Ten reasons to sign up for the Milton Keynes Marathon

This weekend I ran my twelfth marathon at Chelmsford.  My body coped with the distance much better than I thought it would, given my severe lack of training and recent back injury amongst other things.  I got to mile 17 before my body said ‘Erm, what are you doing?!’ and started to slow down, although I ended up with a time that wasn’t too far off my early marathon times but I’ll save that story for another day.

I mentioned the other week that I had been chosen as an ambassador for the 2018 Milton Keynes Marathon.

MK marathon ambassador t-shirt

Milton Keynes will be my 14th marathon (Hopefully at least…I still have my 13th marathon at Gower planned for next month first!)

Milton Keynes Marathon ambassador

I will always have a soft spot for Milton Keynes Marathon as it was my first 26.2, back in 2012. Back where my long distance running obsession began!

So, why should you run Milton Keynes Marathon? Here are my top ten reasons…

#1 If running a marathon isn’t your thing, there are lots of other distances for you to try instead.  Or, if running a marathon is your thing, but you need something to keep your wife/husband/friend/children… amused and co-operative for the weekend, then sign them up for the half marathon, marathon relay, Rocket 5k or the Superhero fun run event.
Oscar and I will so be running the Superhero event when he is a little older!

Milton Keynes Superhero fun run{Picture taken from the MK marathon website}

#2 If you run the Rocket 5k event on the Saturday, followed by either the marathon or half marathon on the Sunday, not only will you get a medal for having completed each event, but you will get the MK Challenge medal for having completed BOTH events as well.

MK marathon medals

#3 There are so many opportunities for supporters to head out to see you on the course.  Dan is a seasoned race supporter now and can quickly zoom around to spot me in several locations, even with a baby in tow!  The first six miles of the course is an out and back of sorts along the dual carriageway with a few side streets and loops thrown in along the way.  This is great for atmosphere as you see all of the faster/slower runners heading in the other direction and turning off into different side streets around you.  My eyes are always constantly scanning the crowds of runners, searching for other runners from my club to shout support out to.  It is also a great place for non-running supporters to see you numerous times.  In 2014 I managed to spot one of my coaches five times before the six mile mark!

Milton Keynes marathon mile 6

#4 The marathon costs between just £42-£50 depending on when you sign up for the event.  (The price increases the longer you leave it…you’ve been warned!)  I’ve entered half marathons that cost more than that!  {*cough* Great North Run *cough*}

#5 This event is fast and flat.  Yes, there are subways to go under and back up again along the way, but there seems to be barely any elevation change across the whole course.  (If you were thinking about entering the double day challenge, The Rocket 5k is entirely flat/downhill.  I managed to run it in 29 minutes at an easy pace when I was nearly 5 months pregnant in 2015!)

Milton Keynes Rocket 5k elevation

#6 Despite being a ‘city’ marathon, and the first six miles of the course mainly following the dual carriageway, the race then gets out into the surrounding villages of Milton Keynes and you run through a series of beautiful parks out on the route.Milton Keynes marathon mile 16

#7 There will be pacers available for times every fifteen minutes between 3 hours and 5 hours 15 minutes, clearly marked with bibs and balloons.

Milton Keynes Marathon pacer bibsMilton Keynes marathon mile 10

#8 Milton Keynes marathon/half has one of the best finishes I’ve run in a race.  You run up the road alongside the MK Dons stadium before turning into the car park, down into the stadium itself and around the inside of the stadium for a lap of honour of the pitch before crossing the finish line.  My running club contains some of the loudest cheering runners I have ever met, so the atmosphere is always electric when I’ve run through into the stadium and can hear them screaming my name as I run around the outside for my finish.

Milton Keynes marathon stadium finish

#9 The medal has always been fab.  Definitely something you want to show off round your neck for the next couple of days! 😉

Milton Keynes marathon medal 2015

#10 If you are running your fifth Milton Keynes marathon, you will also be presented with a Marathon Legends medal.

Marathon legends medal

As well as receiving a medal, Marathon Legends are able to use the Performance Room at the stadium – overlooking the finish.  Their names are listed on the MK marathon website, and they also receive a discount on entry to the event in future years.  Of the six years the event has been running, I have run marathon three times, the half once, and supported once out on the course as well.  So I’ve been around five times…if only I’d run the marathon those other two times though!

What do you think makes a good marathon/race event?
Do you have a Spring marathon lined up for next year?