In short: Better than the last time In full: I used to run this race when it started from the Open University site which couldn't cope with the numbers. Then, in 2010, the start was moved to Xscape which can handle the cars and people but the route was inferior. So, I decided to run elsewhere. Don't know why I was drawn back this time, but I feel it's now back to being enjoyable. The route is better - I hadn't realised that the last hill was new, but it was short anyway. Overall, the weather was not too bad but it was certainly cold, and I know not everyone likes that. I agree the 'Festival' tag is a misnomer. There are minor issues, such as chip removal, which only requires 3 or 4 people and is so appreciated after a tiring slog. but, having read the other comments, I do feel the organisers do take note of feedback. Date of review: March 16, 2013
In short: PB potential if you avoid the early bottle necks In full: Right time of year to run a fast race. Fairly flat with a testing hill at the end which made for a good talking point. Loads of cheap parking and easy to get to. No traffic problems. Would have killed for a chocolate bar / goody bag. Pub close by for after race meal / pint. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Close but no cigar In full: GOOD -A GOOD NUMBER OF TOILETS -REASONABLY PRICED -GREAT STEWARDS -GOOD ORGANISATION ON THE DAY -GREAT WATER STOPS
BAD -HAVING THE HALF-MARATHON SET OF JUST BEHIND THE 10K WAS SUICIDAL PARTICULAR IN LIGHT OF THE VARIED ABILITIES -THE ROUTE WAS PRETTY UGLY -THE COURSE MAP WAS HIDDEN AWAY IN THE 'CONTACT US' SECTION IF THE WEBSITE
OVERALL WORTH A LOOK AT Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Was a very enjoyable race, the crowd were brilliant, definately gave you a boost when you needed it. Gained a PB even with a few hiccups along the way, the mountain you have to scale at the end was quite entertaining. In full: all in all a great race, definately be back next year. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Work in progress In full: This event seemed a little under managed to me. For a race event that encapsulated a 5K, 10K and Half Marathon it seemed a little unimpressive. The Radio anouncer was depressing at best. The Radio Sponsors retreated into the local shopping center to play music leaving race tent area and start line feeling a little flat. There was no atmosphere hardly at all. Water stations should have been larger and there were not enough marshalls out and about. Also I'm not a fan of events that make you do repeat laps. The signage around the course was confusing because of this reason.
Make this race a single lap course. Bring in a better radio announcer who brightens the atmosphere up. Get the local shops more involved (I could see a few of them were trying to get involved in the custom). Make the radio station play music outside and near the race event. employ more marshalls and this event will improve dramatically. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Well organised with great support and atmosphere. In full: This is my second time of running the MK Half and the weather was almost identical (cold, windy, snow), though this did not take anything away from the organisation of the event.
The first 2-2.5 miles were downhill with the start on a closed dual carriageway so there was minimal bunching at the start although it got slightly crowded when the half marathon runners caught up with the 10k and 5k runners on the first part of the course, though this didn't last too long.
Various water stops along the route with friendly and encouraging marshals all around the route.
With a slight change in course from 2012 to go into Campbell Park and take on a "mountain" of a hill at the 12.5 mile mark was not ideal but added a little extra spice to the run.
Great crowd support at the finish line and it was nice to have someone put the medal around your neck this year rather than handing it to you still in the bag. The availability of space blankets at the end was also a welcome sight considering the conditions.
As others have stated, not much of a festival atmosphere though. Music/DJ, stalls and food could have added to this, but all in all a great race and I'll definitely be back again next year. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: A good race, on flat traffic free roads and paths. In full: A good race, on flat traffic free roads and paths.
Good wide start area with the first couple of miles on closed dual carriageway, so plenty of space to get into a decent rhythm.
Route then switched onto cycle paths but these were generally wide so didn’t experience any bunching issues.
Had expected to spend 13 miles running through modern housing estates but was surprised how picturesque some parts of Milton Keynes were to be honest.
The hill at the end was only short and actually not too bad, but as you came into the park and looked up to see the runners ahead going up it, silhouetted against the bleak grey sky, it was definitely one of those moments when your heart sinks.
In terms of the practicalities, loads of parking near to the start/finish areas, no queues for the toilets and being able to stay warm inside the Xscape Centre prior to the start was a real plus on such a cold day. Out on the course, the route & mile markers were nice and clear, with well placed water stations and good support from the marshals and locals alike.
Negatives are just small gripes – not really a ‘festival’ but I imagine that if the weather hadn’t been so cold then there would have been more people milling around which would have added to the atmosphere. And the medal feels a bit cheap, but this is just nit picking on an otherwise well organised race.
In short: A good race - well worth a go In full: A change in the course meant a steep hill at the end, but still a good course to set a pb with a long downhill start and mostly flat. Well organised half and 10k, but the 5k runners got sent off route causing probs. Marshalls were very supportive, and lots of support despite the weather. A few moans but well worth it overall. Date of review: March 11, 2013
In short: Not a bad race but 'Festiival' maybe an overstatement In full: Starts in a good location with lots of parking nearby. The thing is they didn't make the most of the starting location considering its titled as a festival. They could have had a DJ, warm up, stalls etc but there was nothing. If there hadn't been so many runners around, you might not have known that there was a running event going on.
Started out in the centre of MK then moved away from the roads, the route was pleasant but for the amount of runners there wasn't always enough room to run. Later in the race that wasn't so much of a problem but at the start we were bunched to close at times. Also lots of bollards to dodge thoughout the course!
There was a good mix of albilites so this would be a good race for a first time half marathoner, the course did lack supporters for most of the course though. Doesn't bother me but some people like being cheered on.
There were markers at every mile but as some of the course was repeated, you saw the 10 mile marker when you had only completed about 3 miles! Seeing the 10 mile marker the second time round was a much better feeling.
Water stops were every few miles & it was bottled water with sports caps, always a bonus over paper cups in a race.
Close to the finish line there was a short up hill stretch, it is only short but on tired legs it felt a bit cruel!
Coming into the finish there was plenty of support, my major gripe is though that you have to take your own timing chip off. In all of the races I've done, this is NOT common practice! After running 13 miles it would be nice if they could spare some marshals to help us out. I just about got my leg up high enough to take it off, it seemed the better option then bending down (& maybe not getting back up!) to retrieve it. Medal given to you in the bag as well?
Overall, I would probably take part again but would want to try the 10k this time. I would love it if the organisers read these comments & took them on board as if they did it could be a brilliant race. Date of review: March 10, 2013