In short: Friendly race, but needs a few tweaks now it's grown In full: My second time at this race, (2012/2013) and was just using it as a long, social run - with a chance to enjoy the drinks on the second half.
As such - I didn't mind the bottlenecks, or missing the start but can imagine that this would annoy a lot of people, especially those gunning for a time.
As others have said - it's December, in England, on the South Coast... Expect the weather to be bad! I got diverted at the end and ended up running around the streets of Portsmouth - apparently we got lost and did a bit extra but I must admit I didn't notice.
The bag drop needs improving - maybe put the baggage label in the runners pack, (and make it the same number as the race number - giving out little raffle tickets with a random number on is a recipe for disaster, where are we supposed to put it - and keep it dry?)
Oh - and yes, more loos please... The portaloos at halfway were unusable and caused many people to have to divert into the bushes on the return leg!
Other than that - I thought the marshals were fab, the aid stations well stocked and friendly and an excellent goodie bag. Worth the trip down, thanks Portsmouth Date of review: December 24, 2013
In short: Well done Chester In full: I can only echo what has already been said. Silky smooth, over the start line in 8 seconds from the sub 3:15 pen. A bit muddy on the racecourse for the first 800m or-so, through Chester town centre and then out onto a rural loop coming back to the racecourse. More undulating then I thought it was going to be, not maybe not the all-time fastest course out there, but definitely PB potential. Great organisation, closed roads, loads of well stocked aid stations and decent support and a nice goodie bag and long-sleeved technical T make this one of the best UK road marathons I've done.
Well done Chester, you have a gem of a marathon..l don't go changing :-) Date of review: October 8, 2012
In short: Respectable rolling rural road race In full: Well organised road race on mainly country lanes which I think were closed - if not were very quiet as I can't remember any traffic passing!
The marshals were friendly and supporting at key locations, great crowd support at the end an a surprisingly decent goody bag for finishers.
Really enjoyable morning and a credit to Lichfield. My only negative comment would be that there was no directions back to the car park at the start, (about a mile from the finish) Date of review: May 1, 2011
In short: Two laps along the coastal path in the sun In full: On the same course as the Llanelli half marathon the Great Welsh Marathon is another excellent fairly low-key event from Human Being Active.
The course is a 2-loop out-and-back from the start so very easy to break up into 4 manageable chunks of around 10k a piece. Water stations are frequent - but a couple are too close together for my liking with under 2 miles separating them.
Great scenery, fairly twisty course with some mild undulations which keeps it interesting but not too painful.
Great and very funny personalised commentary at halfway and the finish made me laugh... Friendly support from the marshals and spectators was also great!
As one of the winners said, "why bother with London? Come and do this one instead"! Date of review: April 10, 2011
In short: Excellent, well organised and fun trail race In full: Really enjoyed this one - it made a change from running around a city centre or rural country lanes.
Excellent organisation and parking, (for me) 25 yards from the finish line! Chip pickup was quick and efficient, water stations every 3 miles and well marshalled. Crowd support at various points throughout the course was good and excellent at the finish.
Course is undulating with some fairly short, steep sections but otherwise a really good mix of up and down. I thought it might be a bit congested but it seemed OK for me finishing in the 1:40 crowd.
Definitely one to do again next year for a change from the usual road stuff... Date of review: March 27, 2011
In short: Almost perfect race on an almost perfect day... In full: My first time at Rhayader and it didn't disappoint.
Organisation was excellent with race numbers picked up quickly, (though it could have been made more obvious in the sports hall which queue was which?) Parking in the finish area was brilliant - my car was 10 metres from the finish line!
Race started promptly and was excellently kept going by friendly marshals and frequent water stations, (approx every 3 miles) I managed to steal some jelly babies off children on the way around so they helped to keep the sugar levels up!
Now - "that" hill at the start - painful, yes - but worth it... And I'd rather have it at the start than at the end! Somehow I managed to gain back the time I lost in the first 5 miles and come in 3 minutes off my 20-mile PB.
Weather was glorious, perfect for running! Finishers T-Shirt not technical but fits well and is of good quality which makes a change!
Definitely one to put on the calendar to do again... Date of review: March 19, 2011