In short: Great organisation but the course was terrible in the 2nd half In full: I entered this for the first time since 2013 based on the promise of a flatter course and 'that hill at 24 being gone altogether'. Both of which turned out to be complete lies. If you look at everyone's Strava upload, no ones elevation plot resembles the published one and 'that hill' was still there, just at 23miles this time. I've never seen so many people walk during a marathon, because the course is so physically and mentally draining. It's a shame that the organisers cant seem to get the course right because everything else in in place for a great event. Date of review: May 3, 2016
In short: This race restored my faith in humanity. In full: Bloody brilliant. What an event this is!!! Organisation could not have been better, the course is fast and it's the marshals were something else. They stood there for hours in the torrential rain cheering us on. It was truly heart warming.
Race HQ was pretty cool too. I'm not one for Scunthorpe United FC but it was a bit of a privilege to be changing in the away team dressing room.
I was initially sceptical about the fairly high entry fee but during the event I could really see where that money was being spent. Brilliant medal, t-shirt and cake at the end.
Without any shadow of doubt I'll be back next year.
Big thanks to the marshals. Date of review: May 4, 2015
In short: One of my all time favorites In full: My first outing at this event and what a great event it was. Fast course, buttery smooth organisation at a great price. Thank you Sleaford Striders, I'll be back next year. Date of review: August 16, 2014
In short: MK needs a major course rethink In full: For some reason I gave this event the benefit of the doubt after doing the Marathon last year I returned to run the half this year. This event needs a major course rethink.
It all started with the traffic chaos approaching the stadium. Not sure what was going on but traffic wasn’t moving, a problem that we didn’t have last year. This caused us (4 in a car so we did our bit) to be late arriving in the stadium. The scramble for the final toilet stop was made even more difficult as a result. Football stadiums have plenty of urinals but don’t really have enough ‘traps’ for a marathon. A few portaloo’s outside would have helped.
The start was chaotic. No markers were displayed for pace. Slower runners just jumped in wherever they wanted. This was very frustrating.
Now the course: Terrible. The half was nowhere near as fast as was advertised. It was just a way to squeeze as much money out of this event as possible. Even the section around the lake at 11 miles (which should have been so good) was bad. The path around this section was in real poor condition and in parts a hazard.
The stadium finish was fantastic and it was nice sitting around in the sun waiting for friends to finish the marathon.
So, in summary: The stadium is fantastic (apart from a lack of ‘traps’), it’s just that both courses need a major rethink. Surely, closed flat roads are possible in MK.
Oh, I’d also prefer the race on the Sunday. Means everyone can have a drink after the race and not have to worry about work the next day.
I’ll never say never but as it stands I won’t be coming back.
In short: A great London alternative In full: This was my first Manchester Marathon. After failing to gain entry into London this year I thought I'd go for this as an alternative. I was not disappointed and as a result I may not even bother trying London next year.
So in comparison to London here goes; No irritating Expo to have to go to. Hotels were cheaper. Parking was easier. It was easier for spectators to get around. Technical t-shirt (you only get cotton at London). The whole event was far more hassle free. The plus points are endless. The only thing Manchester didn't outdo London on was the 1 million supporters on the streets, But give it a few years and who knows!!!
One grip only relevant to me and a few others was the 3:15 pacer. He went flying past me at 22 miles only for a probable 3:12 finish. That did play tricks with my head. But I still came in at 3:14.
I'm coming back. That's for sure. Date of review: April 7, 2014
In short: A great training run In full: This was my 2nd outing at Ashby and as it was only 4 weeks out from my Marathon so I used it as a training run. Going steady for the first 10 and racing the last 10. The weather made at extra special this year (unlike last year) and if was a relief to see water bottles at the water stations. Also if you were using High 5 gels then there was plentyful supply too. I'll be back next year and I may or may not race. Date of review: March 11, 2014