In short: One of the best organised events I've been to and out of the 5 marathons I've done (including London and Edinburgh), the best so far! Hopefully this event will take off in the coming years as the organisers gear everything to the runner. In full: This was a memorable event and perfect for all types of runner, including those running their first marathon. The level of support was first class, so lucky to have the base at MK Dons stadium. The volunteers were superb and the drinks stations were many with sports drinks and gels too. The support in the stadium and particularly at 16 miles near the lake rivalled anything a tired runner could ask for. The city is surprisingly green and so the scenery was mostly pleasant. Although the course was largely flat there were a lot of small undulations over bridges and through underpasses. Overall, I'd definitely run it again! Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Loved the stadium finish In full: My 2nd marathon ever and I loved this race - excellent organisation from start to finish, great crowds (am sure the glorious sunshine encouraged many out to cheer us on), and a decent route (not the most scenic but some lovely parts). Ample drinks stations and I loved the stadium finish. Hope to be there next year. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: well organised with a great stadium finish In full: parking for this event was easy.parked up in an industrial estate 5 mins walk from the stadium.organisation at the stadium was excellent with well laid out baggage drop areas.only complaint about the start was the congestion in the starting area.the race was well marshalled and after a loop round the city centre we ran through plenty of scenic parks and woods.whilst there were no serious hills I was surprised by the amount of undulations in the second half of the race.drink stations were frequent enough (just)given the heat.support from everyone on the way round was phenomenal and definetly gave us a much needed lift in the latter stages when I was really struggling.thanks to the marshalls as well who were encouraging and one even gave me his personal water when I was desperate between drinks stations.The stadium finish was great and the medal was good.shame the t shirt was only in large though.i would do this race again and recommend to others including first timers. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: Great support In full: I really appreciated all the support along the route. Don't know if most marathons are like that as it was my first one but it definitely kept my buoyed up. That was my favourite part of the day. Slick baggage facilities, changing areas and loads of water, energy drinks etc along the route. There's hardly any cover on the route, so with my pale skin I'm feeling a bit burned now. Last thing. I don't suppose anyone had a garmin on something and couldpost the total ascent/decent please? Mine froze at the start. Chhers.
In short: Fantastic race with a superb stadium finish! In full: This really was a fantastic event made even more special by the stadium finish.
Seeing as though we were running through so much woodland, I was surprised at just how much support there was throughout the whole route. You really never ran more than a few hundred yards without seeing somebody cheer you on - yes it may have just be one bloke, but to have a constant stream of support was uplifting and the people of Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas can be proud of the support they gave.
This was really well organsied and marshalled throughout. Only a handful of places towards the end where there wasn't a marshall - meant pretty much the whole race was laid out clearly.
The baggage drop-off and collection was speedy, the race results at the finish line were instant and the goody bag was great: non-technical T-Shirt, a really good medal, banana and Mars bar.
There were far more hills and slopes than I was expecting. The profile is classed as flat/undulating, but I would just say undulating. The run took you under and over roads and canals constantly, so there was always a down bit followed by an up bit... and a few more up bits than down it seemed! By 20+ miles this becomes hard.
I understand the weather last year wasn't great and this time round it was glorious. A little too hot for a marathon I reckon, especially when all the training has gone on in cold conditions - but it did mean that the crowds came out and the support was there.
A superb race and great value for money... and The Beatles 1 album was playing from 9am in the stadium until the race start, so that was all good too!! :-)
There were only a few very minor points which could be improved on, just by way of feedback:
- race beginning: have a separate entry for the sub 3:30 runners and have a few feet gap between the green. There wasn't enough room for the red starters and people were having to climb over the barricades to get into their "pen"
- T-shirt. Although it's good quality cotton, the Large is far too big. Hopefully they'll be some Mediums next year!
- Parking. I missed out on the VIP parking so ended up sneaking into the Ikea car park. It would have been nice to have some signposted and suggested alternative parking. The Asda/Ikea car park is big enough, I'm sure borrowing a few hundred spaces at £3 or £4day would have been easy enough to do. Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Well organised race. Not the cheapest, but stadium hire and road closures probably don't come cheap. In full: The start and finish were in the football stadium. Plenty of WCs and well-organised baggage store. Plenty of water, gels and energy drinks en-route. Well marshalled. A couple of mild hills towards the end, with some slightly steep bridges over the canal, but really nothing to complain about. I would probably do this again. Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Good race, it'll get better with age! In full: Generally a good race, and it has the potential to be great! marshals were mostly helpful and supportive, though hired security guys knew nothing. Water stations were all very good, well laid out and spread out. As a visitor to the city I would have liked signs saying where to park (having entered late there were no "VIP" parking slots left; it took me 1/2 hour to find my way around! I was also caught out slightly by dozens of unmentioned underpass "hills" - nothing much, but combined they really affected my stride! T-shirt "for sale" (£15) is excellent, the free finisher's t-shirt was a surprise, and pretty good for a cotton one. Way too large though, does one size really fit all?! The preparation for the start and finish in the football stadium was good, I'm sure football fans felt it meant more! Great support in the last 400 yards! Date of review: May 6, 2013
In short: Great day out, well organised and hugely enjoyable In full: I didn't make this last year but very glad I did today. From reports about the organisation last year everything seemed to have been resolved as it seemed very smooth to me
Very encouraging crowd support and marshals, I was lifted round the last half mile by the support I received - huge thanks to everyone on the course
No downsides, great day, but brutally hot! Date of review: May 6, 2013