In short: MK needs a major course rethink In full: For some reason I gave this event the benefit of the doubt after doing the Marathon last year I returned to run the half this year. This event needs a major course rethink.
It all started with the traffic chaos approaching the stadium. Not sure what was going on but traffic wasn’t moving, a problem that we didn’t have last year. This caused us (4 in a car so we did our bit) to be late arriving in the stadium. The scramble for the final toilet stop was made even more difficult as a result. Football stadiums have plenty of urinals but don’t really have enough ‘traps’ for a marathon. A few portaloo’s outside would have helped.
The start was chaotic. No markers were displayed for pace. Slower runners just jumped in wherever they wanted. This was very frustrating.
Now the course: Terrible. The half was nowhere near as fast as was advertised. It was just a way to squeeze as much money out of this event as possible. Even the section around the lake at 11 miles (which should have been so good) was bad. The path around this section was in real poor condition and in parts a hazard.
The stadium finish was fantastic and it was nice sitting around in the sun waiting for friends to finish the marathon.
So, in summary: The stadium is fantastic (apart from a lack of ‘traps’), it’s just that both courses need a major rethink. Surely, closed flat roads are possible in MK.
Oh, I’d also prefer the race on the Sunday. Means everyone can have a drink after the race and not have to worry about work the next day.
I’ll never say never but as it stands I won’t be coming back.
In short: Let down by the second half of the course In full: Well organised race on a nice day. Some issues at the start with slow runners at the front, but it cleared up within a mile on wide roads, so not too big a problem.
However, although I got a PB, I'm not convinced with the second part of the course: Too many twists and turns, sharp ups and downs, on narrowing footpaths, for my liking. I found it very hard to find any sort of rythm. In my opinion, this needs to be looked at to qualify as a city marathon: hills are OK, but not constant changes of gradient, direction and road surface. Date of review: May 6, 2014
In short: Not as flat as I was expecting! In full: Excellent organisation and good support on route, but fast and offering PB potential? I'm not quite sure about this!
There weren't any real hills for the first 10 miles, but after this the underpasses kicked in and it was hard to find any rhythm constantly going up and down these. There were also a couple of quite steep hills in the latter stages that I wasn't expecting that knocked the wind out of me.
The route is scenic enough and the stadium finish was nice too. Date of review: May 6, 2014
In short: Expensive to sign up for. Run on the cheap and for profit. In full: Baggage area great. Toilets poor. The start area is chaotic, and lack of pace group area's add's to this. First 16 miles are pretty straight forward, and not to difficult to avoid getting caught up in the crowd. Plenty of shade if needed to avoid the hot sun. MK residents cheered all the way. The course would benefit from using the first 13 miles as a 2 lap course instead. The redways are hideous, relentless steep climbs that you'd only expect on a hilly trail run. You turn a corner and then theres another one and another and another. Marketed as a flat PB course with 300FT elevation, which is closer to 700FT. NEVER AGAIN Date of review: May 6, 2014
In short: Tough course! Too many underpasses! In full: First off I have to say the organisation was superb and the support from the people of MK was brilliant. The course was very tough. My legs took a battering from the constant short sharp inclines for the (what felt like) hundreds of underpasses! The course was a little bit boring. The best part was going through a park at about mile 16 because of the amazing support from the crowd gathered. Date of review: May 6, 2014
In short: PB course?...you must be joking! In full: Having failed in Boston two weeks ago to run a London sub 3:40 GFA time, I chose to enter Milton Keynes because it is advertised as a PB course. This is very misleading and I have to totally agree with the other comments. I was on course until the last 5 miles when the constant undulations took their toll and I failed by 6 minutes. I cannot fault all the volunteers along the route the people of MK who came out to give much needed vocal support. Like previous comments the start was very chaotic with many slow runners (mainly charity runners), spread out at the front. It doesn't' work very well have a half marathon at the same time as a marathon where people have often trained for months beforehand. Two separate start times are required. Paying over £40, I would have expected to have a tee-shirt included as well as a medal. I have to admit that the isotonic drinks and gels were positive. In hindsight I wish I had chosen a different marathon to try for my specific time. I was also confused with the route...it was a case of deja vue for much of the race. I have tried to be constructive in my comments as I am aware of how much work goes into organising a large running event, but feel my comments are justified. Date of review: May 5, 2014
In short: Lots of ups and downs but overall worth a try In full: The MK marathon is billed as a flat course. Flat it isn't. What the profile doesn't show is the 20+ short sharp inclines and decents caused by going under all those famous roundabouts. They really break up your rhythm. However the course is more scenic than you would expect and there's a good level of crowd support. The stadium finish is a nice touch. One gripe. This year they added a half marathon and it was near gridlock getting to the stadium. More traffic management need next year. Also having paid for "VIP parking" was rather annoyed on finally getting there to be told it was full. After 15 minutes of stress we finally got a place but it's not the sort of stress you need just before a race. Date of review: May 5, 2014
In short: Well organised, great Marshall's but not flat In full: Let's say the heat today did not lead to a PB for me. I had entered hoping as worst case scenario for 3.59 with a real hope of 3.45. The race started well with half runners and full runners starting together. This is not a problem other than many runners who could not do a great time starting at the front or near to and left a lot of dodging and weaving. The other thing is that the pace makers, great idea had blue balloons to say who they were but their pace was on their shirt so difficult to find the pace one wanted. The first 10 miles is very much on closed roads with brilliant and enthusiastic Marshall's. Then the two parts separate. I was pleased with my time up to 12 miles and ahead of the time I was hoping for. Unfortunate land not the fault of the organisers is that we had the hottest day of the year and the heat got to me. My time from 12 onwards went down hill. This is also an event advertised as flat - this was not flat with some very long hills. It is important here to use the downhills to your advantage. The finish is in Stadium MK, a great ending. Spectators were very supportive all the way round and the off road aspect is very scenic, though don't ask me where have been in Milton Keynes today! Overall well organised, great Marshall's, fantastic spectators and a scenic route. Too hot for me but a nice medal after running around Stadium MK. Date of review: May 5, 2014
In short: Tough course- more inclines than i care to remember- In full: i kept up with the 3hr 15 pacer for nearly 17 miles but then the inclines.... wow... soooo many.... one of my worse times in the end :( hard work Date of review: May 5, 2014