Race Recap

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: http://www.bedfordharriers.co.uk/bedford_park_5k.asp
  • 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.


An average runner that has found a passion for running and raising money/awareness for MNDA. I have completed London, New York, and Chicago marathons. I am tempted to go for the Six-Star finishers medal, running all the World Marathon Majors, but that's a dream in progress.

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