I second all thanks and praise for Phil, cheering marshalls, and all the people on the organizing team that I didn't see - you all did a tremendous job! It was my first marathon, and I enjoyed it very much (despite thoroughly cursing the second big ascent...). The scenery was simply stunning, I was heavily tempted to just stop every other minute and take pictures with my phone... OK, I did once - but this indifferent witness of our climb up the Winter Hill was too much for me to just pass by (here I'm hoping a photo appears):
Even the weather wasn't that bad - the worst was when waiting for the start. I was even OK with wind blowing in my face, because I knew that on a route that is winding as much as ours there's bound to be bits where the wind will help me running, pushing me from the back - and it did (And thanks to whoever told me I dropped my gloves before the start - I would have surely lost my hands without them )
There was just one bit, where I think it would be good to have a marshall (in addition to normal route markings). When you climb the hill on the way back, you jump for a bit on the tarmac road, which you have to leave to the left just after the nearby cattle grid. Two runners going before me failed to notice the 'turn left' signs and went straight along the road. Fortunately, they heard me and some other guy shouting at them and turned back, but I wonder if there were any other people that missed the turn, too. After all, I imagine it could be quite easy, given the drop in focus that can come when you're tired and you know you just have the worst climb behind you and expect just easy downhill finish.
But still, many thanks for everyone who made this event happen by organizing it, and by competing in it. Loved it!
Hello All, First of all, thank you Phil for organizing the marathon. It seems you're putting lots of work into it, and so I'm sure it will reflect on the race day in the quality of the event! All the pictures you post (and those on the hillrunner website) are marvelous. I really regret not being able to make the recce. Also, I have a question to all the marathon-participants from Manchester - would anybody have available two seats in their car for me and my girlfriend to give us a lift to Bolton and possibly back to Manchester on the day of the race? We'll be spending a weekend in the city to do some sightseeing and want to pop out to Bolton only for the run. While I'm at this - we're also looking for couch-surfing host (as in couchsurfing.org) in Manchester for that weekend - maybe somebody is interested? See you all at the start line in March!