Bedford Park Elevation Chart

Doug Anderson 5k – Race Recap

Race Information:

  • Date: Wednesday 31st July 2019
  • Start Time: 7:30 pm
  • Entry: Via website, and usually has places available on the night.
  • Cost: £10 for affiliated members, £12 non-affiliated
  • Race Website:
  • Race Mementos: Medal, but no goody bag. But they do provide cakes at the end of the race.
  • Course: 5K – 2 and 1/2 laps of Bedford Park. The exact same course as Bedford Parkrun
  • Elevation: It has the smallest of inclines that you have to run three times. By the third time, it feels like a mountain! hehe
Bedford Park Elevation Chart
Bedford Park Elevation Chart
  • Other information: There is a limit of 500 people and most people are from the surrounding clubs. It can be congested at the start, and the timing is gun to chip, which means that you time can be out a little if you start towards the back.

My 5K Race:

This 5K race is part of my running club championship races, so I have run it twice before. It is also the exact same course as Bedford Parkrun, so I know the course well. Even knowing the course well, I was a little apprehensive, as I have been training hard this marathon cycle and I really wanted this to show in my race time.

5K distnace is hard! My biggest fear was going off too fast and then fading at the end. But I was also concerned that I would hold back too much at the start and then feel like I should have given more.

Running action shot.
Well, it looks like I enjoyed it!

When I thought about the race, I had thought about starting at 8:30 pace and then progressively getting quicker. Sounded easy in my head! When my first mile flashed up at 8:30, great I thought, exactly to plan. For me to run at this pace I have to really concentrate and all I kept thinking was to keep pushing. Trying to work hard on the inclines and relax on the decline.

My second mile was 8:28, which was not where I had hoped it would be, but I was working hard, so that was all that mattered. One of my club mates was just ahead of me, so my focus was to not let her pull away. I gained a little, but as we hit the 4k sign my legs felt like they had nothing left. Running up the incline for the last time felt like running through treacle. My legs were heavy and I just wanted to give up. Having my club mate ahead really kept me motivated. If she could push on, so could I!

I thought I was aiming for sub 26:34, as that’s what I THOUGHT my PB was. So, when I turned into the finishing straight and I saw the clock show 26:20 ish, I knew I had to just dig really deep and try to sprint.

Running action Shot
Not as smiley now! Obviously towards the end.

I stopped my watch as 26:30. I was relieved it was over, but also I a little disappointed as I really thought I could go to the lower 26 minutes. But it’s a PB I thought, so that’s good. Well, that was until I checked what my PB was to find that my actual PB is 26:29!!! I felt so deflated!

5K Running Action Shot
Head down and get to the finish!

After a good nights sleep and some wise words from the running community via Instagram, running that time on tired legs from my accumulations of miles from this training cycle is good.


  • Local race, with lots of great support and a huge turn out from my run club.
  • Cheap entry fee
  • Cake at the end.

Less Positive:

  • 5K hurts.
  • 5K is hard.
  • 5K makes you feel sick!
Doug Anderson 5K Medal
Doug Anderson Medal

If you have missed any of my weekly updates from this marathon cycle click here to check them out.

Thanks to Andy Brayford and Tracy Gibson for the photos.

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


Doug Anderson 5k – Race Recap

I’m not one for paying for a 5K race – why would you when you have a free weekly 5K in Parkrun, but this race is part of our club championship and although I know I will never win, it does mean that I get an entry into the London Marathon club ballot. With ballot places becoming harder to obtain, I think it is worth giving myself more chances to get to run the great marathon again one day!

5K’s are hard, made harder when your training hasn’t been that consistent. Annoyingly, I seem to be saying this a lot lately. I seem to respect and train for marathons, but have a poor work ethic towards other races!

Date: Wednesday 26th July 2018

Time: 7:30pm

Weather: Hot, hot and some more hot!

Course: The race follows the same route as the Bedford Parkrun. It’s funny as it is pretty flat, but the tiny incline it does have seems SO much worse when part of a 5K, and because the race is two and a half laps, you run the tiny incline THREE times!

My Race: I had no idea of what shape I was in. I have been doing a few of my runs on my treadmill, so I wasn’t too sure how this would transfer to outside. I know that I always go off too fast, so I kind of thought that I would try run a low 9:XX minute/mile for the first mile, then try to dip just under 9 for the second mile and then give it everything for the last mile, hoping that to be around the 8:30 pace.

I completed a mile warm up and I felt ok, it was SO hot and I was sweating lots after just the mile. The start of the race was very crowded and lots of people were running past me, which made me feel like I was going slow. I didn’t mind this. I felt very comfortable, and just kept plodding along. I did look at my watch, and it was registering 8:30 pace, so I tried to slow down. As I approached the tiny incline, I worked fairly hard to get it over and done with. I clocked the first mile; 8:38 – Great, just what I didn’t want to do. I still didn’t feel too bad, but I knew I’d set off too fast. I kept pushing and mile 2 was 8:54, I knew at this point that I was definitely heading for a positive split, hehe.

During the final mile, I had people pass me and I just tried to cling on to them. I picked up water and nearly drown myself as I threw the cup of water towards my mouth! My final mile was my slowest at 9:04. I executed my pace plan, but just the wrong way round!!!

It was great being part of an event with so many of my club mates. The support around the course from club supporters also kept you working hard.

View this post on Instagram

So tonight we had our club champs at the #douganderson5k . This photo was taken in the finishing straight, and to be honest it’s pretty awful. I am carrying far too much weight, I look heavy legged and my time was nothing special (27:45) . But this is where I’m at. I can’t say I have been particularly focussed on my training and nutrition (not sure I’ve ever been sorted with nutrition) so I either take some action or have to accept photos like this! . Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud that my body allows me to run and is strong, but I think it’s time to take a little more care. I can’t expect it to keep performing if I don’t look after it!! . I work well on a plan, but other than a 5 mile race on Sunday I don’t have anything else booked in for this year (5 events already booked for next year 🙈) so I think it’s time to book something for the summer and start working on a plan to do better than just turn up!! . What’s everyone got booked for the Autumn? I’m not@even sure what distance to target! Maybe I should target another 5k, and work to get a PB at this distance!???! . . . #runner #thisgirlcan #5k #race #runnersofinstagram #ukrunchat #ukrunners #instarunners #womensrunningcommunity #runstagram #teambalancise #runclub #inneedofaplan #trainhard #focus

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Lessons Learned: I NEED a plan. I am good when I have a plan. I need to target a race in the autumn and train for it. I’m not sure what distance or race yet, but I’m going to do some research today. My initial thought is maybe to target a 5K PB???


  • Local race, well organised with familiar route for me.
  • Not too expensive
  • 5 k’s don’t take up much time!
  • Without too much specific time, I was only around 1 minute off my PB.
  • I tried out my Hydratem8 Insulated bottle with cold For Goodness Shake Chocolate milkshake, and even in all the heat, it was still icy cold at the end of the race!


  • 5K are HARD work
  • It was HOT, HOT, HOT!
  • It has made me more aware of how much hard work I have ahead of me. I need to be stronger, lighter and fitter!

Thanks to Andrew Brayford for the photos 🙂

Does anyone actually enjoy running 5K races? (Ok, Philip I know you do!) My next race is the Wellingborough 5 Mile this Sunday. What does everyone else have coming up? Any suggestions far a target autumn race? Please leave suggestions below.