Bedford Harriers Half-Marathon

Hi This will be my last half of 2008 - running Stevenage and GU Canal in Oct/Nov. Can anyone share the delights ahead having not done this one before?????


  • And this will be my first half!

    Race HQ is my old school. My old PE teachers would be very surprised indeed to see me about to head out for a 13 mile run.

  • This is usually our club !/2 Marathon Championship so have done it a few times.  Quite a nice race; undulating with a fast descent at about 11 miles.  There is a short section along a fairly busy main road otherwise quite rural.  The car parks are at least 15  minutes walk from race HQ and can get quite boggy if wet (as it was last year) making getting out at the end of the event rather challenging unless you have a 4WD.  Changing, bag drop and toilets can be quite busy so make sure you arrive in good time...

    Best of luck!

  • My memory from last year is of bloody great hills, rain, puddles, cold and more rain.  And lots of mud in the car park making exiting the field interesting.  It is great that there is the school for you to change in, makes hanging about so much easier when you can do it in the warm.  I have not entered yet but am pretty sure I will do so.

    If this works, there should be a link to a map with an elevation (click on the button next to “map”).
  • Oh dear. Am scared now. My memories of Bedford from when I was young is that it was flat flat flat. Didn't know I'd signed up for hills! Eek. 

  • Be afraid, be very afraid!   image

    Seriously, it probably isn't as bad as I made out, I would not be going back again if it was, but it certainly isn't flat.

  • It's not as hilly as Marlow.I will be running it and then going to work at 2:00
  • Hi Straitjkt.

    No one has mentioned the brass band playing Christmas carols at the start.

    Have done this a couple of times, a few smallish hills with a nasty one right at the end.

  • Just entered this one, roll on xmas carols for all.
  • Hi Nick. A few steady climbs, nothing too steep.

    The brass band playing Christmas Carols. There, I've mentioned it.

  • Just entered image Just a case of the 200+ mile round trip on the day to worry about
  • Gosh Dave A. Always amazes me how far people are prepared to travel for races. My parents live in Bedford so it's easy for me to combine with a visit home - would never occur to me to travel so far otherwise.
  • It looks like a good race, hopefully has PB potential, and it's a nice day out if nothing elseimage
  • Plus, from a logistics point of view, setting off at 06:30 on a Sunday morning, it's only a 2 hour drive away max
  • Anyone able to give a comparison to Keyworth? I'm from Notts but I fancied a change this year so have signed up for Bedford.
  • Thanks all for the overview of Bedford. I am looking forward to it now - good luck with your training and any other races you are participating in. I am running the Ricky Road Race - a good 9 miler tomorrow. Hope it doesn't rain too  much.


  • yes I'm convinced too! perfect race prep in the lead upto FLM... image thanks guys
  • It's quite a nice run and not a bad mornings entertainment. It's even fab in the rain and wind.

    But if you fancy a shower after, go home and use your own. They also do a 20 mile in Marchish for aspiring FLMers. Nice course, Still haven't figured what came out of the showers, but it wasn't warm water or clear.

  • Marmite - I think it's much flatter than the Turkey Trot though it was a couple of years ago that I did Bedford I remember it as mostly flat, unlike the memories of last year ay Keyworth. 
    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • hi, did it last year and got a PB. The weather was atrocious (cold, windy, hail, rain etc). whole course is on country lanes and it's basically down hill from mile 9. good luck!  
  • It will be my second half, my first being Silverstone earlier this year!  Sounds as if it will be very different to the track!  Good Luck everyone!


  • Im heading up there from London, is the start near to the train station? Cannot wait for this, preparing for the Paris marathon in April and want to beat my PB of 1:29. Sounds like it will be close with a few miles downhill at the end!
  • Paul - the start is not near the train station but in a village called Wootton about 3 or 4 miles out.
  • Thanks - will have to grab a cab!

  • Hi,

    There seems to be a variety of opinions about the hilliness of the course.  Has it changed alot over the last few years or something?

    Could anyone let me know the mile location(s) of the biggest / steepest hills?  and also the longest distance of any gradual inclines?   What is the toughest section of the course? 

    I'd like to get an idea of when to use up my nutritional hill combat.


  • Robejo - been the same course for a while. It changed about 4 years back as it used to be the other side of bedford at Great Barford but the bypass ran across the course. They could have gone back but I think the other facilities eg.. changing / showers / hall/ parking are much better at Wootton.

     I can't remember if there is a profile on the Bedford Harriers website. Would have to think where the hills are. However I would say that personally I don't think it is THAT hilly. I don't like huills but always run a reasonable time here.

    It is certainly downhill from about 9.5 miles until the last half mile where it does go up an incline for a while before going down again for the last 200M.

     So hill nutrition about 4 miles I would say to get your through to 9.

  • thanks very much for that.  Seems like not too much to worry about then
  • Is this suitable for a frist 1/2 marathon?

    Iam running 20-25 miles a week. I wasplanning to wait until next year before having a go,but want to get on with it.

    Run a couple of 10K is the last month, running 9-10 miles each weekend

  • Andrew. I am no expert but I would suggest that this seems to be as good a half marathon as ever!! Go for it and enter............

    I began in 2002 with 5kms then went onto 10kms and thought that I could never manage a half marathon. I have been entering and achieving half marathons for the last 3 years. I aim to get round and my best time on the hilliest of courses has been 2.5 hours.

     If you can run 10miles easily in one go I would say you are ready for a half marathon - you find the stamina to pull 3 miles more.

    If you don't fancy this one enter Silverstone - great organisation, superb atmosphere. 3 times round but different areas of the site so you don't get bored and although open and exposed, not hilly. Prepare for the elements, 3 years ago there was hail the size of satsumas - I am not exagerating!!!! Last year was too warm but you can never really please a runner.....................

  • Thanks, you have talked me into it!

     I can manage 10 miles on a fairly flat  route around 1 hour 40 mins, so maybe it will be ok. Just worried about the hills!


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