In short: Near perfection! In full: My fifth marathon: okay you dont get the crowds of a majot city marathon but if thats what you want then enter London/Paris/New York or whatever takes your fancy. This was on the whole a brilliantly organised and very well executed race.
The ups and downs are actually beneficial as they break up the course and you benefit from using different muscle groups so these weren't a problem and no race i've ever run has been flat...if you want to run a flat race jog round an ice rink a few hundred times, you'd soon get bored. Also the race course was advertised on the website before you entered so you should know that the course was mostly rural, that was part of its charm. Start and finish were spot on, tech shirt and medal + goody bag excellent value for money, marshalls and water station helpers were great (thanks!). If this race doesn't hit the top 5 for UK marathons in 2011 i'll be surprised; well done the organisers! Hugely enjoyable day out. Date of review: October 11, 2011
In short: Well organised, great support, nightmare hills :-) In full: Well organised race from beginning to end, marshalls all over the place, great water / toilet stops. The volunteers at every stop encouraged you all the way which left me smiling through every one.
The views going into (and out) of Wales were magical. The support from the villagers felt continuous and due to having your name printed on your number was made personal all the way through.
My first marathon and one I would do again. The only nightmare was the hills at the end but again the marshalls and the availability of positions for supporters got me through.
The longsleeved tshirt was great and one I can wear again, goodie bag was top. I am still aching but I can't fault this race! Date of review: October 11, 2011
In short: This will be a classic provided it does not grow too big - Very Well Organised In full: My sixth Marathon having done London 5 times and my first Autumn marathon and what a gem of a marathon. Great organisation, good support and a great route, loved the rural lanes and village supporters. Water stations well spaced and enthusiastically manned with water or sports drinks on offer. The finish is genius and my only complaint being that the photograph should be optional. Will be back for more next year, so much better than the London Marathon in that it feels like a running event put on for runners. Date of review: October 11, 2011
In short: 1st Marathon and I couldnt be happier In full: This was my first ever marathon, upon entering the support staff on the car parks and over the tannoy were incredibly helpful. The starting blocks got a bit crowded...Mainly due to a false start due to some idiot driving on the course...But hey we are all human...
The scenery was brilliant, running through the rural small towns and cross the border into wales was an experience with support all the way especially in the small villages and from the local cadet squadrons. Only ever having been to Chester once for a waterpolo game it was nice to see a bit more.
Brilliantly run with well spaced water stations with a mixture of isotonic drinks and water, really helpful. Resulted in me running away from the droves on the 23rd mile and trying to sprint the last 800m (sprint being a very loose term after 25 and a bit miles). Managed to complete the course in 3:32:16, a time that I was amazed at considering I only completed one 7 mile run in 4 weeks, a feat that I attribute to the course and the support that was given throughout...Having my name printed on the number and called out at various points really helped to spur me on.
Excellent Value for money with a great goodie bag and free T-shirt/Jersey.
Just wonder what I could do with proper training now... Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: Top banana! One to add to your list In full: Seen some harsh comments but I couldn't fault it. The support was fantastic with some spectators appearing in several villages along the route. The names on the numbers was a nice touch and must have shaved a few minutes off my time. There were a few hills in the second half which were probably responsible for my legs falling apart but that just means I'll have to toughen up next time! Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: one of the better ones In full: one point no-one else seemed to have raised is the traffic-free course wasnt exactly that , some time after mile 17 there was quite a few cars on the road coming towards us , some had pulled over but others like the nutter in the red astra went past at over 40mph , what was going on ? The course profile also stated that the climb was only 101m but that could be achieved by dropping 300m in the first half then climbing 400m on the way back , i certainly got the impression that after mile17 the road back was continually upward , maybe only 1-3% at the most but it does take its toll . Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: Fantastically-run race, great goodie bag! In full: This was my first marathon, was a great introduction to the world of long distance running!
Pre-race support was really good, through the website, forums etc and training runs (though I didn't attend it was great to know that they were provided). Information provided was timely and clear.
Chester Racecourse was a great starting point, easy to find for out-of-towners like myself, with lots of accommodation choices nearby. The only very minor quibble was that I found it a little unclear on the morning of the event within the racecourse where I was supposed to go as I didn't see any signage and I didn't come across any stewards.
Chester itself is a great place which I enjoyed starting off the run from, and the route went through some really pretty villages heading towards Wrexham, but as some others have commented, in between it was a bit quiet and not that scenic. However, that just meant that you really appreciated the support from residents in the villages when you reached the next one. The fantastic thing about this event was the support from marshals and the public, who were really great at cheering on the crowds and really helped to spur people on. Their enthusiasm kept me smiling and marching on throughout.
Again, as others have said, there were one or two surprise hills that weren't very welcome (!) towards the end of the course, but nothing significant. The racecourse finish was great and it was lovely to hear people cheering you on as you cross over the line.
The goodie bag was great and a fab t-shirt which is one that I will be very pleased and proud to wear!
In short: Excellent race - Some improvements could be made In full: For me the race organisation started off on a downer. If only the local authorities had got the traffic police involved from the start. I should have arrived at the venue about 45 minutes before the car park shut. But due to horrendous traffic (which was solely caused by the queue to the race car park), I only just got in before it closed. Chester should maaybe look at the Robin Hood marathon as an example of getting the traffic police involved from the start. After that everything was near perfection. Brilliant support in the villages. Villagers shouting everyone's names in encouragement. Great encouragement at the water stations. Especially at mile 12. Unfortuantely there seemed to be few villages from about mile 18 (?) to 23 (?). The scenery was respectable, I particulary enjoyed the loop around the city at the start and the bit by the river towards the end. Although the middle had far too many hedged country roads where all you could see were hedges and runners. The 1st water station was difficult to get to as the runners hadn't spread out and it was only on one side of the road. The 2nd one was far better on both sides and after that they only needed to be on one side and they were well organised and vocal. Overall it was a well organised race. I wouldn't do it again but that's more to do with the distance.
In short: A bit dissapointed. In full: Was really forward to this my 6th marathon.A found the course boring..too manty hedges and nothing to look at for most of the race.The marshalling was excellent,drinks stations and the young marshalls were graet.Support was superb when it appeared far too rural for me..you ran for ages without a sole in site,but when you did see the locals they were very supportive.Didn't enjoy the queue after to ahve your photo taken with the medal give runners a choive I just wanted to get to my family and not queue like in a supermarket.Well done to the organisors.I wont be running this again but I dont want to put anyone off.Give it a go and 2012 and make your own mind up. Date of review: October 10, 2011