In short: Shouldn't of changed the course In full: After running the half last year I thought I'd try and PB my time this year. However the change to the corse meant that you were mainly running on the Redways (cycle paths around Milton Keynes). These Redways were very narrow, caused congestion at turns due to bollards and were very undulating both under foot and in layout. To try and get back on pace you were forced to run on the soft verge. At one point the path had been completely flooded so you were forced to run through a muddy bog - not what you expect from the road race of a 'new city'. Also the change to the route meant lots more hills - with a killer climb at the 12.5mile mark.
Overall the atmosphere and organisation was good and it's very beginner friendly, I just wish they kept the running to the roads. It would of been a much more competitive race. Date of review: March 10, 2013
In short: Torrential Rain, Snow, Wind and freezing cold - but still fun! In full: My first Half marathon, and although a 'training run' in my marathon schedule I turned up with great expectations to see what I could do. Unfortunately the weather was against us and it led to it being quite a challenge.
As a newbie I found all the runners to be light hearted and even encouraging - I even was paced then helped pace a couple of fellow runners. For a first timer the last 1.5miles was a challenge - it gets really steep really quickly! So save some energy for the final push!
Now for some negatives...
The finish. This I found poorly planned - it was 'S' shaped around a bridge down a narrow path with spectators very (and I mean on top of) near the sides... I actually had someone walk out in front of me!. It then led out to a short 100m finish. Knowing MK like I do i dont understand why we just couldnt of finished on a straight - it would of made such a difference to the finish - especially for a first timer like myself.
Then the weather - obviously you cant predict this but I have never been so cold! I was in leggings and a jacket but i was still super soaked through and freezing. There wasnt a single space blanket to be seen!
We were also made to take our chips off AT THE FINISH...given our medals wrapped up SECURELY in plastic and only given a bottle of water. All in all this meant more time in the rain and snow getting cold, with no electrolytes to help recovery. THIS NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT FOR NEXT YEAR.
With all that in mind I still came away with a 1:38:03 ... an will be entering again next year to see if I cant beat it!