In short: Excellent atmos and organisation In full: Although the scenery was very nice, it was quite samey, and over that distance, maybe there could have been the potential for more variety.
It was my first marathon, so no PB hunting but I had an idea what time to expect. On the day, the heat put paid to a fast time, along with numerous short hills as we emerged from underpasses, and over bridges.
But the heat probably contibuted to the best atmopshere I've ever experienced, particularly at Willen Lakeside, and in and around the stadium at the end. Names on numbers meant that many spectators cheered you on by name, many children requesting and getting high fives (the hand gesture, not the energy gel), clusters of spectators enjoying the sun on grass verges away from the main areas, a few mini entertainment spots along the way, kids offering to spray runners with water pistols, a guy in the street with his garden hose out doing the same, very enthusiastic marshalls at every corner. I could go on about the atmos.
Exellent organisation, not a single unclear / unmanned corner, every mile marker visible, every drinks station well manned and signposted. Perhaps less obvious were the toilet stops, I don't think I noticed them all. Couldn't quite hear the PA system at the start, and the pacemakers didn't have the promised balloons.
Goody bag was unspectacular, but decent. The medal is excellent, then there was a banana, a mars bar, a nice cotton t-shirt (only Large size), and a bottle of water.
The stadium started to empty before the final finishers were in, it was a shame there was no other in-stadium ents to keep spectators in till the end.
Some good photos were made available, but only from a couple of good spots. I'm sure a couple of other spots would have made good photo points. The video at the finish line doesn't have the clock visible.
On the whole, excellent! Thanks to everyone involved. Date of review: May 8, 2013
In short: Great support and special finish in the MK Dons stadium. In full: Very hot day that the organisers can't help but the bridges and hills in the last 6 miles meant this course isn't flat to undulating and such a description is a little false. Despite that, I really enjoyed the run, support was great (what a good idea to print names on the bibs) and the stadium finish was excellent. Would do this again if I wasn't pb hunting. Date of review: May 8, 2013
In short: Excellent organisation, wonderful race In full: Slightly different course from last year avoided potential floods. Organisation was like clockwork - thanks to all of the marshals who kept me going. Lots of support turned out, which was needed given the hot weather. The heat made the slopes and ramps that take the paths under the main roads feel steeper than last year. Date of review: May 8, 2013
In full: Very well organised - frequent water stations - the second hslf was very undulating- up and down, twist and turns - not great when you are very tired and trying to go at a steady pace - but overall a great race. Date of review: May 8, 2013
In short: Nice course, good support In full: This is one of the best I have done in the UK. Organisation was good. Printing your name on your number was an excellent idea. Spectators shouting encouragement using your name helps when it is getting hard. The support was very good and the marshals were very encouraging as well. It probably helped with the hot weather but there were loads of people cheering the runners on. There water stop were good but I have seen others say that it ran out. Probably could do with smaller energy drinks because it looked like most had just had a couple of sips out of them and then they were discarded. Using the stadium was great because it had good toilet facilities so no big queues beforehand and a great place to finish. Only bit to improve would be sign-post the industrial estate parking as I had to guess where to go and I'm not sure I should have parked where I did as I just followed other runners. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: My first marathon! In full: Not a good start. Website suggested parking at nearby industrial estate which turned out to be coned off! Apart from that I had a brilliant day. The organisation was great & support fantastic. It was my first marathon & the finish in the stadium was the icing on the cake. Date of review: May 7, 2013
In short: The lakes are beautiful. In full: Pleasantly surprised by the beautiful lakeside parts of the run, although there were some less inspiring parts most of it was green and the stadium finish was electric. I managed a good time despite the heat and a garmin malfunction. Couldn't face the Mars Bar at the end but the banana was welcome! Would definitely come back. Date of review: May 7, 2013