In short: Convenient race to get to for me, a couple of minor drawbacks In full: I agree with many here that to have bottle tops loosened would have helped. I felt the combined water/lucozade stop should have been more clearly split and made more obvious approaching it. Redways are often narrow so difficult to stay in your stride for long periods without getting stuck behind people. For a sponsor like Nike I would think something small to eat at the end wouldn't be too much to ask! Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Fine Nearer The Front! In full: As often happens, I find my opinions of a race very much different from the majority here! I think as a disclaimer it has a lot to do with reviewing it as a top 50 finisher (this is not elitist, just that a lot of the problems with crowding, drinks stations etc. just aren't applicable).
No problems with the parking on way in (TomTom with the postcode fortunately guided me to the car park by the start line coming south from the A5). I was a little surprised to see nothing in the way of a 'race parking' sign though.
Pre race was fine, to whomever moaned about there being only 2 men's cubicles in the cafe area - that was adequately covered by the 30 or so portaloos near the start line. Yes there were queues but no more than you'd expect at a race of this size.
No need for the baggage area as car was parked around 30 seconds from the start line which was ideal. Agree that there should have been finish time pens to segregate runners, but near the front there were no more over optimistics than there usually are at races like this.
As for the race and the course. For a city race it's certainly different, making full use of footpaths, underpasses and quiet roads, belying MK's reputation as the concrete city. Nearer the front of the field it made for a pleasant race; pretty flat, good for PBs (Wind notwithstanding) if you don't mind it getting a little twisty in places (Plenty of 90 degree turns and little undulations). I can see how it would get pretty congested further down the field though. Marshalling was about 90% okay. There were a few spots where I was a little unsure of where to go and agree that runners could take inadvertent short cuts in places.
Drinks stations were adequate at the front, although the positioning of the 9 mile one coupled with lack of forewarning was not so good. They all looked fairly sparsely manned to cope with large groups later on. Bottles were great; tops on (albeit loosened in my case) not so good. Having said that, Bristol a few years ago had bottles with tops on that were nearly impossible to open, so this is not a new thing.
Had no problem with the finish (again it was empty when I finished), a good medal and opportunity to have it engraved is always a nice touch. No problems getting out, but there again I left at 12:20 when there were still plenty running.
All in all not a bad race and as I got a PB I will tend to look back on it favourably. For £14 I thought it wasn't bad value; I get the impression that some are comparing it to city races which can cost up to double what MK did. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Another windy year In full: A good race, flat, but I agree that the underpasses and also the two bridges in the last mile tease at the calves. I was aware of traffic problems, and had to park in a layby.
But I have noticed that there were an extra 1000 finishers this year, and I guess that the organisers had not taken that into account. I would add that it was a blumin' freezin' day and thank you, Marshalls and all volunteers, for going the distance. Especially during and after the rain/ sleet/ hail.
Good value, a bit chaotic at the end, but again, the orgnaisers will have to take the increased entry into account next year, and make different plans.
Shame about the thieving bastards. Sorry, it annoys me that people can be so low.
How about reversing the course next year? or at least reverse mile 1-10? Can that be done? Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Definite Room for improvement In full: I am not sure why the wind keeps getting a mention. What has that got to do with the organisers? I would definitely agree that there needed to be pens at the start, and the start of the race was pathetic, a klaxon at least next time please! Obviously, it depends on your finish time as to how long it takes to get through the finish funnel but organisers can make it easier by having medals/water either side of the finish funnel. It took an unreasonable amount of time to get through for the main pack finishing between 1:50 and 2:00 hours. I also think if water bottles are going to be used as opposed to cups on route then the lids definitely need to be taken off! Warnings for water stations would be helpful, as if you intend to take a gel, a little warning is helpful. I certainly missed some of the mile markers. Fortunately I was pacing a friend round and was not looking for a pb. I would have been extremely disappointed with the organisation if I was. There were a few supporters out but I think they must have been random dog walkers as I heard no encouragement (or extremely limited) and it was not a friendly atmosphere. If I was a beginner, I would have been disappointed. However, you cannot blame the organisers for that one. Not sure if I would recommend this, it's on my doorstep so fairly handy for me and I can't comment on the scenery because it's my back yard and I know the nice places to run! I do think a lot of people are ignorant when they call MK uninspiring though. They need to explore more on foot as there are hidden "treasures" and plenty of parkland. Finally, I am not sure why people call this a flat course because it is not entirely flat. The constant little slopes on the redways can affect performance particularly if you are not expecting them so I don't think it should be billed as flat. I agree about the guy at the end shouting at everyone to get their chips off immediately! A tad zealous and quite officious to be honest. Finally, a thank you to all the marshals, but please take the bottle tops off next year :) Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Race OK, but infrastructure could not cope with the numbers In full: We got stuck in a 30 minute jam across the last two islands. So the intended arrival time of 9.30 became 10.00. To exacerbate the situation, having got to the final turn, it was coned off and along with everyone else we had to U-turn back in amongst the traffic approaching from the other direction. A marshall on the 2nd island advising turning right from there would have been appreciated. I hopped out the car and headed for changing & baggage. To get into the baggage building was via one small door with a 20-yard queue, as it served movement in both directions. Once inside you could hardly move. I didn't find changing, but found a corner of the baggage area to get changed. The baggage area seemed to be totally unguarded, and having hopped out of the car in a hurry, had to leave wallet & keys etc. in my sportsbag on the floor. When we went to leave the car park after the event, and after 20 minutes had not moved a car length,we reparked and had lunch back in the building (We thought it very good value....every cloud has a silver lining)
The race itself? That was fine and went pretty much like clockwork, with a fairly interesting course, and some encouraging marshals. And my bag was still there on my return.
In short: Not the best half marathon In full: I had no problems parking as we go there 1 hour early parked near start so we got out easy,there is a lesson to be learned there for some!.The course was ok nice and flat some scenic places and a lot of under passes,The water stations were under manned,but i still got one with little trouble.The finish was poor as the crowd goes as ther was little clapping ect I May do it again but is it worth coming down from Sheffield for? As someone else commented on where was Nike Date of review: March 9, 2009