In short: Spot on event - best of the biggest and smaller races combined. Great organisation. In full: Fast flat course, excellent organisation and aid stations, good crowd support especially at the finish (lots of glory!), easy to get to and leave, nice number of runners (not too big not too small). Really recommend it and will do again. Date of review: October 16, 2013
In short: Simply the best In full: This was my first marathon and was my alternative to London, which I did not get in to. Frankly, my London rejection might have been a good thing. This is a great marathon, amazing atmosphere and support all the way throughout the race. The route is fantastic too with varying scenery from a little bit of country to town running. I've done Chester since then and that is nowhere near in the league of The GREATEST Manchester Marathon :D Date of review: October 8, 2013
In short: well organised race, through trafford, excellant support throughout the course , flat and PB potential , excellent medal and teeshirt at the end. In full: first year to run the race, well organised excellent support all way round. medal big and great. tee shirt excellent. PB by 20 minutes, never thought as a Liverpool fan would be so glad to see old Trafford at the end of the race. Only slight down side was the goody bag which only had shampoo sachet and toothpaste. parking expensive at £9 but very close and no problems entering or leaving. Overall excellent race and will be there next year hopefully. Date of review: June 20, 2013
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