We spoke to Martin Lawrence, Chair of the Redway Runners, about how preparations are going.
MK’s biggest running club, the Redway Runners, plays a vital role in the MK marathon, by training runners, providing volunteers and getting the people of Milton Keynes excited about the event which will take place on 5-6 May this year.
The 2,000-strong club 387 members running over the 2019 Rightmove Marathon Weekend on Sunday 5 and Bank Holiday Monday 6 May, and is supplying an impressive 250 plus volunteers who will help everything to run smoothly, by being ‘mile marshals’ on the course route, helping at the start and finish lines, and handing out medals.
Martin Lawrence, Founder and Chair of the Redway Runners, set up the running club in 2010, with the aim of getting just 10 runners on board. Now he runs the club – which charges people an annual membership fee of just £5 – full-time, supported by a committee and countless other helpers.
This year Martin himself will be running the Rightmove MK Half Marathon, but he’s been instrumental in helping many club members with their preparations for the big weekend. He said: “We do marathon training with our members on Sundays and their runs increase by 10 minutes each week. We also do interval training during the week, which is great for marathon runners. And we have a programme called Zero to Hero which starts in May/June time. Novices sign up and train for 10-11 months, building up to the MK Marathon. The current Zero to Hero runners are making good progress as we get closer and closer to the big day. They’re nervously excited!”
People join the Redway Runners for all sorts of reasons: to lose weight, to increase their pace, for social interaction, to improve their stamina, or just to have fun. The club – which has many awards to its name – has around 40 runs a week at different times of day and recommends to new members which groups would be suitable for them.
Martin said: “We are a fun and sociable club and we take all kinds of people from beginners right through to accomplished runners. Beginners sign up to a 10-week course and work towards doing a 5k parkrun. For accomplished, fast runners, we have a group that does 6-minute, 40-second miles!”
He added: “We normally have a big turnout at the MK Marathon! We encourage people to take part and to train properly for it. And we also have a lot of people who volunteer – whether because they can’t run, don’t want to run, or just because they want to give something back to MK and running!”
Race Director and Founder Andy Hully says the support of the Redway Runners is vital in the smooth-running of the MK Marathon. He said: “We are ever grateful to the Redway Runners for the support they offer us. They help train our runners, but they also supply us with many volunteers who do an excellent job! We love to get runners in as volunteers because they know just what’s needed.”
Volunteers are promised a fun and rewarding experience, while giving something back to running and to our much-loved Milton Keynes on Bank Holiday Weekend. Every volunteer will receive a free boot bag, a high-quality technical volunteer t-shirt, a volunteer badge – and a free Subway lunch on race day. Plus, all volunteers are invited to join in the wrap-up celebrations at Wetherspoons in Midsummer Boulevard on the Bank Holiday Monday evening.
If you’re a business, individual, or community group that’s interested in volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, visit www.mkmarathon.com/eventcrew/ to sign up, view FAQs or get further details about volunteer roles and responsibilities. Or visit www.mkmarathon.com for all other enquiries.