In short: A bit of a let down In full: With no disrespect to the race organisation, which was flawless and fantastic, the scenery in Milton Keynes leaves a bit to be desired. The race route seemed to be covering a lot of the same ground, but I think that's because MK is a grid design, so a lot of the town looks the same! It is billed as 'slightly undulating', but after 15-16 miles, those little hills really start to get on your wick! Also the crowd support is all but non existent after HM distance, which is such a shame because it is in the latter stages that you really need support! Fab race organisation, fab medal, fab finish in the MK Dons stadium - but I wouldn't do it again, thanks! Date of review: May 8, 2014
In short: Not What I Expected In full: I thought I was going to be able to attempt a PB, but how wrong I was. The course itself is reasonably flat (as described) until the last few miles of constant ups and downs as you cross under the roads using the cycle red ways (not really made clear until you run it and realise).
I had a great first half race but these slopes and tight turns became a bit demoralizing towards the end and I actually finished way off my best PB by some margin.
The water Stations were very good with an excellent selection of bottled water, gatorade and gels. Local support was excellent - only rivaled by the fantastic supporters of the Ealing Half Marathon in my experience.
The course had some narrow turns with lots of shouts of "hold the line" as we rounded them and people started to cut across other runners. There were also a number of metal posts marking out pedestrian crossing points that I though could have had hi-viz markers tied to them (some did but not all). The start was chaotic - half and full marathoners all mixed up. Pacers had balloons but no time written on them. It took me 2-3 miles to get to my chosen pacer and all the while dodging other slower runners. Timed pens would be a better option next year. All in all I enjoyed the experience overall as any marathon is such an achievement to complete but I don't feel the course is one to repeat again. Date of review: May 8, 2014
In short: Enjoyed the race In full: Third time for me and I really enjoyed it. I really like the bottled water which even some big marathons don't give.. Finish is great and it seems the whole of mk gets behind the event Date of review: May 7, 2014
In short: fabulous 1st marathon , amazing course support on course In full: finally did my 26.2 in my home town on my local routes, i knew what was coming! the hills are not what i'd describe as hill but anything inclining after 20 miles felt like a mountain. awesome support on course from marshals spectators and entertainment. very welcoming hosepipe spray from 2 locals (thank you) refreshing on a warm day. the stadium was well organised, toilet queue was minimal , no real waiting at all , bag drop and collect was swift and easy , the highlight of my day was crossing the finish line and receiving my medal from daughter who volunteered and had a long wait to see her mum :) the medal is great <3 also great support from st johns who iced my husbands injured ankle at the end and made sure we safe to travel home thank you thank you thank you Date of review: May 7, 2014
In short: My home town - I wanted to love it, but a tale of two half - brutal, dull first half - which left you struggling to complete the second half :-( In full: This was my first ever Marathon in 2013 and despite an extremely hot day - following months of ice & snow training - I still loved it & signed up for 2014 almost as soon as it opened. This year I approached it with a lot less enthusiasm, having noted the changes to the route - and was massively disappointed that large parts of MK's fab scenery were missing & replaced by the first 10 miles of relentless dull city centre boulevards & duel carriageway. Legs were shredded by the time we hit the redways. Plus points: Fantastic organisation, no parking, toilet or baggage issues, the best Marshals ever, fantastic support from the good people of Milton Keynes from hose pipes cooling up down, to a great guy at Linford Wood with orange slices - best I've ever tasted! Fantastic bands playing at different spots along the way! Great Stadium finish, great medal, great goody bag - forgot to mention the water stations again excellent! Top marks all around Negatives: need some form of pens or pace indicators at the start - no one could see the numbers on the backs of the pacers shirts - maybe pace on the balloons. The first 10 miles are dull dull dull, lose some of the city centre boulevards - MK has so much more to offer! Please make some changes for next year - I so want to love you again - I will be there next year even if you make me run on hot coals up & down the city......But I would kinda prefer not to!!! Date of review: May 7, 2014
In short: great support. superbly marshaled In full: This should become one of the UKs major marathons. Well organised and traffic free, the support was great. The hills in the last few miles were tough but the stadium finish magnificent. It still has a local run feel especially at the start where pens and improved sound will soon be needed. Get booked in for next year! Date of review: May 7, 2014
In short: Fast course; well organised; one of the better marathons In full: I'm a veteran marathon runner and thought this was a great race.
Yes, so the course is a bit boring, but it's fast but I wasn't running to view the scenery. I was chasinga fast time. The first half is pretty flat and the second half has a few bumps in it, but what goes up must come down, so you to tend to find yourself going up at a steady pace and then bombing down well ahead of schedule.
The t-shirt was great (it was clear that you could pay for one in advance of the event) and the marshalls were great. Local support wasn't bad either.
The stadium finish is one of the best finishes I've experienced. It felt like the Olympics as we approached from afar.
If you want a PB and can handle some very friendly undulations, then this is a good course. I ran my quickest time for 21 years thanks to those "hills". If you want a professionally organised event, this is for you.
In full: a well organised event, marshals and local support fantastic, the course was a good mix of city and country running, finish in the stadium was special and medal was worth the pain, banana at finish and not having to wait for bag good
now for the moaning, having the half marathon runners mixed with the full was off putting, but some banter was had. course described as undulating was an understatement esp the last 6 miles, goody bag that was all it was a bag with a few items in it Date of review: May 7, 2014