In short: My first race. Didn't disappoint - will definitely be back next year. In full: Didn't realise quite so much of it would be on the racecourse but it did help early on with findng space to run. Fantastic support, especially on the little uphill bit at Castle Street. Seemed pretty well organised although I have nothing to compare it with. The aerobic excercise at the start was much less than 20 minutes, but suited me as I couldn't see what I was supposed to be doing anyway! Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: I did it as a relay as i did last year and was not dissapointed. RWeather ea bit of a bummer and toilets attricious and disgusting but di enjoy myself and my 5.5 miles! Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: Very enjoyable In full: First time visit to this race. All the volunteers and staff very friendly. Pleasant route through the Essex countryside.A bit confusing finding the start line like some others have said.Couldn't we start from the track where the PA system was? Probably need to look at exit from car park, and more staff to help in the luggage store for next time. But generally a lovely day and a PB. Would be pleased to come back. Thank you to all those involved in organising. Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: First Half Marathon and thoroughly enjoyed it In full: This was my first half marathon and I really enjoyed it, There wasn't enough loos but a quick dash outside behind the bushes sorted that out! The early water stations were a bit undermanned so I skipped the first 2. Loved the country views and farm tracks pity there wasn't more of them. The scenery was very interesting so there was plenty to keep my mind occupied. And loved finishing on a 400 metre track very springy! Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: Overall OK In full: The route through the fields was really bad potholes uneven surfaces,& contributed to my partner & brother-in- law's hayfever. There were no water stations accross the fields.The race lacked support of the community, considering so many people ran where were their family & friends? The finish was much better than the start ending on the race course. I felt disappointed as the Southend 10K races are well organised and supported. Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: Generally OK In full: The route was fine & adequately marshalled/watered. Could do with some better organisation at the start (I didn't even realise that Dave Bedford was the starter). Much thought does need to be given to the car parking facilities. There was adequate space, but one exit onto a route heading for the seafront was inadequate. Some marshalling as people left would also have helped; I moved 2 yards in 45 mins, then walked to the front to see what the problem was, realised that going around the perimeter would be quicker & got out in 5 mins. Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: A young race, still trying to find its feet. Sorting out a few details would make things easier for everyone. In full: Given that it is only three years old, the Edinburgh Marathon is growing to be very big very quickly - and it shows. The organisers quite rightly want to make it a world-class race, as befits a capital city, but while scenic, Edinburgh is very hilly. Having moved up here from 'down South' in the past few years I've tried enough long-distance training runs to confirm that unless the race moves away from the city centre entirely (and who would want that?) there will always be an uphill finish - it's just the topography - and moving the bulk of the distance out to the flat coastal roads is much the most sensible way to proceed to make the course faster.
I would also agree with many of the other comments that Holyrood Park is not the most accessible place to get to from the city centre at 8am on a Sunday. While it looks spectacular the available space for the start/finish facilities and the expo is much less than one would imagine, due to the fact that the whole area is a scheduled ancient monument.
Many other events in Edinburgh, including the Fringe Festival and the Great Caledonian Run, use the Meadows - which is not only more central, but has more useable space. Organisers should consider this for future years.
A couple of big name sponsors to reduce the entry fee would give a much better sense of value for money, but there are a number of things that could be changed for little or no cost:
1) Registration/Expo. Many people travelling from outside Edinburgh will come expecting to stock up on last minute items such as gels, bars, sunglasses, etc. - but these were not available at the venue. Edinburgh's largest running shop was not represented, but did have a stand at the Dunfermline Half only two weeks before. A bit more planning would help here.
2) The start. The layout needs work, more toilets for sure, but also segregation of spectators and larger start pens with controlled entry by bib number/colour (as in London) would remove some of the panic for nil cost. Kit bags need to be large enough to hold enough clothes, including a jacket and a towel for inclement weather and changing areas need to be better controlled. There were certainly female partners in the male changing space, and a couple of friends reported husbands/boyfriends in the female area too. Lots of people will feel uncomfortable about this.
3) The race. No serious concerns about the route, but mats on the Old Town/Leith cobbles would have helped and some paths must be quite narrow when the 3.45-4.30 crowd pass through. As with any city a race of this length has to pass through some of the less attractive quarters (e.g. the development zone in Granton) but should not have to run over unmetalled paths or in one case, cut across the grass while spectators stand on very nice smooth tarmac (Ocean Terminal).
Providing water and energy drinks at separate stations would make it easier for runners to plan and ease congestion also. Several people around me couldn't get to the energy drinks the first time they were offered.
Mile markers were also too small and easily missed, like everyone else, I didn't see Mile 22...
4) The finish. Thinking about what runners need, and in what order, would help a great deal. My suggestion would be water first, then medals, then chip removal, photos, bananas and bag collection. Handing out the medals in tiny bags that people have to open with trembling hands before they can be photographed slowed the queues down enormously. Foil blankets seemed to be only offered on request also, and the heavens opened a few minutes after I came in, so they were definitely required.
All in all a good race, but a lot to learn. And yes, the marshall on the bike HAS to go... Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: I totally disagree with Mr Mather’s jaundice comments In full: As a runner of many years experience, I feel compelled to counter the totally inappropriate remarks made by Mr Mather. I also ran in the Southend half marathon on Sunday and cannot concur with any of his malicious comments. There were a few problems caused by the popularity of this event but none of them stopped the vast majority enjoying the run.
It is obvious that Mr Mather is only a fun runner and as such should have enjoyed the day and the flat, fast course. Which was well defined and well marshalled. I will certainly be entering next year and feel sure the race will go from strength to strength, Thus perpetuating the memory of Jim Peters from whom the race takes its name.
In short: Great fast and scenic course In full: I have to say I find some of the criticism of this race puzzling. This was the first time I've run this race and it is definately a fast course - certainly better than the Norwich half. The organisation was fine, I would suggest that if there were people running the wrong way at the start they should be locked up for their own health. If you turn up to a race 45mins before the start do you really expect to get parked, changed, ready, warmed up and put your bag away before the race starts? if so don't blame anyone but yourself if you miss the start - there seemed to be plenty of people who had managed to get there on time. There were loads of water stations (it's only a half marathon how much water do you need?) and the marshalls were excellent. As a front runner I was pleased that for quite a low profile event there was a good competitive race and I was pulled round to one of my quickest times. Date of review: June 15, 2005
In short: Edinburgh is a great city. I had a fantastic time doing my first marathon/ race. In full: I specifically chose Edinburgh as i love the place. I have always wanted to do a marathon so thought i would combine a trip away with this. Neither the Marathon or Edinburgh let me down. My Wife enjoyed spectating as well and may join me in running this next year. Pre race the toilets were indeed very busy. Date of review: June 15, 2005