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Eliot Winter's Report of the Tour of Milton Keynes

  • Posted September 13, 2018

Eliot Winter's Report of the Tour of Milton Keynes

Tour of Milton Keynes 2018

Day 1 – Tattenhoe Park (11km) – 19th – 46.31

I have run day 1 of the Tour of MK a few times since winning the series in 2008 and have always disliked this course. It is a 3 lap course, half on a redway running next to one of the larger grid roads, and the second half on very loose gravel through a rather forgotten part of MK. This year was no different as it was hot and I had not trained properly throughout the summer season following an injury. I struggled with the combination of heat and distance but I knew that a bad race on day 1 does not always equate to a bad tour as I proved back in 2008.

Day 2 – Potterspury XC (8km) – 21st & 19th Overall – 34.18

I have never done a cross country in nearly 20 degree heat before. The ground was rock solid and farm animals had made the entrance to one of the fields rutted and I made the bad decision to wear spikes. If I had made the correct footwear choice, this could have been a strong race as the course was enjoyable but had challenging elements, specifically cutting straight across a ploughed field.

Day 3 – Track Mile – 1st in race 5 & 18th Overall – 5.27

This was probably my favourite race of the week. I realised I missed racing on the track. I went through lap 1 and 2 at 5 min pace but due to my closest competitors being about 15m behind, my pace slowed over the remaining laps.

Day 4 – Campbell Park (8km) – 19th & 18th Overall – 28.46

My calfs were sore after my first track race in 2 years and my legs were generally feeling tired 4 days in. I set off at a fairly fast pace, the downhill start helped, pushed on back up the hill and found myself moving up the field. The second lap was hard but again tried to push on up the hills, knowing the end was not far past the top.

Day 5 – Bow Brickhill Hill Race (3km) – 21st & 17th Overall – 15.52

Another runner rather accurately described today’s race as a rollercoaster, it was disorientating enough being in a wood, without the constant twists and turns as well as steep climbs and drops, oh and it was raining. A fun race but very hard to go fast.

Day 6 – Willen Lake (11km) – 21st & 16th Overall – 43.29

Very glad it is the end of the week. The cattle grids and gates made the middle and end tactical. The run around the lake was mentally hard and my pace did drop. Returning along the river, I was determined to have a strong finish so replicated my 2008 finish by hurdling the cattle girds. I gained at least 5 places between leaving the lake and the finish mainly down to my cattle grids. And finally, its over!

If I ever suggest doing this race again, someone please stop me!