taken part in this swim and I will definitely be returning next year! The organisation of the event is always superb and it’s so much fun to take part in a challenge like this with so many other people – feeling not only as if I am doing something good for such a great charity but also getting fitter at the same time.”
“I didn’t know if I could swim 1.4 miles in a wetsuit in the sea and struggled for the first 10 minutes. After that I got into my stride and had a fantastic time. What a buzz! I had such a sense of satisfaction – supporting charity and getting fitter…. what could be better.”