Hot Hot Hot… after a tough London Marathon, because of the heat, the weather has been much better for running. That is until Bank Holiday weekend, and on 7th May 2018 I took part in the Milton Keynes Marathon weekend, pacing 1:45 for the half marathon. This was the 3rd time I have paced the 1:45 #funbus at this event, and this was the hottest and toughest it has been. If you want you can look at how 2017 went HERE.
As always I laid out my kit ready for race day to make sure I had everything I needed. Some stats for you before we move on. This was the 3rd time I have paced this event, and today marked the 49th time I have paced an official event. I love pacing, and rarely run my own race these days.
The MK Marathon weekend offers a 5k on the Sunday, but I can never make both and was working on Sunday. I’m the Monday there is a Marathon, a Marathon relay, a half marathon and a kids superhero race. My kids couldn’t run the superhero event as Kirsty would have struggled to manage both, but they still dressed the part and had a great time. The last few years the weather has not been great, but this year the kids got to have fun with all the rides and inflatables, a great family friendly event.
This year we were really looked after alongside the ambassadors and met in the VIP area. We went down to the finish for a photograph. I love the finish at MK In the stadium.
Before long we made our way to the start line. The full and half start together and we are out in different start zones. It gets a little bit crowded and difficult to get in the correct place, especially with pacers for half every 5 minutes and full every 15 minutes. But I like to get to the start in plenty of time so gathered a lovely group around me. It was hot so there were a lot of nerves, but I tried to settle these by explaining my pacing strategy. As MK has a few bumps I explained that I would be going up hills by effort, so slower up and faster down.
MK Half is really a race of two half’s. The first half we share the course with Marathon runners. It’s busy, on roads and there are a lot of bumps. I enjoyed it this year, the water stations were great with water in bottles with sports caps. I didn’t hear of anyone running out or water. The water was every 3 miles, could have done with it a little more frequently at the end but that’s just because of the heat. It’s really nice when you come to the first relay change over as there are lots of supporters and runners there. It’s not the busiest of races for support but everyone is really friendly.
At 7 miles the full carry on straight and the half turns off right. It becomes much more intimate with a more spread out field. The paths become narrow, but across lovely fields and alongside a river. It’s like a different race, both good in different ways. The heat really took its toll on people and around mile 9 people had started to fall away. I tried to shout out encouragement but it really was hot. I kept a steady pace, but had to go faster as each mile marker was further away, so to just achieve my time I had to run between 7:50 and 7:55. Although it was hard everyone did such a great job keeping up the pace in the heat that reached 26 degrees.
When I got to the final mile most were either ahead of me or dropping off. I shouted out encouragement and the last mile it was great to see people responding and catching up with me. I was overtaken by at least a dozen in the final 800 metres and with the heat like it is I’m really impressed with this.
Coming into the stadium to finish is always fantastic and I love shouting out to those around me and seeing people sprint past me to dip under their desired time. I managed to keep it steady and come in with a time of 1:44:47 which I am very happy with.
Who was running today? How did you get on? Next up Gatwick Half, who is with me?