In short: Fantastic kind-hearted locals prevent tragedy In full: The positives:- the incredibly hardy and kind locals, whose spontaneous offers of generosity saved people's lives. Oh and I should give Xtra Mile credit coordinating the road closures, with marshals to show you the course.
However really disappointing (this so called "fabulous") course took you away from any centers of population, such that there was no-one to offer any support from 11 miles to 22 (especially as people couldn't travel around with the road closures). If the course had been run in reverse, at least people could have caught the Metrolink to cheer on from Altrincham up (should half of it not been closed for engineering - nice planning that). Xtra Mile prepared for absolute minimum for perfect conditions (infrequent and sparse aid stations) and got thumped by the worst imaginable. There was no concern at all given to the athletes. They won't know (or appear to care about) what happened to some competitors who had to abandon. There was no coordination at all between marshals who (despite their fantastic willing and intent) were completely unprepared on what to do with a single hyperthermia case, yet alone handfuls.
The contrast with well-organised mass events such as London could not have been more stark. Manchester deserves a better course and Xtra Mile should never be allowed near a marathon again.