In short: Can't fault organisation but course was horrible In full: Before people start trolling me - each to their own, and this is my honest feedback. I travelled up with two mates who were keen to run the race based upon last years reviews. We set out a 12 week training program and followed it religiously based on the 'pancake' flat reviews. The guys chose the race as their first to dip under 3 hours. Now don't get me wrong, there will be a lot that love Chester and the course but it is NOT an easier 'pancake' flat course. It has apparently significantly changed since last year and the hills are in the wrong place to really have a go. At about 18 and 24 miles you have considerable ups (compared to thr big city marathons) and any downs are negated by the shredding your legs get at this point. It just doesn't suit the guys looking to beat 3 hours. That doesn't mean it's a bad marathon, just not as advertised. Pity as we really wanted to leave our mark on the race and the organisers had really tried to make it great.
Good points - toilets, accurately measured, good parking, superb goody bag, accurate mile markers
Bad - course with hills at 1 mile 18 and 24 (terrible for pace judgement), sparse support. Date of review: October 9, 2011
In short: It's alright but not (in my opinion) 'The Best' In full: Too easy to get carried away with this race. It's great from a crowd support point of view, and to see the sights of London but is it the best? For me - no. Paris has it all - great sights, massive support, wide roads, great course and easy Metro access for supporters. I've done London 4 times and Paris 3 but don't think I'll be going back to seriously race London again. Thanks for the memories but I'll leave it to others.
In short: An example of how to stage a 10k for all comers In full: What an example to the rest of the UK this race is. Very well organised. Very welcoming to all standard of runners. Excellent goodie bag with far more value than the cost of entry. Superb, fast scenic course. Chip timing. Results up within a few hours. I travelled for 3 and a half hours to get to this race and will continue to do so for as long as Swansea stages it! Brilliant. Date of review: September 28, 2010
In short: Perfect pre marathon fine tune! In full: An excellent, well organised, fast race. Perfect for judging pace before the big one.
Friendly enough and plenty of competition. Marshalls very encouraging.
Only gripe - slower runners wearing headphones. If you are going to wear them - and personally I think you lose the atmosphere of the race by doing so - then be spatially aware!!!! Know who is behind you and be aware of faster runners.
gripe over - will be back again. Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: Marmite! In full: I love this race but I also HATE IT!!! Why? Well, the course is superb, flat (windy yes) but very quick. I always have my best half of the year here BUT........ The course is ALWAYS long. Consistently 13.39. Today I passed the 13.1 mark in 75 30 which would easily have been a PB for me but because it's long I crossed the official line in 77 30. It's such a shame as at this point in my running PB's are hard to come by. The other thing that bugs me is that every year they hand out XL T-shirts that are obviously bought in bulk at a discount because of their size. I'd love to promote this race with a t-shirt but sadly my father in law is the pround owner of 5 of them that he uses when employed as a builder. I'm under 11 stone and he's 17 stone and 6 ft 2!
However.... I'll be back year after year because the real goal is London and Silverstone offers a great opportunity to measure your fitness for the big event.
It was such a shame this year that with the start and finish being moved they had the opportunity to accurately measure the distance.
In short: More wind in more places but at least the sun came out In full: Was it just me or was it more windy throughout town this year than usual?
I love this race! It's super, super fast. Very well supported by the excellent Portsmouth crowds and has plenty of music etc along the way to keep you motivated! Loved the VERY LOUD speaker system blasting out during the (always) windy last 2 miles!
Nice to see that the organisers put the celebs BEHIND the Orange wave a for the first time meaning that the quicker runners could get into their stride from the off.
Parking is fine on the common if you are going to finish sub 70 mins - if not park out of town a little. Date of review: October 25, 2009
In short: Well organised half marathon in a beautiful part of the uk In full: How refreshing to run a race that is accurately measured and has spot on mile markers. I love this race - it has something for everyone : rolling quiet roads, wild horses, Coastal views, nomajor climbs. I'll be hack time and again. Oh and thanks go to the happy, encouraging marshalls Date of review: October 11, 2009
In short: Beautiful introduction to off road rrunning 4 a confirmed tarmac junkie In full: LOVED IT!! I very rarely train off road and even less so compete off it but I loved this race. It probably helped that the rain free weather these past few weeks had rendered the paths concrete like but it was just a fantastic race all in all. No major hiccups with organisation (although rarely anybody was able to answer any simple question about buses / t - shirts etc withouth asking a further chain of 3 or 4) but I'd certainly be back for more. Pity that the buses left before the presentation as I'd have loved to pick up my trophy.
thanks for a lovely race Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Beautiful country run for a deserving cause In full: I LOVE this race. Probably helped by the fact that it's literally on my doorstep, has an 11 o'clock start, is for a very deserving cause, and is a scenic as any race you'll ever do. It helps to know the course as it does have some tricky inclines to say the least but don't let that put you off. A great race to convert the occassional runner. Date of review: September 16, 2009
In short: Up and down and lots of fun In full: Nice to see that the organisers had flattened out the course this year! Seriously, it's funny how the memory always makes this race seem more challenging than it actually is.
Firsat lap is great to plan strategy for second half. All in all a decent warm up for the Autumn. Date of review: September 6, 2009