In short: Well organised, enjoyable course but a tad pricey if it's a marathon build-up race, rather than an A race In full: Echoing many of the comments made already, this was a well-run event (as you'd expect from AAT) that bodes well for the future.
Positives: - well laid out course, pretty flat so good for those wanting a PB and / or first timers - water stations and first aid points at regular intervals - despite there being 5,000 people there were short queues for the toilets at the start (despite the rumours of a shortage) - good finish in the stadium making for a memorable finish for runners and a great vantage point for spectators
Things to improve: - a tad congested at the start and there didn't seem to be anyone checking whether people were in the right pens for their predicted time the first half mile or so was spent dodging in between slower runners - the cost WAS steep, especially if you're using it as a warm up race for a spring marathon (as I was). There are other runs at half the price and whilst I understand that there's a cost of road closures it seemed a trifle excessive. - no goody bag / refreshments afterwards other than a bottle of water. Given the price, I would have expected at least a banana and a Mars Bar.
In a nutshell, a slick event with only a few things that need to be sorted out. I doubt I'll be running it again next year but it should definitely appeal to people who have got it as an A race and I hope that the proposed route starting in Woking next time has as good a finish as this year's did.
Thanks to Toby and the team, especially all the volunteers. Date of review: March 9, 2014
In short: Good race for going for a PB and / or in the build up to a spring marathon In full: As others have said, this was not the most interesting or scenic of races, but I (for one) was there as it was my only warm up race for VLM 2010 and it enabled me to gauge progress.
Definitely PB potential (in my case 3 1/2 minutes)
The organisation seemed a bit chaotic and this was reflected in the delay to the start time which was OK as it wasn't too cold, but would have been a real problem if it had been windy / raining. Could have been helped my having more that a couple of people dealing with the handing out of the race numbers (why weren't they sent out in advance?)
I'm not an expert on the optimum ratio of toilets to runners, but the 5/6 toilets didn't really seem to be enough.
Would possibly it again, but only as a measure of progress vs this year - there are plenty of more attractive half marathons out there.
In short: Flat terrain, flat atmosphere In full: I didn't encounter some of the marshalling problems mentioned previously so no complaints on the efficiency.
In terms of terrain, I must have been doing a different race to some people because this race was just about as flat as it gets without being on a track, so definitely PB potential.
The most striking thing was the total absence of any kind of atmosphere - hardly anyone lining the streets and the vast majority of those that were watching just stood and stared at everyone as they ran by.
For anyone who ran this as their first race, rest assured there are more enjoyable and atmospheric ones!
I haven't got a downer on Milton Keynes as a place but this race just seemed to sum up the town. Date of review: July 26, 2009
In short: Brutal. Nothing else to say, just brutal In full: Billed as the hardest marathon in Britain, it certainly lived up to its name. I'm sure that the views were the same (i.e. fantastic) on the second lap as they were on the first, but the pain meant I didn't see them!
Apart from a slight glitch with the signage in one place, the logistics were spot on, the marshalls were encouraging and the camaraderie amongst runners was unbelievable.
Just don't go into this one thinking it's just another trail marathon - it's not! Date of review: June 21, 2009
In short: Stretches of mud and cold water but not as grim as I thought it would bee In full: A good fun race and well marshalled, but I thought it would be tougher (and grimmer) than it was in reality. Yes, the water was cold but the course was more like a standard cross country course with some big puddles and nets thrown in.
The really big puddles were great fun though, and I look forward to seeing the photos! Date of review: December 7, 2008
In short: Fast course, great finish, well organised, excellent marshalling In full: This course is as flat as they get short of running round a track for 26.2 miles - when the only comments on surprising inclines refer to the one coming out from under the subway, you know it's flat! As such, it has excellent PB potential - look on the thread for the evidence. Marshalling was top notch - no danger of getting lost or being run over. Was a bit less scenic in parts than I thought it would be, but through the villages and the tracks made for a good varied course. Only minor quibble was the proximity of the car park, but it really is a very minor one. Overall, spot on. Date of review: October 21, 2008
In short: I'll leave it to Tina Turner to describe this race! In full: Simply the best, better than all the rest!
Wonderful route through the woods, amazing scenery (the poppies were a real wow factor), great organisation and outstanding marshalling.
Everything ran like clockwork and there were some excellent touches - jelly babies and sponges at the water stations, marking the tree routes, cakes at the end and so on and so on.
The vast majority of the route was amazing and because it went from fields to woods to a bit on the road to woods etc you were constantly wondering what was coming next. the only unpleasant part was the stretch alongside the main road but as you knew you were nearing the finish it wasn't all that bad.
I didn't actually find it as tough as the pre-race build up would have suggested but that just meant I could enjoy it all the more.
Many thanks to everyone involved in running this race. Date of review: June 16, 2008