How many runners enter the race?
We had over 4500 entries in 2020: approximately 1500 in the Half Marathon, 1,500 in the 10k, 500 in the 5k and we expect approximately 1000 for the 20 mile race. We start on the roads so runners get away quickly. The events have a ‘big race’ feel but they are not so big that you will get held up by the masses as with much larger races.
When should I enter?
Please do not leave it too late. Online Entries close at 5pm on the Thursday before race day but entering at least two weeks before allows us enough time to get your packs out to you. If you enter after the race packs have been sent out then you can collect your chip & number from the Information/Late Entries tent in the Xscape car park on race day.
How do I apply?
Enter online by clicking the online entry link on the right-hand side of any page on this website.
Runners must be of minimum age to compete in one of the Milton Keynes Festival of Running events as follows:
20 miles 18 years
Half Marathon 17 years
5K 11 years
10K 15 years
The race is run under UK Athletics rules and UKA set the age limits for us.
Cut off time for 20miles?
All runners must be fit enough to have finished by 2pm. We need to re-open the Xscape car park as part of our arrangement with them by 3pm and we need time to clear away the Finish Line and Information area. We also rely on the goodwill of marshals and people around the course to enable this race to happen and we need to ensure that the course is clear by 2pm.
When will race packs be sent out?
We will send the race packs out close to the race as they will include the race timing chip. If we send them out early, people lose them and the timing company will charge the runners a premium. We’ll start to send packs out to all runners two weeks before race day.
No race pack/ late entries or queries? Please don’t worry. Just come to the race Information Marquee in the Xscape Centre car park near the finish line gantry and see us there. We can sort out any issues on race day. Please get to the desk at least one hour before you are due to race.
Entry Transfers/Distance Changes/Deferrals
If you wish to transfer your entry to another person then we can do that for you up until the date that race packs are sent out. After that time any transfers will need to be done on race day at the Information/Late Entries tent in the Xscape car park. Any transfers to another runner will be subject to a £5 administration charge.
If you wish to change up or down in distance then we can also make that change for you. Once again, after race packs have been sent out the distance changes can only be made on race day at the Information/Late Entries tent in the Xscape car park. Distance changes will also be subject to a £5 administration charge & no refunds of entry fees will be made if you are changing down in distance.
If you wish to defer your entry then we can allow you to defer entries FOR ONE YEAR ONLY up until 5pm on the Thursday before race day, after which we will deem the deferral list closed and NO further deferrals will be allowed.
Changed Address or Email?
Runners often say that they’ve changed address since entering or that they live in a huge block of flats and their post goes missing. Why not get your number sent to your workplace if that is more secure? If you change your address after entering but before the race packs have been sent out, please tell us otherwise the info, race number and chip will go to the wrong address.
Similarly if you have changed your email address since entering please let us know otherwise you will not receive any event updates/important information which we may send out at time to time.
Running Number/Chip Loss or Damage
We are using disposable chips attached to the back of your number. If you lose the number prior to the race, please contact us immediately. If your number or chip is damaged in the post or for any reason fails to arrive before race day then please head to the Information/Late Entries tent in the Xscape car park & the staff there will replace/re-issue chips & numbers for you.
We are delighted to be offering a pacing service for the longer races. We hope to have pacers for:
Half marathon 1.30, 1.40, 1.45, 1.50, 2.00, 2.10, 2.15 & 2.20 pace
20m miler pace at 2.45, 3.00 and 3.15 / 3.20
Ill or Injured?
You should not run if ill or injured for your own safety. You CANNOT just give your number to someone else in your place. This is for insurance cover purposes & medical/emergency contact reasons. You can make an entry transfer to another person. Please refer to the section above for this procedure.
This event is not suitable for competitors in wheelchairs.
People with severe special needs must be accompanied by a helper/guardian/guide to ensure the safety of that runner and the other competitors.
Like all events, entry fees are used to hire the venue, equipment etc. Therefore, we do not issue refunds after entry. Please see the Transfer/Deferral section as possible alternatives.
Music / Headphones
If you choose to run with standard headphones your insurance cover from UK Athletics will be invalidated should any incidents occur which cause injury to you, or should any actions by you cause injury to other runners/members of the public. Runners wearing headphones or using music whilst competing in these races do therefore open themselves up to legal action for personal injury by any aggrieved third parties.
The only headphones that are acceptable under the insurance and accepted by UKA are the Bone Conduction Headphones. These allow you to hear external noises that would otherwise be blocked by conventional headphones.
How fit do you need to be?
Fit enough to run the whole way around. We do not encourage walkers to enter. While this sounds harsh we rely on the goodwill of over 120 volunteers and we cannot expect them to wait for hours until backmarkers have walked around. We also have an arrangement with the Xscape Centre and need to vacate the Finish area by 3pm hence having a cut off time of 2pm.
What time should I arrive at the venue?
Get there at least an hour before your race start time. This will leave enough time to get parked up and allows you enough time to use the loos, grab a coffee / water in the Xscape Centre etc.
The races will start on time and marshals will leave positions after backmarkers have passed so please arrive on time or you run the risk of not getting a recorded time or taking a wrong turn on the course.
Please use one of the many car parks in the city centre. There are thousands of car parking spaces all within a short walk from the start / finish area.
We will get the results on our website later on the same day. They are usually up by 5pm on race day.
Although Chip Timing is extremely accurate, some rare errors do occur. Please contact us immediately if you think your result is wrong. You have until the end of Tuesday 17th March to come back to us so we can rectify the error. No other changes will be made after this date.
We will endeavour to award all of the prizes as soon as we can on race day. Age group prizes will be mailed out when results are deemed Final on the Tuesday following the event.
Trains to Milton Keynes are not as frequent on a Sunday and there are often rail works. Please check at www.nationalrail.co.uk for more information. The start / finish area is only a mile from the station but if want to reserve your energy, jump in a taxi outside the station.
Can I run with a Buggy or Pets?
Sorry, no buggies or pets are allowed. The races are just too busy for them and we want to ensure the safety of all runners.
Footwear / apparel
If new to running, you won’t need much to get you going but it is worth investing in some proper running shoes, i.e. shoes designed for running in. We see all sorts of shoes in the run from basketball boots to tennis shoes etc. Running shoes are designed for that particular purpose and have relevant levels of cushioning. We would steer you in the direction of shoeguide.run and their best shoe guide. There are a number of great articles on that site such as how to start running.
In terms of clothing, wearing lightweight technical fabric is advisable. Modern fabrics wick away the sweat helping to keep you dry. If you wear cotton clothing it will soak up the sweat, become heavy and you’ll actually start to get cold. Do not spend a fortune though. Big supermarkets and cheaper clothing high street stores like Primark sell a range of sports clothing that will get you going or visit a cheap online running retailer such as Start Fitness or Sports Direct.
Photos are available to purchase about 48 hours after the race.
The MK Festival of Running is run according to UK Athletics rules. Our insurance for the event comes from UKA and therefore, we abide by their rules. These include age limits for specific events.