Bentley Friday 5M Review by Scotty Brenton
It’s not too often I enter a 5m race, but after losing my mojo for running, mainly due to the Paris Marathon being such a disaster, I decided to keep to the short faster races. I had made a promise to get off my backside during June, and committed to a training plan to get back on the streets. After three weeks, it was working, and I was starting to fire on all cylinders once more. A part of my plan was to find a 5m race. Not easy. However, a quick Google, and I find the Great Bentley Friday 5m race for a reasonable £12. As the title suggests, it was on a Friday so it meant my weekend was still mine. Perfect.
The race starts (from what I have been told) at the same point as the Great Bentley Half Marathon, which is very popular so well known. It is chip-timed, and well supported for a Friday race with around 400 competitors. The course is very flat, and fast. I managed to get a time of 35:25 (fast for me) and could have gone quicker if I had paced it correctly. Fast runners out there would smash it up and those who raced did indeed smash it up – winning time was a very impressive 25 minutes – so that may give you an ideal of the speed of the course.
Plenty of running club shirts on display, and it’s not often I find myself as a minority with the Flyers orange, but plenty of orange none the less – mainly from our Jaffa friends north of the Essex border. You get the feel its a club run as I did not recall seeing non club runners there, nearly all the runners sporting their tribal colours in large groups. The field was typically mixed ability which made it very friendly and welcoming to all.
It is well marshaled, but not fully closed roads, so some caution is needed, but you feel perfectly safe. There is a kids race too – which is a closed road race!
Easy to get to, but give yourself plenty of time as the A12 on a Friday night can be very busy. Plenty of parking and a short walk to the Village Hall to collect your race numbers which takes no more than a few minutes. Also a nice medal for all finishers to make it worthwhile too.
A great race, and with the pedigree of organizing a popular Half Marathon each year, the race feels slick and well drilled as you would expect from Great Bentley Running Club.