In short: Rock and Roll In full: Second running of the event and my second time too. Use of the Echo Arena at the start is useful. Sufficient toilets and easy to hand the baggage in. I'm sure the wave start helps prevent over crowding at the start. The route itself has a few hills in it towards the football grounds and Stanley Park. After that there is a generous downhill section back to the city centre. The direction problem from last year was fixed, so that was very pleasing. Even though I know the local area well it can be sometimes confusing. Crowds were good in places and the bands from what I briefly heard were good. The city centre had plenty of entertainment. Exiting the city via the tough "Upper Parli" and then on to Princess and Sefton Park. Good music and plenty of people enjoying the event. Slight trip up Penny Lane with the sudden U-Turn, playing the Beatles "Penny Lane" on auto-loop. Eventually it reaches the last 4 plus miles on the flat Prom. Last year the wind was behind, but this year it was in front. Not as strong as it has been, but when your tired it doesn't help. Nice finish area and medal. The area in the Arena is nice and cool, plus goodies. No issues collecting the bag. Just over 5 mins slower (ran a marathon 8 weeks ago), so a free pint at the end was well worth it. My GPS came in at 26.06m. Looking at the map data it lost the plot around Mathew Street and cut a few corners. The GPS is only a guide and the limitations are well known. No concern here.
Not the fastest course, but plenty of variety and challenge. Only the second year, but better than the first. Date of review: June 16, 2015
In short: Fast and Flat - PB possible In full: First time running this race and overall it was very good. Parked at the football car park and had no issues at all. It was good to be close to the action. Race village was well set up, although I thought there would be more toilets. With 8,000 starters it was quite busy for the first 4 miles before things spaced out. Quite an experience as I'm used to a field of half this amount. The mile markers appeared at times to be out of position. The Mile 1 marker was pointing the wrong way round, but on the return it was in the correct position. I missed some of the markers, probably due to other runners in the way. Only due to GPS did I know a mile had passed. The support was plentiful and good. Plenty of water available too. The course is flat and the hill in Altrincham was quite tame. Some of the roads are quite long (Brooklands) and it is easy to suddenly loose time here, but as with any marathon just need to be mentally strong. My GSP came back with 26.03m. The limitations with GPS are well known, so I'm not worried about this. (other courses have been well over the 26.2 from GPS). Nice medal and Tech T-Shirt and chocolate at the end. I got a PB, so overall very pleased. Date of review: April 22, 2015
In short: Good park and Track 10K In full: Fifth time I've run this relatively flat race. Good PB potential. Weather good this year and more people were in the park (even on the racing line), but other than that it is a quick course. This year was run over two days, so taking your pick (if not the weather) was good. Date of review: March 4, 2015
In short: Good race In full: Well organised, despite the 15 minute start delay. Up hill for the first half with some nice down hill sections in the second half. Nice to run on the roads and then change to pavement areas with trees either side. Good scenery and support throughout. Finish on the track is good. Good medal, Technical T-shirt and this year sports socks and food at the end. Warm on the day, but enjoyable. Date of review: September 25, 2014
In short: Good course, but event needs improving on organisation In full: A lot has already been said about this event and I agree with a lot of this. The course is a major improvement from 2013. Great support from the town throughout. Having lived in the area in the past it was nice to come back and be reminded about how hilly and challenging the course is. Not one for PB's. I know these events require a lot of hard work to organise, but hopefully future ones will get better. The start was delayed (again) by 25 mins, which in the heat was unpleasant. Other events would have started on time regardless (e.g. London marathon and even the ones in Chester). Water in cups is quite tough to consume, but then in bottles runners take a little bit and throw lots away. On a hot day bottles would have been useful as it can be hot in June. Even saw one runner nearly get run over by a car near the finish, after the car moved into the path of the runner. Why do drivers not plan ahead?
I'd run it again as I like returning back to Shrewsbury, but it needs to get better. I'm not too bothered about the T-Shirt or goodie bag at the end, but the racing experience is more important. Garmin came in at 13.23m. There is a margin of error on these, but mine beeped just before the 13m marker. This was still left easily over 0.1m to the finish. Date of review: June 28, 2014
In short: Well organised overall In full: First Rock n Roll marathon in Liverpool. Well organised at the start and end using the Echo Arena. Music on route was fine, but passed by very quickly. Certainly not a flat course as there are quite a few hills, although there are a few good downhill sections. Pace can change quite often. Only gripe was the route around mile 10. The map indicates it should have gone down Churchill Rd North, but ended going down Churchill Rd South, which incidentally had the 10m marker on the bend. Not clear at all, even the police man said it was the wrong way??? This needs clear stewarding next time.
Checked the data on my Garmin and unlike the odd other races it kept the signal well. Stuck the route and did not decide I could run through buildings. Came in at 26.29m, which is ok given the margin for error and not running the racing line.
Other than that, water stations well stocked, but not sure if this affected slower runners. I ran with the water bottles to avoid cramp. The last six miles is flat, which helps if your legs are beginning to go.
Race had good weather (not roasting like the week before) and the wind was behind on the Prom (for a change). Date of review: May 25, 2014
In short: Good Marathon Course In full: Well organised from start to finish. Weather quite warm for October, but took on water by running with a bottle throughout. Water stations well organised and friendly support throughout. The two big hill early on are easily overcome and the course is quite flat with generous downhill sections in the first half. Hills in the second half are ok, but the last two after 24m finally took their toll. My Garmin had 26.36m, although I think it may have got the first mile out, as I was on the correct pace when I reached 10K. Got a PB, so very happy. Date of review: October 8, 2013
In short: Killer hills and narrow In full: Nice to come back to Shrewsbury after many years away. Delayed start, enough about this has been said already but as a new race these things happen (e.g. Liverpool Marathon 2011). Some areas were quite narrow for overtaking, especially when the quicker runners caught up the rear of both races. I managed to get by ok. The council will have requested certain roads to be open. The hills on this course were always going to make or break runners. Too fast at the start and the second lap would take its toll. I found my previous, but old memory of Shrewsbury served me well. Manageable for the half, but for Marathon runners, pacing will have been critical. I understand they ran out of water for the marathon runners. If I'd run the marathon I'd run with a bottle of water all the way round. On the half marathon, some runners took a bottle after 2 miles and then threw it away. It was a cool day and there is no need for fluid at this point. Overall it was a good race, which will have to come back next year with improvements. Managed sub 1:30, so minimum objective time was achieved. Events in the Quarry included rides and face painting for the children. This was good for my kids. Date of review: June 24, 2013
In short: Good PB potential, if the weather is right, but hard on the scenery In full: Third time I've run this race and only missed a PB by 32 seconds. Difficult to gauge the weather on the sea front. Coldish head wind, but overheating on the turnaround towards the Tower. The scenery is dull, since the sea does not change and it is difficult to gauge the distance ahead. Its a course which builds mental toughness as you have to concentrate to maintain pace (just like the track). Switching off and you can lose 20 seconds on a mile. Overall a flat course, but the hills on the middle costal path can upset your rythem. Chip timing was great. Likely to do it again as it is a good race for a PB. Date of review: March 3, 2013
In short: Good PB Potential In full: This year had near perfect weather conditions over the two laps. Got a PB, even though I messed up my Garmin again. Still calculated the distance to be accurate, once I realised the mess I'd made with the watch. The tight turns slow upset the rhythm, but you have just got to keep pushing to get the time. Small feild of runners means it does not get too congested at any point. Date of review: March 3, 2013