Several thousand participants enjoyed a last hurrah at the Milton Keynes Festival of Running (Sunday 15 March). It was a smooth operation from start to finish as everyone kept calm and encouraged each other across the distances.
The organisers had been monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak and taking government advice about sports events, made the decision to host the Festival of Running as normal.
It was all systems go on Sunday in Milton Keynes as runners converged on the Xscape centre and the four distances. There was a 5K for those wanting a fast and furious race or alternatively, an easy introduction to the sport: a 10K, Half Marathon and a 20 Miler - the latter in theory a good option if training for a spring marathon.
The MK 20 started at 9.50am followed by the MK 5K at 10am then the MK 10K at 10.10am and the MK Half Marathon at 10.45am. The courses were mostly flat although the final mile was hilly!
Conditions were a tad moist with heavy rain but it didn’t dampen anyone’s enthusiasm and desire to focus on something else apart from constant media coverage about coronavirus. Marshals and spectators defied the weather as they clapped and cheered everyone and there was a good camaraderie between runners. One example of this - two women helped another female runner towards the finish line in the 10K.
A medal, banana and selfie at the finish with many runners praising the efficient and friendly organisation, saying they will return next year.
Image courtesy of Mohd Noor Izman