total chaos, headwind, uphill misery (about: 2011)|
C. M. from London, England (1/22/12)
4-5 previous marathons
| 1 RunLiverpool Marathon
As this was the first year of the course, I was prepared to tolerate imperfections. However, this race was a total disaster I feel robbed me of 6 months of my life! For starters, up until the week before the marathon, the organisers had failed to source sports drinks, which was absurd given the nearly £50 entrance fee. They did finally sort this out. However, race day was a misery. The start was an HOUR late, apparently because they forgot to secure part of the road. However, those of us waiting in the corrals freezing our butts off had no idea what was going on, as we stood there for an hour not being able to hear any announcements whatsoever. After preparing so meticulously for a race, this was totally unacceptable. I was freezing and had already left my kit bag, so had no access to food or clothes to keep me warm.
Once the race got going, things were OK. I was expecting a headwind out towards the bay, and was not disappointed. After 10 miles of drabness, headwind, and barely any spectators, we entered the Mersey Tunnel. After a mile long descent in the tunnel, the climb began, which was tough but manageable, if not a little dull. I was expecting this part of the race, and that was fine.
The highlight of the race was exiting the tunnel, where the bulk of the crowds were waiting and screaming. This gave me a slight lift. At which point I was expecting the course to level off a bit, but no! Up and up the course kept climbing, for about 5 straight miles, out towards Sefton Park. At this point, there had been none of the advertised toilets.
From here, the course wound around and around and around and around Sefton Park. I didn't manage to get out of Sefton Park. My nutrition plan for the morning having been shot by the late start, I felt ill and nearly collapsed. I sought medical attention, which did not arrive despite repeated calls to the medical tent and me slipping into a hypothermic state. I then had to walk, shivering, across muddy Sefton Park to the medi-tent, where I waited 3 hours to be driven to the finish.
Needless to say, I missed my train home.
I trained really hard for this race and was excited to run a small city race in the UK. This was an embarrassment to the nation.
One final note - the course organisers disingenuously spread the course profile over two pages on the website, making the incline out of the tunnel appear much shallower than it was. Had I known this when I signed up, I would have chosen a different race. At least be up front about how challenging a course is going to be.