In short: Flat and fast a "no frills" very basic race In full: OK ..... I know what it's like to organise an event and then people make mindless comments because they just can't stop themselves from moaning. So.... THE REALLY GOOD BITS ..... Great Road closures (can't believe they got the sea front closed) Great Scenery "Breathtaking" especially at the bottom, well organised in advance and at the start. Nice medal and some of the supporters were great, especially the woman with the cow bell and the girl with the blue cheerleader pom poms,BRILLIANT! although support was a bit patchy. PB potential is fantastic, and, yes, since you ask, I did get one WHOOP WHOOP. Well done for all of that. THE MINOR BAD BITS....most of the marshals were miserable & on their phones texting (not all, but most)....The goodie bag had no thought at all. Water would have been nice in a sports cap bottle, personally I am not bothered about gels or sports drinks (re previous feedback)... The first aid people were rubbish, seriously this needs looking at, I stopped and asked for a plaster! (yes, just a plaster) and when they decided to break off from their "chit chat" they told me they didn't have any! This was an ambulance and paramedics for heavens sake! This was advertised as a one lap course...IT ISN'T... at the end of the first lap it was hard to watch the half marathon runners go to the finish, but, on the plus side at least you knew whatwas ahead of you on the second lap. All in all a good event which I would do again! Date of review: March 23, 2012
In short: Loved it! In full: OK, perhaps not the most high profile race on the planet, but I love this event and i'm glad it's back. Perfect conditions, nice flat course by the sea side. Only did the half, so not sure what it was like on the 2nd lap. Date of review: March 13, 2012
In short: Love the race, just a few tweaks needed In full: As I say I love the race and I'm all for I-Pods personally! The race seems scenic at first but can be a little daunting as Blackpool tower doesn't seem to get any closer. I believe the following tweaks would make a good race into a great race: i) Energy drinks: yes I know the onus is on the runner to sustain themselves but this would help massively - i left some bottles around the course. In previous years the marathon has been done on hot days and these would really help with hydration. ii) Energy gels - not an unreasonable ask in light of the entrance fee - could be restricted to full marathon runners only.
In short: Low key, PB course In full: I really enjoyed this marathon. A quick course, good weather and plenty of water stations. The support was sporadic but enthusiastic, especially the lady with the cow bell outside Wetherspoons! I enjoyed running past the tacky shop fronts and then dropping down to promenade with great views out to sea. The goody bag was a bit light; but who runs a marathon for a goody bag? The road closures must have cost a fair amount too, so overall no real complaints: I'll hopefully be back next year.
In short: could be improved In full: firstly-an ideal day in Blackpool and the weather was as good as you could expect. in the week preceeding the race I e-mailed the race organisers twice with questions that I could not find answers to on the race website and got no response which was a bit annoying. the race hq was pretty good although the bag storage took some finding and was not signposted so to speak. as with the half two weeks ago a bagpipe player was there which I dont really get, oh well. as previously stated if a race includes laps and wheelchair racers are accepted then there MUST BE A TOTAL MP3/MUSIC PLAYER BAN !!!!!!! personally, I would ban them in every race but I cant see this happening. I thought the marshalls were good and bottled water was ideal. the goody bag was ok but as with the half two weeks ago which I also ran I think the race organisers could up their game slightly so to speak. would return again for the marathon but a quite low turnout for the full I thought.
In short: A few minor improvements needed but otherwise a good event In full: Positives. Flat course & not as boring as I thought due to the turn arounds & change of scenery being at approx every 5k. Goody bag reasonable as I have paid more & got less. As it's the seaside maybe a bag of chips at the end.
Negatives (And these are easily sorted)
An extra marshall or signage required in the first mile to ask people to keep left due to the quicker runners/wheelchairs coming back up the promenade between 4 & 7 miles. Granted this was pointed out at the turn but nothing previous.
IPODS - There are many arguments with this but with wheelchairs in the race they have got to be banned. Did see one chair flip over & was concerned this was due to ignorance from a runner not hearing the quite clear shout that a chair was approaching. Blind runners have runners with them & deaf runners normally have a bib so other participants are aware. Wearing an IPOD makes you deaf but also oblivious to what is going on around you
Other - I think marking atmosphere is a bit of an odd one. Organisers are not responsible for public support. Marshalls I encountered were friendly & supportive and it's much appreciated that they take a good chunk out of their weekends to help out
In short: Enjoyable marathon and did everything that I would expect from a well organised event. In full: No complaints from me. Apart from the lack of pre-race information, everything was spot on. The promised email mentioned when entering never materialised, but was available on website.
Plenty of parking either at the hotel or the adjoining streets. Good facilities at the hotel - smooth number/chip collection, cheap cups of tea/coffee (50p), and plenty of space to get ready.
Good signage and communication to get you to the start line, and chip timing for speedy results.
Weather was perfect for running - mild, dry and negligible wind - with a mainly flat course offered good opportunities of quick times.
The Marathon was two laps with some out and back sections and a scenic loop along the promenade offering coast views to take you mind off the tiredness and the impact of the flat profile on your legs. The two way sections allowed you the privilege of seeing the race leaders, and encourage others coming the other way.
The organisers did everything right today. In the main, the marshals were brilliant only with the odd one or two too busy sending messages on their I-phones rather than concentrating on their duties spoiling it in my mind. I don't agree with the comments about the lack of energy drinks as water-only was detailed on the website information, and the grumbles from one runner about forgetting their i-pod - get used to it as all races will rightly ban them (okay in training, but a menace and danger in a crowded race).
Finally, Blackpool as a town could do more to support their home marathon. Most of the local population seemed disinterested, but the minority that offered support was very much appreciated.