In short: A great race with a great atmosphere! In full: This is the second year I have done this race, and it will always feature on my race calendar. However there are a couple of points that would make an already brilliant event even better.
The first is the water situation. This year was unseasonably warm, which has only highlighted a problem that existed last year. Please please please can we have bottled water nest year. I'm the organisers could find sponsorship for the water, possibly from a big supermarket chain? I ran the Seville marathon in February, and the day of the race was also unseasonably hot. The organisers doubled the drinks stations, made isotonic drinks available every 10k and ensured that there were enough extra water bottles to cope with the weather. I'm sure this is something that the organising committee will learn from in future years.
My big rant however (sorry to rant but this is important) is to do with those runners who ran with iPods, mp3 players etc. due tho the hot weather there were several runners who found themselves in a pretty serious medical condition requiring emergency medical treatment. The ambulance crews did a fantastic job of getting past the runners safely and efficiently as possible. However, all three that went past me were significantly held up by runners not able to hear the sirens due to iPods. The race rules clearly stated that iPods should not be worn, and for good reason, some of the race is run on very narrow roads. This isn't a rant at the organisers, more at the selfish runners who potentially jeopardised fellow runners health. PLEASE DON'T RUN WITH IPODS, IT ENDANGERS YOU AND OTHER RUNNERS!
Ok sorry for that, I'll go and lie down in a darkend room to calm down.
Thanks to the organisers. I really love this race, and can't wait to run it again next year.
In short: Great for a PB or for newbies In full: This was the first time I've done this event, and it will now be a regular on my race calendar.
Two minor grumbles: firstly the PA system at the start was poor, those towards the back could not hear the countdown to the race. Secondly (and it's probably very picky) but I hate having to take on water at the hydration stations in cups. The only way you can get a good slurp is if you stop, which isn't great if you are after a PB.
Now the good things. Great organisation, great atmosphere, lovely scenic course, and your gun and chip times sent straight to your mobile withing minutes of finishing, nice touch!
The best thing about this race is the course itself. It would be wrong to call it flat, it isn't, but most of the uphill is long and gentle. There is a bit of killer hill around mile 10, but once you are up it, it's all downhill or flat. If you are a beginner then knowing that youve got the worst over just as its getting tough is brilliant. As for those going for a PB, downhill for the last few miles is awesome. I knocked 2 minutes of my previous PB. Love it, love it, love it.
Thanks for a great race. See there next year. Chris Date of review: January 29, 2012
In short: Well organised, scenic, a really great race In full: I loved the start, no jostling, plenty of room to get in to your stride. A lovely route starting and finishing in Chester, and great support throughout, but especially over the last mile or so. Great grandstand finish, just what was needed to get ma across the line. The marshals all over the course were friendly and supportive and the whole race ran like clockwork. I can't wait to run this race again next year! Date of review: October 9, 2011
In short: Good 2 lap course. Long gentle ups with quick downs In full: The benefit of doing 2 equal laps is that you know what to expect on the second lap. The uphill sections are gentle, but drawn out(ish) but the downhills are fairly generous. They give you the chance to make up any time lost on the ups, and if you are anywhere near target time, they let you beat your PB. I loved this race, and yes I did get a PB out of it. I'll definitely do this race again. Thanks!!!! Date of review: May 4, 2011