In short: A well organised event and great for runner of all abilities In full: This was my 4th time running the bedford harriers half. The first time i ran it in 2005 (which was my first half marathon), the long incline caught me out and i hit the wall at 8 miles and limped home for the remaining distance (thankfully most of the remaining distance was downhill). I managed a time around 1:40 which i was pretty pleased with for a beginner. I have tried to run this race every year since to guage my progress before the christmas break. Whilst there are certainly flatter half marathons, I somehow manage PB's here. This year i was aiming for a sub 90min and got round in 1:28:21. Top tips for people for running this for the first time: 1. Dont start off too quick. Make sure you keep some in the tank so that you can blitz the downhill sections towards the end (thats my approach to it anyway) 2. Although it feels cold when standing on the start line, dont over-do it with the layers. Every year i seem to end up running in less and less. You soon warm up.
Its a great event and I intend to carry on doing every year. Credit to the organisers and the marshalls. Date of review: December 15, 2010
In short: Another briliant half. In full: It would be wrong to consider any criticism for a race where a passing marshal gave me a lift from Bedford to the start. The course was as lovely as ever with a stunning sunrise to greet us early arrivals. The indoors gathering area meant we stayed warm until the absolute last minute and nice to have showers and tea at the end. Date of review: December 15, 2010
In short: Well done Bedford Harriers - another superb half marathon In full: So well organised and the support from marshalls is great - this is my favourite half marathon. The hills aren't as bad as some make out, although the bit at the end caught me out, again. This was the second time I've run this one and got PBs both times. Date of review: December 14, 2010
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