In short: Excellent race - Some improvements could be made In full: For me the race organisation started off on a downer. If only the local authorities had got the traffic police involved from the start. I should have arrived at the venue about 45 minutes before the car park shut. But due to horrendous traffic (which was solely caused by the queue to the race car park), I only just got in before it closed. Chester should maaybe look at the Robin Hood marathon as an example of getting the traffic police involved from the start. After that everything was near perfection. Brilliant support in the villages. Villagers shouting everyone's names in encouragement. Great encouragement at the water stations. Especially at mile 12. Unfortuantely there seemed to be few villages from about mile 18 (?) to 23 (?). The scenery was respectable, I particulary enjoyed the loop around the city at the start and the bit by the river towards the end. Although the middle had far too many hedged country roads where all you could see were hedges and runners. The 1st water station was difficult to get to as the runners hadn't spread out and it was only on one side of the road. The 2nd one was far better on both sides and after that they only needed to be on one side and they were well organised and vocal. Overall it was a well organised race. I wouldn't do it again but that's more to do with the distance.
In short: Fast PB course In full: Thoroughly enjoyable. Fast and flat, great PB potential. Unusually you collect your t-shirt before the race rather than in the funnel at the end. Date of review: February 6, 2011
In short: Thoroughly enjoyable In full: 2 uphill sections at the 5 and 8.5 mile sections. Well marshalled. Great goody bag (could have done without the maggots though). Great L/S technical tee. Date of review: December 13, 2010
In short: The spectators were fantastic and it was pouring with rain In full: This was my first half marathon and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every village we passed through seemed to have a cluster of supporters who needed little encouragement to be vocal. My favourite point was the small tunnel where spectators gathered to keep dry but made loads of noise.
The weather was wet, wet ,wet.
The course was undulating. As I live and train in the High Peak in Derbyshire I wouldn't call it hilly.
Early entrants were given a free plain white technical tee before the event and another with the race emblem printed on it on completion. Therefore well worth the entrance fee.
My only gripe was that you had to collect your race number and timing chip on the day. Fortunately it was well manned so it wasn't too unpleasant. Date of review: October 4, 2010
In short: Expensive for a local charity race In full: The race was fun. They had a staggered start to group similar standard runners and to avoid congestion. The website advertised a free sanwich and beer for all runners, what they missed out was that you weren't entitled to a sanwich and beer if you registered and paid for the race on the day. £12.50 in all. I've been to charity runs for £6...So I was really looking forward to my sandwich and beer at the end, for that price.....a little disappointed. Date of review: September 12, 2010