This is my 3rd year running in the Liverpool RnR. As with last year, I optimistically entered the full marathon at early bird prices, only for injury to prevent me from doing the full. The good thing is, you can upgrade or downgrade. I downgraded to the half marathon. Though injury free, I hadn’t built the mileage up for the full.
I entered the 5k on the Saturday too. A big field of nearly 4,000 people do this. Largely for the extra medal you can earn. if you do 2 races over the weekend, you get the remix 3rd medal too. I enjoyed the 5k and pushed myself a little hard, coming in at 19:40. This, couple with the return from injury left my legs a bit heavy for the half and I struggled in the heat on Sunday to my slowest RnR finish of 1:43. But for me, it’s all positive as it marked the return from injury.
I love this event, always a highlight for me. Great atmosphere in a world class city with decent support and a really unique course. You see the waterfront, city centre, football stadia, parks and famous landmarks. Add or that the live music all the way around and you you have the recipe for a great race.
RnR is famous for the bling and they certainly deliver; I walked away with 3 medals! Aid stations include water, Lucozade and gels and at the finish you get plenty of the same, fruit, crisps and Haribo. At the finish there is a big concert, free beer and a real party atmosphere.
Its a fantastic celebration of running, music and Liverpool. I will do this every year.
Posted on 22.05.18
Registering at the expo which is a long way from the city centre. The expo itself was disappointing for a major.
Logistics after the race were a bit akward. It took a long time to meet my mate as I was funneled down a one-way system. He had my bag and I was starting to get really cold.
Too many to mention. Crowds, marshalls, atmosphere, aid stations, course, bling! All the best I've ever experienced. This is a bucket list race and one everyone needs to tick off. I loved it!
I woke at 6am, had the usual porridge, banana and coffee. Strapped the knee up, kit on and then my pre-race show-stopper, a pink onesie! It was freezing in Tokyo and a warm throw-away was needed. I might have looked like a Tellytubby, but boy was I warm!
The pre-race atmosphere was incredible, like noting I've witnessed before. Organisation was slick and easy, I was in coral B, very close to the front based on my pre-injury expected finish time of 3:15:00. The start is by the government buildings in Shinjuku, close to my hotel for ease. Tall, neon clad skyscrapers dominated. Forget the knee, my main concern was would the Garmin pick up GPS with the towers! it did! Phew. At 9:10 40,000 excited runners were off! I was running in my first major and the smile was from ear-to-ear.
All along the entire route, the crowds were phenomenal, loud and encouraging. It's estimated that 1.5 million come out to cheer. Compare that to an estimated 500,000 for London. The locals made this extra special. Along with the brilliant route, yes it has some out and back turning points, but that really doesn't matter. The juxtaposition of traditional and modern buildings is brilliant. Live music and the chance to see the elite runners after turn points was special. Aid stations and toilets were plentiful, along with awesome marshalling. The level of organisation was something else to what I've seen before.
Right from the start, I was focusing on a knee injury I was nursing and that I knew would compromise my race. Strangely, I couldn't feel anything! No pain. It must be the adrenalin I thought. Great! I soon forgot about it all together and focused on my run. I took the first mile or so steady at around 8 min miles while I dodged the crowds and listened to the knee. Then once I couldn't feel any pain I was able to get in to my rhythm and speed up a little. I had no intention of going fast, I didn't have the mileage in my legs due to the injuries and besides that, I just wanted to enjoy the experience.
That said, the race was flying by, so much to look at and listen to. It was like a carnival, celebratory atmosphere. I came up to the half way point in 1:35:00. I was surprised, all was going well and I still felt very fresh. I hadn't been expecting this and was so grateful. Then, out of nowhere I could feel the knee pain kicking in around the 14 mile mark. I took some painkillers and naproxen at one of the aid stations and continued. I knew this second half was now going to be a real slog. the pain got worse with every step and it also started to hurt down the right as I had to put more pressure on that side and adjust my gait. Despite this, I was loving it and was determined not to let anything spoil the big day. I had already adjusted my expectations pre-race and to be honest, I felt grateful that I had got half way pain-free, with a decent pace already banked. By mile 20 the only pain I had was in my knee. The rest of my body felt good and surprisingly, the lack of training in the final 6 weeks wasn't showing. Perhaps it's because I had been forced to slow right down. I was still smiling and enjoying the unique experience, there is an irony in slowing down and taking it all in that I was happy about.......I didn't want this race to end!
6 miles later, I couldn't wait for this race to end! The knee was telling me to stop and the pain was extreme. I limped over the line in 3:48:50, my slowest marathon to date. I really didn't care however. I felt so privileged to be part of this festival of running and was so glad to receive that amazing bling. Time wasn't important to me, the memories will last a lifetime. This is a bucket list race and I enjoyed every second of it. If you get the opportunity to race in Tokyo, grab it, you won't be disappointed!
Posted on 07.03.18
First time I've done the Manchester 1/2. I was lucky enough to win entry in a UKRunChat comp. That said, I would have been more than happy to pay the modest entry fee for what is a very well organised event.
Pre-race communication was mainly done by email, with regular and helpful updates. This ensured a smooth arrival, easy bag drop and stress -free start to the day.
At 8:30, members of UKRunChat met for a pre-race photo and many of us ran together. This was the beginning of the highlight of the day for me.
The race starts near Old Trafford football ground and ends near the Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground. The route goes out towards Sale down the Chester Road before looping back via a residential area. The only thing I've marked the race down on is uniqueness and natural beauty. It's a dull route. Such a shame neither of the big Manchester runs take in any of the city centre like other big cities do. However, much of this was made up by the great local support. People came or of their houses/business and bands/choirs helped get us round.
At the finish we were presented with a quality medal and tech-T and a protein bar. Not a geniuses goody bag, but that was ok. However, there was free alocohol-free beer - a brilliant addition and very welcome.
After the race, around 30 of us went for lunch and drinks in what was a brilliant UKRunChat/Race Check meet up. Being with great friends and kindred spirits was certainly the highlight of the day. The running community is a special one and Manchester brought us together!
Posted on 16.10.17
2016 was the first time this race was staged and it showed.
Im hoping the issues are solved for this year as the setting is great and the intent is good.
Sadly, the issue in 2016 was that the organisers explicitly communicated a particular postcode to runners to use in sat nav for arriving. Problem with this was that it was down single file country lanes and entry to Tatton Pk through one small gate, wide enough for one car at a time at a 3-way junction! It was carnage and absolute havoc. People were abandoning cars on public highways and verges and sprinting to the start. As a result, I know of many people who traveled significant distance who missed the race. The organisers delayed the start by 30mins but many missed out.
I managed to park on a grassy verge a mile away and Run to the start just in time for the gun! I was convinced I'd miss it. Not the best prep! That said, I managed a half marathon PB of 1:26:37. Possibly due to the bad weather and I had a flight to catch that afternoon!
The race itself is a nice setting and unique bling. Not many spectators as it's park based.
The organisers were very aware of the problems and promised to rectify them for this year.......I hope so as it could be a great event.
Hopefully lessons were learnt!
Posted on 11.10.17
I ran the unusual metric marathon, I believe it's the only one in the country. I great distance as a step up from a half but not as daunting as a full for those who aren't marathon ready. That said, 16.1 miles is still some distance.
Andy and Chris, the race organisers always do a fantastic job. I have ran the Chester half marathon a couple of times so had an idea of how proceedings would go.
Sign up is easy and communication is detailed and regular in the build up to the race. There are even free seminars and training runs laid on by the organisers.
The race starts and finishes at Chester racecourse. As you leave you go through the lovely city centre and head out on to country roads towards Alford. Support in the city is excellent. Unsurprisingly there is less in the country. The Metric route is an out and back, half way you join up with the faster marathon runners who started an hour earlier. It's also nice to all finish together and enjoy the atmosphere.
On the route there is a lot of aid stations offering water, Lucozade and High5 gels. Lots of marshalls who always do a fantastic job.
At the finish there is a brilliant goody bag, sweets/cocolate/pin badge/High5/shower gel etc. Awesome long sleeve technical T and the bling is chunky, weighty and real quality.
This year, we had the full use of the race course paddock area. Great for spectators and supporters as well as good use of the facilities for runners before and after.
A really enjoyable day ended with seeing a few familiar and friends faces from UKRunChat club and the chance to exchange our experiences.
Interesting distance and a unique event.
Posted on 09.10.17
I regularly drive through the Mersey tunnel, never ran through it......until now.
As always, BTR lay on great events for runners. Organised, well marshalled, good aid stations and fantastic goody bags and bling along with tech T. Way beyond what's expected for a 10k and the cheap entry fee.
It was quite a large field, 2500, which created a brilliant atmosphere.
Running through the tunnel was a different experience, with participants chanting and singing as we passed through. The latter stage a bit tougher as it's obviously uphill.
The last 5k is along the sceneic Magazine Prom to New Brighton, always a nice place to run.
This will be another regular in my diary.
Note: 2018's race is 15 April, back to the normal time of year.
Posted on 05.10.17
This is the first time I have completed my local event and as with all BTR events, they nailed it.
The registration was easy and communication was first class, especially as there was a change to the route and start area due to roadworks this year.
Parking was hassle free and plenty of it. Before the start I had the opportunity to chat with UKRunChat members, Jon, Gemma, Jay and Brian and to hear about their experience of the Whistle Stop Tour (3 races over 3 days, culminating in the Wirral 1/2).
This race is made up of a 1/2 marathon and a 10k. I was down for the 1/2 but have recently had a recurrence of a nasty knee injury. I made the decision that if I felt it, I would just do the 10k. This race offers that opportunity as all runners start together for an out and back from New Brighton to Seacombe Ferry. The 10k group then peel off to the finish (at the same place as the start), while the 1/2 group go out and back along the sea wall to Leasowe. Unfortunately my knee complaint struck after just a mile. With a big October looming, I didn't want to risk doing the 1/2. I finished the 10k in a respectible 41:42.
The course offers brilliant scenic views of Liverpool and the North Wirral Country Park. New Brighton is a seaside town with plety to offer for all the family.
There was plenty of marshalling, drinks stops and BTR always provide a quality medal, tech T and a decent goody bag. This will become a regular event in my race diary and I intend to do the full Whistle Stop Tour (total of 26 miles) next year.
Posted on 11.09.17
I entered last minute as I had been running well in July and wanted to test my 10k time. Easy registration, without any issue. All race info was clearly detailed in emails. Picked up bib on race day, no fuss. This race attaracts a lot of local clubs and has a good turn out, now in it's 20th year it clearly has a loyal following.
The race starts on the edge of the Wrexham industial estate, but you quickly find yourself runnign through scenic country lanes. As a result, there isn't any support. There was one drinks station on 5k and plenty of water at the finish. The route is well marshalled and flat all the way round.
I was happy to get my 10k PB of 39:19 and finish 35th out of 670. That July training was put to good use in the end.
I'd definately do this race again, it has a really friendly and welcoming atmosphere and had runners of all abilities. Nice and local and a quality medal at the finish too - something I always like!
Posted on 07.08.17
This is the second year I've ran RnR and it gets better and better. The whole weekend is a fantastic festival of running. This year I ran the 5k on the Saturday and the 1/2 on Sunday. I was down to do the full marathon but have suffered from a bad does of tonsillitis lately that's left me feeling a little week. That said, I posted a 1:29:22, 10 mins faster than the Chester half just a week earlier. Clearly the virus has gone!
Everyhtig about RnR is fun. The whole logistics and briefing are perfect and the race day organisation runs like clockwork. Liverpool is a stunning backdrop to run in too. If you like bling, then this is the race for you! I picked up no less than 4 medals this year! All quality and unique too.
RnR attracts a big field and great spirits by all participants. Lots of marshals to support and aid stations offer water, lucozade ans gels.
This race will be in my diary every year, but I have unfinished business with the full now! 2018 will be the year!
Posted on 28.05.17
Chester half marathon is a special one for me as it was my first ever race in 2016, so it's now going to be a regular in my diary.
The race, briefing and logistics is superbly organised by Andy and Chris, they really know what they are doing and think of every detail for runners. This race is becoming more and more popular as the field grows every year, with 6,000 runners in 2017.
The route was the same as 2016, mixture of city and countryside. There and many marshalls who do a superb job and the local support is excellent. Aid stations offer water, Lucozade and High5 gels - more than the average on a half I feel.
The goody bag is excellent, containing more Lucozade, lots of chocolate and haribo. The medal is really good quality, chunky and weighty - what I like to see. And there is always a brilliant tech T.
On to the race itself, I knew this year was going to be a struggle as I wasn't fully recovered from a bad dose of tonsilitis that really knocked me for six and left me still feeling weak. It was a bit of a slog going round to be honest, but I took it easy as I have the RnR Liverpool the following week. There are a couple of hills out on the course and the final mile is a relatively steep hill bck in to the city and felt harder than last year!
All in all, this is a great race, expertly organised, with excellent local support and a large field. One for the diary evey year!
Posted on 24.05.17
Chester half 2016 will always have a special place in my heart as this it where it all began and I caught the running bug. This race is so well organised and Chris and Andy really know what they are doing. Out and back on some of the route is the only thing I don't like.
Good local support and a brilliant, quality medal.
I will be back in 2017 for sure
Posted on 08.05.17
I aboslutely loved everyting about the RnR half marathon in 2016. Unique and stunning location on the city waterfront, city centre and parkland. Great medal, live music and fabulous atmosphere all the way around.
I will be back in 2017 for the full marathon
Posted on 08.05.17
How this is considered one of the wold's premier half marathons, I have no idea! Ugly route, set along a surburban dual carriageway and run down housing estates and a cheap and poor medal. This is only saved by the great local support.
I will never run this again and have no desire to whatsoever.
Posted on 08.05.17
I loved the Liverpool Spring 10k, set in the gorgeous Sefton Park. Well organised, stunning setting and flat! Great medal and a nice tech tee.
Definately a must for next year.
Very well organised and well considered throughout
Posted on 08.05.17
Not the most attractive scenery and not a huge field, but well organised and a nice warm up for Paris marathon.
Cotton tee shirt, not much use and a nice medal
Posted on 08.05.17
The inaugral Oswestry half was a superb event hosted by UkRunChat. A unique setting at the British Iron Works, with sculptures marking each mile and the most unique medal in my collection yet, a gorilla (based on the sculpture at the iron Works). The race started with a cannon and there was also a brass band playing. everything about this was unique, fun and well-thought.
By runners, for runners
Posted on 08.05.17
My first marathon and a very special occasion and city to run in. You have to register at the expo, I'm not a fan of doing this. It's out of town and with a wife and small baby travelling with me, it's not ideal. However, the expo was good.
Everything on race day was easy, the route is phenomenal, passing all the main tourist atractions in Paris. Local support is ok, could be better. Aid stations are great - water and fruit.
On the finishing line there was loads of fruit and protein bars to eat, great medal and tee.
42,000 finished the race, making it bigger than London. The overall atmpshpere and organisations was superb. This should be on the list for all runners. Iconic city and easy to get to from the UK.
I finished in 3:20:10 and was very proud!
Posted on 08.05.17
Everything about today's first Oswestry Half was exceptional. Unique location for start/finish at the British Iron works. Brass band, cannon gun start, free massage, tech t-shirt and THAT bling that everyone is talking about! WOW! Incredibly well organised and very well thought. For runners by runners. Thank you to all who supported and helped made the day such a brilliant event. This will be in a must in the diary for next year.
Posted on 30.04.17
Being on my home turf it would be rude not see in the New Year with a little bimble down a well troden path for me. I run sections of this route almost daily, so have a good knowledge of each landmark and distance pointer. Not sure if this can be a help or hinderance after an injury hit Christmas full of indulgence!
I was only made aware of this race via a friend in November, it would be great if Marathon Trails and The Viper Series could publish more info. A lot of people I know missed out on a place due to lack of publicity, that said, it was a full quota!
Due to the narrow route, several road intervals and the Wirral Way being open to the public, athletes were set up in 10 different waves or groups at the start. This was based on when you entered, not your predicted time. Each group had around 60-70 people in and went off 15 minutes apart. This worked incredibly well! It meant that the course was not congested and other users could enjoy the local route and offer encouraging support. The road intervals were very well marshalled, who operated a stop/go system for the traffic. No interruptions or delays to runners here. All the marshalls did a great job and the route was clearly signed. 2 water stations were placed around the route at roughly 5 and 9 miles.
The race began at the start of the stunning Wirral Way Country Park at Hooton (technically Cheshire), the route is a former rail way line, not used for passengers since the 1960's and freight since the early 1970's. The route navigates the west coast of the scenic Wirral peninsular, with breathtaking views in sections to North Wales across the Dee Estuary. From Hooton, the route takes in interesting sites such as the original Hadlow Road train station (not in use), on to the market town of Neston and ice-cream lovers paradise Parkgate, on to Lower Heswall, Thurstaston, Caldy and finally Cubbins Green in West Kirby. The race then doubles back for the final 2 mile push to the finish at Thurstaston Country Park. The entire trail is straight, flat and smooth. Being January it was a little muddy in parts, typical of any trail race. There is a real mix of scenery on this route, from wooded areas, to open fields, passing impressive houses of Lower Heswall and views over the river Dee.
The atmosphere was good. The first 2/3 miles I didn't really see any other runners, due to the 15 minute wave system. It didn't take too long to catch others up though and at the turn around point, there was great interaction and encouragement from other runners passing. Locals and families came down to Thurstaston in their droves to support.
At the finish line, we were greeted with a bespoke medal, t-shirt, water and best of all........a fabulous, free hog-roast! The hog was a first for me at an event, definately a crowd pleaser!
The race was fully chip timed and results were posted within hours. I was pleased with my 1:34:19 while still carrying an injury. I really hope this event is now a regular in the diary. It was exceptionally well organised, a great turn out and brilliant atmosphere. I will most certainly be putting this in the 2018 diary.
Thank you to the organisers for a superb day. You all did a fantastic job
Thanks for reading, Mike
Posted on 09.01.17
Posted on 09.01.17