In short: A good beginner's half marathon - once they get the chaos at the finish sorted out. In full: This was an enjoyable race, my first half marathon, and I hope to be back next year. Parking, drinks stations, and the relatively flat route were all good and I was pleased with my run and time, encouraged by the friendly support of the marshals en route. A fifteen minute queue in the bitter cold at the finish (where exactly was it by the way?) was unexpected, however, and I can’t see that my official time or placing can be anywhere near accurate as finishers seem to have been shepherded into one of two pens on a random basis. I stood and watched in frustration as 20 or 30 runners who came in behind me were placed in the other pen and had their numbers recorded before me. From the number of complaints about this aspect of the race I am sure that the organizers will address the issue for next year. Sorry to moan. There were lots of positives. Date of review: March 13, 2006
In short: A big race feel with a serious pre FLM slant In full: A surprisingly picturesque course around MK (did I imagine the concrete dinosaur?), in an event awash with lucozade. For a flat course, there was quite a bit of up+down with underpasses, bridges over the canal etc ;-)
Many thanks to marshalls + drinks station people, it was seriously cold to be standing around.
In short: Good course for PB .. quite scenic too. But race organisation a bit slack In full: Had a good race and enjoyed the course, marshals, lucozade & water. Start and end were a bit disorganised ... no countdown, queues at the end, no goodies. But generally a good race ... and a suitable amount of toilets! Date of review: March 13, 2006
In short: Poor organisation. And why no goody bag? In full: In 8 months of competitive running, this was my largest race, and if this experience is typical, then I will try to give larger events a wide berth in future.
The start was a little disorganised, and could have done with pens for each speed category. The location of the start line was unclear, and it struck me that that too many slower runners were too near the front, and too many faster ones were too far back. It made for a hectic first half mile.
However, it was the chaos at the end that really turned it for me. After running 13 miles in temperatures too close to freezing, the last thing I needed was to stand around for 10 minutes. Judging by the comments I overheard, it wasn't just me thinking that. Why on Earth there is there no chip timing on a race this size?
The marshals were generally friendly and encouraging, but I was less than happy with one of them letting a car through during the last mile that nearly ran me down.
Given the steep entry fee, I was left with an empty feeling on getting my medal. No chocky bar or t-shirt, making this easily the most expensive medal in my collection. Hats off to the people from Lucozade who in dishing out free drinks managed to take away the bitter aftertaste I had been left with.
Anyway, enough of the negatives. Until today I had always considered MK to be a featureless, dreary place, devoid of anything worth looking at except perhaps some concrete cows. It came as something of a surprise then that this race is well near the top of my list of scenic races. The run around the lake was particularly pleasant.
This half also has the prospect of being very quick. It's not flat in the true sense of the word as there are frequent ups and downs at underpasses, but these are never more than a few metres and are over with quickly enough.
Given that there were so many aspects to this race that were negative for me, then it may be surprising that I have said that I'd do it again. The reason was that I knocked 2 minutes off my PB, and would fancy my chances at doing the same again next March. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: First class organisation, outstanding number of very cheerful stewards. Good course, not totally flat !! good for pb. Medal allocation needs tweeking to make it quicker. Will be back, with loads of club members. Thank you to all who helped. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Very good but no chip timing and poor handling at finish. In full: Another PB over this distance and enjoyed the scenery and route. Some marshalls were very supportive. Organisers could learn from Sussex Beacon HM and increase the height of the bollards with cardboard to prevent injury. I found no problem with parking and and pre race information warned on baggage storage area and to leave your bag in your boot. Lucozade was a welcome surprise in lead up to FLM, I'll never get used to the sickly taste . I was impressed by the water stations as have done 2 races this year where there was no water by the time I went through. I finally managed to break the 2 hour barrier but was disappointed at the disorganised, shambolic finish. Chip timing would have solved all or larger finishing area. I will be doing the NSPCC one in July. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: fairly fast, flat and scenic In full: Nice route and well marshalled en-route. Good police presence closing off the few roads that you actually cross.
The big benefit of this is that there's no traffic or bouncing up and down kerbs. Race is done on MK's red routes and cycle paths.
Really fast and flat first 8 miles but a few more smallish ups and downs over the last few miles. Fairly scenic route through MK villages and lakes. Well worth a try and great for pre London marathon training.
The only down side was that there was too much congestion at the finish line as there were only two people recording the finshers. Took me 1:46 to run 13.1 miles and then another 10 minutes to do the next 20 yards! - please sort this out for next year. Date of review: March 12, 2006