In short: My favourite race through the closed roads and parks of Ealing In full: What can I say...I love this race and have run all 5. It doesn't surprise me that it has won the award for best half 3 years running as the organisation is faultless and the race is clearly run by runners for runners. What makes it special though is the community feel...from the vicars handing out water (all the churches on route are water stations), to the annual street party at mile 5 (where residents make the most of being on a closed road), to impromptu bands and teen djs in front gardens, to locals supporting in pjs with cups of tea!. The course is definitely undulating, but that means plenty of downhills too and the atmosphere for the last km as you run back into the park to the finish always makes me feel like a celebrity! I'll be entering for 2017 as soon as entries open. This is definitely a race not to be missed.
In short: Friendly and supportive race, just the right size to be part of something big but still warm and friendly. Excellent pacers and marshals every time. In full: This race is well organised and looks after runners well. The pacers, marshals and locals supporting make this race even better. The great views n the course just add to an overall great experience. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: A good event and one to do again In full: My first entry for this event and I must say it was worth the journey from Folkestone. Very well organised and welcoming club event. Not so keen on the undulations but not every event can be on the flat! I had a good pass and re-pass race with a couple of others and achieved a distance PB :) all that cake at the end was fab, will look to do 2017 Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Amazingly put together with everything looked after and a great course. In full: Second time I have this, and my second PB on the course Even although the course isn't that flat. The whole thing is so hassle free - the race course is a great facility, you never feel boxed in by crowds at any point, and eating and drinking on the course really well catered for so. I have also spoken to more runners on the course at Chester than anywhere else - don't know why but lots of friendly people. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Overall this is THE BEST -having run marathons in 7 countries -this is my fave, superb organisation by runners for runners. In full: Of my 41 marathons to date this is my fave. Ive run 6 of its 7 events- every time has been special. Chris and Andy being runners, they know and understand runners. The ample parking , the lots of loos at the start, and along the course, the international flavour England and Wales, city centre and lovely lanes -always with enthusiastic support from volunteers. The Bling - great medal, and the long sleeve technical T- and i love this years additions - the Head Buff, and the goody bag being a branded Chester Mara small shoulder bag :-). Also this year having race angels on Sandy Lane - true angels . I'll be back . im only sorry i havent a full house of finishes - didnt enter last year as rashly saved myself for another marathon and got injured in between . Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Well organised & much better value for money than somega of the bigger races. In full: A great race with excellent support from the people of Chester. The organisation was like clock work and there was a great goody bag at the finish too. I will definitely be signing up again for next year. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Best 10 miler in Kent. In full: An excellent race,brilliantly organised, very friendly, great atmosphere and a pretty route. Marshals were very encouraging. Got a fantastic bespoke medal and a t.shirt plus a goody bag. Plenty of cake at the end which i thoroughly enjoyed. :-) Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Great organisation for a terrific race & occasion In full: I have ran this 4 times and the organisation has been fantastic from the first time. The scenery is also fantastic. The start is great,loads of toilets, parking and round the racecourse, through the town and even popping in to Wales. The organisers are even there supporting the runners and continue to strive for any improvements. I even got my time texted through as I left. The medal is good and the goody bag is really thoughtful & useful, unlike many other race goody bags. The inclusion of the metric marathon is also an inspiration as it really helps the marathoners (passing each other) and enables many not able to run 26m the chance, plus adds as a great training run for the future. Even had pacers this year. I have ran over 100 marathons and this is the BEST. I always provide positive feedback but as stated can't fault this one! Also, our name appearing on the number also helps people to encourage us. I have won O/50 before (2nd this year) but will continue to try to reclaim it. Maybe 2nd & 3rd in each category could get 10% off to encourage people to sign up. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Well organised event with an interesting route through stunning countryside and city locations In full: Great organisation with excellent attention to detail - an example is the provision of plastic 'overshoes' to keep your feet dry on the grass racetrack before the start. The route isn't pancake flat but is a fair test and it traverses both attractive rural sections and the streets of one of England's prettiest cities. Other races could learn from the excellent baggage management. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Just a really lovely race In full: The only reason I might not do this again is because autumn marathons cut into the cross country season with the recovery time needed. It was a really beautiful, friendly race with impeccable organisation aside from the queue to get into the carpark. Everything else was excellent. It's the only marathon I've done apart from London, and I'd wondered whether the quiet country roads would be more difficult to get round than the walls of crowds you get in a city marathon, but it was such a lovely place to run, with good support in the villages and back in the city itself, that that didn't matter at all. Highly recommended. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Fantastic day. Already signed up for my 6th attempt next year In full: As usual; organization impeccable, great fun to run, excellent support out in Ellisfield and Cliddesdon and jelly babies, encouraging motivational messages on some of those (pretty steep) hills, nice technical t shirt, beautiful sunny but cool weather. If you think it's going to be a boring trudge around Basingstoke town ring road then think again - the race heads south and west out into the villages, on narrow closed roads, encouraging marshals and crowds, and when you think you've had enough uphills at 9 miles, a 3.5 mile downhill stretch back through the cheering crowds. I've run 5 of the 6 and marshalled the other - love it. At some point we'll have a wet one, but glorious again this year. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Amazing organisation In full: I've taken part in this race every year since 2012 but this year I had to drop to the metric event due to injury. The organisers arranged that- indeed for a race this size it's fantastic that they'll even allow transfers (subject to availability) on race day itself. The metric course is undulating rather than flat (the marathon is flat from about miles 7-15 but otherwise undulating) but the metric is more or less out and back so few twists/ bends- and it's great to share the final seven miles or so with the marathon runners. The organisation and atmosphere of this event is incredible- marshals, water stations, race angels to help you up the notorious Sandy Lane hill two miles from the end, fantastic spectators- and back at the racecourse HQ is a great bag drop and plenty of portaloos. And couldn't believe how much was in the goody bag! Loved it and will definitely be back. Thank you all! Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Outstanding In full: I was a late entry, I attended the last last training run without having entered. I saw how well organised the training run was and thought if the training run is this good the marathon would be great, I wasn't not disappointed. Really good course. Enjoyed the whole experience. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: My first full marathon and what a great course to start. Stunning scenery, relatively flat, and amazing organisation! In full: My first marathon and I loved it! The atmosphere is brilliant at the start with plenty of support. The scenery all the way around the course really is amazing. The majority of the course I would describe as long, perfectly flat countryside roads with very few bends and plenty of space. The drinks stations were plentiful and they handed out gels, water and lucozade sport which was a real bonus. The only 'complaint' I have here (as with all other races I've done), is that a bin is required a little further on after the stations so you can take more of a drink without having to carry the bottle to the next station. The marshals around the course and volunteers at the stations were really friendly and supportive and helped to spur you on and advise what was coming at times. As someone else mentioned there were a couple of hills, the worst for me being the one at 25 miles - mostly because I didn't expect it. Thankfully it's towards the end and once up that it's downhill and flat to the end. The last mile was brilliant with a lot of support just when it's needed. Coming into the racecourse and seeing the finish line quite close is great and the announcer really helped as he shouted support to me by name. I managed to smash my target by 10 minutes too!
Finally I should mention the pace runners. Although I didn't use them, my friend ran all the way with the 4 hour group and he said they were incredible. If someone was in trouble they offered gels and encouragement and also advised of what lay ahead all the way around. He also said they were very jovial and great company all the way around!
Definitely recommend this Marathon. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Thoughtful organization, enthusiastic local support, and lots of extras In full: From the little things like booties to keep your feet dry on the grass pre-race, hot drinks and food pre- and post-race, to cover at start and finish (not needed this year because of the glorious weather but I can only imagine a god-send if its raining) and quick turnover in the massage tent, this race was ace. Quick route, wonderful spectator support and impeccable organization make this race one worth traveling for. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Wonderful race In full: This is a joy of a road race - interesting, well organised, scenic, friendly, lots of support. I don't normally run road marathons but would highly recommend this one - my favourite so far - so much better than the other bigger ones I've done. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: If Carlesberg did marathons ......... In full: This was the second time I have run the mbna Chester marathon: I loved it the first time, and loved it even more the second time! The organisation was slick, the course scenic, and the marshalls and spectators friendly and encouraging. There is nothing I could fault. A massive PB to the organisers, marshalls and everyone else involved in putting on a superb race. Date of review: October 5, 2016
In short: Excellent, well organised race with a great atmosphere! In full: This is the 2nd time I have run the Chester marathon and it is my favourite race. Already signed up for next year. Can't fault the organisation, marshals and support. Would definitely recommend it to other runners. Date of review: October 5, 2016