In short: An AMAZINGLY well thought out Marathon - Best one yet! In full: Chris, Andy and all the organisers - what a race! I've done London twice now (2010 & 2011)and can honestly say I enjoyed this as much, if not more. The whole thing, for me, went like clockwork. I stayed in town so walked to the racecourse (1.5 miles) so didnt get caught up in the traffic and took a slow walk back to the hotel after, dropping past Starbucks in city for a hot chocolate where everyone wanted to see my medal and congratulate me - added bonus!!
The course was scenic and the names on the bibs was genius. I did London only 6 months ago but knocked 15 minutes off my time at Chester yesterday and got 3.59.18 - a HUGE PB for me, which I onlt got from specators screaming my name along Chester River and into the grandstand - they willed me along and their cheering at me made me aware it was still possible to get a sub 4 so sprinted in.
The end ran like clockwork, felt like a celebrity having the medal put on, ushered for a photo, given goody bag (fab one full of useful stuff!!) and my t-shirt. Met friends in the paddock area and loads of places to sit down.
Drinks stations were plentiful and you can tell its organised by runners. There were more spectators and support at the places you need them (mile 18 and 20 especially cheerful!)
My only qualm was that I didnt check the course route as it said flat. The second half was definately not flat! The hills at mile 22 (?) and mile 24 seem to suck the life out of me and had I known the 2nd half was slightly hillier I probably would of saved a little more energy so perhaps just worth mentioning the 2nd half is more undulating than the first to give people a chance of what to expect.
That said I cant complain, I did a HUGE PB so thanks guys, I shall be back next year and I hope this goes strength to strength for you - you deserve it!
In short: Chester 2011 surely sets the marathon benchmark for others to follow! In full: However well you think you've trained for this distance you accept there will be multiple levels of pain you will need to manage. To offset this, Chester 2011 had superb organisation and support both on the day and in the months leading up to it (training runs, etc), fabulous marshals & plentiful well staffed drinks stations. I'm staggered how much enthusiastic crowd support along the course there was from the people in Chester and surrounding villages in both England and Wales shouting your bib name cheering you on-I cannot describe how much of a boost this gave. The racecourse start & finish was brilliant, the almost flat route, with occasional very slight undulations, meant you could keep a steady pace and of course Chester itself (a wonderful city) was showcased in the best possible way. A most memorable event, which was a pleasure to be part of - and to all the other runners, it was a privilege to be with you - here's to doing even better@Chester 2012. Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: How it should be done In full: This was my 6th marathon and worth every bit of the trip down from Scotland. Much has already been said about the excellent organisation but it is so important to get it right (ahem, Edinburgh!) The marshals were all really supportive and each village had spectators shouting encouragement - having the crowd cheering my name was the only thing that stopped me from walking up that hill at 24 miles! Closed roads for all but a mile or so was a real bonus. The finish into the racecourse appeared out of nowhere from round a corner which was a real boost too! Goody bag was excellent and getting a t shirt I can actually wear while running is great! Would recommend this to anyone. Chester is a lovely city for pre and post race hanging out as well. Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: Brilliantly well organised & great atmosphere In full: My first marathon and except from the whole new world of pain these distances give you the race itself was fantastic - organasation was superb and the teams of marshalls were great. Loads of drink stations and loo's and the racecourse start / finish was special - very scenic apart from the miles and miles of farmland but villages and Chester were lovely Date of review: October 10, 2011
In short: A race to be proud of! In full: My first marathon and the fantastic organisation mentioned countless times elsewhere made this very worthwhile. Credit yet again to the team that organised this race - you did a grand job. Plaudits also to the folks from Chester and the surrounding villages. I have run the Chester Half twice before through some of the same route but the support for this race was just fantastic - it made all the difference to my tired legs. Flat for the most part but a couple of hills at the end floored me and plenty of others too. The marshals were great and the staff at all the drinks stations equally so - if you're reading then well done to you all and more of the same next year please! The race is billing itself as the UKs future favourite regional marathon, and if this is anything to go by then I wholeheartedly support that claim. Date of review: October 10, 2011