Chester Marathon

I'm running Chester for the first time in October (it's actually my first Autumn marathon - I've done Manchester three times and Liverpool twice) and was wondering about the course. I've seen it touted as a PB course, but I've also read reports that it is undulating (with a hill at mile 24). Just wondering which is the case! Obviously Manchester is as flat as a marathon can be, but I'd describe Liverpool as hilly whereas one of my friends thought it was flat (it bloody isn't!) so I realise opinions are subjective.


  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    I'm also running Chester, and would welcome any info. from previous runners. Having run a couple of hilly ones this year I'm looking forward to 'In Flanders Fields' in a couple of weeks' time. Should be quite flat. Then muddle through to Chester, four weeks later....
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    I ran chester last year and have done Manchester and Liverpool.Sounds like I'm edging my bets but I'd say it's halfway inbetween them.If I remember right,there's a hill at the start to get into the city,certainly gets the heart going.Then it's quite flat with the odd lump out toward Wales,I seem to remember a couple of small hills on the way back but there was 2 tough ones near the end.The longest is Sandy Lane about 24 miles in but the one that got me was just before it as I wasn't expecting it.Overall Strava seems to average about 200mtrs,and Liverpool showed 400 so that gives some guidance.It could be a PB course if you have something left for Sandy Lane,it's a long steady hill rather than a short sharp one so depends which suits you better.
  • I'm OK with long and steady, Ian - most of my long runs have hills of that type. It's the shorter steeper hills that ruin my legs - the one at the halfway point in Liverpool slowed me down a lot both times.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Cal-The only hill that's similar to the Liverpool one is right at the start,as you enter the racecourse to the start area you will probably go down it,it's shorter than Liverpool but not great as it's the very beginning.
  • If anyone knows of anyone wanting to transfer their entry can they let me know please


  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    Cal -I'm in! Have just entered and (assuming small daughter doesn't get through the trials and start playing county netball!) I'll be there.

    Seem to remember we ended up running a decent chunk of Manchester advertently v close to each other so will try and say hello this time!

    What time are you aiming for - I managed 4h14 at Manchester and although would like to go faster (ignoring all talk of hills) I suspect a lazy summer has put paid to that.

  • Neil MacNeil Mac ✭✭✭
    I'm in for this one, just signed up on Sunday! As well as the hill people have said that the very last 0.2 miles are on the grass so can be a bit tricky if it's soggy. Just have to get on with it I guess, I'm not shooting for a time so out to enjoy it and take in the scenery. Cheers and good luck all!!
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Neil-I forgot about that,yes there is half a lap of the racecourse when you are on grass,hard work if you are close to your target time.
  • Hey Gladrags! Was it you with the glitter and the orange shirt? My aim for Manchester was to beat my previous best (4:29:29) which I did (4:18:21) so I was really happy with that. I'd like to try and go under 4:15 this time, but yeah, I'm a bit nervous of those hills in the last few miles as I tend to slow after 20 anyway. (Also hoping it's not muddy!)
    If I don't manage it here I have Valencia in December, but it would be nice to do it as I've been running well all summer.
    Welcome Neil!
  • GladragsGladrags ✭✭✭

    Am not too worried about the grassy finish as have done Halsted and that is a grassy uphill narrow lane just before mile 26 - it's a bridle path and last time it was v dry so very uneven and not nice on sore toes....

    Cal no glittery t-shirt here but sounds good! not in a club any more so just wear whatever feels right. Hope we can say hello! Manchester was weird for me in that I just randomly stuck with the pacer against any expectations. Past him in the last few hundred yards.

    Ideally I would have a go at 4h10 but not really sure my training has been up to that. I really enjoyed the space and atmosphere at Manchester so am looking forward to similar at Chester. :-)

    This year will be my 4th successive at Chester. A really good undulating course and definately PB possibilities. 3 hills as you have mentioned but only the 3rd one of any real note. A lot faster than Liverpool and once you are at the top of the last climb it is a really quick finish along the river and back into the racecourse. Can't wait for this year's event, fittest I've been in years and it's always a great marathon.
  • Gladrags - would be good. I definitely have a 4:15 in me if not better, provided that last hill doesn't kill my legs off. We could run together, at least for a while, if you wanted company. (I mentioned the lady in orange - the glitter was on her cheeks, though - because I spoke to her).
  •  not quite sure how this has happened (16 years after the first and only episode and after running fairly consistently over the summer) but I seem to have come down with shin splints...

    It's just my right shin and while I'm running it's not too bad, completely bearable, but afterwards am suffering. Am actually limping around when I get out of bed in the morning :(

    So I completely know that I should stop running, RICE and probably pull out of Chester - but I really really don't want to pull out.

    So am thinking about pulling right back on training and just focusing on enjoying the day at Chester. Maybe run with the 4h30 pacers this time instead?

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Sorry to hear of your shin-splints Gladrags. All the best as you decide how to manage the situation.
    Belated thanks to Ian, Neil and CSMLFC for your earlier info.. Sounds not too bad, although I don't fancy the race track in heavy conditions...for a finish.
    Sunday's marathon went reasonably well; only fading a little in the last two miles. Happy with 4:08, but it was a really flat course. Checked out 'all the moving bits' this morning in a 10km run. All seems good, I'm pleased to say. Now...ten days of 'training' before a two week taper! Never quite sure what to do with these short gaps between marathons, so I'll muddle through and hope to be ready for Chester. Happy running/resting everyone.
  • Oh no, Gladrags. Have you seen a physio? Might be worth doing so and/or getting a sports massage. We're not far out now so getting some rest won't do you any harm. I've had a couple of short holidays during tapers (with sightseeing walking but no running) and have PB'd afterwards.
    Got plenty of niggles myself but I'm managing them as best I can. I'm running a half on Sunday (and 5K Saturday, because I'm stupid) and will get a sports massage on the 24th. I did another 21 miler on Sunday which I was happy with - achilles didn't moan too much other than after a big hill. I'm more or less tapering now though I'll likely do a 17 or 18 next weekend (two weeks out). This is my most intensive marathon training yet, with three 50+ weeks, so I don't think a longer taper will hurt.
    MrM2, good result for you. The least I've had between maras is six weeks, which was this year between Manchester and Liverpool, where I managed to get shingles right between the two. Still managed to do Liverpool and only 4 minutes slower than Manchester, so that was a result.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Thanks CJ, couldn't resist a 10' outing this morning (just checking) along the seafront. Feeling good so upped the effort for the second half, and found 4' at mara.pace came easy. Legs still feeling heavy, otherwise all seems good. Closest marathons for me was a two weeks gap, which in some ways is easier to cope with than 4 weeks. (Times were identical in the two marathons!?) Might not get up to 20' next week but will probably go for 16/17 and possibly follow up with a 10' the next day. I do find that 26' over two consec. days is really helpful. What pace for your half?
    Hope that you are making good decisions and good progress, Gladrags. Trust you will make it to the start (and finish!) at Chester.  Happy running, and tapering, everybody.
  • Well I managed to bag myself a new half marathon PB by 14 seconds (1:56:47). I realised after 4 miles that I was just going to kill myself if I tried for 1:55 again, since it was quite warm, so I eased back a little and while I did slow down, I held it together long enough to get my new time. I'm quite happy with that.
    Now it's taper time!
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Congrats.; a PB with restrained running can't be bad! Roll on Chester.
  • Go Cal! Great stuff - haven't even come close to my half PB since I set it in 2003!! Sounds like Chester could be your marathon PB?

    I have been taping and stretching like crazy but shin definitely still very sore. Really want to run Chester (as it will be a long weekend at the in laws without a long Sunday run!) but have to say it is in the balance at the moment.

  •  Got the pack through yesterday - always gives me a buzz to see the number!

    Managed a 13 miler pain free on Monday so I'm a go for Chester. :)

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Great news! Now, if you're anything like me, resist the urge to go 'check it out again' especially if you have the sort of weather that we've got on the south coast today!
    Monday I ran 16.5' then a 10' on Tuesday. Happy to have got those miles done; now for the serious taper....although I could be tempted out for a very easy short one later today?
  • Glad to get the pack through as I'm going on holiday in the morning and doing Chester on my way home

  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Pack through here also, looking forward to it after running hull last weekend,just got a hamstring niggle I need to get rid of.Hope everyone's training has gone well.
  • My achilles has been a whiny little bitch since Richmond Half so I haven't done any significant runs since then. Had a massage last week which didn't seem to help but saw my physio yesterday and his ministrations were effective. Banged out a 6 today with 4 at MP and I was fine.
    Folks who have run Chester before - are there any noticeable downhills? (Just asking as it affects my choice of shoe, believe it or not). I know about the uphills.
    If anyone is interested, I'm 3436 (my number, not my vital statistics!)

    We did a little list in the Manchester thread with numbers and time targets on, the idea being you cut and paste the other numbers and add your own.

    Cal - 3436 - targetting 4:15.
  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    CJ  glad that you are sounding positive for Chester.
    Not many sleeps left now.
    Mr M2  3693  Hoping for sub 4:10.....there, I've said it! Trying to behave for another few days...?
    Happy tapering everyone.
    3473. definitely not my vital stats!!! :D
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    I ran Hull last week and got a new PB of 3:19 and was hoping to beat it at Chester but a hamstring niggle stopped me running much since then so I will see how it goes.I'm probably going to hurt the last few miles but 1714 and 3:15 will be given a crack.
    Cal - 3436 - targetting 4:15.
    Galdrags-3473-Time ?
    Mr M2  3693  Hoping for sub 4:10
    Ian-1714 hope for 3:15

  • MrM2MrM2 ✭✭✭
    Well done Ian5..You must be happy about the new PB. Going for an even better time in Chester seems ambitious, but hopefully you'll be recovered. All the best.
    Went out for four miles this morning, including three at mara.pace. All feeling good, but the test will be in three days time, and for longer than four miles! Happy.

  • Impressive stuff!
    erm- I will be disappointed with over 4h30 so I guess i’ll Stick 4h25 down as a target. Shins permitting 
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Mrm2-You are totally correct and it is ambitious and I could really pay for it toward the end but nothing to lose as I've improved my best by over 10 mins so really happy no matter what happens.
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