Tour of MK 2014 – Day 1

By Adam Haylock

As the summer fades and the nights draw in today saw the start of The Brian Graves 32nd Tour of Milton Keynes.  A six stage run event hosted by Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club, I first found out about this last year while talking to Andy who was midway through the 2013 tour and would have entered if he had bothered to tell me so I was up for running this year. The tour consists of 6 consecutive races starting on Sunday and culminating on the Friday with events ranging from a road 10k, cross county and a mile on the track.

The weekday races start at 7pm(ish) which for me is normally a fairly chaotic bathtime and bedtime routine so I was grateful to get the opportunity to enter but I guess it helps being a fantastic husband!  Anyway, back to today!  The sun was shinning, there was a slight buzz ahead of this race and maybe a bit of apprehension for the tour although I was glad to be racing following a disappointing August training wise.  It was nice to meet up with fellow Buzzards, some supporting and 8 racing.

The start had a parkrun feeling and although steady the pace was strong along the slightly hilly narrow redway. I settled into a nice pace along side my racing partner (Tim Inchley) and wondered how my legs would hold up racing for 11k. The course was three laps and was actually pretty interesting with a few different phases including a few twists and turns.

The usual suspects were up front including our own Elliot, Jordan and Chris Norman, I was trying to keep them in sight at least for the first lap! The great thing about a lapped course was the support which included Pete and Wendy as marshals, the other supporters were situated near the finish including a few of the young ones climbing trees. During the second lap I was concentrating on position and tried hard to keep up with the chap in front who was running strong, the inevitable happened at about 6 miles my legs went and cadence was dipping so it was a case of hanging in there until the end. 

Overall I was satisfied with my run and more importantly it was nice to see everyone and be back racing.  LBAC runners did us proud and started the tour well with the definite MVP of day being Elliot Hind – to say he has improved this month is an understatement. There was a strong finish from Jordan and look out for him on that mile on the track. Chris Norman, unfortunately had to pull out due to a case of ‘Man Flu’ but we checked him out and he will be back. Tim Inchley was a little circumspect, being very aware that there are five more races and so wasn’t far behind me. Sam Dear might have an easy life and be a fresh faced youngster although he has the body of a 40 year old but clocked a good time and was happy with his run. Amy was impressively running following her 20 mile marathon training run the day before and took a lap to get loose while both Fred and Fi came home still looking fresh and smiling on their way to the finish

A great morning of running and a well organised event including a few nice touches like the finish banner, chipped timing and you even get a printed slip with your race times.

Post race reward was a burger & chips (and a large Peroni) in Prezzo with the family

Looking forward to dusting down the trail shoes and race day 2 and the cross-country in Potterspury.