In short: Loved this marathon! In full: This marathon was my 5th of the year and was a return to form following the painfully dull and unorgainised Wolverhampton Marathon in September. Whilst it lacked the thousands of supporters lining the streets (if you want this do London) it had a great mix of towns, villages and countrysides to make it very enjoyable. Personally I would call this an undulating marathon as there were a couple of challenging hills and many slight inlcines throughout the course, but not enough to kill anyones spirit.
The marshalls were top notch, water/energy drinks/gels stations frequent enough for you to not have to keep hold of a bottle at any stage and the support at each of the stations was great. Note to organisers: the young kids at these staions did you proud and deserve all the praise they get.
The sprint finish at the race course along with the running commentary was a great way to finish, although I did lose my footing in the mud and nearly went flying - would have been good for a laugh I suppose!
Luton Marathon in November is up next and I will definately cosider doing this one again next year.
Well done Chester. Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: OK as a half, not enjoyable for a full marathon In full: I ran this as a full marathon for the first time this year and I have to say it was the least enjoyable marathon I have done (previous events include London, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Chester, Lancaster). As a two lapped affair I was always expecting the 2nd lap to be more of a mental challenge but putting that aside this marathon experience was spoilt for me by:
1. No sooner had the 2nd lap started and I was running against traffic where a previously closed busy road had reopened. I even had to cross this road weaving between traffic to go down a different street.
2. There seemed to be far fewer marshalls on the 2nd lap, relied more on the signs.
3. As I ran past the finish line at half marathon stage I could hear the finishers names being called out as they approached the line - none of this for marathon finishers, just a bit of background music playing.
Overall this is a fairly decent half marathon but it just does not seem to work as a full. Next up is Chester in a few weeks - not that's a marathon! Date of review: September 4, 2012
In short: Wow, tough but very satisfying! In full: I entered this race a while ago as it fit my schedule to do a marathon or half marathon every month this year. This was my third marathon this year and boy was it a toughie! My legs were aching in places I knew possible and whilst going up those hills (especially the beast at 18 miles) going down (especially at 19.5 miles) was even worse! Was amazed that there were only 193 finishers but then it was lonely at times out there. The feeling I got when I crossed the low key finish line was on par with the feeling I got when I got a PB in Brighton earlier this year - a real sense of achievement.
I will need some real mental strength to enter an event like this again, I suppose it is best to not know what hills are around the corner. Date of review: June 25, 2012
In short: Simply ace! In full: I entered this for the second year and yet again loved every minute of it. Left my hotel down on the seafront just after 7 and walked up to Preston park, even then the marshalls were very supportive wishing me luck. Such a buzz in the starting area with the scooter parade and I managed to high 5 gus poyet as I crossed the start line. The weather was perfect this year, the marshalls brilliant and those water pouches are perfect for holding when running.
The supporters around the route are the best ever (any Brighton locals you should be very proud), just a shame I couldn't acknowledge everyone but made a real effort to high 5 all the kids who called my name.
Managed to get a pb 3hr 54 which was 18 minutes faster than last year, i only have another 5 marathons and 3 half marathons to go this year! Anyone thinking about doing a marathon then look no further than this one, cannot rate it high enough!! Date of review: April 16, 2012
In short: Who needs London? In full: After doing London last year I didn't think I would match the atmosphere again, but how rong was I?
This run was perfect (except for the freakish April heat), the support first class and the 'support team' did a great job. The marshalls at the power stattion end had a tough gig but the 2 guys on the 20 mile mark made me laugh and motivated me to keep going - thanks for what you though were easy comments but meant a lot.
The final 3 miles along the promenade and then the main stretch to the pier will never be beaten and not once did I feel I was losing the will to live!!!
To cap it all off I spent an hour at a bar on the beach drinking ice cold cider - a perfect end to a perfect run.
Thanks Brighton, see you next year. Date of review: April 11, 2011
In short: My local half, and I love it! In full: A very enjoyable & challenging run. What used to be a steady run down into Ironbridge and a steady incline back now has a killer twist which really tests your stamina for the last 4 miles or so. The organisers must have developed sadistic personalities by making us climb that hill and have to run back down. Soem have said it was pointless but this is just the thing a half marathon needs, and splashing through all the mud just added to the fun! Date of review: March 14, 2011