In short: Fast and fairly flat, surprisingly scenic but bits of organisation a pain for some In full: Quite surprised by the route - through nice villages, round lakes, through parks and down quiet walkways, I almost thought it would be good to live here, if only for the mass of flat training routes!
Start was a little unorganised with no clock, no obvious line to cross and no timing chips and the hooter was a bit of a surprise too! Race field spread out nicely and there was little need to dodge other runners, or pedestrians and the Police and marshalls seemed to keep the cars at bay too.
Route was mostly flat although various short ramps to get from sub-terranian paths up to road level, and it did allow you to get into a good rythm for most of the race, but then again there were a number of twisty and turny sections and tight corners.
Lucazade sport stations great, although a few more volunteers needed for next year - the water stations were a different story and completely useless because of the plastic cups. If you want to guarantee keeping hydrated and don't want to walk while drinking, I'd recommend running with a water pack.
Finish was fine for me, although again with no timing system it was a little vague and i'm interested to know if and how they managed to record any kind of accurate time. Felt sorry for people finishing a little later as the bottle neck and queue to get over the "line" would have been really demoralising for me - the look of dispair on the face of the bloke struggling to beat 2 hrs when he couldn't even finish the distance said it all.
Overall, many more plusses than minuses - Open University campus was great and the leftover crates of lucazade at the end made the whole event much better value for money!!!
See you all next year! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Decent race let down by poor officials In full: The marshalls were miserable and failed to give hardly any support. At the end, the funnel and organisation was shambolic with insufficient officials who I overheard saying that they "loved it" after shouting at some ladies as they were getting out of finishing order in the line. Having finished a 1/2 marathon you don't need a little hitler thinking he is important when you are having to stand in the cold due to their poor orginisation.
The race was quick and a decent course but the finish when tired was annoying. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Really good race. Just swap the Lucozade for Chip Timing! In full: This is a good balanced race that gets many things right. The course is good PB material.. In fact I managed to break 1:40 after trying for 4 years! So can’t really complain. The weather held out, and there was plenty of marshalling spread out to let you know where to go, although not all of them looked thrilled to be there… then again – it was 1 degree! You could tell Nike had thrown some sponsorship behind the event from the (in my opinion) more than ample Lucozade stops, but I would have happily swapped some of them, or all for chip timing if only to avoid the cattle grid pile up at the end. I ran hard for the last mile to try and nip the pb, and then spent 5 minutes feeling sick and delirious in the queue to have my number taken down which I wouldn’t miss if they could get rid of it! But overall – good race and well organised. Just swap the flashy drinks for a chip on the shoe! Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: A fast course but a bit "Mickey Mouse" In full: I did a PB here by 44 secs. I did a 125 mile round trip because the promise was flat and fast. OK, I got my PB so it was worth it BUT, it is flattish, but not flat. In my opinion, the Adidas Flora London (Silverstone) Half-Marathon is a faster course. MK being what it is, meant that there was a lot of going up over flyovers and down through sub-terrain walkways. Furthermore some of the corners were somewhat tight and twisty and there are short sections over grass where you are crossing from road to footpath.
My thoughts about the twisting and turning course brought me to the conclusion that the course was somewhat "Mickey Mouse". The start was not well organised - but I've seen worse. Sections where you could start depending on your intended finish time would be welcome. There were insufficient helpers on the drinks stations. In particular, the first Lucozade Sport station. I hadn't got time to stop and wait so I went thirsty. Fortunately, there was a water station about 1/2 mile later which I wasn't expecting :-)
On the positive side, I did get a PB here so it must be fairly fast. It was good to see Police at some junctions, and major junctions (but not all junctions) were marshalled. Parking was plentiful and near the start. I found the finish system OK, but maybe I arrived before the chaos described elsewhere. The Lucozade Sport was a welcome surprise. The medal was nice. Also, I saw parts of MK that I never knew existed which were rather scenic. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Good first time 1/2 marathon, very scenic & generally flat In full: The race was well organised, parking was good, plenty of drinks stations not only was there 3 drinks stations on the run itself with both water and lucozade sport in addition there were tents beforehand with free lucozade sport which is always good. I was quite surprised about how scenic the run was which is a definete plus and I would recommend it as a good half marathon for first timers being fairly flat. My only complaint with the organisation was the fact that you couldn't even cross the finishing line by the time we finished as there was a long queue that had formed where the organisers were taking down times and handing medals out, so we had to wait a good 10-15 minutes before we could get a drink. I'm sure this can be better organised with perhaps leaving a bit of distance between the finishing line, the medals and the hall where you collect your belongings as I have never experienced anything like this in other races I have done before and it would have made a difference between it being an average race and a good one. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: The taking of times needs to be sorted out especially if a big sports company is attaching their name In full: Enjoyed the race, there were lots of first timers/new runners there which is always refreshing to see. The marshalls were doing a good job - shame they were no warnings signs of runners on road for first few miles. Enjoyed it and will be back next year - if only to see that they have managed to sort out the bottleneck at the end of the race. Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: Surprisingly scenic. Reasonably flat. Fairly well organised. Good parking. In full: Definitely one of the nicer parts of MK, with lots of long flat stretches beside lakes, fields and even through a thatched chocolate-box village at the beginning (which was a surprise). Most of the route was on footpaths and cycleways away from busy roads, so traffic wasn't a big issue.
Lots of free Lucazade Sport helped justify the entry cost. Distributed at the beginning, end and two stations during the race.
Organisation was very good apart from a 15 minute session in a cattle pen at the end of the race whilst they recorded the time of each finisher. If they had just had a second pair of people recording the times, this situation would have been better (or better yet use timing chips). Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: OU is not at its best on a cold day! Plenty of parking ! In full: A few signs at the OU eg CAr Park this way would have helped the q! The race :forget V10 H9 & roundabouts not seen , the senic open water & the temple bit cold. Those who complain about TRAFFIC just do me in! The roads are not closed ONLY the police can hold the traffic! Most road races today suffer from this problem. The marshals must always make sure the runner is SAFE. Wht do runners leave the brains at home Date of review: March 12, 2006
In short: pleasant scenary and fairly flat course made for an enjoyable race. complimentary lucozade at stations around the course was a welcomed suprise (not to mention a well earnt treat). a good race only marred by the lack of organisatio at the race end. Date of review: March 12, 2006