Meet Andy Hully, Race Director of the MK Marathon, and winner of three Racecheck athlete-rated event awards in 2018
Andy Hully, is the award winning Race Director and Organiser of the MK Marathon Weekend, which was founded back in 2010. Now in it’s 9th year (returning 3rd May 2020) the race has gone from strength to strength, including Rightmove as a title sponsor, welcomes thousands of runners each year and winning multiple awards, including a Racecheck Bronze Award in 2018. Andy also organises several other races including the Dirt Half Challenge, Racecheck Gold Award in 2018 and the MK Rocket 5k, Racecheck Silver Award in 2018 and next year, will be launching a brand new race called ‘The Twin Lakes 20’.
Last week, we spoke with Andy about his award winning races to find out what makes a great race and how to keep the sponsors happy.
Q: Last year you picked up THREE event awards for highly rated events ‘by athletes taking part’, what do you put this down to?
We strive to put on the best event we can and make it a truly enjoyable experience for our participants, because they have such a big choice of races, and we know that we need to stand out to potential runners. We’re obviously doing this right as our events sell out every year!
Q: Whats your favourite review?
I love our 5-star review by Danny Williams, because he was expecting to be running 26.2 miles surrounded by concrete and, as many people joke, roundabouts, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Milton Keynes offers a lovely course through country parks, around lakes, through woodlands and with a stadium finish. It is so rewarding to impressive runners with what Milton Keynes has to offer and Danny was very pleasantly surprised!
Q: Have you had any particularly difficult reviews, or feedback to deal with?
The only instance I can think of is where a runner gave a 1-star and I was expecting a bad review, but it was glowing with praise. A quick message got this resolved and the stars were increased.
Q: How do you use the reviews and awards to help you?
It is hard to please everyone when you have 10,000+ customers, but feedback is important and we use the reviews to see if we need to make any changes or improvements to our events. Every year we come up with a list that we work from, making small improvements wherever we can.
Q: You have a title sponsor in Rightmove who are very proactive and supportive of your event, do you have any advice for other organisers about how can keep a sponsor so happy?
We are very lucky to have a major company with its head office in Milton Keynes, and culture rooted in helping the community to be our headline sponsor. They are a big asset to our event, but it is very important that we protect their brand and associate them with an award-winning and community focused event. If we don’t then they could look elsewhere. As a bonus they love having their logo appear on our cool medals and finisher t-shirts.
Q: Tell us about the new event you are bringing to runners, Twin Lakes 20?
The Twin Lakes 20 (previously known as Bedford 20 with new additions) is a new 20 mile two-lap training event taking place on 22nd March 2020, and is aimed at anyone running a Spring marathon (Brighton, London or Milton Keynes for example). The long 20 mile distances are always tough, and its better to put in the miles at an organised event with other like minded runners rather than running solo. The course is beautiful and flat and will be very well organised. You never know — it might even win an award!
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