In short: Flat PB course with bursts of enthusiastic locals. Too Many issues - needs ctrl/Alt/Delete In full: Marathon promised much - got race number and details in advance and enjoyed info from website/ twitter feed. On evening of race I noticed the Mobile tracking ap has a 1/2 Marathon split and then a 20k split (12.4miles?). Tweeted Marathon organisers...think it got fixed but no reply to me.
Stayed in Manchester and got the 7.30 tram to the race village. Bag Drop was easy - no queue at this time. No queue for loo's if you needed a wee. Anything else...wait 20 mins.
Made our own way to start - there was no obvious signage about the warm up area...
Waited 15 mins for a wee in toilets at start line (which, as usual, were pretty disgusting) If had not been tactical with Queing would have missed the start.
Start underwhleming. Compared to GNR it felt like the start of a local village race. No obvious start point...set watch off when ran under arch....but mats with 10 seconds after that.
Many of roads too narrow for volume of runners. We were in the 3.29 group and had to drop back a bit.
Cones were largly ignored from start and saw a few people fall over them. We were shouting "cone", "kerb" and "car" quite often.
I didn't see any mileage or water station signs until someone pointed them out to me. Should be 10 foot in the air.
Plenty of gel and water once you worked out how to time your collection.
Mile markers were out from the start... I think mile 19 was .5 mile late...and 22 miles was seen twice (we all just laughed and stuck with our Garmins).
Locals were ace - I grabbed Jelly Babies and there was a lot of support on about 6 or 7 main turns.
Finish line was great.....
*** all the the above didn't particularly bother me during the race - and I nailed a sub 3.30 as per plan ****
Then you get the packed finishing area....
The signs for Baggage collection were blowing around in the wind...so struggled to get bearings for a while.
Found ourselves at back of 400 or so person queue. Slipped finishers Tee on and actually felt fine. Realised that the queue was gonna to take +1hr. Thankfully my wife agreed to collect our bags so we could rush back to hotel on tram and get changed before incurring late checkout fees (£20 per hour). One bag could not be located so magnificant wife went into tent and found it herself. total time - 90 mins (by this stage I was into my second beer in town!)
Pictures of queues for 4hr+ marathon guys was sickening. My wife saw 70 yr old people with no food or warmth..was offering people her coat.
Good job it was a sunny day - 12degrees....genuienly think there could have been very serious issues if it was cold or windy.
Having done GNR, Stratford Marathon and Chester Marathon I was seriously underwhelmed by the event.
I love my PB....but as a race it need a total rethink. Date of review: April 11, 2016
In short: 2 x10 mile loop on mixture of Airfield, Road and Lanes with some good hills In full: Loads of Parking, very easy to collect race number. Plenty of pre run info. No annoucements (but we were told there wouldn't b) and race started just ahead of time. Cool to run on "top gear race track"...then into lanes and roads. Good marshalls..+ve and helpful. Water, sweets and gels available. Mileage markers well out - but just ignored as on the Garmin. Total race only 19.93 miles. Water & chocs at end. No on course spectators or support at end of race as is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Results and Photos availble within 24hours. Cool medal! Thanks for organising Date of review: March 14, 2016
In short: My first marathon - really enjoyed it. Lots of helpful marshals, frequent water and sponge stations and variable surfaces - some in town, some lanes, some busyish roads and the off road path home. In full: Could have done with some gels or sports drinks.
Thought the run in was great - annoucing your name and everyone cheering....my kids were also not stopped from running up to me as I crossed the line - so very family friendly...
Great first Marathon course and thoroughly recommended. Date of review: May 12, 2011