In short: Could have been a great event to re-establish the manchester marathon but was'nt to be In full: Let down by poor organisation - some minor gripes (lack of organisation at start and finish in Longford Park, route had some pinch points around Dunham) but the baggage was a disaster - glad the organisers have held their hands up on this. Once we were running the weather didn't bother me that much but it must have been a nightmare for anyone that had to walk any sections. Thanks to the trafford/manchester public for their support in such conditions Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Not great! In full: Glad I didn't use the baggage drop off as it looked carnage. Shame there wasn't any shelter before hand, the first half of the race was OK, very wet but not the organisers fault. Then came the dangerous, narrow, mud bath which ruined it, surely there are enough roads in Manchester? Some of the stations ran out of gels...not sure how as nowhere near as many people as expected turned up. The worst thing though was the chip timings not being right, not happy with my time anyway but they could at least get that right. The crowds albeit sparse were amazing!! The marshals were great too! Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Fantastic supporters despite the gruelling weather. Hopefully the organisers can learn from some crucial errors to make 2013 a stronger event. In full: The weather conditions made this gruelling in parts, especially the more exposed areas of the course (Dunham Massey).
The greatest thing about this race was the supporters, truly inspirational and they really kept me going at the end.
I do think this event was let down by poor organisation. Improvements could be made in pre event communications, better signage and direction pre-race start, better communication of results (according to the online tracker I'm still between miles 20-26!!) Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Forget the weather it was made miserable by very poor planning In full: The planning and organisation were both woefully inadequate, go to Chester to see how its done, I normally prefer low key marathon events but Chester is a good example of how a mass participation one needs to be Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Three words - baggage collection fiasco In full: Positives: Course has PB potential - not quite as flat as the organisers stated but I prefer a few small hills. Well marshalled and plenty of drinks stations Good support from the people of greater manchester (particularly in view of the weather conditions) Negatives: The bizarre decision regarding number collection The baggage collection disaster - the organisers should put an apology on their website; this could help reduce the risk of a serious drop off in entrants next year Have said I won't do this again but if the organisers sort the two aforementioned problems in 2013 I would consider it for 2014. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: great race ruined by bag problems In full: it was all going so well...nicely organised,great route for spectators to get round and plenty of well stocked aid stations and help...and incredible support from the people of manchester in rubbish conditions... then the bag debarcle at the end ruined it for so many people! they will get slated in the reviews for this and dont get me wrong, it was terrible...but ignore that, and the horrid weather and you have the makings of a good race! Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: What Everyone Else Has Been Saying - Poor Organisation and Horrendous Weather! In full: Mini-hurricane, torrential rain, mud river through Dunham, poor organisation, no group warm-up or if there was one I didn't hear it announced, bag retrieval at the end was a dangerous disgrace, thank god my wife,were there to lend me their coats while we tried to retrieve my bag otherwise I could well have been in hospital with hypothermia!!! Anyway Xtra Mile have issued a public apology on their website if anyone's interested... Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: !! In full: I didn't actually run this race due to an injury sustained 5-6 weeks week prior to the event, when I asked if I could defer I was given less than a day before deadline to make the decision (6 weeks prior to the race) and was to be charged an additional £5 to do so, no refund available. I wonder how many people were unable to run due to injury within the 6 weeks leading up to the race and have lost the rather hefty entrance fee?
I did however have a friend running so turned out in horrible weather to support. I think the previous comments regarding the baggage area are spot on, we were fortunately parked very close so my friend was able to sit in the car under numerous blankets whilst myself and my husband spent over an hour trying to relocate her bag with a change of clothes in.
My heart went out to all the runners who were forced to stand in extremely awful conditions for hours trying to find their belongings and many were either forced to leave without them or found them strewn across the mud. It was totally unacceptable and I think it is only by fortune that no one became seriously ill or worse.
Fair enough the weather wasn't the responsibility of the race organisers but the health and well being of the runners was!!
In short: Bit of a disaster In full: I am with everyone else with regards to the organisation - wholly due to the shambles that was the baggage collection. Runners were shivering under the foil blankets and no-one knew what was going on. It took me over half an hour to find my bag which was mostly intact. My waterproofs that I had worn to the race were missing but I went back and found them after I had got some warm/dry clothes on. Most people weren't so lucky and it saddened me to see people's clothing getting trampled in to the mud. This was a major oversight of the organisers and it's a shame that it could put runners off entering next years race. They definately need an apology going out on the website or by email asap.
The weather was horrendous which is obviously not their fault but a warning at the beginning of the race about the narrow waterlogged lanes at Dunham should have been given. Obviously the route wasn't checked beforehand to clarify this detail. On a better day it would have been lovely running down there though.
I have to add that as a Manchester lass I am proud of the supporters who lined the streets (including lots of my own family, friends and club mates). They made the event truly wonderful with their encouragement and I am glad that they braved the weather to help us on our way.
X-tra Mile - do something quick to redeem yourselves as this could be a fantastic event in the future. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In full: Entry fee was high and insult to injury was added by the £5 fee to have race pack sent out. Thought the start was a tad chaotic .. didn't seem to be any instruction/direction as to where to go and don't think the pace makers were visible enough. The weather conditions were horrendous .. obviously litle the organisers could have done about this but considering this weather had been forecast all week, would it have been such a bad idea to postpone it? It did make the unexpected xcountry part of the route dangerous, especially after 15-16 miles, It was narrow, deep potholes were hidden by a river of water and extremely slippy mud banks at the sides ... and why the subway part at the end??? I was one of the lucky ones as hubby was waiting at finish line with my bag but my heart went out to those who had to stand and wait which was the last thing anyone needed to be doing in the conditions!!! Agree with the comments that through the xcountry part, there were no marshalls to be seen. Really, really wanted to enjoy this and improve on previous time but unfortunately wasn't to be .. the conditions did for me five miles from the end!! The one positive thing were the crowds, they were fantastic - if it hadn't been for them, don't know if I'd have made the last couple of miles .. so a massive thank you to them! Date of review: April 30, 2012