In short: Has potential to be a great race In full: The Weather - had it not been quite so cold and wet this would have been a more pleasurable experience. Some logistical problems (flooded sections of course, sodden race village field, dangerously cold runners) should have been anticipated, that said, we all knew it was going to be wet and cold so enough said about that. The Location - living an hour from Mcr and having local family & friends I was keen to run this knowing many of the districts. A city like Manchester deserves a big race and I hope that it continues. Good local transport links made it convenient for some spectators - no need for buses back to the start as at GNR or Edinburgh for example. The Course - Good idea to snake the route through suburbs served by the Met, made for good crowds at places like Sale and Altrincham. I could imagine Dunham Massey on a clear day being a great point on the course. Second half had some very lonely sections; obvious solution would be to switch it to anti-clockwise. Pre-Race organisation I was non-plussed at having to collect my race number the day before, this would not be convenient for someone travelling on the morning of the race. I didn't feel the Expo offered much of an incentive to make that trip. Some concerns about the start of the race....should spectators be really be milling in with runners? There should have been some attempt at a pen. In-Race organisation. I found it difficult to find mile markers, especially in th initial 5 miles which are quite crucial for setting your pace. Not everyone has a GPS watch. It might have been helpful to have more barriers at busy corners: there were big crowds at some of the Met stations and it was daunting to be running through crowds that were spilling off the pavements/crossing the roads. I wasn't too bothered about country lanes but an *underpass* at 26 miles is ridiculous (who can descend and climb steps at that point?!). Close the road or don't bother. Post-Race Organisation. I won't labour the points already made about the baggage, except to say this reduced me to tears of despair at what should have been an ecstatic and proud moment. Thank goodness for being with friends and family who could lend me warm clothes and go back afterwards to track down my bag. There didn't seem to be the capacity to deal with large numbers of cold/hypothermic runners which was concerning. The Spectators & Marshals. I know Mancunians are used to rain but I didn't expect half as many people to turn up in those atrocious conditions. And then to exude such enthusiasm and support. THANK YOU! These people got me round the course. This is one big reason why this race should continue, I can see the support being at GNR levels given better weather.
Overall, I'm pleased I did this race for the positives I've mentioned (plus I made a PB) and only list the negatives as pointers where this event can improve for next time. We need a Manchester Marathon but we need it to be better than this. The Spectators & Marshalls. I didn't expect anyone to Date of review: May 1, 2012