In short: A great half an definite for the diary next year In full: This is the second time I have run this race. Ran it in 2008 but missed last year. I came back with a mission and would have almost achieved this had I not twisted my ankle at just 3 miles. Great support from everyone around when it happened and managed to get back on track quickly by running it off. The hills are testing but having done Marlow which is very steep I would say these are challenging to maintain the pace and not such a killer that you want to give up. The 10 mile drop is a godsend at that part of the race and leaves you with a real sense of kicking on and finishing strong. If like me you got caught out on the last 400m the first time I did this it doesn't seem so bad next time. 2008 posted my half PB of 1.33 and this time carrying a bit of an injury kept this done to just 2 mins over that at 1.35. This is very well organised, with an offsite parking venue with free buses to and from teh event. This was much better than I expected and the organisers should be very proud of this all went. There is changing and showers afterwards and a good all round area to meet and greet and recover. The marshalls were just brilliant and very supportive, as were the drink stations and just in the right places. This year saw a Rugby shirt as your prize, which is well made and will last ages with a sewn motif. My Sweatshirt the first time around is still going strong, washes well and one I just love wearing. I think the shirt will take over from here, as I really like it.
Well done organisers a job well done. See you next year Date of review: December 14, 2010
In short: Great pre-Xmas event - amazing organisation - testing route In full: In my head, this race was a see-where-I-am-at-the-end-of-the-year test. The answer is a little behind where I want to be. This was my worst ever HM time, but I'm not too disheartened as I found the course quite tough.
The climb around miles 6-7 was longer than I could have imagined (not too steep, just long) and that did it for me. After that the wheels came off !
There were millins of marshalls all doing a great job, some braving lunatic Chrismtas traffic too. The off-sire parking and bus to the start worked well, chip distribution was smooth - the option to collect the Rugby Shirt memento BEFORE the race was also good idea. Plenty of toilets, lots of seating beforehand too. I was starving at the end and the bacon rolls and hot dogs looked great but the queue was massive so I skipped those.
Overall, orgaisation was superb, not a big crowd to cheer you on - but this is December ! I'll be back next year to beat that nasty hill.
In short: Well done Bedford Harriers - a brilliantly organised race. In full: Very nearly a PW for me but still really enjoyed it, and the organisation was excellent. The marshalls were great and really spurred me on when I was struggling. Date of review: December 14, 2010
In full: My 5th year doing this great race, well organised and lovely shirt as a momento but me and a few clubmates noticed it was .2 of a mile long this year and every mile marker was out!! Come on guys!!! Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Fantastic knocked 9 mins off PB In full: Despite suffering illness all week, I managed not only to start but complete and knock 9mins off PB for 2nd only 1/2 marathon. Toilet queue not too bad. Rugby shirt nice. Could have done with a goody bag or some food. Weather perfect - even overheated and had to take migraine tablet. Shame supporters not offering jelly babies like they did in sleaford. However marshalls very supportive and friendly. Special thanks to bikers who were encouraging us to "dig deep and push hard until you throw up" as we went up hill to cranfield. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: One of my favourite races of the year! In full: It's amazing that a self confessed hill hater like me enjoys this race so much but I do! It's scenic with a fantastic atmosphere and is exceptionally well organised, one of my favourites! Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Give 'em an award Runners's World In full: Thanks very much Bedford Harriers. Still my favourite 1/2 marthon in 30 years of road running. As always organisation was exceptional and what a friendly bunch of people you all are from the car parkers to the marshals to the people giving out food,shirts and timing chips. Like I say above - Runners World should give you an award for excellence in race organisation. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Enjoyable if a little congested at the start In full: I enjoyed this race - the scenery and organisation were good although the start was too busy and my first mile was very slow. Almost broke my ankle on a stray rock in the first mile but can't really blame Bedford for that! They ran out of XS and S sized rugby shirts which was annoying as lots of people who ordered a S ended up with M or L (not ideal for smaller girls!) but have to say it is a nice shirt and far better than tshirts for this time of year :-) I would definitely do it again as long as it doesn't get any bigger/busier. The course was very pleasant and second half was easier than the first although I didn't find any part of that hilly. It was a bit too cold to have many spectators out cheering us on which of course always makes a difference to atmosphere but all in all a nice race...now I feel deserving of my christmas pud. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: Like an Escher picture. Its a loop course, you end up where you began, having only gone uphill. In full: Okay there is one steep downwards section at about 9 miles, but apart from that it feels almost all uphill, which is very odd. Weather was perfect for me - I like it cold. The course was well marshalled and beautiful, but due to its rural setting, it still doesn't and in fact can't compete with Hastings in terms of support - where the whole town comes out for a HM - including old people who are wheeled out and bang away on saucepans etc. Rugby top is great - although I still like to get a medal to be honest. But a minor minor point. All in all a great race. I will be back. I hope that the 50mph limit on the M1 is gone by next years race. Date of review: December 13, 2010