In short: Really enjoyable, friendly and well organised In full: Great race and a great course. One or two challenging climbs, but not as many as I remembered from my last visit. Lovely weather today helped - misty start with the sun coming through later - and the marshalls throughout were fantastic with clear instructions and lots of encouragement.
Not quite a pb for me today, but well in front of my target time, and I really enjoyed the race.
Thanks to Congleton Harriers and all the organisers. Date of review: October 7, 2012
In short: Loved the race and great fun In full: Really enjoyable race despite the weather. Thanks to all the marshals for fantastic encouragement all the way around. Tech t-shirt is fantastic (love the design showing the course route), and the "medal" was the finishing touch to the goody bag :) Date of review: December 11, 2011
In short: Great race, made special by fantastic support In full: I wanted my first marathon to feel like a big event, and wasn't disappointed.
Great course taking in views of Liverpool from across the Mersey, as well as the centres of Birkenhead and Liverpool, and nice Parks (even if the loops around them felt that they'd never end!)
Organisation was brilliant - the delayed start was very quickly forgotten. The volunteers out on the course marshalling, staffing water stations and helping at the finish were friendly and full of encouragement, and a special mention goes to the cadets who clearly have special training in bag retrieval!
There was entertainment from musicians and dancers at a number of points around the course, but the drummers at the tunnel exit were a stroke of genius. After 2 miles underground, emerging into the daylight to the crescendo from those drums and cheers of the crowd was a moment I will never forget.
Best thing of all was the incredible contribution from the people of the Wirral and Liverpool who provided great support throughout the race. They were a help through the tough miles, but the sheer numbers of people in the city centre and the volume of noise made me feel I was running on air!
Sure - it was the first running of the race and one or two things could be tweaked, but to find faults would diminish from a fantastic day. Date of review: October 25, 2011
In short: Really good race around the North Lincolnshire Countryside In full: Really enjoyed this race, which I entered as a warm up for a full marathon next month, and came away with a PB! The Autumn sunshine made for a beautiful run through the countryside, and although the headwind in the closing miles was tough, it's almost entirely flat, making for a fast race. Thanks to organisers for making it all go so smoothly and special thanks to all the marshalls, and local people too, for great encouragement all around the course. Date of review: September 11, 2011
In short: Great race, but take it easy early on. In full: Really enjoyed Buxton again having run it for the first time in 2010. This year I learnt my lesson and took the first 3 miles very steadily - it paid off and made the second big hill at 7 miles much easier and I was able to enjoy the run back into Buxton instead of crawling home!
No roasting heat like last year, but strong winds up on the top of those hills added another dimension to the challenge!
Overall a really good race, through fantastic scenery and huge thanks to all the friendly encouraging marshalls - you make a big difference. Date of review: May 30, 2011
In short: Great race, but registrations need looking at. In full: No information at all from race organisers before the race made it difficult to plan or know what to expect. Signposting to the car park (Asda or otherwise) could have been better, then followed up by a 10 minute queue to pick up race numbers despite booking online well in advance was a frustrating start.
However the race itself was fantastic. Overtaking was a little tricky on the narrow lanes, but the pace was good and nobody had a problem to step out of the way. Beautiful scenery - helped by gorgeous weather - and apart from a couple of small hills, nice and flat meaning I smashed my PB.
Plenty of water stations was good - I prefer drinks little and often - but I almost missed some of them. It would be helpful to have a marker in advance so you can be ready to collect a drink.
Either that, or I might stop for a drink with the nice people who cheered us on from outside the pub next time :) Date of review: November 7, 2010
In short: Good race and well organised. In full: Some more encouragement from some of the marshalls would have been nice. Traffic on the main roads in the early stages of the race felt a bit close. Sponges were a nice touch at the drinks stations, and very welcome on a warm morning. Date of review: November 6, 2010
In short: Enjoyable race through the Cheshire countryside In full: Really enjoyed the course - those hills are a real challenge, particularly the one near the end, but that makes reaching the finish all the more satisfying.
Marshalls were very friendly and encouraging. Date of review: September 29, 2009
In short: Excellent race, with great stadium start / finish In full: Really enjoyed this race for the second time.
Doing 1 3/4 laps of the stadium at the start was a good innovation, but I do agree with others that it was a bit congested, so a different approach to getting runners off may be needed if this is repeated. Certainly no problems once outside and on the roads.
New route with 2 laps was a big improvement. Sure, it's not the most scenic in the world, but that's what East Manchester looks like! There were a handful of people out on the streets, but the buzz is really coming back through SportCity after the first lap, then back into the stadium at the end.
Marshalls, Police and organisation overall were excellent, and I'll certainly be back next year. Date of review: July 5, 2009