In short: Flat and cheerful In full: This was my first marathon. I would get there earlier next time as it was super-busy at registration. Some parts were not scenic but the rest, running next to the sea and off road, were beautiful. The organisation was impeccable. There were plenty of water stations where there was a choice of water, energy drinks or gels and loads of 'pick-me-ups' including an endless supply of jelly beans. It was really well marshalled and plenty of help at hand for those who got in a pickle. I would do it again. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Unique and special event In full: This was the second year of the Sikhs in the City Ultra. The ultra takes place at the same time as the marathon and half, with a 10k starting later. This means lots of different people of varying abilities. It's a 2k road lap, which sounds awful. It's not. There is something very special about this race. It's very relaxed and friendly, an ideal first ultra for someone who prefers the roads. The addition of portaloos this year was an improvement this year, reducing time spent off the course. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Very poor aid station... In full: Very poor aid station...ran out of stuff and only water left. Considering the price you pay and only 1 aid station I expect the aid station not to run out of food etc!! . Very very disappointed. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Lovely walk In full: Walker: I opted to walk this years race with a friend as he had an ongoing knee injury and therefore could not run. We started out around an hour or so before the runners started on what was to be a most enjoyable sunday morning walk, weather good just a mild (mist) drizzle here and there. As we set of earlier than the runners, marshals were not in place around the course but this did not matter as the route was well sign posted and directions clear. The route was enjoyable and maybe the organisers might want to look at including this event FOR walkers aswell? We did not get passed by the front runners until the last couple of K's as we kept a steady pace throughout. Big thank you to organisers. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Just The Best In full: This is my second year for the Scrooge. Last year was so fantastic, i persuaded several other club members to take part, including my daughter, to take part in her first Muddy event! It simply does not disappoint! From the organisation to the post run pint, everything is superb! A must if you are in the area. No, travel to Cornwall, just to take part! Please! You will love it!! Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Nice end of year race but too many runners for the course In full: I've done this for all five years the event has been on and its now a victim of its own success as the course simply has too many runners on it. I reckon I was held up for maybe 15 minutes at a bunch of bottle necks as too many runners on single track caused hold ups time and time again... probably fine if you're running 3:00 or 6:00 but for mid pack runners its basically just a training run as impossible to gain any kind of rhythm and the set up for 1500 runners the same as it was in 2010 for 300 odd. Aid stations too busy despite the best efforts of the very friendly and encouraging marshalls. The redeeming feature is the fact you get to see everyone on the out and back course but really not one of my favourite events at all I am afraid... Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Even better this year than last and last year was brilliant. In full: Absolutely love this event, well organised, friendly and a lot of fun. Plus you get a beer and mince pie at the end. Magic. Full marks to the organisers - Mud Crew Events. Date of review: December 21, 2014
In short: Nice little half marathon and surprisingly picturesque In full: I wasn’t sure quite what to expect from this race having read mixed reviews from the previous year, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was obviously a cold day (what do you expect from December) and there was ice on the course in places, but nothing you wouldn’t encounter on your average winter run. For those of you who are interested, I’ve broken down the key thoughts from the race below. For those of you who aren’t – overall the race was good and I’d do it again.
Parking I turned up an hour before race start and managed to park in one of the public carparks right by the race HQ. I don’t know Milton Keynes that well and I found the carpark advice and map provided by the organisers to be a little pointless, as it listed the carparks by name on the advice (which ones to avoid etc) and by number on the map and there was no way of marrying the two up. Shortly after parking the typical race rush chaos ensued and the carpark filled up in no time, so I’d advise getting there a bit early to avoid a space hunt.
The Start The start was kind of broken into pens, but there were so many runners in the sub 1:40 category that it was a bit of a squeeze. Especially as the start/finish line is footpath width (you could get three abreast at a squeeze passing through). That said, the race was radio chipped so even if it took you an age to get started it didn’t really matter too much, as your time was recorded when you crossed the start line sensors.
There was a couple of burger vans and a coffee truck at the start so friends and family can grab something to eat. I’d suggest any people offering support wrap up warm as there is nowhere to shelter from the cold.
The Course The course is a mix of footpaths, towpaths and little bits of road. Nothing even approaching trails. It was quite picturesque following the canal and passing through a cute little village or two. There was thankfully very little of the bland concrete Milton Keynes you see when you drive to the shopping centre – the opposite in fact. It was very green. For those of you wanting to set a PB – I’d say this isn’t the best course for you. The route has a number of twisting turns and at points narrows so that it’s quite tricky to pass people. You also go over the canal a few times and through underpasses which mean the odd hump backed bridge and underpass ramp – which, although aren’t hills by any stretch of the imagination, they do throw your pace off as people bunch up. There aren’t really any hills to worry about except a long slope at mile 9.5 which according to my RunKeeper meant a climb of 100ft over a ¼ mile or so. I saw a few people blow up at this point and start walking so if you’re used to training on flat runs, treadmills etc I’d say it might be an annoying hill, but for everyone else – you’ll be fine. Word of warning – often the paths are edged with grass verges and these were very slippy. There’s also some really annoying yellow posts in the middle of the path after the start that are the perfect height to run into without seeing them. There were small mile markers every mileish (the 2 mile marker seemed off and so all my mile alerts came to early after that one). My GPS measured the course at 13.46 miles, but this also includes me zigzagging a lot to pass people, so I think it was pretty accurate.
Support The course was very well marshalled and lots of people were out to cheer you on, which was lovely. There were a few watering and fuel station along the route – the first water station at mile 3 (I think – I didn’t use it) had water bottles and there were cups at mile 6 and 11. I carry my own gels and water so I can’t say too much about these, but they seemed well staffed and well stocked. At the start there was a man on a mic geeing the crowd up and giving out useful info. He was a nice addition and organised everyone well and delayed the start to allow the few toilet stragglers to get to the line.
Toilets There was a men’s urinal and about 8-10 portaloos. There was no queue when I used the toilets and the portaloos were what you expect really. No complaints there. Towards the start of the race there was a queue for the toilets, but with the number of people in attendance and spectators it’s to be expected really.
Post Race Crossing the finishing line you were handed a medal and technical t-shirt. The medal is great. A snowflake and bauble design in a heavy solid medal. I like it a lot. The t-shirt is the normal technical running t-shirt you get at these races, so no complaints there. There were bottles of water at the finish and beetroot juice (wasn’t to my tastes, but then everyone to their own). The marshals at the finish were very supportive as was the crowd.
Things That Could Be Improved The mile markers were A4 sized and stuck on trees, posts etc and pretty easy to miss. I’d like to see them much larger. There are some annoying yellow posts just after the start in the middle of the path and it would be good to put a sign/marshal here to warn people as you don’t see them until your on them – and in my case I was boxed in and had to stop to go round them. It would be good to have to gun time clock at the finish time – would help find yourself in the pictures and be good for spectators.
In full: 1st time at this event and loved it. Hats off to the organisers for all their hard work before and during the race. Starting to the Benny Hill music was hilarious and couldn't help but make you smile. Great mixed route of on and off road with some delightful hills thrown in. Loved the stadium finish with every runner getting a mention. Nice finishers t-shirt............but i do like a medal too!! Will definitely be back for this one next year, thank you Stockport Date of review: December 19, 2014
In short: Crowed In full: It has organisational problems with crowed corridor and toilets. Also it gets cluttered on the track when people are going both ways up the track. Date of review: December 16, 2014
In short: An annual must do event In full: Excellent organisation with some of the best marshalls I have encountered ! All were supportive and cheerful despite the cold and wind. Date of review: December 16, 2014