Bedford Half – Race Recap

Race Information:

  • Date: Sunday 1st September 2019
  • Start Time: 9:00 am
  • Entry: Via website and I think they still had places quite close to the race.
  • Cost: £29
  • Race Website: https://www.bedfordrunfest.co.uk
  • Race Mementos: Lovely medal, finishers tech t-shirt, goody bag (Crisps, sweets, banana) free alcohol-free beer.
  • Course: Mostly flat, a few undulations over bridges. Loops around lakes. A mixture of terrain, with paths, grass, gravel paths and through trees.
Starts/Finishes at Priory Park, Bedford
  • Elevation: Mostly flat
  • Other information: They started in waves, but runners could choose their own wave, so they were overcrowded. I started in wave 2, which was 1:46 – 1:59 predicted time and within the first mile I saw people stop to walk. Some of the paths were narrow, making it hard to overtake. Especially, on the second lap as the lead runners were overtaking on the right, so you had to keep left. The official car parks were about a 10 minute walk from the start.

My 5K Race:

The week prior to this race, I had been away on holiday and my running routine went out the window. I ran twice, both around 2.5 miles! Silly really, but I felt like I had forgotten how to run!

I had missed my midweek tempo run, so had planned to do that session as part of this race. Whilst driving to the race, I planned to start with 4 easy miles and drop the pace to tempo pace for the last 9. Once I saw the chaos at the starting waves, this plan went out the window. I started nearer the front and thought I would see how it went. After going through mile 1 with a 9:03 mile, I decided that my tempo would take place up to 10 miles. I tried not to panic when miles flashed up beginning with an 8, thinking I could walk at mile 10 if I needed too. This wasn’t a goal race! Around mile 7, the course was less shaded and we had to run up and over the bridge. I felt my pace drop a little, but I just kept thinking about getting to 10 miles.

When 10 miles clicked over, I started to walk. I looked at my watch and tried to calculate what it would take to finish sub 2. I then heard someone say, only a 29-minute park run and you can do it. Park runs are hard, but this made me think, why not give it a go. So, that was it, head down and gritting my teeth, I decided to try to achieve a sub 2 half marathon.

I was actually feeling ok, right up until 12.5 miles. It was running on uneven grass and my legs were fading. I really really really didn’t want to get so close and miss out, so I kept pushing. I knew it was going to be VERY close. As I crossed the line I stopped my watch on 1:59:59.

I really wanted to be excited, but I just had a feeling that the official time would be different so I waited. And waited, and waited. Everyone else was getting text messages with times, but nothing came through. As soon as I got home, I checked the results and just as I though 2:00:01!!!! I can’t be disappointed as that is still a PB, but 2 PESKY seconds! Why did I have to walk? hehe

What a beauty!

Positives:

  • Local race, in lovely surroundings.
  • Very relaxed vibe at start and end, with a real festival vibe about it.
  • GOrgeous medal.

Less Positive:

  • Loops.
  • I am not a fan of running on grass.
  • Missing out on a sub 2 by TWO seconds!

What’s your favourite distance to race? Let me know in the comments below.

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