In March 2020 after competing in the Chester 10k I returned home and entered the Chester Metric Marathon for October that year and booked accommodation for a weekend away in Chester. It was not until October 2021 that I was able to return to Chester to run in the Metric Marathon.
The metric marathon is run on the same day as the Chester Marathon and is billed as a stepping stone for those considering running the full marathon distance. For me it was the chance to run a distance I had never run before. The marathon is the bigger event of the two with around 1,750 lining up with a further 750 in the metric marathon. Both races started at Chester Racecourse and finished in Grovesnor Park. The marathon started at 9 am but it was until 10.15 that I was underway. The morning started brightly but showers developed before 10 am so the metric marathoners got a bit of a soaking before we started.
The course does a loop round Chester centre before heading south roughly following the Dee valley and is an out and back course covering the last 8 miles of the marathon which does a loop to the south of Chester. There was a headwind on the outward section which was on flatish country roads. At about 9 miles for me but 19 miles for those doing the marathon the courses merged and we all ran the same 7 miles back to the finish. We now had a tailwind but it is worth remembering that the only hill of any note comes in the final mile. I think it was an advantage joining the marathon competitors running at around 3 hr 30 min pace for the final half of the run as I found they were going slightly quicker than me so I had an incentive to keep my pace up.
I had one of my better runs in terms of even pacing, the first kilometre was my slowest according to Strava and I finished in 2hrs 16 mins and 16 sec and was 139th out of 740 finishers. The race was well organised with plenty of marshalls and loads of loos at the start – no queues at all. All finishers received a long sleeved t shirt, medal and a packed goody bag