MK Half Marathon 2019

On Monday 6th May 2019 I took part in the Milton Keynes Half Marathon. This is a two day running affair with the 5k on the Sunday and the choice of the Marathon, Relay or Half on the Monday. There is also a superhero kids run on the Monday which takes place half an hour after the main race start. If you do an event on both days you get a 3rd special medal. I live close enough to drive up on the day, but further enough away that I can’t come two days in a row, so was not able to take part in the 5k.

Enjoying the finish in 2018

This was the 4th year in a row that I have led the 1:45 #funbus at #MKMarathon. It was also the 71st official event I have paced. Last year was during a heat wave and so hot, you can read about it HERE.

Standard #flatlay

As always I got my kit ready the day before the race and use my #flatlay as a checklist. I keep it nice and simple for a half marathon as I dont take any fuel on board during the race apart from water.

Getting ready with the half marathon boys

For the second year the Pacers were treated like VIP at the start. There is a room for Pacers and Ambassadors where we can leave our things and get refreshments. It is often the little things like this that make a difference. It was a cold start to the morning, so really nice to be able to sit down with a coffee before the start.

As Pacers we arrived a couple of hours before the start, and about an before we went for a group photo. Milton Keynes offers a stadium finish, and this is a lovely backdrop for some photos.

All aboard the 1:45 #funbus

We had a surprise this year and the half marathon Pacers had flags rather than balloons. I made my way to the start and soon runners formed a group around me. I spoke to runners to get everyone into the spirit of things, and before long we were making our way through the start line.

I always refer to the half marathon as a race of 2 halves. We start with the marathon runners and the first parts are on wide open roads. At the 7 mile point we split and the half marathon turns right on to trail paths which is lovely and scenic.

4 miles in before the split

The start is very congested and takes a couple of minutes before I can actually run at the desired pace. I never panic when this happens as it’s easy to slightly #pickupthepace during the mile to get on track without running too fast. As always I was aiming to build a couple of seconds cushion per mile. I adjusted to mile markers as I always run slightly further, meaning you have to run faster to hit the right timing. Later on in the race I completed a few 7:50 min miles to keep ahead of the mile markers as running 7:55 would have left me without any wiggle room at the end.

8 miles in after the split

We had a big group with us up to the 7 mile point. There were lots of ups and downs, but they aren’t too steep. The water stations are well staffed with water in bottles with sports caps. After the 7 mile point I waved goodbye to the marathon runners who had been running with my group, at this point they were all on track for a 3:30 marathon.

I always prefer the second half of the Milton Keynes half. My group thinned out, but still a good 20 plus runners behind with a dozen in front. It is scenic and becomes more intimate as I can try to offer words of motivation to runners struggling.

The views for the second half

The last 6 miles is quite technical with twists and turns. It is nice to see supporters throughout the course cheering people on, and the marshals were all spot on.

Captured coming into the stadium for the finish

The last mile I was screaming at my group to get ahead of me, as its not the time to give up. So many pulled ahead and I got them to #pickupthepace for the last little push. We finish in the stadium and it was great to see my family as I entered.

A cheer for my family

We do 2/3 of a lap and everyone sprinted to get ahead of me. I kept the pace going all the way to the end to keep people working for that 1:45.

I think my finish photos are becoming predictable haha

A nice little heel kick to finish the race. The finish is well organised and we pick up a great looking medal, before going inside to get a good technical tee.

On the money for 1:45

I was really pleased to finish in an official time of 1:44:38. A race I always like to take part in, and a great way to spend the bank holiday.

Tommy and Benjamin approaching the finish

Whilst I was running it is good to see that my little ones had a great race in the superheroes run.

Kirsty and Amelie ready to start

1.5 miles of running and a stadium finish, with a really good medal. This race ticks all the boxes.

Our superheroes

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