THOUSANDS of runners took to the streets of Milton Keynes yesterday to take part in a wet and windy Green City Marathon.
More than 3,000 people took part in the event, ranging from elite athletes to fun runners and those in fancy dress. More colourful entrants included the Gingerbread Man, Santa Claus, Mario and Luigi and Tweetie Pie.
Olympic marathon runner and Commonwealth Games medallist Liz Yelling started the race as lead motorcyclists from SERV Bloodrunners took the runners down the first mile of the course.
Cyclists from Trek Bicycles then took the pack around over 26.2 miles of wet and windblown lakes, parks and woodlands. Tail riders from David Lloyd Redway Runners and ElliptiGo UK ensured the final runners safely reached the finish inside stadiummk, home of Milton Keynes Dons.
Support out on the course from DW Sport Fitness, FreshFit MK, Cancer Research UK, fitMK, David Lloyd Redway Runners, British Military Fitness and their many willing and able volunteers made all the difference to tired and wet runners competing in the arduous endurance event.
The race was won by Dave Mitchinson of Mizuno Race Team in a time of two hours 41 minutes and 54 seconds. Yvette Grice was first lady home in three hours 23 seconds.
The Geoffrey Leaver Corporate Relay Challenge was won by the team from MIB Motor Insurance Bureau, while the winner of the MKM Young Athlete Award was Daniel Oderinde from Milton Keynes.
Race Director Andy Hully was overwhelmed by the level of support for the event.
He said: “The spirit and determination shown by runners, volunteers and spectators today has been truly amazing.
“The people of Milton Keynes have really done themselves proud by coming out in spite of the weather to support brave competitors from our city and all over the UK and abroad. We couldn’t have asked for better people at this event, their positive attitude filled me with admiration and made the day great.”
Commentators on our Facebook account included runner Stephen Richardson, who finished second in the race in a time of two hours, 44 minutes and 13 seconds.
He wrote: ‘A week after running the London Marathon badly, I thought I would give it another shot. Thought it was a bad idea on race morning, but the wind and rain at least cooled me down.
‘Had a relaxing first half and then pushed in the second half to come in second place. With the MK Park Run and now a large and successful Marathon Milton Keynes is definitely the East Midlands/East Anglia capital of running’.
And Helen Green told us: ‘My husband completed the MK Marathon in fours hours 20 minutes, despite having to walk the last four miles with a pulled groin. This was his first Marathon and he was gutted the weather was so foul.
‘The organisers could have provided some emergency blankets (foil variety) at the end, but apart from that said it was very well organised and received great support on run from spectators, despite the driving rain and wind.’
> For a picture gallery from the Milton Keynes Marathon click here
> To see a full list of results from the race click here