In short: Beautiful course. Disappointing organisation. In full: A beautiful but challenging course. This is actually a review for 2016, but I was unable to tick that option. I am male and finished in 7th place. The results listed me as 1st lady. I have emailed the organisers twice to ask them to fix this, but have heard nothing after 3 days. All in all, an incredibly scenic race, let down by poor after care, which I know is not the end of the world, but it is annoying. Date of review: May 5, 2016
I didn't see the point of having to travel to collect the race packs. The expo was tiny and pointless, talks about marathon running aren't much use 2 days before you actual do it.
The final instructions had a list of what to bring in the kit bag on the day. The kit bags were a joke, so small. A week later I saw the size of the London marathon bags, much better.
Preston Park - toilet queues as far as the eye can see. Most people want to go before a long race, it's part of the routine. They seemed to have only a third of what was needed.
Water stations too close to energy drink stations. I asked if it was water being given out as I ran, two times when the reply was yes I was given energy drink (never try anything new on race day etc..).
After the finish line, with a very average medal, there was a water stop. Also need one after the baggage pickup as you won't want to walk back that far for another bottle (or remember to get a couple of bottles). The finish area village was a farce. Crowds of people just wanting to get back towards the pier and meet with friends, not queuing to get through the crush (we've just run for hours).
The course itself was good, a nice hill for a bit of a challenge but not too steep, well organised in stark contrast to the above points. Towards the power station it wasn't very nice as the sun came out to heat us up and it's not very interesting. Some entertainment there would be good as hitting the wall could use a distraction. The volunteers (with the exception of the 2 people that told me it was water) were great and music around the rest of the course a nice touch. Thank you volunteers and marshalls.
If they sort out the kit bag size, get rid of the expo/pointless travel for an A4 envelope race pack, drastically increase the number of toilets in Preston Park and look at tweaks as mentioned then this would have been outstanding. If you can put up with the above then I'd still recommend it as a first marathon but look elsewhere otherwise. I'll be back if they sort out the problems in 2017. Date of review: May 5, 2016
In short: Very well organised event In full: Although the Milton Keynes Marathon route has up and down hills in most parts, it is still a great event. People can't compare it with the London Marathon because London is flat all the way. London is probably the flattest marathon in the world !! If I want to get a good time, I just need to do more hill work training beforehand. My marathon PB is in Milton Keynes in 2014 because in that year I did a lot of hill work training and I was in good form. This year, due to my posterior cruciate ligament injury and flu, I missed nearly a month of training between February and March. Therefore, I didn't do well in Milton Keynes. I still enjoyed very much the atmosphere. It is a very well organised event and every runner was being well looked after starting from baggage storage, water and Gatorade stations every 3 miles, gel stations in half way mark and then every other miles, fantastic marshalling, lovely local spectators, first aid support from St John’s Ambulance all the way to post race medals, goodie bags and T-shirts. Milton Keynes is only an hour drive from London. I will definitely come back next year :-) Date of review: May 5, 2016
In short: First time here, be happy to return In full: Top organisation - seemed to find everything before I even looked for it and no queues; very well supported run - mile 15 onwards there was something (drinks, sponges, relay change over) every mile so no getting bored and plenty to eat and drink; friendly throughout and nice laid back feel to it; nice countryside throughout with limited traffic; good finish with music, beer and hog roast; in short you can tell that this is one organised by a running club who understand what you'd want on the day! Date of review: May 5, 2016
In short: My first marathon was well organised In full: Their organisational plan works, even if the bib printers cannot quite get the job right. Unfortunately, arriving by car was not as smooth as hoped but I leapt out of my chauffeur driven limo in the traffic jam to walk to the stadium and met my lady there later on. At the stadium, baggage, changing etc was fine. The starting pens are okay and though things are uncertain, I was not unduly distressed. Both marshalls and support were positively cheering and pleasing to the spirit. I live somewhere with hills so I think the course is flat. An underpass is not a hill. There are no challenging climbs in my opinion. This, and its urban setting, limit the impact of the scenery. I wish to return when I find an alternative to sickly sweet gels and get in training not interrupted by flu. That is my pathetic excuse for paralysis by calf cramp just by the concrete cows after mile 19. Call it unfinished business. Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: First 10K - great atmosphere, organisation, route all off road In full: Loved the 10k last year , entered again this year. Definitely beginner friendly with excellent family atmosphere. Have complete several other 10k's and 3 half marathons since last time round yet this is the event for which I most want to improve my time. Definitely recommend the Wheaty 10k Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: A few small changes would make a good event great In full: I echo Muttley and a few others. Some people chose a race because of a medal so disappointing not to get one. Having said that, a towel was a novel idea and will be used so thank you for ingenuity. 2 small comments that may improve things for next year. 1) The start is a little congested, yet there is chip timing. Why not follow what they do at other events and stagger the start? For example, you could do the first 100, wait 30 seconds, release the next 100 and so on.
2) Signage - Coming along from Showcase direction and up to the big roundabout were no signs. Even though I know the FW building there were no parking signs to suggest a right turn into the building. There were however signs visible on the opposite side of the road suggesting you need to carry on towards J11. When in Shinfield, there were no obvious signs for number collection, instead the natural path was to follow people to the village hall where registrations were taking place. Again, a small point but something really easy to remedy.
Just to finish on a positive, ample loos and ALL marshals were good particularly the chap on the final big roundabout who was great. Good job! Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Undulating!! I don't think so. In full: Organisation and support was great. The run was also scenic in parts. Running through housing estates was a bit strange. I was advised to make hills part of my training programme. Even training on some of the Welsh valley roads did not prepare me for the unrelentless up and down course. Second half of the race was very tough and there were inclines right til the end. Missed my pb but do have the sense of accomplishment!! Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Very well organised, very sociable & enjoyable marathon In full: Not every person's cup of tea, however a great way to get in a fast marathon. Support from the other runners was second to none. A great mental challenge. Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Are you calling that flat?! In full: Sign up for my first marathon and chose MK because it was "flatter, more scenic, no big hill at mile 24 and 60% less underpasses". Well, what a lie... Check your strava for the altimetry. A painful hilly course. Happy to finish the race but overall it was a waste of time and money. Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Mud, Styles, fields and scenery In full: A tough race with a fast downhill start, which you have to make up for when you come back up it at the end. Lots of nice scenery to enjoy if your trying to ignore the pain.
A few styles, gates and and narrow tracks to negotiate, make this a great race, but not PB potential Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: First race for a year - loved it In full: Great organisation, friendly competitors and crowds, loved the route through the woods and around fields, in the main the marshalls were good, encouraging, helpful and smiley, however, one or two defo looked like they'd rather be sat in front of the tv, even a small well done or a clap helps. Loved that the Race Director was at the end to greet and congratulate every runner as they crossed the line though. Overall a great race - thanks B&B Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: A challenging course, fantastic support & awesome stadium finish In full: So, this was my 4th year running MK Marathon, its my home town and the organisation does us proud.Course changes from last year, made for me personally a better marathon, less city centre & on to the smaller roads/redways quicker, a lot more scenic. It is a challenging course for sure not flat and there are twists and turns but to me personally that adds to the race, who wants a continous flat road for miles. You do come off MK knowing you have run a marathon, its hard work - but the stadium finish makes for a special reward! Once again fantastic organisation, great marshals & crew - super stadium start with clockwork parking, baggage, more loos than you can ever need - on time start, with pacers to suit all abilities and of course the good people of MK out in mass on course to encourage & support, with the occasional jelly bean and oranges so welcome on a hot day! Great water stops and a now welcome feature of MK the writing on the wall as it were, funny messages of support & encouragement written on the redways to make you smile & help you along the way. If you are looking for a challenging marathon, with super organisation - memorable finish, great medal (changes each year) lovely shirt too this year - then in my opinion MK is the place to be, great atmosphere too. See you next year Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Lovely route through the woods and on the road, finishing on the green in Arbrook Lane. In full: This was my first 10k and I really enjoyed it. It was well sign posted and I was supported by marshals along the route. And we finished on the very pretty green in Arbrook Lane. Date of review: May 4, 2016
In short: Friendly but clumsy, poorly organised on day, time keepers/marshals not prepared In full: Was watching and supporting our friends running on the day, actually looking after their children (5 & 7) as mum/dad participated in 5k raising money for whizz kids. I am a novice runner but injured at the moment. Good intentions all round by rotary club. Friendly and welcoming no question. Good venue, parking ok and mix level runners, good first 5K. But clumsy organisation on the day, not enough staff to handle registration In the morning, could not register children for 1.5k as que long and race started without waiting for all kids registration to be completed. Little harsh I thought by organisers. Children very upset and dissapointed not to run. Also DISSAPOINTING is that marshals sent then first 4 lead runners the wrong way just before finish of 5K, In fact no Marshall stationed at last section to direct runners/leaders correctly. Time keepers also disorganised, booking runners in incorrectlyIy and wrongly positioning finishers. Reccomend u take stop watch and time ur own run if time important to u, Saw too very disappointed children miss the 1.5k due to poor registration management and then they saw their dad was actually positioned incorrectly by messy time keepers/marshals, Guess u can understand frustration as kids very dissapointed/confused with the whole day despite good charity intentions and hard working volunteers by rotary. Mix day all round. Date of review: May 4, 2016