Distance – 5 x 5K = 25k, 15.5miles
Location – Box End Water Park, Bedford
Organiser – Ultra 5K
Timing – Results Base
Course Profile – Undulating with a some flat segments, few hills, but good fun!
Result – 1st Lady! 1 hour 58 mins 51 seconds
(Here you can watch our real life experience of the day & a brief race review at the end)
Overall, this was a really enjoyable event/day! It was really well organised and a at lovely location. You could either pick up your race numbers the day prior or early morning on the day. We opted for the latter and picked them up first thing Sunday morning.
I was apprehensive before arriving as I have never taken part in anything like this before. I was not nervous about the distance, although this would have been the furthest I would have ran in one day since the London Marathon in April. But unsure on how the ‘rest/recovery period’ between each lap would play out.
Each lap started on the hour every hour i.e. 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. There was an option of 3 x 5K if 5 laps was too tough, so we had new runners join us on the 11am lap, as well as people sharing the mileage and running in relay teams.
The atmosphere was a lot fun. A great turn out of both local and non-local runners, a DJ playing some old school cheesy music and lots of friendly faces and smiles. I always love how these types of events attract a nice crowd of people. The running community is so welcoming and this was an awesome opportunity to meet new people and do something productive with a Sunday! (I must admit the night prior, as I stayed in to prepare for the race, it felt like everyone I knew – even my parents – had plans that evening. Such a social recluse, but in hindsight, it was well worth it;)).
Nutrition packs, tea/coffee, cakes and sports massages were provided for the whole day which I certainly took advantage of. Rice Krispie Cakes, Bananas and Electrolytes got me through and also a Sports Massage after lap 2 for the calves really helped. Thanks to all of the volunteers as they offered their services free of charge and the masseuse tent always had a BIG queue.
The hardest part of the event was getting the nutrition right. Trying to stay hydrated enough (without needing the loo!) and fuelling in between (so that you didn’t want to throw it back up half way round the next lap).
Lap 1 – 23:54
(Getting used to the course, finding my stride…)
Lap2 – 24:51
(Took it comfortable to start and then pushed on once I felt I had a rhythm)
Lap 3 – 22:49
(Went for it, from the word GO!)
Lap 4 – 23:43
(Again, comfortable pace and then kicked off at 2.5km in)
Lap 5 – 23:34
(Last lap, just see what you can do was the aim!)
Overall Time – 1 hour 58 mins 11 seconds.
At the start of the race, Lucinda, Ana, Sadie and I were all joking about race tactics and how we were going to pace ourselves through each lap.
It’s funny how putting a race number on can change everything! I didn’t know what to expect but after finishing Lap 1 and coming first lady, it changed my whole strategy. I was there to race others, not just myself. I class myself as a ‘social runner’ so this then was a whole new territory to me! I didn’t take it too seriously for the ‘win’ but tried to enjoy it for the experience. Between each lap I was texting my boyfriend, James, and as a very experienced runner he was giving me coaching tips. He’s also just written my 1/2 marathon training plan for Bedford Half, so from now on, he will be referred to as Coach James.
If you watch the video you’ll see more of how we got on between the laps, and our race tactics!
In summary, a really fun but challenging event. I would highly recommend it to someone who is looking to try something different.
Hopefully see lots of you there next year too…