Race report by Dave Phillips.
What a fantastic w/e. We arrived at the Crown Plaza hotel at noon yesterday which is 5 mins walk from Chester’s fabulous racecourse which is the HQ of the 2 events. The other event also run today is the Chester Metro marathon over 26 Kms. So we popped down to register and collect my marathon number at a race HQ that puts the event at number 1 in the UK. Unbelievable facilities as befits one of the UK’s best racecourses. 5 star plus!
However Chester just has to be the most fabulous UK city with its architecture, historic buildings, cafes pubs and churches galore. But the number one attraction is the cathedral where we went for a visit and it has to be the biggest building I’ve ever been in and truly magnificent. On our way out we saw the notices for Sat evening’s last Night of The Proms concert with the cathedral choir, the Manchester Brass Ensemble and the organist. So we bought tickets and joined 500+ others for a truly magnificent evening concert just like the recent Last Night at the Albert Hall recently. Stunning to say the least.
Ah then it was Sunday and marathon day with an 0900 hrs start.
So after a full breakfast Robina and I popped down to the racecourse HQ just 5 mins away, met Dave Falkner who was a pacer for the 4.45 runners and off we went with the other 3,000 full marathon runners. The metric lot started 20 mins after and they had 2,000 runners.
The first half of the course was flattish but the scenery and route were stunning and all on closed roads and lanes. We even crossed the border into Wales. But the 2ndhalf was a stinker as it was all very undulating plus it was a scorcher of a day. At 14 I tripped (again) and went flying on the road and hit everything but fortunately as I was not going flat out I survived and kept going with cuts and grazes. Must pick my feet up.
From 18 onwards I passed loads of runners who had given up the ghost because of the heat and hills and were walking but I plodded on.
Finally back in town at 25 miles for a fabulous last mile along the river bank lined with pubs, cafes, restaurants, loads of well-wishers until the racecourse came into view with just 1.5 furlongs to go to the finish where as usual we got a T shirt, huge medal and a back pack goodie bag loaded with more stuff.
This is considered by everyone to be the best UK marathon, best scenic route on closed roads all the way round, huge HQ on the racecourse with all facilities open, huge crowds and of course hundreds of marshals and officials all around the course. Also most of the 15+ drink stations had Lucozade and gels with the water.
So what more could you ask for from a w/e?
At least next Sun’s half at Henley on Thames is flatter.
Dave Fawkner 4.45 ( I assume he did this as he was the 4.45 pacer).
Dave Phillips 5.38.
Robina saw 2 other red and whites but were they Masseys? Could be Watford Joggers or Barrow in the Lake District as they wear R&W.