About Alderton 5K Run
Alderton 5k Run is a Gloucestershire based fast, flat and super-friendly charity run. With 100% of the entry fees given to help the survival of Alderton Acorns Pre-school.
Alderton 5K Course
The Alderton 5K course is described as an out-and-back on picturesque voluntarily closed quiet roads from Alderton, past the hamlet of Great Washbourne, where it turns just before the A46 at Beckford.
Also that is fast, mostly flat, and ideal for clocking a good 5k time. In fact you may not even notice the descent on the way out but I can’t say the same for when you are heading back in!
Honestly though the route isn’t all that scenic. It is along one road (which you turn around and come back on yourself) and then a short finishing section on the playing field. Thus making it easier to know which trainers to wear!
Runners were instructed to move over to the right which was fine until a car did decide to come up and then we were all on the wrong side!
The Alderton 5K website explains how everyone is welcome, whether a complete beginner entering a first race, an occasional jogger or a more serious runner. That dogs, pushchairs, under 16s and escorted runners were welcome.
I felt that it was a good course for inclusivity. The course meant that children especially, everyone can be easily seen and not get lost. For myself I wanted our 14 year old to experience his first proper race (his previous ones have been a lot slower). As it was an out-and-back it meant that I could cheer him on as he went past me!
My Experience of Alderton 5K Jeffing
Why I decided to take Part
My original running group suggested we should attend the race as an excuse to get together. Finish times ranged from 16.03 to over 45 minutes – so knew I could do it. There were also age category awards so thought it would be good for our 14 year old. Lately he’s just been getting better and better at Parkrun, with his current PB standing at 21:31
Although it did not mention Jeffers it was open to everyone. The only problem I had was with the fact that I still hadn’t been able to get down to under 30 minutes. I knew it shouldn’t matter but I knew I would put pressure on myself. Teen even kept telling me to just straight run it – but I wasn’t even sure I could do that anymore!
The Race itself
The race itself was really well organised. We easily got our running numbers and went to the toilet. All prior information was well informed and there was nothing we needed to know.
The race briefing was ever so slightly late to allow for the toilet queue. Although a fast race it is more about taking part to help support the fund raising for Alderton Acorns. The briefing reminded us about how there would be children about and that their safety was priority.
The Alderton 5K Jeffing Decisions
Jeffing is a very definite run/walk technique, but I feel it is very much misunderstood. People think I am just being like a child and running off too quickly and needing to walk. At first I never had any troubles with anyone else but just recently some have really truly expressed their dislike for the method. It actually made me feel really anxious.
Previously races I had jeffed were long distance, so people expect some walking. A 5k felt like not so much.
Setting up my Alerts
As I have swapped to an Apple Watch I have been using the Interval Pros app so I know when to run and when to walk. Let’s say it isn’t quite as discreet as my Garmin.
First I had to decide on what sounds I was having for alerts, the length of warning before alerts and of course the ratio. 30:30 would have been ideal because I could just ignore it and switch between ratios.
However, I did want quite a distinct sound so that people around me knew what I was doing, but without really annoying people. This was particularly important as I wasn’t wearing a jeffing top but my club one. So I settled on a 90:30 ratio with 5 second warning of when they would change; and opting for a boxing bell alert for work and a referee whistle for recover.
Before the race it was really nice to catch up with other runners. Covid has meant that I haven’t seen some of these people for a really long time. But also a lot of the Parkrun regulars where we go to were there too!
Jeffing Alderton 5K the Experience
Then we were off. We walked down to the start but then we turn around and go back towards the way we had just walked. This meant I then had to walk through a lot of people to get nearer the back. With a 16 minute previous first finisher time I didn’t not want to start near the front! Although I did have hopes of an unlikely sub 30 time so did want to try as hard as I could.
Near the start it was quite difficult to jeff as people were running spread out across the road making it hard to overtake. In all honesty I am sure that they would have moved for me but I knew that I was going to be soon walking again and therefore keen not to annoy them. Waiting for a time I could go round and really get ahead before I went through. Turns out that then there was what felt like a little incline – or perhaps I had exhausted myself out already.
Yo-yoing with children around was really rather nice. There were some really incredibly ones in the race and I do think it really helped with that friendly feel. Not once did anyone be in any way negative towards my jeffing. At one point I think I heard someone saying about just having to run until the boxing bell dung as an incentive to keep them going – or I could have imagine that!
It was great to see the runners coming back the other way. Somehow finding the breath to shout well done. Seeing my 14 year old and being very proud. Then when it was my time to be on the back to encourage the runners I knew coming towards me.
After 3km my breathing got bad. This is probably where the incline is that I never realised was there. A man with his son praised me and I don’t do praise (although thank you to him kindness is much appreciated). My breathing got worse, to the point that a lady slowed right down to check that I was okay (very kind again, thank you if you see this) and I apologised to Bob. The latter of which told me it was fine and said something about how I had overtaken him about 5 times and that I would again. He was wrong about the last bit.
Nearing the End
As the end got closer there was one point where I split one 90 second run into a 30 run, 30 walk, 30 run, before returning back to the 90:30 ratio. A volunteer told me I was nearly there and to keep going. Soon I could see crowds, my husband and sons and the finishing field.
There was a group of ladies and I thought if I just get in front of them that I could run to the finish. Wrong. Right by the corner of the finish I just could not run. It wasn’t even my breathing. My legs felt broken. Apologising to the ladies behind, I slowed to a walk. Devastated thinking that I was going to have to hobble to the finish.
It really reminded me of Fission 20:20 where my legs just hurt so much. Just like that race though it wasn’t over. Four ladies had overtaken me and I had shuffled to the home stretch. A glance at my watch revealing that sub 30 was still for the taking! No idea how but with all that I had I got to that finish line. The three ladies together saw me coming and it sounded like they put a bit more effort in – but it was too late I was on one – and beat them by just two seconds.
Love the photo as you can see how funny it all was because it was just a fun run. But to me to get back to a sub 30 jeffing has meant the world to me. After slipping so far away from where I was it was beginning to think that I would never claw any of it back!
And My Teen
He did really well. Says that he didn’t realise that being first in his category was possible and that if he had gone faster he would have risked being sick. He missed out on a tub of celebrations by around 36 seconds. We are incredibly proud of him, but especially since he has literally only been doing Parkrun and has dropped regularly swimming.
Of course post-race was great as there was tea, cake and plenty of catching up. Thank you to Amy for the Nigel Lawson’s Perfect Every Time Lemon Drizzle Cake recipe that teen used to make some said cake.
Also £2,737 was raised for the playgroup too!
Additional Information about Alderton 5K
- Address: Alderton Playing Field, Alderton, GL20 8NL
- £10 per person, £5 Under 18’s – includes medal, water and finishing photo
- 2 toilets available at the Playing field
- No-questions asked refund policy – in the event that you cannot run or that the race must be cancelled/delayed
- Supported by Grandbar Snacks, Up and Running Cheltenham, and the community of Alderton
- Also available post-race massage for a donation; coffee & cake; plus family fun whilst the race is on of children’s activities and games by Alderton Acorns.