Matthew and Melanie monster Milton Keynes
The surprisingly green Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon
Willen Lake was the attractive venue for Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon on Sunday (12 December) with just shy of 1,500 finishing the remarkably scenic, anti-clockwise 13.1-mile lap of the modern city that is famed for its concrete cows, roundabouts, and grid road system.
The increasingly active Big Cow Sports company was in charge and the wet conditions underfoot were supplemented by a snow cannon at the finish for an authentic winter atmosphere! The finish line was close to Gulliver's Land Theme Park and positioned beside a giant Ferris wheel.
The completely traffic-free course utilises the famous Milton Keynes Redway system of foot and cycle paths, running alongside the Great Union Canal and through many of the linear parks that interlace the city. As the website says: "You will need to pinch yourself while running that you are actually in a city", such is the amount of 'green lung' land on the route.
Starts were in waves of similar ability athletes starting with the elite performers. Six men broke 70-minutes, including three members of Lincoln Wellington AC, with the top two from the East Midlands club. Shane Robinson (1:06:46) had a 20-second cushion over his team mate Ronny Wilson (1:07:06). Seyfu Jamaal (London Heathside, 1:07:25) – the 2019 winner of this race in 1:06:05 – was third this time.
The women's elite race saw 10 athletes return to Willen Lake inside 90 minutes, led by Alice McGushin (Clapham Chasers, 1:23:22), Lucy Waterlow (St Albans Striders, 1:24:56) and Nicky Steel (Wakefield & District, 1:26:23).
With more than 100 finishers under 90 minutes and 350+ ahead of the 1:45:00 pacer – including Redway Runners Matthew Childs and Melanie Reed (pictured above) – this was a race with a good depth of quality. A total of 1,476 finishers were recorded in less than four hours.
This one minute video from 2019 gives a good idea of the course and atmosphere:
Results are available as always via runABC South's comprehensive race listing
Image courtesy Milton Keynes Winter Half Marathon on Facebook