In short: Race OK, Organisation terrible In full: I was there early so no problem parking before the race, Changing area and baggage was a complete joke. Race itself was ok with good pb potential.Finish area was way to small with a good ten minute wait for water and a medal(Would have been good to have a goody bag with some food as well). Getting out of the carpark at the end was a complete nightmare, i didn't move for 40 minutes. Surely a race sponsored by Nike should be better organised than this, no lessons seem to have been learned over the last few years. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Why, oh why aren't the organisers learning from previous mistakes? In full: I had a distinct feeling of deja vu yesterday: Poor organisation, absence of course marshals, the hold ups in the finishing funnel and sweet fanny adams to show for it. Where do I start. Fortunately we arrived an hour-and-a-half before the start so didn't experience the traffic queues coming into MK, but we did end up sitting in a huge line of traffic along the A421 heading towards the M1. I'm glad I packed loads of stuff to eat and drink. The course marshals were very few and far between: Runners were taking shortcuts and there was no one to tell them of this. The water stations were poorly manned: Not spread out enough, the bottles were supplied with the lids on, so when passed to the competitors what did they do ... they took the screw top lids off and threw them on the floor. I was lucky not to come a cropper when treading on one. Possible H&S issue methinks! The issue of not leaving valuables in the baggage area was very clearly pointed out in the instruction sheet that accompanied the race number but how much more effort would it have taken to make it more secure. Not a lot. The start could have been better set out with signs indicating estimated finish time to prevent the faster runners from getting stuck behind the slower runners. The finish, again as in previous years, is a nightmare. The free bottle of Lucozade Sport was very appreciative, if you could get to the two or three people distributing it on just one side of the finishing funnel. I did as the very vocal gentlemen suggested and took my chip off as soon as I crossed the line but couldn't find the bin to put it in (a sign would have helped enormously). I got very cold, very quickly and all I wanted to do was put some warm clothing on but was stuck, for what seemed like ages, in the funnel. Every year I can never decide whether to enter this race. It has got to be the most expensive entry fee for very little in return and after yesterday's debacle, I would rather travel further afield for a half marathon rather than do the MK half again. This is a big race (3,000 entrants I believe) and the organisers need to treat it so, or reduce the number of entrants. I wait to see what next year's race reports say. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Poorly organised In full: I was one of the many who got stuck in the traffic jam from the M1. Even now I am not sure where I should have parked! I had to abandon my car on a verge and jog to the start, this resulting in starting five minutes late. The course was surprisinly scenic, but was narrow and as I started late I seemed to spend most of the time on the grass verge overtaking slower runners. Overall not a race I will be rushing back to do again Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: lessons not learned from previous years feedback. In full: This has the potential to be a great race, with a decent flat route and definate PB potential. As always, marshalls were great and appreciate the efforts they make.
This is my third year in a row and I have to say the feedback left from previous years has not been listened to.
Most of all
Start - for a race of this size surely start pens according to times would avoid the pile ups in the first mile. This is the only half I have seen that doesnt use this.
Finish - far too small for a race of this size, the race grows in popularity each year but i feel the field may have outgrown the current set up for safety reasons if nothing else.
Baggage - no manned or secure baggage area is a poor show for a race of this size.
Would need a big improvement next year for me to recommend this one. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Organisation!? In full: Similar experience to many here I think. I wanted to do a big race and this certainly was. It was hell getting there and I had to abandon the car and run to the start. Didn't get a chance to go for a pee pre race cos I was late due to the traffic so leapt into a bush at mile 3 (and there with it went my PB) Heavily crowded start, but okay. It was nice to run with lots of people, however start pens would have made for less pushing and shoving. I was pleasantly surprised that the route took us through plenty of nice places considering what I knew of Milton Keynes before the race! The man shouting at us in the finish chute for the chip could have minded his Ps and Qs and for the price (which incidentally due to organiser error I paid twice - they'll be getting their second number back this week with a refund request) and while I got a medal still in its packet, there was no goody bag - bananas, cereal bars or something would have been nice especially considering the queue out at the end! I think we were one of the unlucky cars. Oh my. An hour sitting absolutely stationary in a queue getting hungrier and hungrier. Not good for post race recovery. I will do it again I'm sure. I will be prepared for the ups and downs in the second half under and over the roads, and I will park further away and take a snack to get me through the queues. Think the problems with the baggage area are inexcusable. Plenty of small and large races manage a manned baggage area so I can't see why this one can't. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Poor organisation and traffic jams In full: The above says it all. The organisers directed people in so that they all came the same way, which caused huge jams it seems. I knew the area and was able to slip in and out easliy, but it seems I was a lucky one. I didnt follow the directions but those from outside the area wouldnt know the routes and got stuck as a result. Not many marshalls and the course is in truth a bit dull. Mind you I did a 20 mile training run the day before and my outlook might have been effected by fatigue! That having been said, the marshalls and organisers still have to be thanked for trying to put this on, as do any club who host races. The highlight for me, was my beer in the bath at 1.30pm, when some may still have been struggling to get out of MK! Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Could be very fast if not for breeze in exposed sections. In full: Ok race as part of my marathon training, only slopes seemed to be underpasses. Wind a bit of a problem in exposed areas. Need more people handing out water and more signs. I turned up at 9:25 and parked with no problem, once I had found the car park at the end I was out in minutes so can't comment on others negative experiences. Changeing and bag storage a joke. Just about what I needed for this race, wasn't expecting too much scenery anyway but I've raced in worse. Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: An okay race, nothing great In full: An okay run, alot of it through housing estates, (not very inspiring). Finished aROUND THE 2hr mark and had to stop dead in the queue immediately after passing finish line. Was immediately yelled at by some idiot to take off the timing chips NOW! Didn't feel like bending over the second I finished the race, so nearly told him where he could stick his chip! Terrible queues trying to get out. Date of review: March 9, 2009