In short: Run Wirral - Run Liverpool - Run the Tunnel ! In full: Disclaimer - My experience may be influenced as I PB'd - and on a course that I don't think is the easiest around...
The start was well organised - time markers up to tell you where to be. Luggage lorries were well manned and no problems there. The grass was muddy but you can't control that !
The course is a great mix - a quick lap of the Park - not that you can take in the views really, then out onto the Wirral. Going through the Docks is always interesting, and then a fast descent to the promenade. A nice out and back there let you assess how everyone was doing, and then avoiding starbucks we get to go round the Marine lake - Irish Sea lapping at the sea wall.
Then we get to the promenade with views over to Liverpool - this is the view that the tourists want. Perfect.
Historic Hamilton Square is next and then you descend into the Tunnel - this makes for a fast end to the first half.
After that - its uphill through the city and into Sefton Park. Just one lap of that though and already you're on your way back home. Nice fast descent down again - so you've a chance to keep the pace up. The last mile or so always go on forever - but the crowd support is good.
Through the finish and you're done.
Organisation was perfect - no worries on that. Teeshirt, Foil Blanket, Medal and some other goodies too.
The only downside of the whole event is that it made my legs hurt. But I will return.
In short: Excellent race, perfectly organised with some stunning scenery. In full: From start to finish, the organisation of this race was top notch. A helpdesk the whole day before, perfect transport details, incredibly organised kit baggage couriers, plenty of water stations - all with outstanding volunteers and a text with your time and position 15 minutes after you finish.
As well as this, you had collaboration from The Gym Group to provide free showers for all runners and cheap all day secure parking from Liverpool ONE Q-Park for only £5. Superb.
The scenery was glorious. A beatiful run down the New Brighton promenade to lead you into the Queensway tunnel (which was an experience to run through). Through the City Centre and up to the fantastic Princes and Sefton parks and back down along the Kings and Albert Dock to the Pier Head finish by the Liver buildings. It wasn't hills and countryside, but this was so much better.
For me, I got my pacing all wrong and did the first half marathon in 1:33 - and I was aiming for 1:42 so I suffered a bit in the second half, but it goes to show the first half was certainly quick. There were some killer hills (for me) though. The half-way point is slap in the middle of the tunnel - meaning the climb from 13 to 14 miles is uphill (and quite steep), but the sound of the drums outside the tunnel spur you on. Once you then get to around 17 miles, you have another one-mile hill, which was the first time I had to stop for a walk - and then again from about 22 1/2-24 miles is an uphill gradient... which by this time I was a bit of a mess. But alas! 24-25 miles was downhill leading you back to the sea-front and the last mile was flat with crowds all around you - especially the last 800 metres or so where there were thousands of spectators.
There were times when this was very much a training run though - but at least once every mile there were small crowds cheering people on. I seem to remember reading there were meant to be a few music stages along the course but only remember the one at the finish - which was playing bloody Gangnam Style as I crossed the line. Being 50 years since Love Me Do, where were The Beatles tunes?? :o)
This was my first ever marathon and I am so glad I chose such a fantastic city to run it in. I've run about 20 half-marathons and can easily so that (along with the Birmingham Half) this was the best race. Fingers crossed I get to do the Great North and London at some point in the future. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: A brilliant race which was perfectly organised In full: Alan Rothwell the organiser of this race deserves massive plaudits, he was well in touch with people before the race and every point from parking to travel to pacing was covered. The route is great coving parks, beach fronts, tunnels, city centres and historical areas like penny lane and the old dock area. best of all it finishes with a down hill section into a crowd lined city centre stretch, perfect for dragging you across the line. drink stations were perfectly placed and the marshalls were fantasic all the way round. Collecting baags after the race was so seemless that within 10 mins from finishing I was in my car and on my way home, on top of which I had my result and placing texted to me before I got home (a 1 hr drive). Seamless and flawless, very impressive Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Brilliant event,route,support and organisation! In full: Really good event well organised amazing support especially out of the tunnel and at the finish! Well done Run Liverpool team. worth every penny for me. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Superb, just superb In full: Glad to say that the couple of niggles from last year that stopped this from being the perfect race (late start, tedious trek round and round Sefton park) were well and truly resolved yesterday. Organisation was brilliant all round. Atmosphere amazing as ever, big thanks to the people of Liverpool for the support. The exit from the tunnel is something I'm not sure can be matched by any race, anywhere. The hill at 18 is definately a bit of a killer, but the fact that the first half is super fast and that you go back down the hill at 24 still makes it a reasonably quick course overall (I managed my first sub 3).
Had intended to try Chester next year, but Liverpool will now be an annual highlight of my race calender. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: First of many marathons hopefully In full: My first marathon and what an experience!! Amazing atmosphere but the road side helpers made it for me - always cheering me on and the crowd got me through the final miles - can't wait until 2013!! Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Taken on board improvements from last year - shaping up to be a great race In full: Don't think I've ever done such a perfectly organised race, nice to see the problems at the start from 2011 have been resolved, and the tweaks to the course added to the event. Hills in the 2nd half make it quite tough, though I did get a new PB, so can't really complain. Atmosphere was fantastic once again - hopefully the organisers have already re-booked that drum band for next year (....and the year after, and year after that, etc!) Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Great organisation, great crowds In full: Went off bang on time, very well organised, crowds good throughout and great mix of scenery with park, docks, seafront, promenade, city centre... oh and a tunnel! Also I did it 14 minutes quicker than last year so very happy with that. Date of review: October 15, 2012
In short: Amazing Experience - fantastic support In full: Very well organised race. What really made it was the support of the people of Liverpool and Birkenhead, especially when emerge from the Queensway Tunnel into Liverpool and hit by a wall of soumd with masses of support either side of the road. I have never seen so many supporters at a race! Marshalls and helpers made event run like clockwork. Within 30 seconds of finishing had collected my bag! Date of review: October 15, 2012