Burnham Beeches Half-Marathon (Includes the BMAF National and SCVAC Championships)


 I am running BBHM on Sunday and it will be my first time over the course.  I am a little concerned about the term undulating as I have a knack of going off too hard and then paying for this later. It would be useful to learn from others familiar with the course what is a good pace i.e. which miles are "fast" and which miles are "slow". I don't want to push the first mile to hit my target pace and then find I have done a slow mile too fast.

I have plotted one lap of the course on www.walkjogrun.net (see here) and the elevation they give is as below so it looks like a few gentle uphills over the first 3.5 miles, then a big down to 4.5 and up again to 6.5. I am trying to do 6:30 minuate a mile, so is it fair to say I should expect to be a bit behind this pace for the early hills, make it up and more on the downhill and slide back to pace by half way? Or is this  profile misleading (after all it is only 100 feet total climb in 6 miles) and is it mainly flat with odd short and sharp hills?



  • Philip

    As it is my home course, I know from long experience that the ups and downs take their toll over the 2 laps. The worst 'up' is towards the end of each lap, at 6/12 miles. Although there is nothing hideous like in the Marlow Half, the many small undulations do not really allow you to setle to a steady pace. As your map shows you gradually climb until about 3 miles on the first lap.. From thereon to about 5.5 miles is the time to claw back some of the lost time. Beware the nasty but short hill after 5 miles  followed by another short downhill and then the haul up to the end of each lap. The steepest hill of all is the bank 200 yards after the start and shortly before the finish!!

     Hope this helps. Enjoy the run but do not expect a PB.

    Keith Scudamore

    Club Chairmann, BJ's

  • Keith

     Thanks for the notes. Is the bank you talk about within the school fields?

    I am hoping for a "PB": I am coming back to racing after a dozen or so years off so I won't be beating my old times. I did 1:28:25 at Reading at the start of the year after only running a maximum of 10 miles in training, a few weeks ago I did 12, 14 and 13 with a day rest between each so I hope to beat that time. My 5k time has come down from 19:20 to 18:30 so speed is gradually coming back. I was pitching for 1:25 but if the hills kick in I will be happy with just bettering it.

    I am more worried about the weather: talk of humidity and sunny intervals image but also light rain and cloudy skies image.


  • BANK-- yes in school grounds about 1 in 2! but very short. Good luck- my days of the low 70 minutes are now long past. Grateful to finish nowadays.
  • Keith

     I just looked you up on www.thepowerof10.info and you are no slouch and that is V60 time, heaven knows what you were like when younger. 

  • Phillip, the Bank is in the grounds, its a horrid little thing.... at the start, there is a bit of bottleneck and it is a Bank "up". On the way to the finish it is a bank "down", and it really hurts the aching limbs! Its not long at all, you are over it 3-5 secs or something like that.

    It may also be slippy if wet, but the Marshalls are usually v good and tell you ahead.

    The course is mostly under shade, I dont think that helps with humidity though.

    Its a lovely course, and a lovely race, and has FAB cake at the end of it. (Im a slowcoach plodder and have loads of respect for you Quickies!!)

    If you are new, can you note that it is quite a walk from the carpark to the start, its a 15 min walk or so.

  • Phillip, if my memory serves me right, there is very little flat running at all
  • Yes, pretty, but not a PB course.

    Swimming Pool after is GENIUS though image

  • I'm really hoping someone can come to my aid.  Completely disorganised as usual, I was intending to pre-register, then at the last minute thought it was too far to drive (over an hour and a half) so left it.  Now I've changed my mind (a female perogative......?!) but cannot find a phone number to check with anyone that I can definately enter on the day.  I've emailed 'the Chairman', but can't be certain that he/she will check their email before the race. Help!! I would be so grateful if someone out there can give me an answer this evening; hopefully a positive one!  I last ran this at least 6 - 8 years ago, and I reckon it's time I gave it another go.

    Incidentally, does anyone know if the entry point is before the fifteen minute walk to the start, or do I haveto take that into consideration too?

     Thank you. image

  • Mr KMr K ✭✭✭

    Hello Maggie,

    On the info I received it says that the late entry desk is open at 8.30am (subject to race limit). As for walk it says "Please note that our car parking us at Farnham Park Playing fields off the A355 (SL2 3BU). Allow 20 minutes to walk to the race HQ". It is quite a way but makes a good warm up.

    My advice is always get to race very early - time just disapears.

    Hope that helps. 

  • Thanks Mr K, your reply and an email from the organiser has now put me reasonably straight (not easy...) so hopefully, providing my alarm goes off in the middle of the night (before running sunday mornings were for lie-ins.  Oh, happy days......) I shall be there.  I hope the weather brightens up though, as I shall find it tough enough without being drenched as well.  Moan, moan, moan. Actually, I can be quite positive at times...

    Thanks again, and I hope you have a good one.image

  • Thanks for all the input and thanks also to the race organisers.

     It is all over now, I got 1:28: 08 so bettered Reading by 17 seconds for a masters PB.

    The worst was the heat and humidity, I was fine for a couple of miles then I started to feel it. At each drinks station I used a cup of water to cool me down by pouring it on my head and it got me a few miles on and then struggle again to the next station. My first half was on target for just over 1:25 but the second lap ws harder and I dropped the three minutes

    The BMAF championship certainly brought in some good runners, I was 90 out of 906, last year my time woudl have placed me 67 out of 953. It was really noticeable at the end when the wise old legs running at even pace came by me.

  • Weather seems same as last year. Good point about wise old legs - reminded me of the embankment on the FLM!!
  • Well done, Phillip, a fantastic time. I just completed 1 lap, but had elected to do so prior to the start of the race... I found the wetaher too humid, and Im a back runner anyway.

    But well done you... there were some v good runners coming in, behind you, so getting 1.28 was a great achievement x

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