Race Report by Brenda Lee
I signed up for the Chester Metric Marathon as the “unique” distance of 26.2km appealed to me. Little did I know at the time that it would be my last long run in preparation for the Dublin Marathon!
I booked an Airbnb as the hotels were expensive or full. This turned out to be an excellent choice. The location of the cottage was perfect for the start/finish of the race, a mere 5 minutes’ walk away. As the full marathon started at 9 am and my race didn’t start until 10.15 am, it also meant that I could stand outside the door and wave/cheer my fellow Massey runners as they passed by at the start of their race.
All went smoothly at the start of the metric marathon. The most port-a-loos I have ever seen and organisation was good. A lovely setting being at the Chester Racecourse.
The Mayor of Chester started the race with a reminder that the metric marathon was actually more difficult than the imperial marathon as we weren’t allowed to use “feet”!!!
The route took us up into the town and under the famous clock, we then made our way out to the country lanes. The crowds were good in the town and even along quieter stretches there seemed to be a sprinkling of people giving good vocal support. I felt very much that fellow runners had made the effort to come out and cheer. The marshals all along the route were excellent.
At approximately 5 miles I crossed the leading pack of marathon runners. I enjoy this as it acts as a good distraction, and I am always in awe of these amazing runners. It also means you have a chance of seeing a fellow Massey, and I did! Chris, Alex, the other Dave Lee, Nathan, Alan and Marie all passed by. The exchange of “hi 5”, cheers of support and “Go Masseys” were all very welcome and encouraging.
After about a mile or two we split again and it was back to focusing on the job in hand. However it was only a short distance before those of us doing the metric did a “U” turn and joined the remaining marathon runners. Just before this I crossed paths with Dave F who was doing a fantastic job pacing.
The rest of the race basically took us back where we had already been and time to enjoy again the beautiful city of Chester.
As the last mile approached Sophie, Lisa and Lee all passed me by. Again lovely supportive cheers and banter between us. I turned into the racecourse for the last 400 m and was greeted by wonderful cheers from Nathan and Rachael. The finish was in sight and I moped it up! I loved the finish but probably got distracted by the fact a marriage proposal was happening at the marathon finish line and I stopped to clap and cheer. For a moment completely forgot to cross the glorious “blue line”!
Chester should be really proud of what they achieved, well organised, nice route, great support, lovely tech-top, descent goody bag and the bag was even drawstring so ideal to use for XC!
Do I recommend it – you bet I do.