In short: Made the best of a bad situation In full: Luckily I enjoy running in the rain so the weather wasn't to much of bother once I got going and warmed up. Spectators and marshals were amazing in the horrid conditions! Having run in Milton Keynes before I knew the course wasn't completely flat, however I think this needed to be made more aware in the description. Water stations were awesome but one thing I did notice was the lack of toilets on route. Overall I really enjoyed it and ran a brilliant time! The only thing that almost spoiled the day for me was when I finished I had to go around and ask about 10 different race organisers/helpers where the meeting points were so I could find my dad. Not a single one knew what i was going on about and most were quite rude and told me to get out the way. Luckily I stumbled across them eventually! With a little sunshine this race could be wonderful! I'll maybe do it again! Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Good but could have been great In full: OK the weather was poor but...Ive been to football at that stadium with 15000 people and parking is less of an issue than with 3000 runners. Baggage lorries? Why use them when you have a stadium to store bags in. In London with 40,000 runners they move your bag 26m and have it ready for you when you finish. In MK you queue for 20 mins and they cant find it. Could have used the stadium so much better, everyone was crowded around the one entrance that was open, in such atrocious conditions why not open more doors? Goody bag poor. Support amazing, marshals the best. Decent first attempt but lessons to be learned. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Good first try despite the weather In full: Parked in the nearby industrial area without any problems. Didn't use baggage store so can't comment on this. The course was obviously wet but organisers did well to keep the event from being cancelled. Didn't run as quick as I'd hoped but course was very flat with real PB potential. Overall I thought the event went well all things considered. With the bad weather more of the stadium could have been available for shelter for runners and spectators alike. I would also like to see more portaloos at the start and a better goody bag but I would certainly consider it again. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: awful weather ruined a well planned event In full: i enjoyed the twists and turns, short hills and never knowing what was around the next corner.My biggest fear about doing my first marathon was long boring sections and this was not the case for MK, the route kept my mind occupied and helped me to keep my pace in check. I dint experience any of the issues around parking and baggage as i managed to park about 3/4 mile away in a quiet residential area and left my change of clothes in the car. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Decent 1st effort but victim of the weather In full: Decent 1st effort at organising a big city (or town?) marathon. If the day had better weather there would have been few problems. Biggest problems were no space blankets at the finish and the long wait to reclaim your bag (and dry clothes). The marshals, water stops and spectators were nothing short of superb. Hope this event goes from strength to strength as they could make it special. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Could have been so much better... In full: I'm not going to repeat all of the clear areas for improvement, but I think the organisers did well in artrocious conditions. However a strategic decision should have been made to bring the baggage inside because frankly the conditions for runners standing around in the rain and wind and waiting up to 20 minutes to get their bags was nothing short of dangerous. So much more could have been made of the finish, the race was long and uncomfortably twisty and undulating, the goody bag was a disgrace and the congestion in the stadium was not acceptable. That said the crowds were great and so were the water stations - but please leave the tops on! Such a shame about the weather - kept may people away and it seems that virtually all of the bands and entertainment cancelled. I also felt that the course was a bit tedious and 'samey'. However there is a good marathon to be had in Milton Keynes and I'm sure next year will be spot on. I might even come back. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Valued First Attempt, if they learn lessons for next year then expect this Marathon to grow In full: Mostly all said, so won't list again. I have read many but not all reviews and there is little that I disagree strongly with, while some things are more important than others, if the organisers take a step back and try and take the positive from all and act to address they have the feedback here to create an excellent event. A "luckier" event might take many years of good weather to get all these areas of feedback!
Lots of positive if taken. Next year is key to judging the quality of the event. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Can only get better..... In full: The organisation definately needs some work, but as this was the first attempt at a fairly sizeable marathon there were always going to be some development areas. Personally, I enjoyed the atrocious weather as I've always loved running in the rain, but that's just me. Weather is not something that Race Directors can control as far as I'm aware, so there should be no critisim on that front. One big issue I did have though was the complete abscence of the shuttle buses which were supposed to return us to the Furzon Lake car park. I waited along with many others for the best part of an hour at the bus stop and then finally gave up and walked the 1.8 miles back to the car. At no point did any buses pass the ever increasing group of people also walking back, so I am still left wondering where they went? So overall, there were some problems, but good to have another large event on the annual marathon calendar. Good medal too, which is, of course, by far the most important thing! Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: A few glitches to be ironed out, but a good first-time effort on the part of the organisers In full: Things the organisers can't change: * The weather! * Whether or not you run a good time! (both of which seem to have coloured people's perceptions of the race) * The scenery, which, to be fair, would obviously have looked a lot nicer in gleaming sunshine.
Things the organisers could consider changing: * Don't describe the course as being flat - there were lots of dispiriting ups and downs through underpasses, across bridges, etc (which are fine if you're expecting them but a rather nasty shock if you're not). * Make it clear that people didn't HAVE to go into the stadium before the start - I didn't go in, and was directed to loos with no queues just a short distance away in the area outside the stadium (though clearly other people cottoned on as the queues built up after that). * Refine the parking arrangements. Having grudgingly paid extra (on top of a fairly expensive race entry fee) for guaranteed parking, no-one at the car park even looked at my booking confirmation! So, presuambly, some cars might have been admitted even if they had't paid. * Consider including the t-shirt in the race entry fee. Again, it just feels like a bit of an insult to be asked to pay for "extras" on top of a £35 entry fee. * Arrange a bit of fanfare at the finish! Perhaps there was no gantry because it would have been at risk in the wind, but I didn't see the finish until I drew level with the clock, which was finally a relief! * Suggest to runners that, with the style of timing chip provided, you safety pin it rather than rely on it sticking to itself in the rain! Edging around a puddle in about the 3rd mile I looked down to see where I was stepping and noticed that my chip had come unstuck, though it was still lying under my laces. Luckily I noticed, and stopped to secure it with a pin, but I'd have been gutted if it had come off and I hadn't got an official time!
Overall I have no major complaints (other than about the weather!!) and hope that with several tweaks (and better weather next year!!) this could be a race that grows and improves. Date of review: May 2, 2012
In short: Not as advertised In full: I chose this marathon to be my first one on the basis that it was advertised as a fast flat course. I live in a very flat city, so did my training with very little hill work. The subways, and bridges didn't make for a flat course. They broke up any rythm and pacing which made it very difficult for a 1st timer to settle into the race. (My excuse anyway) My garmin recorded over 600ft of climb! I accept this isn't alot for more experienced runners, I had deliberately trained for only about 100ft of climb, this caught me out. Ignoring the rain (the organisers couldn't help that), the course wasn't the most exciting around the redways, but on a nice day I think the lakes and canal might have been a bit more appealing (maybe?). The supporters were great, but I felt the finish line was a bit anti climatic due to the way that it was done. I don't know what I was expecting but I wasn't even sure I had finished to start with. I didn't have any issue with the baggage reclaim, I hadn't used them. I did have issue though of the man (spectator) that pushed me over inside the stadium as I was trying to find my kit bag (that my wife was carrying), because I was in his way and not walking quick enough. All in all, I finished my first marathon in a reasonable time (4:16:04), and will do another, but probably not MK for a little while. Date of review: May 2, 2012