In short: The 'Ronseal' of half marathons. Does what it says. Well organised, no nonsense. In full: I did this race last year (1.32) and again this year (1.30) - it is very well organised and good value. I live in a village 5 miles away from start so was familiar with the route which is quite challenging with the undulations. Hill at mile 12 is long but not that steep, definitely a challenge. Nice to get a logo'd drawstring bag as the goody bag - handy, better than t-shirt last year! Medal is basic but then this isn't a big city marathon. Jellybeans, nice touch. Little support on way round but marshals were plenty and cheery, on such a c-c-cold day!! Scenery is pretty good, it is 95% rural so a good chance to blow the cobwebs away and get fresh air. Good atmosphere in school field at finish line, shame no digital clock this year at finish. Yes I'd do it again next year...hope it grows from 250 to 500 to add bit more atmosphere, which was friendly...but subdued, perhaps cos it was SO cold. By the way there is a delightful coffee shop in Blackminster Business Park at the start line - perhaps runners could get 10% off in there after the race?!? Well done Colin & Liz. A good back to basics race that is a pleasure to be a part of. Date of review: March 13, 2013
In short: Super double duper. In full: You can tell when... Your name and timing chip is on your bib Everything arrives on time The loo queues move quickly Your goody bag has more goodies than junk The helpers all smile a lot (Cheshire-folk are SO friendly!) There are bins at every mile marker You get the option of water, gels and isotonic drinks The water bottles have caps on The finish zone people all keeping saying nice things to you You get a sports massage for a small charity donation The course is scenic and interesting You can tell... When a race is organised by runners for runners.
Only minor comments would be - state it is "undulating" rather than flat. But really, that's it for negatives.
My 7th marathon (having done London, Paris, Dublin...) and Chester is up there among the best in terms of organisation. Yes I got a nifty PB which helps (3h 11) and snipped 14mins off previous PB... But still, a super double duper great race. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Harsh weather but great spirit In full: WELL DONE everyone who made it round today! Awful weather for a good race location. I was looking after one of the water stations (we were out for 4 hours in the rain!) and I thought there was a very good spirit from runners, lots of jokes and smiles at halfway. As a marathon runner I understand the disappointment of the late notice cancellation of the 'full' - however it must be understood the flooding of the marathon course (in the extra loop). The rain has continued full pelt way beyond the end of the half marathon and all locals know how serious flooding has been in this area (welford/greenway). Yes a medal is better with the date on, and no the weather wasn't fun for any of us - and well done for getting round! Date of review: April 29, 2012
In short: Enjoyable, scenic, undulating. Good turn out, mostly good organisation In full: Good things? Scenery was lovely (weather helped!); well marshalled and friendly helpers; ample water stations; decent medal for a 1/2m; ok price (£21); clear signage; organised parking. An enjoyable race. Improvements necessary? Near impossible for spectators to get to start line (starting was on narrow country lane); NO CLOCK at finish line (bizarre omission); parking cost bit cheeky at £3; huuuuge queues of cars for car park (delayed start by 15 mins); NOTHING for families/kids to do whilst waiting. Date of review: April 15, 2012
In short: The 2nd best race in the country! In full: Having been both a runner (1/2m this year) and behind-the-scenes water station helper (last yr) in this race I can confirm that it EXCELLENTLY run.
In my view... Pros: - Scenery is stunning, esp the top of Rumer Hill (mile 8) the view is worth the long climb - Run-in to the finish is flat, scenic (by the river) and motivating as you can see the finish line very clearly! - Marshalls are everywhere and friendly - Water stations every 2 miles, and well organised, signposted and with plenty of sponges - No naff goody bag (save on plastic!) with duff flyers (save on junk mail). Banana, medal, water - perfect! - Unique medal with distinctive design every year - Good value when you consider the special medal, the proper organsiation (I've done a 209 event and it was pricey and awful organisation) and that it supports 4 fine local charities - Great buzz at the start
Not so good: - VERY undulating so make sure you train with that in mind! Although I did get a PB of 1.33 - Greenway is a bit dull and crowdless, one can cope with it because of having an iPod...but rumour is they will be totally banned next year at risk of disqualification - could improve starting area and access to course. i got trapped at the back and it was slow going
In short: lovely course and plenty of inclines In full: would def. prefer water bottles to plastic cups (half-full) nice touch with the marching band parading runners to the start line! Date of review: March 19, 2009
In short: appalling organisation at the start. In full: with 3-4 mins before the start time, there were still hundreds of people trying to get their chip (so many didn't know where to stand; there were no queues or clear signing); the loo queue was 30-40 long... all i heard was people stressing about whether the start would be delayed. why not a loud speaker announcement? other than that, well marshalled, ok crowds, water stations shoddy (pick up your own bottle off the road at 2.5 miles!) except the ones at 8m & 10.5m which were fine; and a really long finish round the fields which was demoralising. nice scenery, terribly organised. Date of review: May 11, 2008
In short: lovely course but no-one said it was actually 11.8m, not 13m In full: well marshalled, nice course, good feelign to it BUT: 1. no announcement that it WASNT a half marathon, it was 11.8m so the finish line was a shock sight 2. terrible organisation at the end with the chip times - no-one knew where to put them 3. medal was awful. cheap and ugly (it was a 'running acorn') Date of review: July 12, 2007
In short: my first ever race and a really positive experience. In full: really good mix of hills, lovely scenery (thanku sunshine!), long country roads & surprise toblerone @ the end.could have done with more instructions @start+ an xtra water station. medals bit tacky but Date of review: March 12, 2007