It was on your marks and super soakers at the ready for thousands of runners at the Milton Keynes Marathon and Half Marathon (7 May). They braved temperatures of 26 degrees on the hottest early May Bank Holiday on record.
The local population deserved a gold medal for their kindness and support; employing a variety of ways to keep runners cool as they went past. From children with super soakers to adults with hoses, sprinklers and buckets of water plus many others who handed out ice lollies and ice pops to the thirsty entrants. The word ‘amazing’ has been used umpteen times to describe their actions which have earned the thanks and gratitude of everyone who took part.

As well as members of the public, a local fire crew played their part in preventing runners from overheating. Broughton Fire Station sprayed them as they reached the 9 mile mark which raised spirits as well as hydration levels. There was additional help from Thames Valley Police cadets who handed out glucose and jelly babies and this too, was appreciated by all.

This weekend event included the Rocket 5K on Saturday followed by the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay and the Superhero Fun Run. Stadium MK, the home of Milton Keynes Dons was the location for the start and finish with runners following an attractive route featuring several landmarks, e.g. the Concrete Cows who also inspired the design of this year’s medal.

Saint Edmund Pacer Denys Olefir (2:37:40) and Yarmouth & District’s Colleen Nicole Mukuya (2:57:40) took first places in the marathon. Michael Aldridge (Wootton Road Runners) in 1:13:00 and Johanna O’Regan (St Neots Riverside Runners) in 1:25:31 claimed the main prizes in the half marathon. All times shown are chip times.

Amongst the masses was World record breaker Steve Edwards who was also a sub 3:30 pacer. Despite the heat, he completed marathon number 821 in 3:28:32.

It was a scorcher but for many, Milton Keynes residents made a difference between success and failure.