Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
3.9
(7 Ratings)(7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.9
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
3.9
SWAG
3.3
The Manchester City Marathon is a moderately challenging Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a scenic trip through the historic mill district of the Granite State’s largest city. Runners in the full and half marathon will enjoy a run that includes fabulous views of the Queen City, surrounding areas, and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Legs333 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The Expo was small, in a nice running store. The parking was tight, but people did not stay long and spaces seemed to open up just in time. The weather … MORE

    The Expo was small, in a nice running store. The parking was tight, but people did not stay long and spaces seemed to open up just in time. The weather was predicted to be really cold, but felt better than the temperature would indicate. I was comfortable in shorts, long socks, long sleeves, hat and gloves. The porta-potties had long lines (including some spectators) and were far enough away from the start, that it was difficult to hear any information from the race director. It also started about two minutes early which left quite a few people late to the starting line. The hills were plentiful, but only one around the two mile mark was a bit steep with a slightly uncontrolled descent. The scenery, especially on the trail portion along the river, was gorgeous although some portions were a bit wet and slippery. I was wearing relatively smooth racing shoes; if you wear shoes with better grips everything would be fine. Going by the finish line two times before actually getting to stop could be disconcerting for people struggling to complete the distance however, it also allowed for spectators the ability to cheer three times without having to go far. Overall, there is nothing to worry about. Go run this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    HammerinHank FIRST-TIMER '19

    A well-organized and friendly race 1-hour from Boston. Be prepared for chilly weather and colorful fall foliage. Race day bib pick up was a plus for me. Some runners complained … MORE

    A well-organized and friendly race 1-hour from Boston. Be prepared for chilly weather and colorful fall foliage. Race day bib pick up was a plus for me. Some runners complained about the hills. I found them moderate and only in the first half of the course. Great race medal, but no post-race food. Passing the finish at mile 25 is torture. I’m signed up again for next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '19

    It's been awhile since I've run a fall marathon with fall foliage--I'd forgotten how much I enjoy seeing it. This year (2019) was quite chilly, but that only added to … MORE

    It’s been awhile since I’ve run a fall marathon with fall foliage–I’d forgotten how much I enjoy seeing it.

    This year (2019) was quite chilly, but that only added to the “fall-ness” of the race. I found the course to be hilly–and somehow, it always seemed to be uphill, never downhill. You pass by the finish line multiple times, which is especially cruel when it happens around mile 25.

    This is a small race (less than 400 full marathoners), but they really take care of their runners. Special callout to race director John Mortimer. He personally made me feel welcomed and supported during the race. As a back of the pack-er, this is huge! This race also redefines “sweeper” in a way that I just love! Here, the sweeper is someone to avoid or stay in front of. Here, the sweeper stays with whomever is in the last position on the course (so this can change over 26.2 miles). The sweeper doesn’t threaten (“you’ll be taken off the course”), doesn’t say unhelpful things (“run faster”), but instead is there to encourage and to say “you will be allowed to finish no matter how much time it takes. I’m here to make sure you don’t get lost and that you have everything you need.” For several miles I was the last person and I am truly grateful for Esther who kept it real and kept me entertained.

    Swag includes a long sleeve technical shirt (okay) and a big medal (nice). The hotel was mere steps from the start and finish line.

    For 50-staters or anyone looking for a nice, small, fall New England race, I would definitely recommend this marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    richardowein REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a very hilly marathon and not the option to choose to get a PR or BQ, but if you love a good challenge, you will enjoy this race. … MORE

    This is a very hilly marathon and not the option to choose to get a PR or BQ, but if you love a good challenge, you will enjoy this race. The course is very scenic with long stretches along and across the Merrimack River. The course mixes in a large amount of trail running (that was gorgeous at this time of year). The course has changed slightly (mostly at the end) since 2014 when I last ran it. This change is for the better and allowed my son to see me run by the Elm St portion of the course multiple times which gave me a boost. Very well organized and the citizens of Manchester took pride in the event. This is a marathon to run if you love a great course and are not obsessed with getting your BQ.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
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    Shearwoman FIRST-TIMER '17

    I ran the marathon relay, so I can only speak to my portion of the race, which was primarily on the rail trail from Goffstown. It was a fun race, … MORE

    I ran the marathon relay, so I can only speak to my portion of the race, which was primarily on the rail trail from Goffstown. It was a fun race, great energy, wonderful support stations and volunteers. Great swag and afterparty. Loved it!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    pgillis REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Since Millenium Running took over and re-designed the course, this has become a much more runnable race and much fairer in terms of being able to PR, which I did … MORE

    Since Millenium Running took over and re-designed the course, this has become a much more runnable race and much fairer in terms of being able to PR, which I did by 8 minutes last fall. Starting downtown, which admittedly isn’t the most scenic place, the race gets out of the main part of the city and onto the bikepath along the river, before heading back downtown and onto a nice tour around the city’s recreational trails and hilly streets. For spectators it is nice because the runners pass through the downtown area a few times along the way. Perhaps the nicest addition is the 5-6 mile portion near the end along the newly renovated Goffstown rail trail which is virtually flat and is a welcome relief after running some pretty hilly portions up to that point. The race got a bad rap for years because it was very difficult and too hilly but they recently amended the course and it made it faster. Some pretty fast runners have recently pr’d here and if you give it a shot, it’d be a nice way to check off New Hampshire on your 50 state list.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    bibster FIRST-TIMER '16

    No expo beforehand but it was an easy no-frills way to pick up your bib and shirt at Millennium's store quickly. I think Millennium Running tried their best to put … MORE

    No expo beforehand but it was an easy no-frills way to pick up your bib and shirt at Millennium’s store quickly.

    I think Millennium Running tried their best to put on a good experience for the runners. There was a Marathon, a Half Marathon, a Relay Marathon and a 5K all on the same day. The sponsor tent area was good and Veteran’s Park made a good athletes village. But there were only 584 runners in the marathon, with maybe a matching amount of half marathoners. When the half peeled off you could really feel the difference. I wasn’t a fan of the relay going on at the same time. It was discouraging to see the fresher runners on the same course – it was the first race I’ve seen that with that format.

    The first half was pretty brutal – really hilly and mainly uphill. The 2nd half wasn’t as bad but the Goffstown Trail was a gradual uphill for 2 miles before looping around the women’s prison and coming back. The hills and trail had you pretty beat up by then but looking into the yard at the women’s prison you realize it could be worse. It was a lot of runners to put on a fairly narrow stone-dust trail be careful of the roots and rocks. I saw a couple face plants. Besides for that loop, you actually had to pass the finish line on Elm Street and run a loop across Bridge Street (2 miles) before coming back to the finish. So discouraging to see the finish and then find out you had 2 more miles to go.

    Water stops were good – Powerade at every station with Gu’s at two of them. Volunteers were very nice. More spectators along the course than I would have thought. Overall, I hated the course and other runners I talked with on the road were not fans either. Shirt was very nice! Parking was plentiful and close to the starting line.

    This could be a nice race if a friendlier course can be mapped out. To be clear, I thought the course was terrible but everything else about it was good.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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  1. Races
  2. Manchester City Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay & 5K