In short: PB potential and terrific support In full: Firstly, a big thanks to all the supporters who were fantastic for the entire course offering huge encouragement and seemingly endless supply of jelly babies. Best marathon crowd and support I've ever experienced.
The course is fast and virtually flat, if a little dull, so great PB potential.
Liked the water pouches, once opening/drinking technique had been mastered. Easy to carry and little wasteage. Plenty of water stops. Seemed to be plenty of energy blocks but carried my own gels.
Parking was a complete fiasco. Being non-local I booked into the Old Trafford car park but roads were closed. There was only 1 diversion sign then got completely lost in maze of roads. Eventually paid another £10 to park in nearby office car park, so money and time wasted. Many others appeared to do the same with a big queue of cars going into this "unofficial" car park and handing over their £10. The race instructions advised to take account of road closures, but if promoting the Man Utd car park then explicit instructions on how to get to it to it when the roads are closed should have been given. This is the only negative I have, albeit a very big one, on what otherwise was a very well organised event. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Flat, fast and fun (up to a point!) In full: As others have said this is definite PB territory (and I nailed one by all of 15 seconds). The organisation was pretty good overall and the spectators really gave it a fantastic atmosphere, calling your name and shouting support along almost all of the course. I know I'm in the minority here but I liked the water pouches, never used them before but thought they were really convenient - didn't spill all over me and when I wanted a big gulp I just bit the top off! The scenery is perhaps a little tame compared to the Sea to Sky Highway but it's not hideous. I have a soft spot for Manchester, having lived there until 10 years ago and I'm really glad that I ran this race! Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: A great London alternative In full: This was my first Manchester Marathon. After failing to gain entry into London this year I thought I'd go for this as an alternative. I was not disappointed and as a result I may not even bother trying London next year.
So in comparison to London here goes; No irritating Expo to have to go to. Hotels were cheaper. Parking was easier. It was easier for spectators to get around. Technical t-shirt (you only get cotton at London). The whole event was far more hassle free. The plus points are endless. The only thing Manchester didn't outdo London on was the 1 million supporters on the streets, But give it a few years and who knows!!!
One grip only relevant to me and a few others was the 3:15 pacer. He went flying past me at 22 miles only for a probable 3:12 finish. That did play tricks with my head. But I still came in at 3:14.
I'm coming back. That's for sure. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Great marathon for a first timer. In full: Being my first marathon I have nothing to compare it to. Water stations were well stocked and plentiful, gels and shot bloks were on offer but I didnt use them. I suffered cramps in the last two miles, would that have happened if isotonic drinks were on offer in one or two of the latter water station? Marshals were fantastic and the crowd support was the best I`ve ever encountered at any race!! Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: Nice PB Race Very Flat In full: The day started very bad i had booked parking at old trafford and could not find a way in all the roads were already closed at 7 oclock,the marshalls were doing their jobs not letting you though even when you could see the entrance we clocked up 25 miles driving round,rant over. The start area was a little crazy with a free for all even when you had a certain colour or letter for your start anybody with any colour or letter could be stood next to you which you mean they would probably slower holding other people up behind. I didn t really like the plastic water packets not for me,i few times it went down the wrong hole,does need lucazade around 17 miles though The race was very flat and the marshalls were fantastic,the crowd was very supportive and very loud in places,the medal is great but the x-large t-shirt is a little small.I did managed a PB even though i set off to quick. Date of review: April 7, 2014
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