In short: A Marathon that organisers from similar size events could learn an awful lot from!! In full: As has been said before - the fact that the race was organised by runners for runners - came through loud and clear.
The quality of the Finishers shirt and goody bag was 2nd to none. I am sure that people doing the VLM would sooner pay a little extra to get a Finishers Shirt that will last and could be worn with the same pride as the MBNA Chester Marathon shirts.
The marshalls and all volunteers were a joy also and really inspiring to see so many youngsters giving their time on a voluntary basis.
I am also doing Liverpool next week and fear the worst with regards to T Shirts as they are selling technical T shirts seperately. Hopefully we are not going to receive the cotton Fruit of the Loom shirts that last a couple of washes - but I am not holding my breath.
For those contemplating an Autumn Marathon in 2013 - look no further than Chester (October 6th).
Thanks Chris; Andy and your vast team for putting on a truly great event. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Loved this marathon! In full: This marathon was my 5th of the year and was a return to form following the painfully dull and unorgainised Wolverhampton Marathon in September. Whilst it lacked the thousands of supporters lining the streets (if you want this do London) it had a great mix of towns, villages and countrysides to make it very enjoyable. Personally I would call this an undulating marathon as there were a couple of challenging hills and many slight inlcines throughout the course, but not enough to kill anyones spirit.
The marshalls were top notch, water/energy drinks/gels stations frequent enough for you to not have to keep hold of a bottle at any stage and the support at each of the stations was great. Note to organisers: the young kids at these staions did you proud and deserve all the praise they get.
The sprint finish at the race course along with the running commentary was a great way to finish, although I did lose my footing in the mud and nearly went flying - would have been good for a laugh I suppose!
Luton Marathon in November is up next and I will definately cosider doing this one again next year.
Well done Chester. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: A fantastic race! In full: This was my first chester marathon and i don't think it will be my last. Very well organised event, the spectators along the way were absolutely amazing and a real credit to the beautiful city of chester, this race showcases the city and the surrounding areas really well. this is my 2nd marathon after running snowdon in 2010 and although you can't compare the hills to that race it does have a few slow inclines that are quite testing. Gels and isotonic drinks a great touch and much needed cos i forgot my gels and they saved me from even more pain than i suffered. Grandstand finish and goody bags were brilliant1 A+ Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: A tremendously well organisedand fun event. In full: A great course, hill at mile 24 is a bit sporty for that stage of the race. Good support through all local villages . Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Not at all crowded, def PB potential although not exactly flat In full: Would definitely recommend this marathon. Parking at the start only £2 = definite bonus. Lots of loos although long queues close to start of race. Indoor / marquee area to wait and keep warm right up until start time. People def seemed to put themselves in the right starting pens - no overcrowding / struggling to overtake people over first couple of miles. Pretty views in parts. Good crowd support esp in some of the villages. Water stations well spaced and never overcrowded so no slowing down needed. A fair few small hills along the way which were a bit of a shock to the system - but not enough to stop a PB. Excellent marshalls. Good grandstand finish - although soft ground underfoot for last 400m was a bit challenging. Nice technical T and some much needed snacks in the goody bag. And good finishing area - lots of food stands etc. And most importantly, knocked 15 minutes off my PB to come well within good for age for the first time!! Thank you Chester! Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: A great marathon. In full: This was my first marathon and I'm glad I chose this one. The organisation and thought that has gone into this event cannot be faulted. From start to finish I was never in any doubt that this experience was being made as easy as possible for me. The course keeps the interest and the volunteers and spectators were amazing. What sums it all up is that the organiser (I think it was Andy?) was there at the end to shake hands and I too had my bag waiting for me at the baggage collection as I staggered towards them.
I will be back next year (especially now that I know about the undulations towards the end).
Thank you to all concerned. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Even better than last year In full: Last year's event was my first ever marathon and I caught the bug! Back this year and felt more confident as the route hadn't changed. Didn't mean the hills were any easier though. Need to make a particular mention to the spectators - although not huge numbers out on the course, they made such a big noise. And a special mention to the children singing "We wish you a merry marathon". Cute and inspiring! The final mile along the river and into the racecourse is truly amazing. Hundreds of people who don't know you calling out your name and willing you along. Meant I found some energy for that final push. I'll be back next year. Date of review: October 8, 2012