In short: Brilliant again In full: This was my third Chester Marathon - the only marathon I have done. The event is super well organised that I know that if I went anywhere else, it would be a let-down in comparison.
Race HQ - Chester racecourse - is scenic, spacious and right next to the city centre. The route takes you through the city centre and then out into the Cheshire countryside before returning to the racecourse finish. All along mostly-flat closed roads. Everything works like clockwork. Plenty of spectator opportunities: my wife and child caught me at 1, 6 and 16 miles as well as my finish in a PB of 3:44. Plenty of support in local villages.
Day now includes a kilothon (26.2 km), which is a nice addition but did make it impractical for my daughter to do the fun run, which started after the start of the kilothon and still be able to make it to all this spectator points. But overall, defo 5 star race! Date of review: October 8, 2014
In short: Excellent Event In full: This was a nice event. Plenty of space for everyone and lots for your friends and supporters to do with the start and finish being outside the XScape Centre and with the unseasonal warm weather there was a good atmosphere around the area. Fairly flat although lots of down and ups going under subways but these were just short hills. One slightly bigger hill near the end but nothing special really. Good scenery in places especially around the lake. Medal but no goody bag. I was OK with that. Date of review: March 9, 2014
In short: Plenty of Good Points, A Few Not So Good In full: On the whole a well organised event. No chip time results through yet, only gun time courtesy of the local paper. If there's a good reason for this, it should be stated on the website. Scenery wasn't as good as I'd been led to believe from pictures but I understand that the route has undergone one major and one minor change to alleviate congestion issues, which is a fair trade-off I suppose. In common with many other Garmin wearers, I couldn't get a satellite signal at the start - shame but not the fault of the organisers. Mile and km markers but unfortunaely not very accurately placed - 3 miles and 5km are NOT the same! Other than aforementioned gripes race was flat, well supported and well marshalled. No goody bag was promised so not fussed to not get one. There is usually a cost to organisers for medals, t-shirts and goody bags, which will be passed on in the entry fee so I was OK with just a medal for this one. Date of review: September 9, 2013
In short: Can't find fault In full: My first marathon and I was pleased with my choice and very happy with my long sleave tech tshirt, medal and other goodies. Not pancake flat but only one 'serious' hill. Every part of the organisation was perfect. I went to the course the day before for a 'reccy' and met one of the organisers, Chris, who - even though he was clearly busy - took time out to chat to me and the family to offer last minute running and spectating advice, which epitomises everything about the spirit in which this event is organised. Only thing I would worry about is how well the event would survive a downpour as the course can get quite muddy. Luckily, this year, it was dry and absolutely perfect marathon weather. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Could have been better In full: Not the best organisation at the start. Could have done with a bit more signposting. Course offered plenty of viewing / cheering spots for my family support. Lucozade and banana at the end might as well have been placed in the bag. I think that some people were so disheartened with the 'bag of two leaflets' that they didn't carry on to collect them. Distance mess-up was annoying but at least they've dealt with it.