In short: Good Venue, Shame about the weather, Massive Fail for the organsiation In full: This was my 1st ever Marathon distance after 10 years of running 1/2 and competing in Triathlons,so I was looking forward to it like you could not believe. However the weather came along to play !! Nothing anybody can do about the weather. The pre-race organisation was a bit scatter gun but I put this down to the Hail, Wind and Rain meaning everybody was hiding in the Tents until the last minute (runners and organisers alike). The race itself was good - great support by the crowd and marshalls, although the Water stops could have done with better signing as the kind of appeared out of nowhere. The off road section was spoilt by the weather normal April conditions would not have caused an issue but these were not normal conditions and you just had to be sensible not to slip in the mud and ankle deep puddles. I do put alot of the negative comments about the race down to the weather (benefit of doubt to Xtra Miles Events on this point), however the Bag Collection was down to poor organisation and nothing else. I finished just after 12.30pm by 2.15pm I had still not found by bag with clean clothes in (3136 if anybody has it) and left without it. I was freezing cold and had a 1/2 mile walk back tot he car on stiff legs and in wet cold clothes. I ended up having to drive back to leeds in wet underpants with a Car Blanket wrapped around me. I am still hopefull the bag will turn up as it had my Finishers T Shirt in for my 1st ever Marathon and that is something I want to be able to treasurer for ever. I was thinking of doing the Leeds Triathlon in September organised by the same people but I am in two minds now and will need some serious consideration before doing Manchester again if Xtra Miles are organising it Date of review: April 30, 2012
In full: First Marathon - in fairness I was so happy to finish my first marathon, I wasn't too bothered about the organisation. However comments as follows and similar to others; 1. Was intending to run with 5 hour pace maker as promised at expo, however when I took my place at the 5 hour mark on street, there was no sign of pace maker. Never saw through whole race, so I don't think there was one. 2. Couldn't hear start of race. 3. I think my time was incorrect, I had my garmin watch on on this gave me a time of 5:22, which i stopped late, but on website it says 5:25:44? 4. I didn't have any problems checking my back in, as I was at the event early, however as everyone else, I found my bag with contents hanging out, my towel muddy and wet like everyone else at the end. 5. As others have stated for at least a week the bad weather was forecast, however tents were still erected spread over wet grass, with no clean routes/mats which could have been provided. 6. A good race route was provided, again Dunham Massey muddy route was bad, with no alternative but to wade through muddy water. 7. Changing facilities were poor at the end, with no private facilities available. 8. Volunteers were generally very good and were supportive and easily visible offering water, drinks etc. although I do not remember being offered gels, luckily enough I was self sufficient. 9. Thanks to Manchester for those who made the effort of support in the poor conditions. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Dangerous! In full: Alot of people moan about things! They seem to like to. They take one bad point and amplify it beyond all reason! But The people moaning about the baggage drop are right too! Alot of people said it was a joke! It wasn't there was nothing funny about it! It was dangerous! I think Simon hill is VERY lucky he is not facing a corporate manslaughter charge! They have a duty of care to the athletes and they have Grossly neglegted this duty of care! Such a shame! I would advise anyone who ha found themseleves at a financial loss due to this neglect to not accept anything but full compensation and should Xtra mile Refuse! pursue them in the small claims court! Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Very happy that I had no bag to collect! In full: I ran the Chester Marathon (my first one) last year and this was billed as the runners marathon organised by runners - and it lived up to this, being a very well run event. In comparison, the Manchester marathon can only be described as a marathon ran entirely for profit with only the minimum spent on organisation or safety.
The positives were the marshals and the great crowd - thanks so much to all the people who braved the conditions to come out and support us! I also found the course to be fun and enjoyed the 'mud run' in the middle of it.
However, as has been mentioned, the baggage collection was a disaster. Luckily I wasn't caught up in it as I managed to park only 10 minutes from the start, but the crowd of shivering people waiting to get into the baggage tent was not good to see.
I managed to get around okay and felt reasonably warm throughout as I wore three layers and had gloves and a cap. It did surprise me to see the number of people who were running with just a thin running top.
I think, if the event was run by different organisers or that the XtraMile owned up to the problems, I'd run the course again next year.
In short: Didn't use baggage service, so without prejudice: In full: The only thing I'll say about the baggage is why the hell do they insist on everyone using identical bags so they're impossible to spot? Contrary to previous reviews I thought Andy on the mic at the start was great, so too were the supporters, refreshments and goodies (medal, tshirt etc). This along with the massive price of entering made it feel like a large-scale event, however with the amenities in the 'race village' and large sections of a boring course it was more like a club run that should have cost £10-£15.
I think if it had been a glorious day there wouldn't have been a quarter of the complaints, so I would enter again just for the PB potential but not very far in advance! Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Postal number delivery - fail. Baggage - fail. Race village - fail. Timing results - fail. Rip off = success In full: This was hell on earth. Ok, I know the organisers have no control over the weather, which was beyond hideous, but they seriously couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery. Water stations were good is about all I can say. WHo thought it was a good idea to make us run through an underpass with twists turns steps and steep up and down hill just minutes from the finish? And baggage, well, it would have been funny if it wasn't true. Then getting out of the race village was a complete mystery. I will never run this again. Even if the weather was better, it will take them a long time to get the organisation right. By comparison I ran the first ever Brighton marathon which had teething problems but nothing compared to this farce. Sorry Manchester. I know xmile will have put a lot of effort in but it just wasn't good enough. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Good Race - Baggage Disaster In full: Although the weather was awful with driving rain and gale force winds at times, I really enjoyed the race itself. The organisation was good, plenty of water stations and excellent marshalls. The course was a good mixture of inner-city and rural although the rain made some of the country roads tricky. The big problem came at the end in the baggage tent. Due to the bad weather, most of us left it late to hand our kit in and the bags were left outside in order to get the race off on time. We were told they would be collected and ready for our return of which the first part occured On finishing and cooling down really quick I was desperate to get some warm kit on but there was an almighty melee around the baggage tent. The bags had been piled up in numbers of a thousand and the plan should have worked well; the lower numbers should have been in first and handed their bags. However, there was no-one at the tent (1 tent for 8,000 runners?) and it was a free for all. The army cadets who had taken the bags in, formed up in a squad and marched off and it was left to a couple of ladies to sort out - they did a sterling job amongst much frustration. It took 40 mins to find my bag by which time I was shaking uncontrollably. Luckily it had sorted slightly by the time my wife finished and we got her bag within 10 mins. Obviously there is nothing the organisers can do about the weather but they should have realised the impact that the weather would have had at the finish line? Not sure what they did in the 3 hours before the majority started finishing but it could have been spent better sorting the bags into manageable piles? Bags of potential though to be a really good event if the baggage is sorted. Not sure about what the cost would be, but how about using Lancs Cricket Club as the Race HQ? Plenty of covered areas for baggage etc. and an arena geared for big events. Will do again next year. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Poor organisation In full: Good support from the people of Manchester, but poorly organised all round with the the camels back being broken by the hair that was the dangerous baggage finding situation. Date of review: April 30, 2012
In short: Terrible organisation, verging on misselling. But the people of Manchester RULE. In full: As many have already said, human goodness was on display for this one, all around the course and at the end - but not from the people in charge... Spectators and marshals were marvellous, but the organisation was appalling. The maps provided were risible (no detail on the 'race village' at all, and no info about e.g. loos - I queued for one by the 'baggage drop', ran to the start and found a bijillion unused ones - a sign might have helped). The course was poorly thought out - if you're selling a course as one of the flattest and great for PBs, then having areas that are narrow, muddy and likely to fill with water in rainy weather in a race being run in April in the north of England is VERY STUPID. I know the organisers aren't the weather gods but you'd hope they'd have enough common sense to work that out. I'm a southerner, and I know that mud paths in the north are likely to be hard to run on in April... The underpass was also ridiculous - I am very slow so had plenty of space, but I can imagine it would be horrible for the pack at the front, and certainly not what you needed of you were on for a PB / GFA but the last couple of minutes were crucial.
And then there's the 'baggage area'. It should be pretty clear by now from other comments how appalling it was. I count myself lucky because I only lost a bottle, I only waited 30 minutes to get the jumper that had fallen out of my bag and it may be coated in mud but it'll wash ok. That was after waiting at least 30 to get the bag in the first place. Fortunately, my girlfriend had come with a couple of fleeces anyhow, so I could wear something warm and also lend something warm to the poor bloke next to us who looked on the verge of hypothermia. The race booklet had promised a foil blanket at the finishing line, but I didn't get one, and there were plenty of other people without them waiting around me (I didn't get the banana that was promised, either. So I could have been freezing and without any food for half an hour after a marathon in the driving wind and rain. Thankfully I wasn't, but it looked like lots of people were). This is a basic, and as many people have said, getting it wrong is dangerous. There are going to be a lot of people feeling dreadful today who would have been fine if the organisers had simply looked at how a few other races do baggage and copied it (Loch Ness, they have to drive it down a sodding mountain, yet I got my bag in no time at all at the end). There is no way I would do this again while it is being run by the same people. Date of review: April 30, 2012