In short: It just gets better ... In full: Having done GHM in it's inaugural year and loved every minute, I decided to go back again this year, and take in the whole weekend camping experience too.
Was not to be disappointed with yet another memorable weekend courtesy of White Star Running.
Brilliant (and respectfully quiet late on) campsite and facilities for those arriving on the Friday.
The race was everything you have come to expect from WhiteStar, brutally tough hills, views that would make Julie Andrews burst in to song, aid stations stocked to overflowing with everything you could need (and more) and staffed by fantastically enthusiastic volunteers, and of course not forgetting the inimitable White Star stamp of a slight quirkiness. (a start line wedding proposal, some somewhat unorthodox signage to keep spirits up).
It was more like a day out with friends than a race, and if those running with you weren't old friends, they were within 50 yards of one of the hills.
In short: Brutal In full: There is now a new entry in the worlds 'top things to do before you die' lists - run the Giants Head Marathon.
The hills (I'm sure I saw a sign saying Everest Base Camp - 2km's), and the rocky trail terrain made for an extremely challenging run, couple that with the hottest day of the year, and we were set for a brutal day out in Dorset.
However the organisation, the aide stations (not entirely sure the good marathoners guide recommends drinking cider at mile 20 - but hey it should do!!), the cheery marshals, excellent race support staff, the fantastic locals, and runner camaraderie all made the hardship pale in to insignificance. Brilliant, brilliant day!
Will be back next year no doubt! Date of review: July 1, 2013
In short: If Carlsberg did marathons ..... In full: Quite simply the best race in the UK.
Organisation way beyond top notch, from the moment you sign up to the moment you stagger off the racecourse clutching your medal, you are looked after like a VIP ... constant pre-race updates, lovely friendly volunteers and marshals at the start and on the course, a handshake and congratulations from the organisers as you cross the line (now thats dedication!) and a baggage system that even Heathrow could only dream of (another here whose bag was sat waiting for him whilst he negotiated the step up to the table!)
Even 'that' hill at 24 didn't seem too bad this time.
Guys and gals of Chester marathon take a bow! Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: A new benchmark for organised distance running! In full: Simply superb ... from the pre-race sign up, regular comms throughout build up, scheduled training runs, through to the day itself no detail had gone un-noticed and dealt with in a throroughly professional manner.
The day itself was fantastic, with the whole operation on the racecouse running like clockwork.
The course was excellent with a good mixture of the city sights and then out in to the countryside to get into your rythymn. Fantastic support from the villages too, helped no end by the masterstroke of printing names on the numbers.
Then a great finish along the spectator lined river and finish infront of the granstand. Superb !
Definately one to go on every self respecting runners 'must do' list.
In short: Excellent course with a bit of a lump in the middle. In full: Really enjoyed this race. Course was great, a little tight at places close to the start which caused a bit of congestion with slower runners causing the occasional bottlenecks, but nothing significant.
Really good local support all the way round. Apparently the views are spectacular at the top of the Orme, but by that stage I think my eyes were bleeding.
Great coming down the other side and could certainly make up the time lost going up.
Bit chaotic at the end aswell, but again nothing a little tweek wouldn't sort out.
Definately recommend putting this on your list of races to do. Date of review: November 24, 2010
In short: Fantastic day out in the mud. In full: Absolutely brilliant, will definately be back again next year, no problems with organisation etc., as traffic is only to be expected from an event of this size at such a location, its just not an issue.
Only one thing though, think the organisers need to trawl the first major bog just after the water station, as judging by the smell something is seriously not right there !!!
Loved it (although my legs are telling me different today). Date of review: November 8, 2010