In short: Brilliant First Marathon In full: This was my first attempt at a full marathon and I couldn't have picked a better one to start with. As stated by the organisers, the course is very flat and even though I'd heard about monstrous cock-ups at the 2012 event, this year's went without any hiccups (as far as I know!). Some fairly boring sections through the more rural parts of the city, but when there were crowds, they were extremely vocal and really made the event. Waterstations were well manned and the energy sweet thingies were pretty tasty! A great introduction to running a full marathon in my humble opinion. Date of review: June 18, 2013
In short: Much Improved After Last Year, Just Needs A Few More Tweaks In full: Much improved after last years debacle. The course is very nice and fast although not the most scenic.
Support was fantastic along the majority of the course, race village was good and the finishers medal and t-shirt were excellent, the goody bag was ok.
The only disappointments were the race results and the mile markers were either not there or not prominently displayed, also when I arrived at the Car Park they had closed the road off and sent me an alternative route which was also closed. Eventually everyone just drove down the closed road to the car park, later on the closure was moved, so I presume it was a mistake by the Marshalls.
Overall though, a good Marathon which I will certainly consider again. Date of review: May 4, 2013
In short: Very impressed with this London alternative In full: Having read the mixed reviews from 2012 I decided to put my trust in the organisers' promises to improve for 2013 and I'm glad I did. The course is never going to win any tourism board prizes for scenery or landmarks, but then the organisers are promising a fast, flat, PB potential course, and in that they have certainly delivered. The course is very quick, not entirely flat, but barely a hill to be seen (I think the steepest gradients were climbing bridges). The crowd support was phenomenal (Except for a quiet section between 19.5 and around 21.5 miles (Which is a shame, as this is when many need that extra support) and the addition of our first names on the race number is a super idea. Organisation was first class - particular credit to the baggage which, after the reported disaster of last year, went out of its way to be the most convenient and efficient baggage service I've seen at a race. The medal is huge, the t-shirt great. I'd certainly consider this race again. The only slight negative is the issue with the chip timing, which I understand is a problem with the sub-contracted timing company. The splits and the times for some runners are really all over the place (My brother ran the final 10k in minus 35 minutes, for example, and the second half of the race in 50 minutes, complete with an incorrect chip time). Hopefully they can get the results resolved soon. The race is expensive to enter and it made me think twice, but because there is no expo you need to attend beforehand, for me personally it makes it cheaper than London, as I don't have to spend £20+ getting to and from London before the Sunday to pick up my number. Once that is factored in the price is fairly reasonable for a city race with all roads closed and the extras that come with it. Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Lots of Areas to Improve In full: Genrally well organised. Marathon village was excellent.
Overall a very quick route, fantastic support especially in Altrincham and Sale. A bit on the expensive side including £9 to use the Car Park at Old Trafford - yet nobody there at the end to help exit. Indeed exiting the car park was almost as chaotic as trying to find it with all the X Factor contestants!
Fantastic medal and bag at the end especially the t-shirt which is as good as i have had.
My real 'beef' was the lack of First Aiders around the course. Apart from ambulances attending to 'serious injuries' I did not see one first aider all the way round.
The Shotz jelly cubes were a major plus.
The marshalls; crowds and all the helpers at the drink stations were especially good.
Finally - the fact that it was called the Greater Manchester Marathon would have caught a lot of people out who expected to see Manchester (i.e. some of the City Centre).
As it is relatively local I would probably do it again but unfortunately, T-Shirt aside, with low expectations. Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Well organised, tremendous support and a fast course. In full: The race village was excellent, no queues at all for the bag drop/pick-up and an adequate amount of toilets. The course, the first four miles were very dull looping back on yourself around the back of Old Trafford but once out on the road in the residential areas it really came into it's own. Fantastic support along the streets throughout. The open and empty area of Carrington at around mile 21 was tough but it's not too long before it picks up again for the final push. One thing, I noticed a few people running into cones. Some could have been placed more kindly. I stayed with the Brooks 4 hour pacer for the majority who was very good at giving regular updates and encouragement. It did get congested in that pack at times though. Plenty of water stations and I liked the jelly squares, I would have liked isotonic drinks at a couple more stations. Nice big medal at the end and a very good technical t-shirt thrown in as well.
A very good and satisfying race in all. Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Well organised, although there were some slower runners who were nearer the front which should be marshalled better. I ended up running on grass to pass them. In full: Overall a very quick route, fantastic support especially in Altrincham but a bit sparse around Carington but it is down country lanes I suppose. A tad on the expensive side but i suppose they have to line the glazers' pockets to use the Car Park at old trafford. Fantastic medal and bag at the end especially the t-shirt which is the best i have had. Would do it again but next time don't put the X Factor auditions on at the same time in MUFCs ground. It was a bit chaotic to say the least getting to the Car Parks. Weather was good and I PB'd it in 3:45:11 Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Brilliant race! In full: Smooth organisation, well-planned route with a few out and back loops, which was great for moral support, easy and flat course and absolutely amazing support from the crowds throughout. Date of review: April 30, 2013
In short: Excellent race, well organised! In full: This is a very flat fast course, I was nailed on for a pb until my hamstring decided to give up 3 miles from home, still only one minute over my previous best! In most places you don't notice the scenery because it seemed like everybody in Manchester had lined the streets, simply the most incredible support I have ever witnessed at an event, if it wasn't for the crowds I don't think I would have made it round, thanks to everyone who turned out! The baggage tents at the end ran like clockwork, the medal and t-shirt are splendid, goody bag was a bit sparse, appreciated the toothpaste but no brush?! All round excellence apart from the chip timing which was a bit chaotic, but to be honest that could have happened at any event at any time, a bit unfortunate! Date of review: April 30, 2013