Last year was a baptism of fire – well, rain – but the 2013 Milton Keynes Marathon looks set to be the best yet as 3,000 athletes take to the start line on Monday.
But for one Matt Green, it’ll be an all too familiar challenge as he attempts his fifth marathon in five weeks.
He is running seven marathons in seven weeks around the UK, in honour of his father who is living with a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) as well as fundraising for the British Lung Foundation.
“I had never heard of IPF before my father was diagnosed,2 Matt said. “But I have since learnt that even though it affects thousands of people in the UK, there is still no known cure. I wanted to do a big challenge not only to raise money for the British Lung Foundation to help raise awareness for people affected by IPF, but also to do something that Dad would be proud of.
“With four marathons down it is taking me longer and longer to recuperate and I really had to dig deep during my last marathon.
“Giving up has never been an option, however, just thinking of Dad and the wonderful people who have sponsored me keeps me going.
“My mindset for the Milton Keynes Marathon is to run a steady first half and trust that I have enough reserves to finish.
“I really hope that the people of Milton Keynes will come out and cheer me and all the runners on, as that show of support can sometimes make all the difference in helping us across the finish line.”
The route has been tweaked slightly for this year, though organisers are not expecting the deluge of rain which threatenedto wash out the race 12 months ago.
But in spite of difficulties caused by heavy winds and flooding Race Director Andy Hully was overwhelmed by the level of support for the race.
“The spirit and determination shown by runners, volunteers and spectators was truly amazing,” said Andy. “The people of Milton Keynes really did themselves proud by coming out to support brave competitors from our city and all over the UK and abroad.
“We hope that this year the better weather will bring even more people out to enjoy cheering on the runners; it really does make a difference to them.”
For more information on the MK Marathon, and for a map of the 2013 route, visit www.mkmarathon.com