This year was the first Milton Keynes marathon so I thought it a good idea to sign up for the first one! Big mistake!!! Whilst eating my breakfast in the morning I thought about not bothering as it was pouring down, ‘nah it will be ok’ voice in my head told me– another Big mistake!
Unfortunately the race set up was littered with errors that need some feedback to change next year. Obviously the weather didn’t help as it was pouring down all morning but they still managed to get nearly 4000 runners to the start line.
The race is mainly run down red ways and is fairly flat with the only inclines being canal or road crossings. It is a fairly flat marathon and i think you could run a decent time there although the pace at the top end wasn’t great, I’d assume this was more due to most people of that class had done London the week before and not applied for Milton Keynes.
Due to the weather I found a bin liner from the store room in the MK Dons stadium and thought I’d pop it on whilst standing at the start line and waiting for the off. As it was I ran the first four miles before I even braved putting holes in it for my arms to go through and then a further four miles before I took it off all together!!!
Really strange thing around the power of the mind happened in the latter stages of the race. By mile 19 I was not enjoying it and was struggling, I was putting in walk breaks at each mile sign and wondering how I was going to finish this. Then when having a walk at mile 22 a group of four guys came past me who were running for a 3:30 finish, so I just hitched onto the back of them and focused on keeping in step with them. Low and behold I felt alright again and chatted away to the finish with them. Strange how much a part your mind plays in running, clearly my body was not as tired as my mind thought it was.
At the end of the race it was still pouring down and I had to stand waiting for my bag for 25 minutes! I was not happy and many runners were shouting at the baggage lorry workers and getting very hot under the collar. Personally this doesn’t do anything for me and nobody was going to work any quicker by shouting at them or making stupid comments, they knew they had made a hash of the bags so the volunteers didn’t need to be told about it.
Overall I would do this race again but if the weather was as bad as Sunday I wouldn’t get out of bed for any race!! The organisers need to improve the experience they give the runners but the volunteers and the supporters that were out in bad weather show that there is clearly an appetite for a marathon in the Area.