MILTON KEYNES WINTER HALF MARATHON 2016
This is the halfway point in our journey, we started out as nothing and now have got to half marathon distance.
The race packs were not sent out, something that was a little difficult for some. I wasn’t back from uni until the day before the race – luckily I had someone who was able to pick it up for me. The race was on Sunday 11th and the last race pack collection was wednesday which didn’t make much sense. I had a few people on instagram who were travelling a few hours on the morning and had to deal with picking up the packs as well as finding place a to park.
Turning up to the race we found the last parking space at the nearest free carpark – we didn’t want to walk miles to get to the race. We met at the entrance of the gym to form a big Redway Runners photo and a Z2H photo. It was lovely to see how many had made it to this stage.
The race village had a few things in, a few toilets but not enough for the amount that were racing on the day, food vans, music, medal engraving etc. It ran 10 minutes late and then we got in line for the start. We were all pretty nervous, for some of us it was our first half but others it was their second. I could see a lot of stuff was happening at the start and we slowly started moving to the start, we started to see lead runners going around the loop behind us and we hadn’t started yet! Some were still waiting in the line for the loos before we had started!
There were FOUR feed stations on the route. 3 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles & 12 miles. All of them will have water, 3, 6 & 9 miles will have bottles, the final station at mile 12 will have cups. There was also jelly babies/sweets at all of them. Each station was filled with lovely encouraging volunteers, music and cheering which was great to have and really needed. The 12 mile mark I felt a little bad for, everyone was probably miserable by this stage because we had all just run up a hill! I had a lovely man telling me it wasn’t far now!
I started off running with 3 of us but slowly we dropped off and by mile 5 I was running by myself. If I am being honest I was struggling about mile 5 and then at mile 6 was the obstacle! There was a huge puddle underneath the bridge from where the river had overflowed by the recent bad weather. It came up to our knee’s almost and you had to wade for a bit. After this my shoes were like weights and I struggled to run for the next 3 miles because the water was still in them.
The marshals were great, there was a few spectators who I saw every few miles, they really stayed throughout the whole race and it was lovely to have their support. There was always a friendly runner around me to have a chat with.
There were pacers throughout the race which was great to have, I followed mine for 5 miles but lost her when I hit the puddle.
It was a beautiful day, I started in a long sleeved top but ended up taking it off halfway because it was too hot. It was great considering the day before was miserable.
I hit the 12 mile mark and started to struggle but there were marshals along the route who were still extremely encouraging. I finished trying to get a sprint finish, there was still plenty of people waiting at the finish but unfortunately my time didn’t come up so I had to wait for them to find it on the screen to go get my medal engraved. At the finish you got a medal, tshirt and had a choice of plenty of sweets and water.
It was a great race overall, lovely atmosphere, well run and great marshals!
The route was fairly flat and really took you through the beautiful views of Milton Keynes. Following the main routes of the grand union canal, the route took you in a big loop of MK. The route was marked out by mile markers and there was live tracking with your timing chips. I was lucky I synced my garmin live and it tracked exactly where I was so my mum was able to take photos and meet.
There were photographers placed along the whole route as well as good photo points marked out for spectators.
Up until the puddle the route felt flat and down hill, it was nice and all on the redways. Part of the path after the puddle was through the grass which was wet and sludgy and so that slowed you down. You then were able to get views of the lakes surrounding MK and run along the canals giving you the views of MK.
When it hit mile 10 thats where it got hard, a very slow and long hill right next to a very busy road let to people in their cars staring at you whilst you struggle! Mile 10-11 1/2 wasn’t the most scenic as it was following roads and underpasses with plenty of small hills and then a long flat last mile to the finish.
If you had asked me to run a half marathon last year I would have said no way but then I managed to complete the full 13 miles! It’s crazy!
I didn’t think it felt too bad the next few days but my runs haven’t quite made up for it, I’m struggling a little bit with pacing. I don’t know how I feel about doing a full one in May but I’ll work up to it and hopefully complete it!