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ounds like a contradiction? Find out how the new Milton Keynes Marathon combines the best of urban and rural running. The Milton Keynes Marathon is on 29th April 2012 and will become a highlight in the city’s calendar. But this is a city marathon with a difference, combining the advantages of city race with the fresh air and greenery of a run through the countryside. MK Marathon will tick all the boxes, whether you are looking for a big, well organised event with backing from local organisations or you want a run that will take you close to nature and out into open spaces. The course is on closed roads and cycle paths. With a big finish at stadiummk, state of the art 30,000 capacity home of MK Dons FC, the new marathon is attracting attention. Commonwealth Games medallist Liz Yelling is an ex-resident and says, “It’s great to see an exciting new marathon coming to Milton Keynes. This lovely course offers real potential for both



f you haven’t caught it yet, Xempo is the new brand exclusively designed with long distance runners in mind;

and three months on from it’s launch it’s already provoking a great deal of interest across the UK running community and beyond. Loosely based on the martial arts concept of different coloured belts according to the level of the athlete, Xempo have developed a range of running vests and T-shirts which allow you to mark your best running achievements and show them off with pride. We’re all used to the idea of wearing a

souvenir race T-shirt when we’re proud of completing an event, but Xempo offers a different dimension whereby you can subtly reward yourself for breaking any significant time barrier. So who is wearing Xempo gear? Is it just elite runners who have something to show off? “On the contrary,” says Dan Afshar, ultra runner and Xempo founder. “We actually sell most of the white


beginners and experienced runners to have a great race.” The race passes through parklands,

lakes and woodlands. The original design of MK aimed for a “forest city” and there are now over 20 million trees keeping its pollution levels low. The area is coming of age, with everything in place to make this an ideal marathon to “make a weekend of it.” Communications are excellent and competitors will find a link from the marathon website (www.miltonkeynes to details on accommodation ranging from large hotels to camp sites. Runners wanting brownie points by

offering the family a day out or weekend away will find a great choice of activities. Attractions include indoor real-snow skiing and snowboarding, rock-climbing and indoor sky-diving. Wakeboarding and waterskiing, golf, cycling, karting, and climbing are also on offer. Milton Keynes Theatre hosts West End productions and within easy

reach are Woburn Safari Park, Whipsnade Zoo and Bletchley Park, historic site of secret British code breaking during WWII. And there are always those famous shops! ■ To sign up for Milton Keynes Marathon 2012 register online at

coloured running tops, for which any half or full marathon time is valid, whether it is a six hour marathon or something significantly quicker. Runners of all standards are quite rightly proud of their personal achievements, and needn’t be shy about saying so.” In addition, the red sub-3hr marathon

tops have proved very popular, since a sub-3 is still seen as a significant running landmark, but there are understandably more runners wearing Xempo for whom

breaking the 4hr barrier is just as momentous an achievement. “Xempo was never designed to be

elitist,” continues Dan. “It’s more about recognising that for every runner, their own best performance at whatever level can stand alone as a great personal accomplishment.” But let’s face it, there’s nothing wrong with showing off a little a bit. As they say, if you’ve been there and done it, why not get the T-shirt?

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