In short: Good - generally well organised, but some issues at the end In full: This was a good, friendly event, with a decent atmosphere. Conditions were pretty much perfect for a very quick time (so only myself to blame for not getting a very quick time!). The route makes it easy for supporters to get up and down the course by tram, so it was nice to see familiar faces at 4 points.
While I really appreciated all the time given by volunteers at the event (so the following isn't a criticism of any individuals for whose efforts I'm really grateful), I found some real issues with collecting my bag at the end - took me nearly an hour to get my bag and some warm clothes, by which time I was mildly hypothermic and had to be taken to the Red Cross tent. I know there are a lot of people to process, but someone organising the poor souls doing their best in the baggage tent (maybe putting the bags in a bit more order while the race is going on? - there wasn't much of a system in operation and no-one really seemed to be in charge) would make a big difference - obviously, we all take responsibility for our own health when we run, but it's a long time to be waiting to get a change of clothes; in really bad weather, I think it could be a real problem. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Great race very relaxed In full: Nice race starting and finishing at Man U. Football ground , the support from local people was excellent the course design helped this being out and back loops I would recommend this to any runner . Stayed at holiday inn in the media center which was very welcoming , with an early breakfast provided for runners just 1 mile from start Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: It was what the can said "The flattest Marathon in UK" In full: I cannot complain except since i got good for age London time. Crowd support was fantastic, especially with name calling. Made me feel i knew every body out there. They kept me going.
Course was flat, liked the dog loops.
Water - did not like the pouches, you either got nothing, a dribble or? Could not open top. I did not see isotonic or gels as advertised and only saw blocs at last stop (i was given my own gel by husband on route). 7-9m water station we came to a halt - too narrow.
Car park a fiasco, the marshall did not let us through for stadium pre booked place, had to go miles out of way following directions.
Having said all of that, i would be back since it was a "special race" Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: good race need water at end and recovery drink t shirt needs to be bigger xl not xl In full: this was 2nd time I have run the marathon. the support was exceptional shouts of name great. course good but different from last year not rarely sure improved from last year. not enough toilets at start.
disappointed by fact that no water at first water station and very loppy at start. toilets at mile 16 blocked and unsuable. At the end a bit unorganised. I was not given any water and non of the surrounding food providers had any water. the marathon overall is a great marathon but finishing t shirt is not an xl this needs addressing Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Fast and flat In full: First time at this marathon.well organized very fast and flat. Great camaraderie and excellent support from the people of Manchester. Bit loopy at the start but soon settles down. Liked the increased water stations towards the end and nice big medal. Big plus was the live follow system which worked well and was great for mrs ringo. I would recommend this marathon friendly fast race Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: The crowds made it for me In full: Great race, seems to be improving every year which is how it should be. Can't really fault the organisation , except a lucosade would have been nice at the end. Don't no what the fuss about the water is??? It's not rocket science!!!! There where plenty off them. I always take my own gels so I wouldn't use any I've not tested anyway. The crowds are the best I've come cross !!!! Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Great atmosphere & PB In full: Great support and atmosphere, route was nicer than I expected with plenty of interest. Loads of people out and everyone was really friendly. I liked the switchbacks as it meant I could wave to club mates and it also made it easier for spectators. Price is steep and I'd like greater clarity on how the money is spent, also a fairer policy on deferals due to injury. Date of review: April 6, 2014
In short: Fast and flat. A bit dull? In full: The Good Bits: - fast and flat. a definite for a PB i'd say - well organised in terms of entries, number being sent in the post, very good info pack to download, regular email updates, bag drop was seemless - some really vocal support en route- with people handing out sweets and drinks. thanks to all the local residents for that- much appreciated - easy to get to with the metrolink - nice medal and a really top tech tee
Not so good bits: - really didn't like the course. the first few miles with the loopbacks were stupid and quite frustrating, difficult to get going in a regular rhythm. Also, because much of the course was two-way, it all got a bit crammed and, again, difficult to find a rhythm. was much less noticeable in the second half as people started to get a bit more strung out.
- water stations. the people manning them were great, but the first few were really difficult to actually get a drink at. I didn't see the signs (too low down possibly?) and a lot of people were stopping dead and trying to make their way to the sides for drinks...again, improved as the course became less crammed in the second half. - the Iconiq water pouches? Not a fan. either got a dribble of water or a face full. also tasted really strange and chemically. Would have REALLY appreciated a lucozade/powerade or similar at 16-20 mile mark- rather than more chemical toilet water! - Cliff shot bloks...now i love these, train with them all the time. But after 26 miles of them i felt ill. thought we were getting bloks and gels? only saw bloks... - mile markers...again, didn't see many in the first half- perhaps think about positioning?
i've said 'maybe' to a return. its very local for me...but don't think i would recommend that people travel far- unless you want a PB- it has definite potential for that... Date of review: April 6, 2014