In short: Wonderful course, friendly runners, good organisation In full: One good innovation this year was the provision of large blue bins into which to throw (they were big enough for the mildly innaccurate) the water bottles. A really nice race over a challenging but manageable and very beautiful course with lots of downhill after the first 8K Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: The race director should resign In full: Too many things went wrong in 2016, two mile markers for 22 mile? A shamples at the start and the two hour wait for bags at the end. This race gas grown beyond the capabilities of the organisers who froze when it all started going wrong Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: Mile marker and baggage tent disaster. In full: Course fairly flat, lots of water stations, good gels given out. although not exactly the same flavours as advertised as the stations. Mile markers completely inaccurate, especially the mile 19, not good enough when it's half a mile out. Split times on route a bit bizarre, you get a 21k split rather than a half marathon split which would be better and more useful. Baggage tent was a disaster, took over 40 minutes just to find my bag, caused me quite a bit of panic. Didn't get a foil blanket to keep warm, baggage team were helpful though in the search, and did bring me inside, the volunteers did well in what was not a well thought out system. Needed a bigger area or trucks. Great medal and technical t shirt!!! Support most of the way round. A fair few fast runners so if looking for a time your probably find someone to run with. Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: Fast race organisation gone downhill In full: I like Manchester and it was my third visit here. Pros: super fast course,great Pacers and marshals,dreamt atmosphere,nice medal,great parking at cricket ground once you could access it
Negatives: left at 5.30 from Worcestershire leaving plenty of time,I thought. Roads shut off and funnelled into a barely moving queue as the two marshals checking tickets had to give directions to those cars without.Poor signage to start,not enough to toilets.first mile marker at 0.6 miles.first few water stations not ready.The finish area is to packed with family and friends of runners.I am exhausted and have to fight through a crowd. I didn't use bag drop so can't comment. I did see the organiser of the Chester marathon there suggest Manchester speak to him to get back to the 2014 level.I will be back as the course is really quick,please heed the words of the wise on this page or you won't make fifty.
In short: A well organised event which i would highly recommend to everyone In full: A well organised event which i really enjoyed. I would recommend this race to anyone who is comfortable doing a 5k or maybe want to challenge themselves. All done to support Help For Heroes Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: Flat course, outstanding marshals and local support: what a shame about poor organisation In full: Nice, flat route and absolutely amazing support from the locals who turned out in their thousands to cheer us on. But poor parking, not enough loos, incorrect mile markers, unbelievably bad baggage organisation and general chaos at the finish spoilt it for thousands. What a shame: I thought Manchester had learnt a very hard lesson after 2012. 2013 was great! Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: A good race spoiled by a shambolic finish. In full: I'd chosen this as my first marathon after being unlucky in the London ballot, mostly because I have friends in Manchester that I could stay with. So firstly, weather was pretty much perfect (sun, but cool). Crowd support was excellent, with lots of high fives and sweeties being thrust at you along the route. It reminded me of Ealing half in that respect. The course was part rather dull urban streets (the race didn't go through the more interesting bits of Manchester), part pleasant leafy 'burbs and a little bit of countryside complete with a strong odour of cow ordure. Not really exciting in terms of views but OK. As promised, it was mostly flat - some inclines and declines but nothing you'd actually call a hill. PB potential is definitely there. Pacers and marshalls were excellent. Goodie bag and medal were good (nice shirt) but the finish area was a complete disaster. This being my first marathon, after a difficult, injury-laden prep, I was in quite a lot of pain afterwards. Couldn't find my way to the bag area and noone gave me a foil blanket. Eventually a nice young man gave me his after feeling sorry for me. The bag queue was hours long - not what you need after being on your feet for five hours already. I was getting cold and everything was starting to sieze up. Eventually I just went to the the front and told them I had a train to catch and they let me through but otherwise I'd have been there another hour at least. Totally unacceptable. There's a message of apology on the website with a promise to sort it out for next year but a lot of people won't be back as a result. I'd give it another chance, honestly, due to the local friends thing and the friendliness, but I'll likely try a different race next year. Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: Great half and marathon In full: I ran the first ever marathon last year and it was fantastic, but this year decided on the half as I have Brighton Marathon in 7 days. It's a great run, through lovely Kent countryside, quite hilly, mainly on road, and with a small field, but a great event and definitely worth doing! Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: Horrendous organisation In full: - Baggage drop off not sign posted. Witnesses loads of people running with bags after the race had started- that was probably because it took 2 hours to park their car. - mile markers way off. The pacers got it right, but people may have missed targets because the course was way longer. - baggage collection - the worst ever seen at any running event (although it appears that Manchester have a history of doing this). How can the organisers not learn from experience. If they can't get it right after 40 goes, I'd suggest it's not worth the risk of entering again.
In short: Incredible challenge. Don't underestimate it In full: It's closer to 22 miles than 20 and it's around 4000 feet of climbing. The run doesn't really start until after Sidmouth as that's where the hills start. So take it easy, get to Ladram Bay and down into Sidmouth and get ready to take on Salcombe, Weston and Branscombe climbs. Harder than any flat marathon and it _will_ find out any weaknesses you have. But the views are spectacular and it's well run and supported so definitely worth doing if you think you have it in you. Date of review: April 10, 2016
In short: What a shambles! In full: Going to start with the positives. The Marshalls, pacers and supporters were amazing! This could have been a fantastic race. The medal and technical tshirt were both very good. Now the negatives.......where was the start? The obvious place would have been beneath the bridge not a few yards up with no markers at all to let you know you had actually started. The mile markers were way out! The mile marker appeared too soon and the rest were all over the place. I measured the course as 26.36 miles. The baggage collection was a complete and utter shambles. I queued for over an hour, cold, wet and tired, the queue had barely moved in this time, so had to give up as I had to get back to the hotel to avoid late check out charges. I then had to trek back to the race village to collect my bag. Totally unacceptable. Has put me off ever running this event again. Date of review: April 10, 2016
In short: Great race spoiled by criminal and incompetent organisation In full: Over 2 hours waiting in the baggage queue. Cold and hungry, despite what the official statement says I wasn't offered food or water - eventually got a foil blanket. It's all very well saying they will learn their lesson for 2017 but where's the accountability for what happened today? I will not return which is a shame as it is a good course and I got a PB Date of review: April 10, 2016
In short: Monster hill at the start, but well worth it for the view at the top! In full: Only the second time I've done a halfie, the long climb was tough, but such a sense of achievement at the top. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the latter half being downhill, fantastic local support, mile markers and 'Last 10k' feature were other great points! Would definitely do again and recommend to anyone up for a challenge whether more serious or not! Date of review: April 10, 2016
In short: Shambolic bag drop and collection In full: Felt I was getting hypothermia in the hour+ wait for my bag, hands were blue and I was shivering in sticky running clothes. Something needs to be done about this. Never again Date of review: April 10, 2016