In short: Wet, cold, windy, but great marathon course, just some teething troubles. In full: Good course snaking around MK, and not on the roads is a real bonus. Loads of drinks and fuel stops is a really strong point, so didn't have to carry too many gel/ energy packs myself. Recognise some of the comments on organisation at start and finish, but I'm sure they will improve for next year as I would definitely come back again, afterall it is all about the race itself. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: Great potential for 2013, support round the course from over 400 volunteers was excellent but the recurring feedback does need to be incorporated into next years event. In full: Glad I entered. The weather was the main negative on the day, but around the course the volunteers were fantastic, plenty of water stops plus gels and lucazade. Not mentioned by others but the 14 mile training run back in February was a great chance for me as a lone beginner to prepare around parts of the course; top marks for that. Thanks to all for the hard work. Issues for improvement from my perspective include: Long upward slopes over the last miles. Narrow paths led to frequent congestion and slowing especially if side by side walking. (Although the water/puddles contributed in parts to the narrowing) Missed opportunity to get more use out of the MK Dons stadium; better access, facilities etc. My wife brought her parents to support me and with a wheelchair struggled to get into the stadium especially crossing the "track" were the badly placed puddles made it narrow and difficult. No mention that I can remember on the sites/info on disabled supporters information. All in all though my first MK Marathon but not my last. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: A great race to take part in In full: This race had many really good points - general layout was good, marshalling fantastic. Perhaps a couple blind spots as they withered in the weather. Spectator support was huge - at every vantage point throughout the race.
For a first time, there would be a few things that could be improved but the organisers have been told in no uncertain terms about them and should be easy to sort out for next time. Baggage trucks were a nightmare for many of us after the race. Finish line was not demarked. The finish times were not adjusted for the extra quarter mile we ran due to flooding. Better "Goody" bag please next time else drop the "Goody" bit.
In short: Absolute shambles of a race In full: The weather was not the organisers fault and was pretty shocking however there were a number of major flaws in the organisation of it that were basic and at times dangerous: Car parks- they made you book a car parking space only to send us somewhere else. No signage to find the car parks by car and no signage to find it again at the end. We were left wandering around in the cold and wet with other runners trying to find the car- the marshalls didn't know where it was either! Finish line- where was it? sprinted for what we thought was the finish only to see something else 100m away. The stadium idea was a good one. Silver blankets - given the notice we had on the bad weather there was no excuse for not providing silver blankets at the end. This was dangerous and not acceptable. Goody bag - medal just thrown at the bottom. Whoever thought that a special k bar belonged in a marathon goody bag please hang your head in shame! Overall these things overshadowed what could have been quite good despite the weather. The spectators were brilliant and the marshalls cheery despite the pouring rain. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: Great.. Well done! In full: I was very impressed with the race, it was very well organised, the support was amazing, hydration perfect and portaloo's available. Little could be done about the weather, however I managed a PB and its thanks to those great people both volunteers, fellow runners and residents. I look forward to many more. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: Great spirit in the face of adversity In full: The weather was appalling and given that it was the event's first year, must have been the organiser's worst nightmare. This was my first marathon, so I can't compare it to others but after doing the training I would have been very dissappointed if it had been cancelled.
The thing that really made this event for me was the spirit of everyone involved: organisers, runners and supporters. There were loads of marshalls on the course and they all did a fantastic job at cheering us on, keeping us going and making sure we stayed on the right course. The water stations volunteers were similarly brilliant and even back-of-the-pack runners like me enjoyed the support of a few stalwart supportes who continued to hold their rain drenched positions, long after the main pack must have passed. My best moment in the race was when I ran into an underpass and was greeted by a belly dancer, who immediately started doing her thing for my sole benefit - at first I thought I had ODed on energy gels and was hallucinating! Well done that woman - what a trooper.
I'm sure there are some lessons that the organisers will learn from the feedback that has been provided. I agree that it was a bit confusing when you came into the stadium as to where the finish line was, particularly as there were two unmanned timing stations quite a long way apart, neither marked Finish. From what some people have said it does also sound as though insufficient attention may have been paid to the danger to runners of standing around in the cold afterwards - particularly as some of them may not have been in a fit state to exercise their own judgement fully.
Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and left with a great sense of achievement, which was probably added to by the knowledge that. along with everyone else, I hadn't let the weather stop me. Nice one Milton Keynes - I may be back sometime and will certainly recommend you to others.
In short: Awful conditions, great support, not great organisation In full: The route on redways, footpaths around lakes and the canal was very pleasant; I didn't find it crowded at all. The support from the public on such a miserable day was excellent - thank you especially to the people handing out jelly babies, that really helped when I hit the wall.
As their first marathon, there were bound to be some teething problems but I feel some of these could have been avoided. Surely the organisers could have just copied what others do? The lack of foil blankets at the finish was daft - people were freezing and then to make us stand in the rain & wind for an age to retrieve our bags got dangerous in my opinion.
Also, my wife wanted to move around the course to support me but there was no signage to help her do this.
I'll do it next year if I don't get a London place though. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: Great marshalls, event let down by lack of thought given to conditions In full: Cannot praise marshalls and those that helped with drinks / gels highly enough, huge respect to fantastic people. Date of review: May 4, 2012
In short: such potential but organisers need to learn their lesson & read these reports In full: I live in MK so knew where to park near the stadium for free so no problems there. So glad for the stadium as start & finish as at least there was some shelter though they should have opened up more of the concourse. All the stands (local radio, charities etc) were moved in so there was very little room to move about & there should have been more portaloos outside. Such a shame about the weather as quite a lot of the route is suprisingly scenic (lakes, Grand Union Canal). I disagree about running on the roads - now that is boring in MK (it's a grid system). Supportes & marshalls were fab except at Linford Wood when we were briefly on the road & a couple of people had to dodge cars, though some car drivers do insist on ignoring pleas form marshalls... The finish-line was a complete joke - I really didn't believe it - if they only had 4/5 marshalls with bright yellow jackets we might have guessed where...plus some fencing. Also, the baggage was a disgrace - there was one poor lady trying to help on my truck but we had to end up climbing up to find our bags. As I walked off I noticed the elite truck had five helpers with about the same number of athletes waiting for their bags...that's not on... Goody bag...? Don't really care about though a finishers t-shirt is always a nice memento & to me better than a medal (at least I would wear it). I doubt I'll run a marathon again for a few years but if MK sort out the teething problems it could be such a good event & if the weather was good I guarantee the support would be on par with Brighton. PS oh, ditch the Corporate realy or change it somehow - those runners were serving all over the shop & were frantically trying to get past which in areas a metre wide which was impossible.