Sunday 11th March saw the intrepid ICXCAC runners head to the desolate wasteland of Milton Keynes for its annual festival of running. With the majority of the team choosing to tackle the half-marathon distance, and a couple opting for the more manageable 10K, they all met at the reasonably early time of 7:30am on the concourse of Euston station.

Upon arrival in Milton Keynes the athletes first had to come to terms with the vast number of roundabouts in this derelict ghost town. After a reasonably lengthy walk to the start line by the spaceship-like ski centre, the squad began the usual pre-race ritual involving team photos, toilet trips, and warm-ups. Before long, the start line was awash with the red and navy of Imperial vests.

The course included two laps of some body of water in the middle of Milton Keynes, and despite assurances that the route would be flat, there were certainly a few hills! However, near-perfect weather conditions and solid tarmac compared to the club’s usual terrain of mud and grass meant that this was a fast race.

A particularly nifty start was made by Kirill Mikhaylov and Fergus Johnson which saw them lead the field of over 1400 runners for the first 200m before settling into the lead pack of around ten.

“After the race, the exhaustion was offset by the weighty medal waiting at the finish line”

For many of the ICXCAC runners, this was their first half marathon race, and for others it was the furthest they had ever run! This made the resulting times even more impressive.

Special mentions go to Leanne Lyons for leaving her race shoes on the bus on the way there, Kirill Mikhaylov for coming first Imperial male and 7th Overall in 1:18:04 after an athlete’s breakfast of three doughnuts, a “pastry swirly thing” and several own-brand energy drinks from a discount supermarket.

Shoutouts also go to Thibault Audic for throwing up twice and still having an insane sprint finish, Alex Stuart-Smith for an amazing PB of 1:32, and finally Liv Papaioannou for her support and brownies.

After the race, the exhaustion was offset by the weighty medal waiting at the finish line. Following some recovery by lying on the floor, the team enjoyed spectating strangers – the race numbers had the runner’s names on which added an extra level of humour.

The team then went for a cheeky Wagas with the chaps before leaving MK to return to the metropolis. Rumour has it some of the team are still having nightmares about the copious amounts of underpasses along the race route…

Many thanks to Women’s Captain Anna for organising the trip.