In short: Superb, I'll be back In full: Really friendly, with loads of support. I was taken a back at how nice spectators/ locals and marshalls were at the end, asking me loads of questions about my run. The local people of Stratford-upon-Avon made a massive effort, supporting outside their houses. Also fellow runners were very encouraging, offering me water and jelly babies.
Definite PB potential, I got one despite thinking my old half PB would be extremely difficult to beat. Mostly flat. A few inclines. The 'hill' at 8 miles was barely noticeable, more of a steady incline. If you were doing the full marathon can understand that this would be more challenging the second time round.
Loads of water stations. I usually have to take water at water stations even if I don't feel like it, so was refreshing to take it only when I needed.
This is the first joint marathon/ half marathon I've run and was worried how it would work beforehand. Everything ran smoothly on the day.
Mile 10 - 12 was a bit tedious along the runway and I was wondering if it would ever end! but maybe that had more to do with my state of mind. Finishing straight was amazing, with a big crowd.
A criticism would be the start. It's hard to work where to place yourself as there were no pacers or time indicators. Luckily i guessed right.
In short: Great race In full: Really enjoyed this race. It is a challenge but worth it. Very friendly atmosphere.
Re: hilliness! Before the run I read a few reviews on here. They differed in opinion and as a result I was prepared for the hill to last a long time! Here's my view: flat for first k, then up hill between 1k-3k. Then after that gets a lot easier with only one more notable hill around 7k.
After the hill is out the way the race is a perfect 10k, although I feel like the hill is part of the race's 'charm'.
Minor moan that the registration area wasn't really big enough for the capacity of runners and spectators.
Will give it another next year, but will be sure to get some hill training in first! Date of review: February 11, 2014
In short: Friendliness of a small race, organisation of a large race In full: Impressed by how smoothly the event seemed to run. First time I've ran Abbey Dash and was promised a flat fast course and wasn't disappointed. There was an incline just before the abbey and 5k mark but only noticeable as the rest was so flat. Good tshirt. Marshals very supportive and friendly. The bit round 2k mark where you run round a shopping car park was a bit strange. Will be back again. Had more character than similar races such as the Manchester 10k. Date of review: November 17, 2013
In short: Organised, friendly, good 1st marathon In full: Extremely organised. Safety pins sent in the post with your race number, little plastic bags to keep your feet dry at the start. Little things but they add up.
PB potential. It isn't totally flat but finding 26 miles of flatness mustn't be easy. I'd heard about the 'hill' at 24 miles that everyone warns you about and was a bit unsure about what to expect. i wasn't expecting 2 hills in the space of 5 minutes or so! First hill looked worst than it was and was manageable. the next hill was a bit worse but still not as bad as I was expecting.
Most of the course is rural and support from the villages was great. Although I must admit some of the course seemed a bit lonely, but some people might like that. All the marshals were amazing and encouraging. There was a lady marshal cheering on all the women, love a bit of girl power! Finishing on the race course is a brilliant touch.
Nice to get a long sleeved technical t-shirt as opposed to a short sleeved one.
A couple of minor things, the incorrect placing of the 24 mile marker did throw me, normally wouldn't have minded too much but was particularly struggling at that stage. Also one of the 3hrs 45 pacers over took me around 24 miles and confused me. As I was on for about 3hr 40/41 (which I did), as was the pacer as I had started by them. There was 2 pacers so I'm guessing the other did 3hrs 45. I understand if people want sub 3.45 but this was a good few minutes quicker and panicked me and possible others. Think the pacers should stick to the time as much as possible with a lee way of about 30 secs. I'm not saying all the pacers did this though as I've read good things about the sub 3hrs ones.
My first marathon and am i glad I chose Chester. Already planning my next marathon so the experiencing must have been fun! Date of review: October 8, 2013
In full: Well organised, seemed to address some of the issues raised last year. Flat course. PB potential. I did run a PB but can see why the wind could have hindered other's PBs. But when you sign up to do a coast run, wind is a given. Quite nice scenery. I found the course route a bit monotonous. Date of review: September 2, 2013
In short: Great race, but did prefer it last year In full: Enjoyed this run. Second time I've run a PB here. Nice and flat. Start a bit crazy. Too many people for a funnel start. And you always get people over estimating their ability, the race organisers know that and should take that into consideration. Quite pricey, but worth it for the run. Goodies at the end not much to write home about. Personally I also preferred last year's route. Port Sunlight is a brilliant place to have a race. Date of review: May 23, 2013
In short: Will be back next year In full: I don't know why I've never done this race before. Excellent race, will hopefully become a annual race for me. Best organisation I've witnessed.
Everyone was extremely friendly and made for a brill atmosphere. Even made some new friends on my way round!Marshals did a great job. And thought that having names printed on number was a nice touch.
Very fast course. Despite making a massive effort not to go off too quick, I ended up going off too quick. It's very easy to do even if you're trying not to, so be careful with that.
I personally thought the conditions were perfect for me, as I get very hot running. But this is a personal preference.
Minor criticisms. Didn't enjoy the walk back to HQ at the end. Bit baffled by those runners who decided to wear ipods despite the pre-race info clearly specifying that they were not allowed. It's a bit selfish. Maybe the mile markers could have been made more noticeable. I missed the first one as I was looking out for yellow signs not white!
Loved the t-shirt, loved the medal, loved the mars bar! See you next year Wilmslow. Date of review: March 25, 2013
In short: Interesting and challenging In full: Well organised, marshals did a great job. Loved my mars bar at the end! Nice medal. Scenic. Course well marked out.
In my opinion this course should definitely be classed as hilly. Unfortunately, there aren't any hills close to where I live so as a consequence my time was well off my best. I think it was obvious who the local runners were, ie- the ones who seemed to glid up the hills! Having said that I doubt many PBs were achieved due the nature of the course.
I would consider doing the race again as I did enjoy it overall. Especially the down hills! And, I'd like to thank a man called Dave who was wearing a Sheffield United shirt, because without his encouragement I would have found it difficult to carry on! Date of review: February 25, 2013
In short: Poor conditions but good intentioned race. In full: I feel like this is a great run if you are a beginner/ someone doing the race as a fun run. The race was very light hearted, friendly and had a nice kids race beforehand. The atmosphere was laid back. I wold say that it isn't a PB course. Unfortunately the course was very muddy, which is no fault of the organisers. The start time was early and a couple of runners missed the start as a consequence. There wasn't any mulled wine as advertised, but there was plenty of mince pies and xmas puddings on offer. Nice family event but maybe not suited to serious runners. Date of review: November 25, 2012
In short: Picturesque 10k, very well organised In full: Really enjoyed this 10k, great location for race.
Pros: -well organised,entry packs had all the race info you needed (plus some more), plenty of marshals -scenic, started and finished at the Lady Lever art gallery. The graded buildings were a welcome distraction! -plenty of water available, particularly important as the conditions were quite warm -great support. Especially appreciated having my name called out on the mega phone at the 5k mark. Made me smile -Location very easy to get to by car and public transport -I managed to run a PB!
Cons: -The start was crowded. The first part of the race made it quite difficult to over-take -Expected a couple more freebies considering the entry fee, but maybe this is me being a cheapskate!
In conclusion, definitely worth trying and if it becomes an annual event, I hope to make it a permanent racing fixture. Date of review: May 15, 2012