Bank Holiday Weekend - MK Rocket 5K and MK Half Marathon

May Bank Holiday Weekend.  In the past I would be drunk.  Or hungover.  Heading to the pub for a sunny afternoon of drinking cider.  Enjoying the time away from the office.

For the last two years, however, I have managed to steer away from my usual weekend exploits and instead take part in the Milton Keynes Marathon Weekend

The MK Marathon Weekend consists of a 5K Race on the Sunday and a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and Marathon Relay on the Bank Holiday Monday.  

Last year I took part in the 5K and the Marathon.  This year, the 5K and the Half Marathon.

You are given medals for all events and if you complete both the Sunday and Monday races, you get a third medal for two days of running! Who doesn't love medals?

MK Rocket 5K

What a great race this is.  Mostly downhill 5K event the day before the MK Marathon.  Last year I got myself a shiny new 5K PB which is yet to be beaten.  I knew I wouldn't be close to my PB this year.  Not enough running in me and my 5Ks recently are about 5-6 minutes slower.

Sunday, I ran with my friend Beefy (he's like a fourth brother - yes, I have three).  Steady pace.  Good company.  He got me round in 28:20.  Fastest 5K in a long time.  Confidence building or what!

The race is really well organised.  Closed roads.  Finish outside the stadium.    Amazing chunky medal.  Immediate results.  Wonderful!

The support along the route is also fantastic, especially leading up to the stadium.  Crowds of people all cheering you on.

Highly recommend this event.

MK Half Marathon

The following day, Bank Holiday Monday, was the MK Marathon and Half Marathon.  I was taking part in the half.  As I've said in a previous post, I wasn't aiming for a PB.  I felt good, but still nervous.  Not enough long runs in the build up at all - apart from Sheffield Half Marathon, but I didn't train for that either!

MK Half is a great race.  As is the full.  I think MK will always have a special place in my heart as it was my first (and currently only) full marathon.  You run through the centre of Milton Keynes and run through areas where you forget you're even in Milton Keynes, it's so peaceful. 

The full and half routes follow each other until the races split before Willen Lake.  The half double back and run on the redways until you finish at the MK Dons Stadium.  The full race takes on a tour of the outskirts of Milton Keynes before returning to also finish in the stadium.  

Finishing in the stadium is quite incredible. When I finished my marathon last year, there were not many people around.  Not surprising as I came in at 05:35 and it was starting to rain (and then it really rained).  I still had goose bumps and it was a great place to finish.  JB was waiting for me at the end (for about two hours after he had finished, the gazelle that he is).  Amazing experience.

This year when finishing the half, I came in just before the winner of the marathon.  So the place was packed!  The lead up was full of people, the stadium was full (it obviously wasn't full, but I was on a running high and felt like it was full).  It was great to see so many people supporting.  I sped up after a bit of a shocker of the last mile, and finished in 02:22:45.  I was hopeful of somewhere around 02:20 so this was perfect really. (Shame I didn't beat my Sheffield time though!).

I was pretty consistent throughout the race.  I had to walk.  I could tell I hadn't done enough longer runs.  I had a long walk on the penultimate km.  Should have started running again sooner, but had a quick final km into the stadium.  Happy.

I'm sure if I had run on my own, I would have given up more.  I started the race with some members of the club who were going at a comfortable pace so I stuck with them.  Handy.  The support from the club around the course was incredible too.  I couldn't stop smiling!  

All in all a great race and a PB may be on the horizon with enough training.  Who knows.


I have another half coming up this weekend.  I've never done two half marathons within a week before so this will be interesting.  I only entered this race yesterday (Tuesday) as JB was looking for a half to run.  We found one. Entered. And we're off to Stratford for the weekend.  Excited.

I obviously didn't also have to enter the race and could quite happily be a supporter. Which may be more sensible.  JB and I are in a medal competition against each other and we're currently even so I just have to do it. Have to.

Bring it on, Bassil. Bring it on.


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