Liverpool or Chester or somewhere else entirely

Hi all. I've just decided to think what the hell, and enter my first marathon in 2013. Has anyone done either Chester or Liverpool? I'd like a scenic route if poss. Either that or does anyone have any other alternatives? I live in North Devon, so nowhere's too far


  • First vote here for Chester ... it is simply sublime !!

    Organisationally perfect ... nice course .. with mix of running through historically pretty City centre ... then out into another country (over the border in to Wales) for a bit of scenery and country running, before a great finish in the Racecourse.


  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Done them both and they're both top races. Chester very well organised and scenic route through countryside. Liverpool is all city and has great support.

  • Thanks. I want to do a good one for my first one, to make me want to do another!!
  • i did Chester this year thought it was fantastic  one of my favorite marathons

  • Well I'm not going to say Chester with a name like mine am I?

    Liverpool is full of naked ladies throwing themselves at you and you get free beer for life.....

    Plus, you don't have to run in Wales if you do Liverpool imageimage

  • Not done Chester but can highly recommend Liverpool! Although I'm now gutted I missed all the naked ladies image
  • But if you run Chester you can guarantee still having hub caps on your car
  • This is becoming a regular topic now, I love the run Liverpool races because of the people who do them, and it is a fantastic City to visit these days, but the organisers at Chester just completely get what runners want and why they run marathons. The attention to detail is fantastic, the marshals are local runners and community groups, and the biggest plus, the City wants the race and fully supports it.

    Logistically, Chester starts and finishes on the racecourse, and it's a very compact city so you can stay in town and stroll down to the start and then relax afterwards, Liverpool is point to point starting in Birkenhead, but you do have the thrill of running through the tunnel.


  • Ha bloody ha! Says you in Runcorn....image

  • Liverbird, I thought you'd be from Chester! My other option is Edinburgh, if I can save up enough....
  • I'd do Liverpool or Chester ANY day of the week over Edinburgh. Edinburgh certainly has the easiest course of the three with a point to point downhill, but it's had very mixed reviews over the years and a lot of organisational issues that mean I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. Others haven't found it so bad though..... image

  • Why not have a flick through the review section on here and have a look for yourself? Might help you decide!

  • I did Liverpool this year and I'd totally recommend it. Maybe not as scenic as Chester but the tunnel's a great experience and there's a beach. Plus, obviously, all the naked ladies.
  • Dave The Ex- Spartan wrote (see)
    But if you run Chester you can guarantee still having hub caps on your car

    That's playing on stereotypes isn't it?

    But after Liverbird's quip about avoiding Wales... she blooming well deserves it image

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    In short they're both very good and will be an excellent choice for first marathon. If you want to run through a big city go with Liverpool, if you want countryside go with Chester.

    If you have kids Chester is a good choice as they have a kids race and also activities to keep them happy whilst you're racing.

    Coming out of the tunnel in Liverpool was probably the best racing experience I've had yet.

  • I have kids and my son's a Liverpool fanatic like me. The missus would probably prefer the shopping in Chester
  • Aah but theres the massive Liverpool one shopping centre - and the posh one - the Metquarter. 

    I liked the Edinburgh race - was pretty smooth for me - but Liverpool was better.  I know I had to wait 10 mins for my kit at the end in Edinburgh, and in Liverpool it wasnt even 10 seconds. Very efficient army cadets. 

  • Chester for me. PB last year and this year. Best organized marathon there is. Parking great,facilities great, as well as the support,the finish,the chance to run in two countries in one day,super medal running top. Race is organized by two guys who leave nothing to chance,even shake your hand at the finish. Superb historic town for the family to enjoy.Liverpool is probably great but chester will eventually be the best marathon in the country if it is not already.( chester half is also superb as well)
  • Watched both this year from multiple locations, and did Liverpool year before, Chester looked a lot of fun, good PB course, not sure about crowds. Liverpool definitely improved their course from last year from results, lots knocked time off so equally good for PBs now, and more crowds watching.

    Liverpool is easier to get around for your wife and kids during the race, they can nip on the train from Wirral to town to see you 2-4 times and more crowds, better views of city, plus finish along the seafront to Liver building is spectacular.

    Both well organised races. Take your pick.

    any first marathon will be special of course, best to give yourself as long a time as possible to train upto it, so would hesitate about Edinburgh unless you're running consistently now. It's a good course though.
  • Not consistently running yet Fit-Running-Cat. I chose Liverpool or Chester to give myself a year to prepare. I only considered Edinburgh as it's my mum's home city and her ashes are interred up there. It would be a tribute type thing, running for Cancer Research. I can always do May 2014.
  • thats exactly what I was going to suggest, do the autumn one then see how you get on, then if you enjoy go for Edinburgh. Its exactly what I did last year and this one in fact..

    giving yourself 9-10 months is a great way of doing it, build slowly so less chance of injury, a few events a couple of halfs, a 10k maybe along the way as fitness tests.

  • I've done two halfs in 2012, first races since 1985 in 3.42 and 2.31 but I haven't trained at all since Stroud HM on 21 Oct. Think I really need a running partner to get me motivated again. I have Silverstone on 3rd March, and Blackpool on 24th Feb, both HM's to train for but a marathon is a big step up. Can't make a proper attempt with no training
  • ive done chester and rate it extremly highly, lots of clubmates have done l'pool and seem content enougth.

    however, personally i like my mara to either be;-

    good pb target races (something i don't consider either to be). don't get me wrong, you can pb them, but can do better elsewhere.


    ridiculously hilly ie snowdon. which is the local race id without hesitation recommend. (boy is that one fun)


    (personally I'm doing Amsterdam autum 13 image)

  • I want to do a nice flat one or maybe two before I take on Snowdon, although I'd love to do it. Can't imagine pulling 17st up or down a mountain!
  • its 2 mountains and 1 hill in the middle (which i find the real killerimage that softens you up for waunfawer). i did the same thing, wouldn't do it until id broke the sub 3 mark. and haven't done it for a year or two because old farther time is catching up with me and best performances will soon be a thing of the past image (hence why targeting pb courses)

    I'm jealous that your doing silver-stone, so wish to do that one as I'm a fan of f1.  but it clashes with 20m races that i only get a crack at once a year. image

    all the best which ever you decide to do and don't take race predictors too seriously for your first one. when you put other distances in they are notorious for predicting way too fast a times.mara's are not very forgiving beasts, and can make your first not the enjoyable experience it should be.  

    p.s. every welsh/eng mara runner should have snod on their cv, absolute gem of a race

  • I did the first Chester mara in 2010 and really enjoyed it. Well organised, great marshals and scenic countryside. Also my first race of any distance where I got a good quality tech t-shirt - still the best shirt I've ever got from any race and which I wear all the time for training in. I know the route has changed since the first one but sounds like for the better to me.

    I did Edinburgh this year and despite it being well enough organised and me getting a PB I wouldn't say it was a great marathon overall. Not sure why but for me it was a bit of a let down really.

    I'd do Chester again but probably not Edinburgh.
  • I've done both but if you want scenic go for Conwy in North Wales (only half hr down the a55 from Chester). Truly spectacular views although pay off is you have to run or in my case crawl up the Gt Orme! Go for it you won't regret it!
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