In short: Absolutely dreadful In full: Yes, absolutely dreadful!
Ok, so the chip timing was excellent; the results were prompty posted on the web and the mile markers were clear enough.
But with over 3,500 customers paying well over £50,000 to take part and sponsorship from Nike as well, someone's made an absolute fortune here. Because the race budget certainly wasn't used:
1 - to provide enough signs telling people where to park;
2 - to provide enough signs telling people (a) where to leave their bags and (b) that someone would probably have a good rummage through them while we were out running;
3 - to provide any time zone signs to tell people where to line up at the start, or a starting hooter for the poor guy on the PA;
4 - to provide a marshal at every point on the course where the paths of runners and traffic might (and did!) collide;
5 - to provide anywhere near enough staff at the water stations and signs telling us that a water station was ahead;
6 - to provide anywhere near enough staff at the finish to hand out the drinks and the medals;
7 - to provide signs helping folk find their way back to the baggage store;
8 - to provide any sort of traffic management on the way out.
When you do a "big city" race you expect it to be crisply organised and efficiently delivered. Arrangements akin to those made by a scout group for a small-time 10k from the local village hall with a few hundred runners just don't pass muster when the field gets bigger. The race director shouldn't simply do the best he can with the volunteers who turn up - all bases need to be covered.
If this had been a meal in a restaurant I wouldn't have paid.
But then perhaps I should have realised beforehand that it would all be a bit amateurish, as the 12 stage road relay always underwhelms as an event when it's held at the Open University and that's organised by the same crew I think.
And what are Nike doing, allowing a dog's dinner like this to carry their name?
In short: fairly forgettable In full: The traffic issue was annoying mainly for the fact that we followed the instructions only to be told we going the other way round. It wouldn't have been too difficult to position someone at the roundabout to direct cars. I found the race quite boring - apart from a nice village at the beginning it seemed to consist of running around dual carriageways and housing estates. I guess you shouldn't really expect much more from MK. I found the support around the course quite disappointing - a few people out, but they just seemed to stare at you rather than cheer you on. My preference is for the bigger city races where there is more atmosphere. That said, can't really complain with a PB, despite the windy conditions. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Car traffic was a nightmare getting to and from race Spoilt the atmosphere for me somewhat. . In full: I run lots of races and have never had such difficulties getting to and from the race (apart from one Reading Half Marathon). Although I had given myself lots of time to get to the race, as soon as I arrived at the outskirts of MK, there was gridlock and as a result I arrived late when the police were telling runners all the places you could not park. Similar problems driving home when it took me almost an our to get to the M1. I may well not run this one again unless something can be done to help with traffic flow - maybe start somewhere else in the town. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: A good enjoyable run. Pleased with my time. In full: Got stuck in a bit of traffic arriving, but hey, I made the effort to leave earlier than I needed to, so arrived at the start without a big drama. Still managed to park near the start unlike some other races I have done. I had no problems with drink stations. As for people having a pop at the organisers for the quiet crowd, this not their fault! I still got a good buzz from seeing crowds along the way. Yes pens at the start might have improved the start, but this still would not stop people going into pens further forward than they should. I had a steady start, but as a result felt strong at the end. 13 miles surely leaves plenty of time to up the pace later? I got a confidence boost from over taking runners practically all the way. I had a great run and wasn't too fussed about not getting a goody bag full of stuff that I usually throw away. I had snacks and drinks in a bag in my car for the journey home. No problems getting out either. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: good pb potential but be prepared for strong headwinds In full: good organisation although parking was a joke with long queue on the way their. only got to the start with 5 minutes to go. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Not bad at all In full: My first time doing this race - friendly, encouraging marshalls, well marked out course with clear mile markers. Fairly pleasant course except for the wind and the impatient chav swearing at me at one of the junctions where marshalls were stopping traffic to allow runners to cross.
Some warning of the water stations would helpful. I missed the first one as there was no warning that it was coming. I was on the far side of the patch and couldn't get over in time.
Although the start wasn't at all crowded starting pens based on expected time would helpful. I spent much of the race overtaking people.
Bottle neck at the finish was frustrating and, for the price, it was disappointing not to get any sort of food/snack at the end, which I was really looking forward to for the last 3 miles!