In short: Very well organised, great volunteers, excellent crowd support, loads of water stations & very pretty scenery couldn't have chosen a better place to do my first marathon!! In full: The race started on time and was extremely well organised throughout. The volunteers were excellent and there were loads of water/fuel stations. The scenery was lovely and there was fantastic crowd support in the small villages and Chester itself. The only downside was the hill at 24 miles - I was surprised by this as it's classed as a flat course. This was my first marathon and the atmosphere and support from other runners was exceptional - everyone was really friendly. The medal and tech t-shirt is great as it's long sleeved (ready for winter). It was a lovely touch having your name read out over the tanoy when crossing the finish line & being congratulated by the race organisers. I can't recommend it highly enough -and to top it all off the weather was warm & sunny! I'll definately be there again next year! :-) Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Slick, friendly, must-do race In full: Negatives - boggy racecourse gave wet feet before starting & a slippy sprint at the end. May have been a few fallers in the last furlong! Warning of the significant hill (Sandy Lane?) at 24 miles would have helped those of us trying to keep a pace since there was little distance beyond it to make up the time. Positives - EVERYTHING ELSE! Gorgeous scenery - OK the cool Autumn sunshine helped. Brilliant marshals, Police, volunteers - the most encouraging I've seen in ANY race I've done.
The organisation was slick - no messing about at the start (c.f. one recent race where the lead car ended up behind the race pack!). I liked the quiet areas where you could concentrate on your rhythm. Villages popped up regularly with vocal support even where numbers small. Particularly well done to the Holt residents who roared us up the hill.
Quality goody bag - nice medal & tech t-shirt.
One of my favourite races of any distance. Of course, a p.b. helps! Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Superb organisation, nice course, friendly people, beautiful town. In full: Really enjoyed this, despite the inevitable pain. The organisers say they want to be "the UK's favourite regional marathon" and every aspect of the race suggests they mean it. Organisation was impeccable - and impeccably friendly - throughout. Full of nice touches like really well organised baggage area (zero waiting time), good post race massage, long sleeve technical T (just the thing heading into the winter months), race directors shaking hands personally at the finish and so on. Running on country lanes most of the way but the level of support when you go through the various (extremely pretty) villages is something else. Chester is such a charming and historic town, it makes a great race weekend base for strolling round. Just one note of caution - the course has PB potential, but is not a super-flat or super-fast course like Berlin, Abingdon or Edinburgh. There are a couple of strategically placed hills in the later stages which lead to a lot of big positive splits. If you are only focused on a PB and care nothing about any other aspect of the race, go somewhere else. If you want an all round feelgood race experience, do this. Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Definite PB potential despite soggy feet! In full: What a lovely set of Marshalls! Where crowds were few and far between, the marshalls more than made up for it. Where you find them, I do not know but keep them!! I loved this race, it seemed to fly by and I would recommend to anyone to give it a go. My only issue was soggy feet at the start traipsing over to the loo's. I know the organisers can't do anything about dew on the grass but it would be better if the loo's were on tarmac. Again, that is easier said than done. Can't fault this at all. Well done on an excellent race! Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: Faultless In full: Organisation for this race is spot on. If you live in the area, there are training sessions with the organisers you can go along to, which shows their commitment to the event. The racecourse is a great venue for the start and finish, and so close to the centre of Chester to make accomodation and restaurant options easy, and great for non running family members to spend a couple of hours. Bag collection was something else - seemed to have a spotter who picks out your number as you approach so it's sitting on the counter for when you've walked the 50 metres to the collection point (OK, in my case, this gives them at least 5 mins to identify your bag) Date of review: October 9, 2012
In short: friendly, welcoming, brilliant, a few sneaky hills on the second half but would recommend to everyone In full: This was my first marathon and I am so pleased I chose Chester. The organisation was superb ... cannot fault at all. The race was brilliant, such friendly runners, amazing support through the villages and the scenery was beautiful. There are a couple of hills but that is surely to be expected over this distance. Perfect too for spectators as my family were able to see me at the start, 17 miles and at the end without any problems. Date of review: October 9, 2012