Chester marathon 2017

Anyone got any good advice about this one on 8th Oct?  I ran Chester in 2013, so remember a fair amount but it's usually good to read bits and pieces about organisation, and the course etc

One specific question...  they've introduced the (sold-out) metric marathon since I last did the race - and those runners merge with the marathon at around the 18 mile mark.  By my calculations any marathoner running slower than approx 3.15 pace is going to reach the merge-point after metric marathon runners who are slower than them... and this would get worse such that I can image that people gunning for a 3:45 or  4 hour time could come up behind groups of charity metric-marathon runners - maybe making it difficult to weave through a bit - especially as the marathoner is getting tired.

It's a theoretical problem... has anyone seen this as a real problem in the last couple of years?


  • Done it the last 2 years and it's no problem whatsoever. If anything acts as a boost as you pick off slower metric runners. Nothing to worry about at all.

    Two significant hills. One around 21 ish I think and the other about 24 or 25. Fantastic course and support though. Hoping to do it again myself if I can wrangle the day off work!
  • thanks csm. Hope you get there.
  • Hi Northender
    I last did chester in 2014, which i think was the first year that they introduced the metric marathon. As CSM says it acted as a morale booster passing the slower metric runners and i agree nothing to worry about.
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  • my pleasure northender and the best of luck. Will you be running by heartrate?
  • No ralph.  I've a wrist HR monitor so will be able to see it, but it's very unlikely to influence my pace - mainly because I can't make sense of my HR vs pace...  I've posted some of my traces on here, and shown them my doctor...  and no one can make sense of them!   So I'll run to pace... but not yet quite sure precisely what that pace will be.

    I did Chester 2013 as my second marathon... and like my first, I did a small negative split  (1:53xx / 1:52xx) and have not done that in the six that have followed.  I'm not sure what I'm capable of this time... not so carefully trained... could be anything from 3:24(p.b. in my dreams) to 3:40(bit of a nightmare) I might go with the 3:30 pacer for a while and see how I'm feeling.  Are you marathoning this autumn?

  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    I'm in,glad to hear it won't be too busy at the meet point.
    Just done 3:34 at Lanacaster so hoping I recover in time to do it justice.
  • Good effort Ian... we might be on the same bit of tarmac (or cobbles/grass) in Chester.
  • Northender- are you under a cardiologist? I think i have seen some of your posts on the Hadd forum, is it you who's heartrate doesn't rise with increased exertion?
    Best of luck with your chester outing, probably best to start out conservative to halfway then slowly pick it up, as you have done a neg split before you obviously have good pace judgement.

    I'm doing Snowdon at end of october.
  • Northender - on the HR front, rather than the marathon, do you only ever use wrist HR? Or do you use a chest strap?
    Wrist HR is riddled with inaccuracies, depending on whether the watch is too loose, over-tight, whether you have hairy or dark arms, etc. Even a build up of sweat between a snug optical sensor and your wrist can cause problems, due to scattering.
  • Entered last night as a late entrant, will be my 3rd year running and the weather looks spot on again - dry and sunny. Noticed the course is slightly different this year though with less of a run around the race course from the start.
  • Thanks for that Matthew..  I do only use a wrist HR. I do recognise the faults you mention - but I've seen enough to be pretty sure it's genuine.

    CSM.. which weather forecast are you looking at?!!    Have you noticed any other changes to the course?

    Long way to go weatherwise but they look good conditions!

    The shorter run around the race course at the start is compensated for by running an extra block along Foregate Street before heading South to leave the city. Probably only half a mile or so. The route looks identical to previous years after that!
  • Cheers.  I'd looked at the bbc site's forecast which, at the time, looked terrible... but last night I did see their weatherman show a high pressure moving in after a stormy week. Fingers crossed.

  • Good luck chaps for tomorrow
  • Good luck with what Ralph? ;)
  • Oops, getting all my dates mixed up.... Blimey charlie. Even got my local race date incorrect! Good luck for next Sunday. :)
  • <span>Hi don't know if this is appropriate on here but I am signed up for the Leicester half marathon on 15th of this month and due to unforeseen circumstances an unable to attend now. I really didn't want my place to go unused as I wasn't sure if people are unable to book places anymore so if anyone was interested in running the Leicester half marathon or knows anyone who wanted to get a place on it can let me know so i can pass on my place to someone else. Thank you. </span>
    Another great marathon and faultless organisation from all involved. Brilliant facilities and another spot on route with good support in pockets and some small undulating hills.

    Unfortunately the day was dampened by witnessing another runner fall and have some sort of cardiac problems at mile 25.5 of the marathon. Marshalls were with him in seconds but really upset to read that he passed away. Always puts things into perspective :-(
  • oh dear, that is so sad to hear. My heart goes out to his loved ones. :'(
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Yes I seen him being attended to,sad news indeed this morning.
    Other than that I thought it was a good race,not to keen on the end around the course but really nice route.I'd heard about sandy lane and just before it we had quite a sharp down and uphill and thought that was it  :( I was wrong...
    Anyway I signed up yesterday for next year,don't normally sign up so far in advance but with free transfers up to the day nothing to lose really.
  • 49yr old father of three.  Terrible news.

    Apart from that overwhelming downer, the day was good. The mini marathon was really great.  But I am not at all enamoured by the metric marathon joining in with the marathoners for the last 8 miles.  Eighteen miles into the race, I'd built up a rhythm - you sort of recognise where you are, the people around you... and suddenly it's like Piccadilly Circus... you're passing runners, you're being passed, you don't recognise people.  Of course that shouldn't really matter. But for me, it's a definite black mark against what is otherwise an excellent event (I loved the finish on the race track by the way, Ian!)
  • Very sad. How did you get on time wise? Not that it really matters after such a tragedy.
  • Ian5Ian5 ✭✭✭
    Northender-Just shows how people see races differently,I enjoyed the bit where we met with the metrics,felt like the race started again,but it also made me speed up a bit and I think that cost me some time.finished in 3:31:21,was hoping to sneak under 3:30 but another 3 min PB.
  • On the bright side, it was a 9 minute course record!   But I fell away pretty badly, losing 7 minutes over the last 7 miles for 3:37.  It's my 3rd fastest marathon, but I broke 3:30 in the previous two, so all a bit underwhelming... mainly because I didn't see such a bad fade coming.  How about others on the thread?
    Agreed with ian5. I also enjoyed the point from where the 2 races met. Change of scenery in the people around you and also the chance to see some familiar faces.

    It took me 3 miles to work out what time to go for with nothing more than 12 miles ran in one hit over the last 5 weeks and Snowdon on the agenda. Was comfortable at 7.45's so stuck right at it for an even split and a time of 3.23.

    Another enjoyable Chester marathon. The light rain was welcome towards the end although was pretty cold at the finish. The grass underfoot was heavy going once on the racecourse too!

    Hovered over discounted entry yesterday but might give York a go next year I think.
  • Fair enough you two.  Maybe it's just my psyche is different... although CSMLFC (in particular) probably had a quite different experience...  arriving at that merger point 8 minutes before me. That means that any metric marathoner on that stretch just after the merge point must have run at 8:30/8:45 pace so probably not TOO numerous and mostly covering the ground quite quickly.

    8 minutes makes a really big difference...  I would have come across metric marathoners running at 9 and 10 minute paces... so much more numerous, on a narrow part of the course.  Hence Piccadilly Circus... and needing to weave a bit to get through people, at a time I was tired.
  • Hi all! 

    If anyone’s interested I have Chester Half Marathon 2018 place I can’t use (fractured my back, no running for 12months ?!).
    Going for £25. PM if interested.

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