Milton Keynes Half Marathon: 24 July 2005
|4||4||Paul Odonnell||1:30:43||V45||Trent Park RC||71.5%||6:55|
This race should not be confused with the Milton Keynes
Half held in March each year as part of the build-up to
the London Marathon. It is a different course, with a
different start and a different set of organisers.
Unlike the March race, there is no parking near the
race start, so you need to allow for a 10 - 20 mins
walk to the start area. There were also long queues for
the toilets and for the baggage deposit area (slightly
irritating to have to wait for others to mark their bag
labels when you did your own the night before).
As a result of these delays (and my own dislike of
getting up early) the race had already started when I
got to the start area, and I found myself at the back
of the field. The race is very crowded because of the
narrow pedestrian and cycle paths on which it is run,
and it wasn't until the 3-mile marker that the field
had thinned sufficiently for me to be able to run at my
I found that the high humidity made this a tough race,
and it was a welcome relief when the cooling hard rain
started at about the half-way point.
The course is very well marked with yellow arrows every
100m or so, and numerous friendly marshalls on the
whole length of the course.
At the end I made a brilliant 200m sprint to the
"finish" line, only to discover it wasn't the real
finish line, and that I had to make another painful
sprint to actually finish the race.
All finishers received a medal and a modest but useful
goody bag, and there were plenty of bananas and mineral
water. We were then faced with another long queue, in
the pouring rain, to retrieve our bags.
The organisation of the baggage area needs to be
improved, and possibly something done about the
confusion over the finish line, but otherwise
this is a very well-organised race.
Report by Neil Hall
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