Chester Marathon 2022 Results and Report

Report By: Chris Reece

Race Date: Sunday 2nd October 2022

 This was a return for me to Cheshire and North Wales (The course goes through parts of both), having competed in three Wirral and two North Wales Marathons in the 1980’s mainly in fancy dress as “Ma Rathon the Galloping Granny”. This was followed by a 26 year break from the distance when I moved to Sheffield and found more exciting races in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

My last marathon was in 2014, running 3:50:12 at the Isle of Wight, so I was unsure whether I would still be able to sneak below four hours. Due to a number of commitments during the summer, I was a bit low on distance training but had benefitted from running in our local hills and at the Sheffield and Eyam half marathons and a couple of fell races.

The start of the race was on Chester Race Course; (fortunately there were no hurdles). The facilities were well sign posted, with plenty of toilets and an efficient baggage system. We had been asked to carry our own water and gels etc. but this was not necessary since there were plenty of drinks stations throughout the route.  We had also been told that this was a flat course with high chances of running a PB. This was fairly true, but there were a few surprises in the second half.

We started on grass and then matting and speed bumps leading out to the tarmac beyond, cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd, as we headed uphill towards the historic city centre to be greeted by more supporters. From this point we progressed to B roads for a trip into Wales and a few Cheshire villages, meaning that there several sections where there was not a soul to be seen until you reached one of the village/hamlets where we were serenaded by everything from solo singers and folk groups to brass bands, and of course drink stations. However, there were two or three occasions when runners were returning on the other side of the road, coming towards you, so it was encouraging to see and be cheered on by other Striders and Hillsborough and Rivelin participants. Kate Waddicor was proudly wearing her England Veteran Masters vest, since the race included this championship. Other local teams included Totley, Sheffield RC, Rotherham and Kimberworth plus athletes from West and North Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

At around six miles, I was joined by Kev from Totley, who unlike me was wearing a smart watch and was able to keep us informed that we were regularly running  around 8:30 minute miles, which we both considered to be  far too fast, but managed to keep up for a few miles. Unfortunately Kev decided to drop back a bit at the half way mark so it was then down to keeping up with or overtaking other runners…Breaking four hours still looked achievable, but my pace got slower from about 18 miles. As my pace decreased noticeably I was overtaken by Tessa Bainbridge, who was looking in very good form, and several other runners, some of whom I would catch up later. It was slightly strange when we were joined at one point by participants in the Metric Marathon (26.2 k) on fresher legs.

At 20 miles you know that you only have a 10k race left, and a bit later, just a park run. The real bonus was reaching the Dee riverside and crowds of spectators before this eventually fed in to Castle Drive and the sight of the finish line, which urged a slight sprint finish and the knowledge that the clock had not reached four hours. The T-shirts were long sleeved and hooded and looked to be good quality and there were some huge medals for the Chester Triple, but the organisers had also given the option of being a Green Runner, with the cost of the goody bag being given to a local children’s hospice. A great idea.

The presentations for the top three male and female finishers were I believe taking place around this time but provisional personal results were sent to finishers within a minute of crossing the line. A really enjoyable and well organised race.

The first Strider to cross the line was Hannah Holliday, who dipped under 3 hours 30 in 14th place for her age group. I was extremely surprised to come second in mine and Kate Waddicor was third in her category. There are some advantages to being an older competitor. Please see full Striders’ details below. Since we all finished at different times and the race course was pretty crowded I was not aware of any team photos, but perhaps someone else has some pictures. I am hoping that Abigail Higginbottom was not hit by injury.

I am planning to run at least one more marathon, though I am undecided whether being taken on a country walk by the family after lunch was the best warm down. It probably was.

There were a total of 2360 finishers.

Chester Marathon results;
1st male   David Bishop – Derby Athletic Club -02.20.22- SM
1st Female – Sarah Webster – Northern (Isle of Man) AC – 02.44.29 FV40

Link to full results here.

Striders.   All times given are chip times

Name Pos. Cat Pos. Time Cat
Hannah Holliday 539 14 3:29:52 FV40
Tessa Bainbridge 931 33 3:51:07 FV40
Chris Reece 1039 2 3:56:45 MV70
Phil Mason 1291 36 4:11:11 MV60
Kate Waddicor 1478 3 4:23:13 FV65
James Storey 1838 191 4:41:44 MV45
Abigail Hickinbottom Started FV40

Kate Waddicor in England vest

Kate was second in the age group masters event in her V65 category!

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