I love Bedgebury Pinetum – it’s an absolutely beautiful place, and it’s quite local to me. Running events often take place there, but I’ve never gotten around to doing one.
I finally found a date that fitted in with my schedule – Wednesday 4th August. Bedgebury was holding the last of it’s ‘Summer Series’ runs in the evening, with the choice of a 10K (two laps of a route) or 5K (one lap!). I opted to do the 10K, while my mum and sister both signed up for the 5K. I paid just £19.99 (Unaffiliated), which I thought was very reasonable.
Parking at Bedgebury is usually around £8-10 a time, however thankfully it was free for runners. So we parked up and headed to the event area (this wasn’t easy to find, there weren’t any signs and we got lost at first!). Running numbers weren’t posted out, they were collected on the day, so we simply said our names at the event registration desk, and were handed numbers with safety pins.
With Coronavirus restrictions remaining in place, this event adopted organiser Nice Work’s Covid-19 race protocols, including an ‘open’ start line, which means that runners could turn up and start running whenever they wanted.
A marshall gave some instructions over a tannoy, welcoming runners, and then all 10K and 5K runners set off together. The course was very hilly – it seemed to be all uphill, apart from the last 1K which was downhill! It was all lumpy-bumpy, and if I’d had cross-country spike shoes, I would have worn them! Still, it was enjoyable, and very scenic.
I was wearing a Nike vest over a USA Pro sports bra, USA Pro leggings, Nike Free Run 5 trainers, and a cheap eBay phone-holder on my arm, which also held a Torq energy gel – my favourite! (This came in handy for a little boost around the 7K mark.) There was water just after half-way, as the 10K runners went round to do a second lap. The weather was warm and sticky, but I felt good, and thought that I was running OK.
The finish line was a bit quiet and thin on the ground, but my sister was waiting for me after her 5K run, and did some loud cheering! The medal was a very cheap bargain-bin one (not bespoke) which was disappointing, but we had a nice time, and may do it again next year 🙂