Festival of Running is filling up

The start of the 20 mile race last year
The start of the 20 mile race last year

Next month's Festival of Running has already attracted more than 2,500 runnners.

With an entry limit of 6,000 it looks as though the festival, on March 17, will be close to a sell-out. 5,300 entered last year’s festival. All the races start and finish outside the XScape Building in Central Milton Keynes, with cafes, bars, restaurants and retailers gearing up to welcome the runners. There will be road closures for the first 2.5km of each course, and at other key points, to ensure the safety of the runners

Marshall Milton Keynes will provide 120 volunteers to man feeding stations, marshal the courses and deal with registration, baggage and the finish. 5000 bananas have been ordered to refuel weary finishers, and every finisher will receive a medal to celebrate their achievement.

There are four races on the programme. The first race, starting at 9:45am is the 20 mile race for experienced runners looking to check on their fitness ahead of one of the big spring marathons. There is a time limit of four hours for this event to ensure that roads can be opened in good time. There were 939 finishers last year with MMK’s Lara Bromilow winning the women’s race and Wendy Webber third. Runners need to be at least 18 on the day to run in this race. Pacemakers will be provide to help runners set off at the right pace for them.

The second race on the programme, starting at 10am, is a 5km fun run for all the family. You can savour the atmosphere of the big race and perhaps motivate yourself to try one of the longer races next year. Children have to be at least 11 years old on the day to take part. 531 finished last year with MMK’s Jeremy Vick finishing third.

At 10:10am the 10km race will start. This race has become increasingly popular over the years with 1321 finishers in 2018. This is an ideal race for park runners who want to step up in distance. Runners need to be at least 15 years old on the day to run this race. MMK’s Debra Brent was the first over 55 woman to finish in 2018.

The last race of the day is the Half Marathon, where runners have to be at least 17 to take part. This is the most popular of the races with 1436 finishers last year. MMK provided the first two over 40 male runners to finish in Daniel Webber and Stephen Herring. Pacemakers will be provide to help runners set off at the right pace for them.

Further details and online entry for the festival can be found at www.mkrun.co.uk.