In short: Perfect organisation yet again In full: This event really can not be faulted. From the moment you sign up, you get regular information and even invited to training runs. On the day there is a kids fun run within the safe area of the race course. The day runs like clockwork. Roads are closed, so traffic free. Lots of toilets, lots of drinks, even plenty of gels. Great medal and t-shirt. Support from everyone on the day was fantastic. I will certainly be back again next year. Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Great race,first class organisation In full: this was my 7th marathon and the best! lovely to be congratulated by Chris Hulse as I crossed the finish line. Would make the trip from Oxford again!
In short: Excellently organised within facilites and start within close proximity, reducing pre race nerves! In full: The race was second to none for organisation and updates and also the information sent along with the race number. The location was excellent being central and handy for public transport. I must also add we stayed at the Crown Plaza right near the race course and it was excellent would definitely recommend it. On the day everything went smoothly and it was nice to be able to hand my bag in, go the loo (twice) and be at the start line all within 20 minutes. The race itself was very undulating with definite hills which did come as a bit of a shock as a friend who had previously ran it said flat with a bit of a hill at the end! However, despite this I got a PB and knocked nearly 4 minutes off my last marathon in 2012 (London). This was a very friendly race and I ran half of it with a lady from West Yorkshire who kept me going (thank you). Other runners were also friendly and offered bits of banter which does make a different because there are long periods where there are no spectators to support. However, the welcome as you approach the finish line was excellent. I have only scored a maybe as far as doing it again purely because I don't have many marathons left in me and I have decided to try different races. The follow up emails I have received following the race just complete the whole experience. This is definitely a race not to miss but best do some hill training as although all the hills were easily achievable in normal circumstances after running 20 miles they can be hard going. Just one last comment is the pacers. I think this is a great idea and I am sure were very much appreciated. Well done to all organisers and volunteers. Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Couldn't fault it. In full: I chose my Chester as my marathon debut due to its award winning history and positive online reviews and I'm glad I did. From the moment I signed up to the moment I left the racecourse having posted a debut finish time of 3:28:37 I knew I'd made the right choice. Great organisation, great course, great city. Cheers Andy & Chris, I couldn't fault it? Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: great for both PBs and memories In full: Faultless organisation with loads of special nice little touches. Yes, there are a few undulations (and yes they do feel like hills once you've got 20 miles in your legs!) but this course has great PB potential, The fantastic marshals, volunteers and supporters and friendly vibe make for a truly uplifting day Date of review: October 7, 2014
In short: Great first half of the run, hilly on the back half in the latter stages In full: This was my 6th Marathon and after entering the run I spoke with a 2013 runner who advised me against it as out of the City the run was lacking atmosphere. Having done London and Berlin as 4 of my previous marathons which had significant crowds I was expecting the worst after comments from a 2013 runner, how wrong was he.... We arrived early as my 6 year old wanted to enter the mini marathon fun run (which he enjoyed and got a nice finishers medal), the runners quickly arrived and I was impressed with the tents and number portable loos. Precise instructions were given in the build up to the start. On setting off there were plenty of spectators through the city, these died off out of the City but there was plenty of countryside to look at to keep you going, we passed through a few local villages and were met with some support there as well. I chose to run alongside one of the pacemakers (Colin 3hr 45 pace), he was entertaining to say the least, he did go slightly quicker than the pace required but not by much but I did pay for this towards the end. Regular water stations along the way helped. The first half of the run was pleasant and with Colin talking to the group throughout he kept everybody going and motivated, the slighter quicker pace took its toll on me after 21 miles which made for a grim last 5, within which there were a couple of challenging hills which at the stage of the race we were at made it feel like I was running up a mountain. They would have hurt at the 12 mile stage let alone mile 24!!!! The last mile and a half took us back through the city along the river and back on to the racecourse to be met with a large crowd making the finish a special one. The stewards, organisation, medal, t-shirt and overall feel good factor made it an enjoyable day. I would recommend to others to run this event, I will be back if for no other reasons than to conquer the hills towards the end the next time around. Date of review: October 7, 2014