In short: Fantastic organisation and great atmosphere In full:
On the bank holiday Monday 4th May I did my 2nd Marathon in Milton Keynes 8 days after the London Marathon. In the past, there was always a 3-week gap between the London and Milton Keynes Marathons. But this year the London Marathon took place 2 weeks later than usual on 26th April. I signed up the Milton Keynes Marathon just in case I didn't get the London Marathon place. This year I was very lucky again to have got my London Marathon place from the MPAA. I thought I would do both just to give myself a bit of challenge.
This year was the first time I did 2 Marathons back-to-back in 2 weekends. Unfortunately, things didn't go according to plan. I only managed to finish the London Marathon in 4:41'13" which was 10 minutes slower than last year as I suffered from cramp / spasm from mile 21 onward. Then I found it so tough in Milton Keynes yesterday. My legs didn’t recover fully in 8 days. I only managed to finish in 4:55'24".
I won’t do this back-to-back Marathon again. It is beyond my capability. In the future, I will allow at least 2 weeks (absolute minimum) before embarking to the next Marathon. Had I done the half marathon event yesterday, I would have been OK because by half way I was 2 hours 12 minutes and I felt OK. But all of a sudden by mile 16 onward, I couldn’t lift my legs and I slipped into 13 minutes a mile pace. By mile 22, I slipped in 14 minutes a mile pace. It was terrible. My head kept saying: “push it”. But my legs said: “Not a chance !”
It was a fantastic atmosphere though in Milton Keynes. The day before yesterday, Milton Keynes football team won a very important match which led them to get promoted from 3rd league to the 2nd league of Championship League. Our hotel is part of the stadium because the marathon started and finished at the MK Dons Stadium. When we arrived on Sunday afternoon and checked into our hotel, we saw people around the stadium singing and chanting. We didn’t know what happened. Then we realised that the people were celebrating the winning.
On the race day, it was a very good condition to run in the morning - a bit chilly in the wind when we started. Although the temperature rised by the afternoon, it was bearably warm and not too hot. The organisation of this event is fantastic from the beginning of parking, bag storage, race information, water / energy drinks / energy gels stations, first aid to the end of getting our medals and goodie bags and to collect our belongings. Everything worked so smoothly. The marshalls are so friendly. The route is very safe to run with many road closures otherwise plenty of marshalls were in place to separate runners and cars. It is a relatively small scale event compared with the London Marathon with a few thousands runners and I wouldn't expect a lot of spectators. But the locals are great. They made an effort to come out to cheer us on and to offer us oranges, sweets and even used their gardening hose to offer to spray on us. This is the event I will definitely do again. Thanks for all the organisers of Milton Keynes Marathon ! Date of review: May 5, 2015
In short: Underpasses? I lost count at 20. In full: Good bits: Well organized. Mixed city, park, estate running. General Public, Bands. MK stadium start and finish. Underpasses (a perverse pleasure in trying to count them!)Belly Dancers. Kids and mums with Jelly Babies. Scouts bag handlers. Plentiful water supplies. MK you made an effort- well done.
Bad bits: No trail running so hard on legs. Some mile markings missing? MK isn't a scenic run but the best has been made of the city and on a warm day I was pleasantly surprised.
In short: Decent support, really well organised. No big hills but a lot of up and downs which can take its toll In full: Organisation was excellent. Overall good value for money, no t-shirt at the end but it isn't a huge entrance fee so I think that is acceptable - i'd rather pay less and decide if I want to spend extra on a t-shirt. The first few miles are in MK with lots of doubling back on yourself - good if you have people supporting you as they can easily move to different spots and see you more than once. Water stations excellent, every 3 miles and the water was in bottles which is my vast preference.
A good amount of support from locals especially considering it is a smaller marathon. Not sure it is a good first marathon. Whilst there are a no large hills there are a LOT of small up and downs which does take it out of you especially if it is hot (and it was!). I did Brighton last year and I would say that this is a tougher course.
Overall well organised and well supported and excellent value for money. Date of review: May 5, 2015
In short: Too many hairpins in the first half. In full: The organisation is brilliant, although many queuing for the stadium loos for number twos had to give in and risk it. Other than that the nicest start to any race I have experienced. The first half of the race involves 7 double backs. All are done by crossing the central reservation. Great for spectators but hellish for the brain and turning. It is also around Centre mk and is very bland. The second half is on redways. spectator levels diminish significantly. The slopes and underpasses seem to take more effort than they should But I was struggling on my first marathon. Its a quick route. But I don't think its in the top 4 uk fast marathons. The stadium finish is brilliant, and the water stops are also well paced a plentiful.
All in all a hit for organisation, terrible for scenery. Pretty good for PB and value. I PB'd in 3:22 but it was first marathon. The weather in May can be warm. Today was 18c and after 6 miles not a cloud in the sky.... Got a lovely sunburn
Good bag was terrible. Water, Gatorade, Mars bar and a beetroot bar. BEETOOT! I have never thought.... mmmm I fancy a beetroot bar post run. That was it. No nice bag, towel or magazine.
For me a first Half marathon would be Wokingham. As for a marathon... No idea. Date of review: May 4, 2015
In full: I've run all three MK marathons...so that must say something!Organisation efficient. Most of route on redways, quite a lot of green scenery after leaving city centre. Hit my PB and sub 4:30 target this year :) Date of review: August 20, 2014
In short: Great race In full: Will definitely do this again, very well organised, well marshaled, goody bag and a great medal. Slightly undulating but still PB potential. Great finish in the stadium too. Date of review: August 19, 2014
In short: One of my favourite marathons - friendly and well organised In full: This is the 2nd time I've ran the MK marathon and it is one of my favourites.
Unlike some road marathons that I've done there is no running over train tracks (with the threat of having to stop if a train comes!) or dodging shoppers as you run through the local shopping precinct.
Yes there are a few undulations along the route but no steep drags!
For the first 2 or 3 miles (approx) you run around the centre of MK, free from traffic, where at times you double back on yourself which is great as you get to see your friends and other friendly faces going the opposite way - a great opportunity for a few hi-fives and cheers of encouragement.
Finish line - wow what thrill to run into Stadium MK to a mass crowd of supporters and the commentator cheering you on and see yourself on the big screen as you run round the track and over the finish line.
Along with getting a cool bling bling medal at the end of a race(one of the best ones I've got) it is important to me at how quickly I get my bag at the end of the race. At MK as soon as you have received your medal and your goody bag before you know it you are in the bag hall and one of the scout volunteers is handing you your bag with a big smile on their face, no waiting around because they cant find your bag (which has happened at other races - so annoying)
Overall - this is a well organised and friendly race, obviously organised and supported by runners for runners. Oh and P.S I got a PB - how fab is that!
See you in 2015 ;-) Date of review: August 19, 2014
In short: Extremely well organised event In full: Great route, great stadium finish, plenty of water/stops drink stops, great medal, great spectators, great goody bag, well organised and overall great running experience. Date of review: June 10, 2014