In short: Southend but no sea In full: A strange experience. Firstly the positives: David Bedford starting us off; friendly marshalls; good drink stations; plenty of sponges; quick results; lots of space in the car park; finish on a running track. Secondly the negatives: the baggage storage - I gave up and left my stuff in the car, but this meant running clutching my car keys; no predicted finishing times at the start so the first mile or so was spent finding the right pace; too much of the race was in competition with cars and at times was dangerous. I've run plenty of half marathons before and mainly 'undulating' ones but I found this very flat one tough going. The section across the small road/farm track into a head wind was challenging and the last section up the long hill was a test of will-power. Overall a positive experience, even though I got a personal worst, but it taught me not to eat a strong curry the night before a race. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: could have been better organised toilets were a joke many runners including myself used the bushes at the start In full: scenery was great course was not as hard for my first marathon water stations few and far between chaotic at the end with the medal hand outs and goody bags- Expo was dissapointing Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Huge Let Down! In full: Organisation was pathetic. Why they didnt just send the numbers out I don't know. Very small changing facilities, about 10 toilets in total start was a shambles. Very expensive to enter.
They was practically no crowd, apart from one mad woman on a bike with a sign who kept appearing every 5 miles, freak!
Course was ok for the first 3 miles then it was running through a path next to a river, along the promenade doubling back on yourself all the time which I hate, then suddenly appearing at the finish. Only about 2 water stations in the first 8 miles.
This is no race to do if you miss out on London, very depressing, im suprised I didnt drop out due to sheer boredom.
In short: Managed a PB conditions good, would like to see more water stations could be difficult near the end of the race if the weather was much hotter. At the end baggage handling and changing facilities could be improved. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: good fast course In full: the expo was a little poor on saturday not many stands. the chip and number could have been sent out in the post and would have saved a 0230hrs start on saturday for my flight. good clear markers, great course, friendly marshalls, public supportive. the end was a bit of a shambles. stood around in rain to collect medal/t-shirt/ banana/ drink. tent for collection of bags too close to end and not enough room to get past the tabels quickly. some people then began getting changed in this area which made it worse. the exit from the bag collection was the packed with relatives. no room to get past and had to fight my way to changing tent. the start/ expo is not on a bus route. from the town centre a good 1.5miles and on way back all up hill. no near train/ underground stations. the day before the race not good especially as most hotels don't let you book in until 1300-1400. how about a shuttle bus from main rail station to start/ expo and back to assit next year??? Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Great - although I agree with the lack of loos!! In full: Prettier than I expected save for the trip around the shopping centre and industrial estate near the end - and the run through people's front gardens! I know the guy with the hose meant well but we'd all just been soaked at least twice!! Bit dissapointed with the expo but not really got anything to compare it to. Enjoyed the first 3 miles in terms of running around 'touristy' Edinburgh - Princes St etc. and hearing the bagpipes - maybe something like that would have helped at mile 22 onwards?? All in all, considering I didn't even know Edinburgh had a marathon until I didn't get accepted to London, I would def do it again but maybe a bit more for the money would be good - I don't think I'm alone in that one either!! Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Good once the race started! In full: Very expensive and had to buy the magazine as well! Professes to want to be a big marathon - it has a long way to go, but can learn. Not enough toilets and amazingly the mile markers were a long way out at 23 and 25. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Great course, poor expo and only a small changing bag considering the rain! In full: Overall a top race in a top city. Sadly the expo was poorly supported by running gear outlets. I'd travelled up by plane and intended to pick up my energy stuff there. Had to go to a shop in Dalry St. Also no seats in the changing tent and it was raining heavily. shame they dont use Meadowbank stadium anymore, it was a fantastic venue in the past. Still a great race just needs a little attention to the runners comfort! Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Really enjoyed this 1st attempt at a half; slow time of 2h10; but who cares? The hill was nowhere near as bad as the one of Trowse 10K, just no time to recover to look good for the finish!! Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Much better course than previously, but disappointing support - long stretches with no-one there. In full: Wasn't the course long? My GPS measured it at 26.57 miles, and it has never been wrong before. Some very long miles in the high teens and twenties, going by the mile markers. And why can I not get my chip result on the website? Are the organisers in league with The Scotsman to ensure that I buy the Evening News just to confirm my official time? Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: enjoyable Trail race In full: This was my first trail race, and I really enjoyed it - a few hills, but nothing too serious. Could do with more Km markers - a bit sparse. Nice downhill bit to finish on was appreciated. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Enjoyable 1st marathon In full: Main quibble was a lack of loos at the start but luckily there were plenty of bushes along the course itself! Took in some of Edinburgh's famous scenery and several miles of coastline. Long stretches through dull industrial estates with no crowd support were a drag though. Race is reputed to be hilly but found it reasonably flat. Supporters were patchy, perhaps due to drizzly weather on the day. My first marathon, so nothing to compare it with, but would probably do it again. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Comment from the organisers In full: As part of the organising committee I feel I must reply to Mr Mathers comments on our race. It should be noted that the writer of the comments was in the past loosely associated with the organisation.The tone of the criticisms reveal not just a little sour grapes. Mr. Mather will have his own reasons for such an unwarranted attack of an event which has received a considerable number of congratulatory emails and telephone calls. Never the less it is as well to address the issues as mentioned. In doing so it would be appreciated, that this was by far the biggest number entertained by the Southend Half Marathon with over 50% more runners than in previous years. I was at the start and there was no evidence of any confusion amongst the runners who all started together, we did have about half a dozen who followed on and they were directed by me and noone went the wrong way. We have to start the race on time as we have road closures by Police and they close the road for a 10 oclock start. The baggage store was something we offered this year and we need to look at this for next year. I have been to half marathon races where we just put our belonging on the floor and hope that they are there on our return. Maybe Mr. Mather records the Brentwood Half Marathon. As for the drink station, there were 6 drink stops and the only one that had a problem was the one at the four mile mark this is a lot more than other half marathons provide. As for the facilities the centre has many toilets downstairs and up as well as showers. Maybe if noone went in them they won't be like a sauna..... what does Mr Mather want. With regards to the car parking congestion, this is inevitable when you have over 1500 people trying to get out at the same time. I agree that this year has been overwhelming and that it was not all as perfect as we wanted it to be but I do feel that Mr. Mathers criticisms were unwarranted and has obviously given him pleasure in running the event down especially his last comment when he says whoever is responsible for the organisation of this event needs shooting. Grow up Godfrey. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: More or less - What's it going to be? In full: Organisation at the expo is just not what you'd expect for £39. The kit bag is the thing that really got me - I checked the weather forecast and brought a dry set of clothes for the finish - it needs top be at least twice as big. Difficult to find your in - especially in the pouring rain (but that's not the fault of the race)Cramped, not enough toilets, poor race start - the marshalls seemed overwhelmed - mile makers practically impossible to spot until out over 5 miles, poor marker spacing later on - mile 22 no way, it was three quarters, I can't run that fast!!! Organisation at end was the worst I've ever seen I nearly didn't get a medal and had to double back for it. The park was huge and it would have been easy to have made things flow just a little more easily with just a few yards between the bottlenecks. My heart went out to the poor girl removing the chip tags - I bet her legs feel worse than mine today. Goody bag was appalling - its not just Edinburgh but I need to eat something at the end of a marathon so where will I find a microwave?? And what should we do with the sugar??!! Nice medal though.
There seems to be a total lack of a decent results service unless you live in Edinburgh. Even the little running clubs can deliver an online result - and they don't have chiptags.
However, I loved the course a chance see some sights and enjoy some wonderful countryside. Even enjoyed the run in park. There was a good challenge with the hills so you had to work for things. It wasn't easy.
Overall, a great run but a bad user experience Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: Excellent daybut steep entry fee In full: How can people complain about lack of support? I thought there was plenty. I have run more "rural" marathons where there was no support for miles on end, Edinburgh had plenty of people out and about - probably would have been more but for the weather. The route was pleasant in the main with the exception of the cobbles in the later stages - would mats have helped? I enjoyed the wooded cycle path and coastal parts. Drinks stations seemed OK too. I agree there did seem to be some mile markers missing - a few people I spoke to never saw 22 & 23 - had some "jokers" pinched them? The expo was poor - maybe as the race grows in size more companies will be interested and exhibit/offer some sponsorship. Where were the big names? Thanks to all volunteers for a great day though - I'd do it again. Date of review: June 13, 2005
In short: First Marathon - Quick Time but lacked Supporters In full: The drinks stations I thought were well spaced and the start was good, but some mile markers were unclear and the route left a lot to be desired (cycle paths and cobbles?!). All in all it was enjoyable but not special. Date of review: June 13, 2005