In short: Nice course, flat route but would be better with chip timing In full: Pros: good website, easy to book, brilliant value for money at £10 for affiliated runners (medal, water at half way point and at end, Wagon Wheel and a keyring!), flat course, PB potential.
Cons: confused start line, didn't even hear the gun go and like previous poster didn't even see a start line as such; people weren't queuing according to their speed and got stuck in traffic, as it were. Could benefit from a few more marshals around the course.
Good local race but start needs to be looked at, and I'd pay more if chip timing was introduced. It was fantastic value for money though and it was a nice course. Date of review: November 15, 2012
In short: Good course, great atmosphere In full: This was my first point-to-point race, liked the contrast between the Wirral and Liverpool. Great supporters, particularly when coming out of the tunnel. The section in Sefton Park unfortunately didn't really attract spectactors, which made it tougher as this was where most runners were starting to really tire. Still, of course not the organiser's fault.
There were some hills but generally a flat course. I did Chester Marathon last year and found this one to be less challenging. Date of review: October 14, 2012
In short: Well organised event, good value for money In full: Very well organised by Spectrum Striders. Well sign-posted and good to have free parking. Good that chip timing was available for a relatively low-cost entry fee. Course wasn't the most scenic but it was mostly flat, apart from some small hills towards the end. Still managed a PB though! Only slight gripe was that I thought that the finishing funnel was quite narrow, which got a little crowded. Very useful towel! A no-nonsense event, good value for money. Date of review: August 21, 2012
In short: Fantastically-run race, great goodie bag! In full: This was my first marathon, was a great introduction to the world of long distance running!
Pre-race support was really good, through the website, forums etc and training runs (though I didn't attend it was great to know that they were provided). Information provided was timely and clear.
Chester Racecourse was a great starting point, easy to find for out-of-towners like myself, with lots of accommodation choices nearby. The only very minor quibble was that I found it a little unclear on the morning of the event within the racecourse where I was supposed to go as I didn't see any signage and I didn't come across any stewards.
Chester itself is a great place which I enjoyed starting off the run from, and the route went through some really pretty villages heading towards Wrexham, but as some others have commented, in between it was a bit quiet and not that scenic. However, that just meant that you really appreciated the support from residents in the villages when you reached the next one. The fantastic thing about this event was the support from marshals and the public, who were really great at cheering on the crowds and really helped to spur people on. Their enthusiasm kept me smiling and marching on throughout.
Again, as others have said, there were one or two surprise hills that weren't very welcome (!) towards the end of the course, but nothing significant. The racecourse finish was great and it was lovely to hear people cheering you on as you cross over the line.
The goodie bag was great and a fab t-shirt which is one that I will be very pleased and proud to wear!
In short: Friendly atmosphere, good for first timers. In full: At the start of the event: I liked the fact that there wasn't too much hanging around to start with. There were sensible staggered timing 'pens' which seemed to work, so the transition out onto the course was quite smooth and wasn't jostling in the crowds. Good course, the first half was more up-hill than I'd realised, but not overly hilly. Nice downhill sections in the second half. Lots of marshalls around the course, lots of local supporters too. Not too many participants, which is good as it meant I didn't have to weave in and out of other runners. Medal and decent t-shirt in goodie bag meant I was happy with that. Only downsides really were having to wait for the online results (took about a day, not ages but was longer than other races I'd participated in recently). Overall a good race. Date of review: September 21, 2011
In short: Well-organised but short of 10k! In full: I got half price entry as I ran the City of Manchester 10k, which meant that this was good value at £7.50, so that was a good incentive for me to sign up.
Salford Quays makes a nice starting point and the weather was great today, but unfortunately despite the fairly small number of runners, it got congested at the start as we were heading out of the Quays.
The course itself was nice and flat so great PB potential, but maybe not the most scenic (going through car parks and around mini roundabouts!), and it does quite a lot of looping back on itself.
It was good to see two water points out on the course and were well marked out. The City of Manchester race only had one at 6.5km, on a hot day too, so I wasn't optimistic about the drinks situation this time. Fortunately there was lots of water on this course. Also, compared with the City of Manchester run, there seemed to be more marshals and they seemed cheerier.
I am not sure if the course was a full 10k - my Nike Plus, though I know not 100% accurate, only measured the course as 9.62km which is quite a big discrepancy. I got a good time but I am left with a few lingering doubts as to whether it was a 'true' PB.
I think the weakest aspect of this race was the goodie bag - which was a Club La Santa t-shirt (OK so they usually just end up my drawer but would've been nice to have a commemorative City of Salford one), leaflets, a random keyring and pen (from North West Air Ambulance) and a Go Energy Gel (which would've been great only it expired last month!) That was somewhat disappointing, but as I paid the half price fee I wasn't too miffed. However, if I had paid full price I think I would've felt a little short changed in that department.
However, all in all, a simple no-frills race that was nonetheless enjoyable. Date of review: September 4, 2011