This was the inaugural Bedford 20 and was based in Priory Park Bedford.
It’s a mixed terrain course with around 70% on tarmac cycle path and the rest on gravel paths and some grass sections (more on this later) Myself Mark Morris and Premysl Dvorak attended to represent Werrington Joggers.
Parking was on a retail park about a 10 min walk from the start. When we arrived at the event village it became apparent that there was no security for the baggage area ! Understandable this didn’t go down very well, but after a few complaints the organisers very quickly changed the tent layout and allocated some marshals to process bags. Very well done in my opinion, I was impressed ! Unfortunately there was only 9 toilets on site for around 900 runners ..... you do the math !! I used a convenient natural toilet .... along with many many others !! Something that need addressing for next time I think.
The run started with a great atmosphere helped by the enthusiastic PA announcer ! We had a 10 second countdown and we where off... the course is a sort of elongated figure of 8, with a long straight between the two loops, it’s a two lap course. I’m usually not keen on two lap courses but the scenery and mixed terrain nature of this run really kept the boredom levels to a minimum.
The end of the run was a bit of a shock, my watch had me at almost 20 miles when I turned onto a large grass field with people running around the edge... so it was nearer 20 1/2 miles than 20 ! Never mind :-)
The marshalling was very good, with lots of enthusiasm. There maybe could have been a few more marshals on the ends of the bridges in the town part of the park. I saw one runner crossing a bridge that he shouldn’t have !
There where regular water stations with cups .... and jelly baby’s aplenty....
All in all a great picturesque, friendly run, that I would defiantly like to do again.
I hope I haven't sounded too critical, this is the first time for the race and it’s bound to have a few teething problems ..... if the baggage tent is anything to go by, I’m sure the organisers will try very hard to correct any issues before the next run.
The medal and tech T shirt are my favourites so far !!
One footnote .... if the weather had been very wet the week before the race, the grass sections may have been a problem ! Although it had been dry for a week, there where still some muddy patches to avoid .....
Anyway that’s another 20 miles (20 1/2) in the bag ....