In short: Perfect Pre-Xmas Challenge In full: I've done this once before, a few years back when I was returning from injury. I was badly prepared and didn't enjoy it. I thought it was too hilly.
I was better prepared this time around and didn't really notice any hills at all. Undulating yes, but hills, no. Funny how you have completely different perceptions !
I managed a PB. The last few downhill miles really helped me to get there.
Excellent marshalling, great bus transfer with no queues getting to the start or back to the car park. Food and drinks available before and after for very reasonable prices. Great momento too. Seamless organisation throughout and a joy to take part in it.
In short: Bloomin Brilliant In full: Second time I've done this race and I smashed my target! Perfect sunny weather, lots of friendly marshalls and supporters. Putting the coaches on to ship us all there and back is a great idea and our driver was really friendly. Its a lovely course, and hilly at times but can't fault it at all. The momento bag at the end was a nice idea cus am running out of space for medals. Would recommend totally. Date of review: December 10, 2013
In short: Efficient organisation and a great end of year event In full: Having already taken part in the Bedford Half Marathon three times before, I was confident that the slick organisation and friendly marshalls and other volunteers would make this a great race.
The bus shuttle to the start line from the free car park did not require any wait. Collecting timing chip and dropping baggage for secure storage was done with in a couple of minutes.
Plenty of toilets and gents urinals set up - in addition to those in the schools sports centre changing rooms.
Before the event - cup of tea (50p!) and a banana (30p!). No queue, but I did notice the queue for the food was longer after the race.
Start was on time at 10:00 and plenty of marshalls and a clear PA to ensure that all went to plan.
A crisp sunny day made the undulating course along quiet country lanes all the more enjoyable. There is one stretch along a main road, but the traffic did seem to be considerate and kept a safe distance away (although of course it just takes one reckless car driver to change that).
Plenty of drinks stations. Water from cups. I am sure that I could have had another cup if I had needed more.
Last few miles of the route is largely downhill and makes for faster miles. Final 800 metres on a slight incline back to the school.
Last year there was a perfectly usable rucksack, this year a kit bag. Happy with this as I already have a few running shirts! Date of review: December 8, 2013
In short: MANY ISSUES TO SORT OUT In full: I'll start of by saying that I pb'd here + got under 1:45 for the first time. However,this race has several issues which need to be sorted out. 1. whilst most of the marshalls were fantastic, we were let down on several occasions with regard to absolutely no control of traffic which in my opinion bordered on dangerous. 2. water in cups is bad enough(how is it St Neots give you bottles), but please put more than 50 mls in them. 3. didn't appear to be any food (or goodybag) afterwards-only overpriced snacks. I would have preferred the above issues to be sorted out + have no sailors bag! I am an unaffiliated runner but fully understand how St Neots Half sells out so quickly, whilst Bedford doesn't. All of this is a big shame as there are so many lovely people that go into organizing this race + it is a good course. Date of review: December 8, 2013
In short: Fresh conditions on a great course, though still under-organised In full: I forgot that last year I said I wouldn't do this again. I did it again. Solid course and great marshalling. The school is too small to cope with such large numbers so there were queues for everything. Again, the memento is a bit bobbins and there was no banana or equivalent for finishers. On the upside, I managed not to write my car off and treated myself to a KFC at South Mimms. Date of review: December 27, 2012
In short: A good race-Will do it again-But wish i did,nt live so far away! In full: I enjoyed this race, The buses and parking worked well, The organisation and marshalling was good and the pre-race facilities excellent and the ability to number swap on the day if you cannot make the race and arrive with an original entrants bib gets a big Thumbs-Up! from me. The only thing that really let,s this race down for me is that fact that living in London makes it a longish day and also the time of year means travelling can be an issue. (I booked this race a couple of years ago, when we had a lot of snowfall, And although the race went ahead i did not fancy driving up the M1 to get to the race in the treacherous driving conditions) Although the less than £20 entry fee is,nt too much too lose if the weathers bad. I did,nt find the main road section dangerous at all as drivers slowed down, In fact it was safer than other parts of the race, Where i had a couple of cars come a bit too close, But having done plenty of open road races you get used to it and there,s nothing the organisers can do to prevent idiotic drivers!-The only 2 negatives (And the first is,nt really a negative!) (Well 3 if you count the fact i could not find the Olympic torch photo opportunity-But that just have been me not looking!) is that the race was very "Clubby" bordering on elitey as i would say around 95 per cent were wearing club vests. This was also the first half marathon for a new member of my running club and i did wonder if they felt just a little bit intimidated by the amount of club runners present. The only other negative i can find with this race is that it does not seem to qualify as a RunBritain ranked race so does not count towards your runbritain handicap which is quite surprising given that the race is organised by Bedford Harriers, Finally i,m not sure if the other member of my running club would rather have had a medal this being her first half, But you new before signing up before the race what the race momento was, And i love the rucksack which is probably worth the best part of half the entry fee alone!-A great race and i will be back next year-Weather permitting!-RECCOMENDED! Date of review: December 21, 2012
In short: Chilly but fast and scenic In full: Very well organised. Didn't use the buses as was able to park reasonably close by. Not many spectators but it was cold. Ended up with a faster time than I expected so pretty fast course. Only bad point was having to queue up for water at the end. Shame the t-shirt was replaced with a rucksack as could have done with it. Date of review: December 16, 2012
In short: Windy run in the country In full: Pros: Scenic and 'playful' with the hills. Nice crowd and course. Well organised, no issues over parking and the buses worked well. Not sure how I PBed on this course though... Cons: I've got more bags than a bag person. Would have preferred a medal to go with the collection. Date of review: December 13, 2012