In short: Awful race, course, organisation and atmosphere and race village were diabolical! In full: I was very disappointed with this race. There were not enough toilets at the beginning with long queues everywhere. The course itself was rather boring with a lot of out and back sections. The course did not have any barriers (just occasionally some cones) which meant that in some areas the space to run was limited as the crowd were pushing inwards. This was very frustrating at points. It also meant that people coming the other way potentially got in each others way around the course. The mile and km markers were intermittent and at 22 miles the marker was half a mile out in terms of distance!!!! How is this possible when the course was supposed to be certified and measured, I thought this was very unprofessional. The baggage drop situation was diabolical post race. Some people waited over 3.5 hours to collect their baggage which was dangerous - no water at the finish or really any food in the 'goody bag' which was the worst I have ever received. Luckily the weather was good but if it had been raining I dread to think how awful this could have been for everyone! The lack of food (with practically nothing vegetarian friendly) was also disappointing. I thought that the race village was quite crowded particularly at the finish, and it was not particularly easy to find your way around. I also found the start to be lacking in atmosphere and any sort of official send off, everyone just seemed to start running with no real countdown or start gun or anything like that, it was a bit confusing as to whether we had actually started! I really feel that directions to and from the local tram stops could have been put up to make is easier to find the start. In addition the course itself was very dull, a low point came when we passed under a motorway and someone announced 'Ah yes we come back this way again later'. I will not be recommending this race to anyone. Date of review: April 17, 2016
In short: PB Potential and Great Crowds.......and the sun was shining In full: I was a veteran of the 2012 weather and baggage disaster.... so any organisational issues with this event weren't in the same league. There are lots of very negative reactions on here but I enjoyed the run and had a great family weekend in Manchester. -Good Crowds and atmosphere. -Lots of Water and energy gels available. -Good Medal. -Great technical T-shirt. -Useful stuff in the goody bag. -Enjoyed the alcohol free pint at the end. The only negative was the 3:15 pacemaker was a bit out which cost me a "good for age" sub 3:15 qualifying time. I'll give it another go next year. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Farce In full: I'll briefly list the problems with the race:
- The car park queues were around 2 hours long before the race for those who had paid for parking prior to the race. This lead to cars being dumped and people being late to the start
- The baggage queue was at least 2 HOURS long. 10,000 bags were kept behind 1 desk. I had to wait to get my wallet, phone, clothes etc back. If it had been colder or raining this would have been even more chaotic
- Mile markers were out by a LONG WAY
- 22 miles appeared TWICE
- The start line was nearly impossible to see
- They ran out of medals for people taking part in the relay
- They cleared up the finishing mat before the allotted time
- The relay times are wrong
- The race photos are shocking.. the finisher photos are taken from behind a crowd of people so all you can see is a bunch of stewards
- The finisher pack was shoddy, poor selection of food (beef jerky?!) and lack of usual things
- No foil blankets immediately after the race
Overall the organisation was farcical. Having to queue for upwards of 2 hours after the race (I could have been half way round the course again by then) was not acceptable. It's not just little things that were wrong, there were huge problems with the organisation. At £65, it is just a complete rip off. I would never go back. The course is flat though! Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: More loos would be good! In full: Flat route on closed roads. Excellent marshalls and lovely home made cakes at finish. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. Excellent goody bag! Only issue was insufficient portable loos at the start, very long queues. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: great In full: My first race and my first time guide running in a race. The race was very visually impaired friendly. Very few hazards to warn about. Will be back next year. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Great Race, really thoughtful organisation, a must do event. In full: Fantastic race in a beautiful area of outstanding natural beauty. Parking easy, Registration a synch, plenty of loos provided. Great that its on a Saturday! Superb marshals and volunteers. Speedy results online. Tea and cake at finish a nice touch. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Fast, Flat Course with great support - In full: This is the second yar I have run this, ran in 2015 and loved it so came back for a second dose. I have ran many marathons (big and small) and would say that this is a typical big city marathon but with much better support (apart from London which I have also ran). I would like to add that I travelled up and stayed on the doorstep so did not use any of the bagage areas or the toilets so those negatives here did not impact me. I never use baggage ares in big marathons as they are normally awful. However, what I would say I enetered this in the early bird when the date was not known so it was excellent value for money for me. The marshalls were wonderful and nearly everyone on the drink stations called you by name. The poeple of Manchester do not deserve the negative reviews as they came out in strength to support us, the organisers have badly let them down. However, I have two big gripes, how can nearly every mile marker have an issue with it, either, out, in twice or pointing the wrong way. Secondly, runners here need to look at themselves (sorry). I finished in 3hr 24min and getting out of the race funnell was awful and this was because of familes (I mean WHOLE familes)clogging up the way and refusing to move. Very thoughtless. I did think that it would be carnage when the bulk of the runners come in. My husband and kids met me away at the townhill basking in the sun.I would do this again but not for a few years only because twice on the trott is enough, maybe in 2018? Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Good PB course and great support sullied by poor organisation In full: Pre race the village was poor. The number of toilets was woeful. There was a distinct lack of marshals or information for the runners. The bag drop off was a stressful mess.
Despite the poor start I happily ran a big PB and enjoyed the course. Bar the underprepared and undermanned 1st station, the water and gel stations worked well and were frequent enough. The volunteers and crowds on course were great and the atmosphere very good. The only negative was a few dodgy mile markers.
At the finish the medal and t-shirt were very good, the goody bag ok, and the alcohol free beer enjoyed. However it was very crowded and stressful getting out the funnel.
However the real sting in the tail was the disasterous bag pick up. I finished in 3:30 and it still took 90+ mins to pick up my bag. Not acceptable.
So a mixed bag for me, and i'm not sure I'd rush back to Manchester until they sort out the organisational issues. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Really well organised, great event In full: A couple of miles along the canal towpath at the start and end with the rest being in hilly countryside along the roads. It was really well organised, the queues to register / use the changing rooms / get free drinks and cake at the end were never longer than a couple of minutes, and along the course there were mile markers all along and lots of friendly marshals along the route. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: Overall a good race, a few small issues though most were due to exceptional weather and dealt with pretty well In full: To put into context any problems, there were gale force winds and rain the night before which thankfully started easing off about an hour before the start and stopped completely shortly into the race.
As the university was on holiday for Easter there was plenty of parking available on site, however it wasn't very clear where we were meant to park or where the registration area was, although I gather signs had been put out but blown away.
Before the start the organisers made the decision to do the race briefing indoors due to weather and tried to get people into a starting formation to minimise the time spent waiting outside in the wind & rain. This seemed like a great decision and was good that they were thinking of the runners.
Once the race got under way, the weather brightened up and it was quite good running conditions really. There is a small climb towards the end of the 2-lap course which I barely noticed on lap 1 but was a bit tougher when tired near the end. The scenery was nothing special, but this was expected really as it's in a residential area.
Although mainly on open roads, most were quiet residential roads and there were plenty of marshals at all major junctions. I don't remember cars being a problem although I'm sure some people would have had to stop for a couple of seconds at times.
The mile markers were a bit ropey - mile 2 marker was at about 2.8 miles and mile 3 marker was missing. 1 & 4-7 seemed in the right place but then there were none on the second lap, which as the laps were not the same length I found difficult to tell how far to go especially as I was struggling.
Overnight in the high winds a tree had fallen on the course inside the university grounds which meant the course needed to be diverted, then after having run it once apparently they were told we weren't allowed to run that way. They quickly came up with another acceptable diversion between laps though this did mean it ended up being about 0.2 miles long. I felt the organisers did well to keep on top of things though as this is obviously much better than cancelling the race!
The marshalling was good, all encouraging and always clear where to go even when it had been changing. There were a handful of locals out cheering people on, not many but maybe would have been more in nicer weather. Plus one lad on his bike who seemed to be cheering people on everywhere, I think I passed him about 6 or 7 times.
Overall I felt the organisers did well to cope with the conditions, and keeping runners indoors where possible in the bad weather was IMO a great call. My only real gripe was mile markers in the wrong location (you can't blame the wind for it being tied to a lamp post 0.8 miles from where it should be) and none on the 2nd lap. Date of review: April 13, 2016
In short: A great day, marred by a small number of poor organisational aspects In full: Yes, there was a number of issues with this race, not least the totally unacceptable baggage situation (something I have heard was at least partially caused by limitations imposed by LCCC, but I'm sure that will come out in the fullness of time), but IMO some of the previous reviewers are being blinded by this issue. - How can somebody rate this event 3 for PB potential when in their description they say they PB'd? - I've seen people rate the race as 1 & 2 for atmosphere. Did they not see the 1,000s of people lining the streets for miles on end? Or the local choirs/bands playing? Or the speakers playing music along the country road? Personally, I had a fantastic day. I arrived by Metrolink and made use of the numerous toilets early enough to avoid issues. Then had no problems with bag drop. Enjoyed the support of the crowds and the bands on course. Ran a perfectly judged race (wasn't passed by anyone between 18&25miles) on the flat/fast course, and therefore got a 5min PB. Then picked-up my bag again without problem (Area B), and returned home using the adjacent Metrolink stop again. Hopefully Xtra Mile Events can put right the mistakes made this year and give the people of Manchester the event their support deserves in 2017 (I'll be there for sure). Date of review: April 13, 2016