Winter Enigma Marathon 2019



The view of the hotel and the pub by the lake from the race route.

January in Europe is always cold and dreary. In theory, it is the perfect time for me to just cuddle with my husband in bed in the mornings and throw thoughts of running out the window. In reality, I really still need to go for a run as I do not run enough during the week.

The compromise I made with myself is to try and continue to do marathons in January, starting with the Winter Enigma Marathon in Milton Keynes in the UK.

The train to Brussels Midi Station left at 8:29 AM on Saturday, January 5, 2019 where we boarded our 10:56 AM Eurostar train to London Saint Pancras International Station.

Upon arrival at noon, we decided to walk to the nearby Euston station. The 12:54 PM train to Milton Keynes central station took less than an hour. A 14-pound taxi ride took us to the Premier Inn Caldecotte. The return trip on Sunday afternoon was only 10 pounds. Hmmm. . . how was it more expensive to go out than back?

Day 1 of the Winter Enigma Marathon  series was wrapping up by the time we got into our room. The hotel was in front of the Caldecotte Lake and isolated from other houses and buildings. An afternoon nap and relaxation time followed the rest of the day.

Dinner was next door at the Caldecotte Pub and Grill. The pub was a popular local hangout. It filled up rather quickly with families and groups of friends. They had a good menu selection for all diet preferences.

A wall installation at the pub honored Alan Turing’s work with Enigma at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire, a place close to Milton Keynes. Ah. . . this must be why the running organization is called Enigma Running!


Breakfast was included in our reservation for the next morning.


We took our fill and hustled over to a corner of the pub where they were handing out the bibs for the race. I pre-registered and paid for the 39 pounds registration fee online. I saw familiar faces in the running crowd who also run the Phoenix races regularly.

Day 2 of the Enigma Winter Marathon series started at 9:00 AM with a published six hour time limit. The organizer decided to extend the day’s limit to a generous six and a half hours. The marathon was also capped at 60 participants.

The scenic route bordered the Caldecotte Lake. We had to do seven and a half laps to make the marathon distance. The path was either on concrete or on trail with no elevation at all.

The race tent had water and nibbles. It was cold out so I was bundled up.

I took my time and finished at 5:59:36. Yay!

Posed with the race director Travis and volunteer Jenny with my finisher’s medal.


Richard already checked us out of our room. I changed in the pub’s bathroom before we took a cab back to the train station. Our Virgin train to Euston was delayed by almost 30 minutes. The 19:34 Eurostar train back to Brussels left promptly and arrived at 22:38 with enough time for us to catch the last train back to Jurbise.

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