Follow @Running_Reviews Review of the 2014 Milton Keynes Marathon | Running Marathons - Reviews, Advice & Information for 10k, Half & Full Marathon Runners
06th May2014

Milton Keynes Marathon 2014 Review – 5th May 2014

by admin-runningmarathons

Just three weeks after the London Marathon I found myself heading to Milton Keynes for another marathon, I had decided that I would either be stronger as London would have acted like an extra long training run, or I would pay the price for running another marathon too soon, sadly it was the latter that was to be the case.

The event starts outside (and finishes inside) the impressive Stadium MK, we had pre-booked VIP parking, right next to the stadium, unfortunately, the organiser had over-subscribed this, so there was a bit of a delay and an argument with a car park steward while they found somewhere else to put everyone who had arrived after the original car park was full.

MiltonKeynesMarathon

Me and the girls at the MK Marathon 2014 (my wife and her friend) they where running the half, I did the full marathon

Once we were parked we headed into the stadium, where there were plenty of toilets and enough space, seating and shelter for everyone, thankfully it wasn’t raining, but if it had been, inside the stadium is the ideal place to hide before the start.

Before long we headed down to the start area, this was pretty busy and getting into the pens was a squeeze and most runners ended up taking a long route around to join the back of the runners who were already waiting. Once we started it took me around 4-5 minutes to get over the start line, this was not a problem with chip timing, but it reflects how busy it was.

The Milton Keynes marathon uses a paper chip timing system, which loops around the laces and sticks to itself, I had never used one like this before and I was concerned it would fall off during the run as it was pretty flimsy, but I found it to be lightweight and effective, that said, I would be worried as to how it would fair in wet weather.

As we set off it was clear that there would be no wet weather, it was a hot day, with temperatures getting close to 20 degrees. The run goes straight into a gentle incline and I found that this was to be pretty much the theme for the whole course, the route is far from flat, there are loads of ups and downs, through underpasses, hills in parks and industrial estates and residential areas, this is not an easy course.

The ups and downs and various hills were hard going, by mile 13 my legs felt like they usually do after 20 miles, but I think this was more down to them not having fully recovered from running London just three weeks earlier.

I found the last 8 miles quite a struggle, many people were walking and others had given up altogether, the hills seemed to get worse as we got closer to the end and at mile 19 I got hit with a painful bout of cramp, this was the first time I had ever suffered from cramp and hopefully the last.

After what seemed an eternity of hanging on in there, I was into the last mile, which was a flat run up to the stadium, the finish takes the runners insider and around the pitch, which is an amazing feeling, even after a gruelling 26.2 mile run.

The finish really is amazing, but the course is hard, support is good in places, but there is no really scenery of note and after a couple of hours running it gets boring, as a result the last few miles can feel very tough, especially as there is a nasty hill at mile 23, which I noticed nearly everyone was walking up.

I finished in 4hrs 15mins, not my best time, but given the heat, hills and the fatigue from London, I was pretty happy.

The medal was excellent, but the goody bag was of the usual (poor) standard handed out at most events.

I am not sure if I would do Milton Keynes again, I struggled and can’t say I enjoyed it, however, had I not done London recently, I would have probably smashed it and been thinking about booking for next year.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this as a first time marathon, but it is probably one to tick of your ‘to do’ list if you are looking for another 26.2 or 13.1 mile challenge.

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