In short: FANTASTIC MARATHON!!! PERFECT ORGANISATION!!! SPECIAL SPECIAL RACE!!! In full: I did this race last year and got a pb with 4.25, this year i smashed it again with 3.54! as long as you remember there are 2 main hills(18 and 24 miles) then you'll be ok and believe me,they're not that bad at all. Organisation was absolutely spot on and all i can do is agree with everything great that has already been mentioned on here,i will be back next year to do it all again. I ran with the fantastic 4hr pacers til 23 miles and i couldnt recommend running with pacers any more highly,they really do make the race more enjoyable and easy. Big thankyou to them and to all the volunteers who were top notch. Well done again Chester, you did yourself proud Date of review: October 9, 2013
In short: Believe the hype! In full: This was my first marathon and after this it definitely isn't my last.
I did the Chester Half earlier in the year which is also organised by Chris & Andy so the bar had been set high. They didn't disappoint.
Everything ran like clockwork, plenty of volunteers were on hand everywhere willing to help, baggage was painless - to the point where my bag was brought to me after the race.
Support was patchy out on the course but when you are running down miles of country lanes it's going to be that way. It did make it special each time I ran through a village, cheers, bands, shouts of encouragement were all there.
The start and finish at the race course worked really well, plenty of room for everything to be set up and had the space to accommodate everybody. Yes, there were traffic jams getting in and out, but that happens at all large races. You should expect it.
This is also the only race where I've been offered a handshake and a thanks for coming as I cross the line (not that I knew much about it at the time)
Great medal and long sleeved tech t-shirt for finishing, Chris and Andy know what runners want.
In short: A must in any runner's calender In full: First marathon so nothing to compare it to but doubt the organisation at Chester could be surpassed by other events. All requirements catered for: toilets, post-run showers, plenty of places to chill out/ collapse at the end which is the great thing about having start and finish at a racecourse.
Lovely touches like lots of pre-race emails from the organisers about training runs etc. Very informative leaflet sent out in post along with race number with chip. Having name read out aloud via loudspeakers spurred me on to do a "sprint" finish.
I enjoyed the rural route with stretches without folk shouting the generic "__miles to go, come on you're doing really well". They made those sections populated with spectators all the more motivating. The villagers came out to support us in their masses - again a really nice touch.
Biggest applause goes to hundreds of volunteers who make the day run smoothly. Water available at each station, some volunteers even thought to unscrew the lids for us! Gels and Lucazade a plenty for those wanted it too.
Only gripe was that the 24 mile marker was way out. Any other marker would have been fine, but 24!! It nearly killed me. Count down in metres from mile 26 would have been nice too (again a very minor gripe).
Will definitely return next year, thank you Chris and Andy and all the volunteers!