"I'm from the North West" perhaps says it all. So am I. I'm from that part of the NW where anti-Scouse sentiment at least borders on racism. But I've always found Scousers warm and friendly; and never felt an outsider. It's hard to objectively compare cities; experiences vary dependent on whether you work there, study there, live there, who you know there etc. But for me, Liverpool and its people/culture are great.
Alan, thanks for two wonderful marathons. 9/10/11 is probably my favourite race to date. I wasn't going to do it this year as I'm struggling to find time for marathon training, but am intending to do the Wirral half, and was looking forward to cheering on marathon runners after I'd finished. It's a tremendous event and I hope it can return. If not, I'd echo the suggestion of a Wirral marathon in future years.
Nick, I'm guessing you have very little knowledge of the finances involved. I look forward to you exploiting your own "gold mine" and putting on a similar quality big city event at a lower price.
Rocky Robin - I know what you mean about Brooklands Road. I've hated it when I've ran it in training - it couldn't be duller. But it was a completely different experience in the marathon, with supporters and the added focus a race brings. In contrast, country lanes can be great for training runs, but in the marathon I found them soul destroying. In latter stages of a marathon I'd choose support over scenery.
I think you're right about the organisers listening to criticism, and whilst I am critical of this year's race, I am confident that 2013 is going to be excellent.
Those drummers. I can't express how they make me feel. It makes it all so intense. I was fighting back tears when I exited the tunnel, and running too fast. It took me about a mile to get my breath back.
Suffered this year, paying in the last six miles for chasing a PB early on. Live and learn, eh? Wondered how others felt about the course change - less Sefton Park, but the UPS climb about 2 miles later on.
But anyway, big THANK YOU to Alan and his team, all the volunteers and all those cheering us on. Got the best ever support from a lady at about 8 miles. She looked me in the eyes and said "you're amazing". Spent the next couple of miles wishing I'd said back, "so are you".
One slight niggle was the baggage (I don't understand why the bags couldn't be near the vehicles). But other than that, I think the event was faultless. Well done Alan.
Prof - even if the weather is as bad as Manchester you'll have a couple of miles shelter in the tunnel. Also they'll be no Dunham-style boggy path, nor uneven country lanes, nor baggage armageddon/hyperthermia endurance challenge.