In short: Amazing and well organised race with a great atmosphere! In full: I've never written a review but I have to say I loved Chester Marathon! I've only done city marathons before so running in the countryside was amazing. First half seemed to have more gentle downhill and two bigger hills came in the second half. When you are running a marathon they feel like mountains. But if you pace yourself right the hills are manageable and pb is definitely very possible. There isn't support at every corner (because you are in the countryside) but often enough you'd pass through groups of people who would cheer you so loudly that it would make up for the quiet time. Excellent atmosphere, organisation, and this years' weather was also perfect. After reading other peoples' reviews I might have to also add that the merging of metric runners with marathon runners did annoy me a little bit. When you are at the latter stages of a marathon it's extremely hard to manouver around people and ask them to move. Occasionally the metric marathon runners would be in a line of 5 chatting to each other and there was no room to pass. Perhaps later start for the metric marathon could solve this like someone suggested? Anyhow I was very pleased with it all, and I would highly recommend this race! Also, if you plan on staying in Chester the night before, book well in advance. I left it too late with very little choice (and very expensive options) left. Date of review: October 5, 2015
In short: This race does Chester proud... In full: I was fortunate enoughto have an elite plsce in this marathon, and I couldn't speak higher of the treatment or hospitality we were given....the marshals on course were fantastic, I gave up counting the road blocks that were in place (too tired)...big thumbs up to this one - wouldn't say its a 100% pb course, but its a quicky.....well done and thank you to the MBNA Chester Team! Date of review: October 5, 2015
In short: Really enjoyed my first marathon In full: This was my first marathon and I found it very well organised. Being at the racecourse was a plus as there was ample parking right next to the start/finish, while being a matter of minutes from the centre of town. There were plenty of water/isotonic stations, plus gells at some. The final section was alongside the River Dee, where I had to walk due to my calf muscles cramping, but the crowd was encouraging and I managed to run the last 300 metres back on the racecourse. Delivery of medals, t-shirts and goodie bags was efficient and compact, meaning my wife found me easily afterwards. I managed to have a shower without queuing. My only recommendation for an improvement is to have fruit at the finish (bananas and maybe apples). Date of review: October 5, 2015
In short: almost perfect! In full: there is so much good about this race it's absolutely right to highlight all that before the one niggle I have. the organisation was spot on, everything flawless. plenty of toilets, excellent marshals on the course, support through all the villages, some tests and the brilliant race angels (thankyou Emma!).
a goody bag that's actually useful, an excellent training top and a nice medal. there's so much to like here. add to the fact that it's based in Chester which is a brilliant place I'm loathed to criticise at all. but I must.
the metric marathoners started one hour behind the marathon folks which for me (running 3:50) meant that we were merging with those metric runners who were running at 2:50 pace for their 16.5 miles. that's significantly slower than the marathoners they were meeting. this caused congestion and made it a lot hard to maintain pace/direction. not what you need in the later stages of the race.
It seems to me that the metric should start about two hours after the main race to ensure that the runners merge at about the same pace.
oh - AND WALK ON THE LEFT. please. all of you! Date of review: October 5, 2015
In short: Chester is so well organised - they even book the weather in advance. Fantastic Event! In full: A special event for me anyway but yesterday was extra special as it was my 100th Marathon. Chris; Andy; Elaine; Linda and the rest of the Chester Marathon team ensured that I had a day to remember.
Pacing the 5.00 bus I also met lots of interesting characters and 1st time marathoners whose performances were truly inspirational.
In short: A great Marathon In full: An excellent marathon. The course is a mixture of roads and lanes, which winds it's way through numerous small villages. Although it's rural, the locals are out in relative force and supported brilliantly. The organisation was second to none, the location of the start finish was perfect and the announcer/organisers very enthusiastic. The pacers were bang on and the goody bag generous, definitely a 'do-again'. Date of review: October 5, 2015
In short: Great atmosphere, great support, well organised, only one drawback In full: A great race to be a part of, really good support and well organised. Great commentary too. One large, one small niggle. The merging of the two races meant a sudden influx of very slow runners or even walkers (from the Metric Marathon) spread out across the road, making it hard to overtake or run in a straight line at one's own pace. I'm sure this could have been organised better. Plus the parking. I know it's difficult, but despite the message asking people to bring the right change, the driver of the car next to us got out to get his wallet out of the boot, and the attendant in our queue had to go and get change from the next queue. this despite the clock ticking and the threat of the gates closing. I can't believe everyone got in in time. Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable race and hats off to the organisers. Way above par. Date of review: October 5, 2015