In short: A Must Do Marathon In full: I've done loads of halfs, but never got the inclination to enter a marathon, with all the training it requires. I'm so glad I chose Chester as my first marathon at 55. I can't believe any other marathon could have been so well organised, well run, well paced, well marshalled, well supported,with excellent facilities before and after, in such a friendly environment. This is as well as organising the perfect weather conditions and providing such a great view of the city of Chester and the surrounding countryside (and I live in Chester). I've already signed up for next year. It'll be difficult to be better though. Here's hoping!! Date of review: October 28, 2016
In short: Loved it! Danced, sang and generally bounced round. Perfect antidote to a big city marathon In full: This was only my second marathon, I did London in 2015, and everything I hated about marathons was completely changed here. Firstly I apologise to anyone around the 4:45-5hr mark as I was one of the gang who smiled, waved, played music, sang show tunes and random pop music.
I decided to do this race on a whim, having sworn I would never do another marathon as I hated the crowds and noise and the loneliness of running 26.2 miles on my own, this event was the total opposite. Firstly everyone was so friendly, every marshal seemed to have a huge box of jelly babies, water stations every 5k, from 10 miles on they had jelly babies, Jaffa cakes, coke, water and such lovely happy smiles and help. Even my pet hate of cupped water, was not an issue as we were running for fun and so slowed/stopped regularly. Any groups of spectators were enthusiastic and personal, unlike the wall of noise at london. We made sure we hi-fived every child possible as they were our cheering us on. At the end, the medal, water and banana with a funny message on it, were handed out quickly and as some said the baggage people came out and handed you your bag so you barely needed to move afterwards. I cannot fault the organisers, the crowds, the other runners and friends who came and cheered.
I appreciate I am not a seasoned marathoner, and didn't 'race' but if you want a marathon that is friendly, small, well organised, a few inclined, but no real hills, look no further. I'm definitely signing up next year, and maybe will do halstead in between. Date of review: October 28, 2016
In short: Brilliantly organised, great atmosphere at start/end In full: I enjoyed this marathon very much! I've done the Chester half many times and I choked up when I held the BLUE ribbon medal this time! Lots of very friendly runners. Great to have our club gazebo as a meeting point, and for cheering. Definitely made me go faster! Date of review: October 27, 2016
In short: One of the best road race all year In full: Such a good race..organisation fantastic, the route is truly lovely ,and it is always a dry lovely day ( or has been for the past 4 years or so). The medal and goody bag with shirt are top quality. Great for a PB and also a great race for first timer's too. Easy to get to, easy parking. I love this race and will keep doing it every year as long as im able . Date of review: October 27, 2016
In short: A great sub for VLM, run in an uplifting spirit. In full: My second time at this fab event,though third time of asking. Well organizised,well marshalled and with a fun atmosphere throughout I ran it on an injury (foolishly). For anyone who is missing the full London Marathon,this race is a very fine substitute, more than half the thrill if only half the distance.Only gripe-what bright spark thought queueing for a goody bag at the end was a good idea? Date of review: October 27, 2016
In short: Back for another year... In full: Did this race last year, loved it. Fairly low key but well organised with plenty of marshalls, bag storage and quick results. Just one suggestion, maybe start the race an hour earlier when there is less traffic on the road. We encountered quite a lot of fast traffic on the main road around about 5 or 6 km (village green to the left turn under the bridge) and the drivers were pretty angry on the final run in where cones had been put out due to the narrow path. Date of review: October 27, 2016
In short: Great fast race In full: Ok so it's not particularly scenic and is on a much smaller scale than big city marathons, but the main reason to do this event is to get a fast time - it's really flat (my GPS said 42 metres in total) and definitely fast - I smashed my PB. A few very minor ups (including a gentle incline over the last 2 miles) but these are balanced out by corresponding downs. Paper cups for drinks was a bit annoying, and it's a shame the roads aren't closed, but I didn't really feel that slowed me down. Marshalling was great, very well organised in general (though long toilet queues before - but nothing unusual there I guess). Mile markers all seemed perfectly spot on bar one (21 miles was at about 21.3). All in all, not a great race if you want atmosphere, scenery etc - but a very good one if you want a crack at a really fast time. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Battersea Park is pancake flat and the race was well-organised In full: Completely flat course so perfect for that pb, which I got with a 37:03. The race is over multiple laps and I had some reservations that slower runners may get in the way but the whole race is on wide paths and the combined 5k and 10k field is small enough that there is no issue with lapping. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Beautiful course, cant wait until next year In full: This was the first time i have run a 'low key' marathon and my third one overall, i have to say it was a fantastic experience, the organisation was great, the marshals were fantastic and very encouraging. I highly recommend this race.
In short: Friendly and well organised In full: My first full marathon and it couldn't have been easier to get going. Obviously it was a struggle to do 26.2 miles for the first time but it was made so much easier by the excellent organisation and the great support from Marshalls, water station volunteers and public. It was easy to find and would make a great first event as it was big enough to have some atmosphere but small enough to feel friendly and not get overwhelmed! Beautiful scenery and a pretty flat route. Plenty of supplies (Water/Coke/Jelly Babies/Jaffa cakes) at the stations which were frequent. Great goody bag and lovely messages written on the bananas at the end. Nice to be greeted by a bag station volunteer at the end with my bag to save walking any further! If I ever feel like trying a marathon again then I would definitely do this one! Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Quick course largely along country lanes. In full: Overall, a very good race in the country with definite PB potential (I should have run this a few years earlier!). There's one long slope in the second half plus a bit of traffic to dodge at times, but a quick last 2km. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Very well organised race with nice marshalls, a scenic course and a good amount of supporters around the course. Very enjoyable I will definitely do again. In full: Well organised Friendly marshalls Decent amount of supporters along the whole course Started right on time (9 am on the dot) Friendly runners Large amount of water stations (one about every 5k) Some water stations also had Coke and snacks Scenic course especially out in the countryside Easy to park in the town centre very near both start and finish Large race village A good course/event for beginners (this was my own first marathon) Some inclines up and down around the course - not pancake flat and not "hilly" An amazing race - good size field (c.600) so felt like a biggish event but had all the personality, friendliness and atmosphere of a smaller event Really pleased I chose this one. I'll do it again. Date of review: October 25, 2016
In short: Good pre-race admin; great marshals; well run. Thank you. In full: What do runners want? Good pre-race admin; friendly & efficient marshals; mile markers and a good routine at the finish. All of these were in place yesterday so thank you to all concerned. Date of review: October 24, 2016
In short: Very fast marathon course - good for potential PB In full: This is a great race if you're looking for a PB. The profile is flat, with no hills to speak of. The surface is mainly road although there are some sections along rougher path which have the potential to slow you down. The roads are mainly open to traffic so you take your chances as to whether you want to risk running on road or pavement. The marshals were all very good and knew what they were doing. When you run through Abingdon at the start of the marathon the support is great and there's a lot of cheering. However, when you come back through towards the end you feel like you're picking your way through people out doing their Sunday morning shop, which is a bit weird. The finish around the running track is great. Altogether I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a PB. It lacks the atmosphere of London, or the scenery of a trail marathon, but if it's a 26.2 time-trial you're after then you won't go far wrong.