In short: Baggage and return bus nightmare In full: The run was ok. Afterwards, my wife couldn't get her bag easily because the numbers were on the front of barriers three feet high, so no one could see where to get their bag from. Consequently this took ages, as did the walk up to the buses. The shuttle buses were supposed to run off at 12 and start again at 1, but at 11.45 it he buses were not picking up. There w only one member if staff from EMF. She did her best, but meanwhile the queue had swelled to hundreds. When we did get a bus, the driver got lost and then to add insult to injury missed the blindingly obvious turn into Zmarket a Street, despite another shuttle bus executing the same turn 10 yards in front of us. I've e-mailed to ask for a bus ticket refund but there has been no reply. I won't do Edinburgh again. Date of review: June 8, 2014
In short: Shocking Value, Shocking Organisation, pull the IAAF Bronze Label In full: Ok I had a great Half Marathon PB in not so great weather and the MacMillan team were fantastic as always (although lacking in photos/stories on the race itself online), the crowd were also great in poor weather conditions but unfortunately that was all - the rest was a shambles!!!
£30 was steep for a half marathon (usually pay £1 - £2 per mile) but as it is a local race the money was ok...
Next the finish line...at this point I was running a sub 6 min last mile and was flying until I got onto those dangerous rubber mats, ok the weather did not help but guys, maybe finish on the road or maybe some other type of ground cover?? Bloody dangerous!!!! Like Bambi on ice!!
Your timing system - it was reading as I crossed the finish line...1:23:36 so why my time was 1:24:08 is a mystery!
Showers - well where do I start!! I asked a marshall at the end of the race if there was any showers...he radiowed through and the response "there still getting built", I had no response to this! So many thousand runners and you aint even got a shower or place to change, jeezzz were runners not royalty, a hose and a tent will do!! I aint a prude at all but getting changed in front of families aint great!!
Baggage area - ok (unless its peeing of rain then ur bags gonna get soaked)!!
Now......you represent the IAAF and Scottish Athletics by having the Bronze Road Label status. You have clearly broken their rules and therefore should be stripped of this. I, like so many other runners, like stats, christ, we crave them, we dream about them so why on earth are you not publishing the final results?? We need these results for RunBritain, Power of 10 and also for family and friends to browse over whilst asking us "is that it"? :D It is us runners who leave comments and review your races, you clearly screwed up, show some balls and apologise, face us, answer our emails else you will regret it...
I have ran this race twice - that was my last! Ill go back to running in great, well organised races such as the Angus Half Marathon and also Loch Leven Half Marathon, you guys should get these guys in to organise your race because you lot could'nt organise a p**s up in a brewery!! Date of review: June 1, 2014
In short: Organisers must go out of their way to make it worse every year In full: Well this was the first time I have done the Half having done the full marathon in 2004, 06, 07. Having run a couple of the earlier incarnations of the route I do sympathise with the organisers decision to run most of the route rather uninspiringly in East Lothian but perhaps this should be made more clear to tourists. As an Edinburgh native I know what I am getting in this respect. Also I thought that the support on the route was as good as could be expected for a run at 8am in the pouring rain. I ran a PB so I guess it has potential there…if only they would release the results.
Now the negatives:
Entry fee much higher than e.g. London which is much better organised (i did both last year)
The start took ages.
There were apparently issues with water stations. I didn't take any although would have taken a Lucozade if there was any - don't like gels.
As I said the route is not that inspiring especially the last few miles. I know the city centre is not really suitable as very hilly but I'm sure if they put their thinking caps on and stumped up some of that entry fee to close the roads (the real reason it is in East Lothian) it could be better.
The matting at the end is stupid - why not alter the route only slightly and finish on the road?
I sprinted for the line to dip under 1:35 on the clock but my gun time was over 20s more. Lots of others complaining about similar. Clocks not in sync.
The finish area is a joke. It is set up to sell us haggis, beer, running equipment and various other things but is was very hard to find the baggage area.
The baggage area itself was very disorganised. Lots of over there, no beside that one, etc. I know it was the Scouts doing it but we did pay to enter so could have been better. In London they are holding out your bag as you approach. Fortunately mine was dry unlike the marathon runners and later finishers.
Having got bag it wasn't easy to see how to get out of finish area which I needed to do quickly so as to collect children so my wife could go to work.
The bag at the end was crap. No bananas available. Had to ask for it although I did get the correct Tshirt and size unlike later finishers.
I didn't use shuttle bus as had parked in Musselburgh near my Grandma's house. Seems a rip off for a crap service when the regular buses to Edinburgh run about once every 2 minutes (OK maybe 5 mins on a Sunday).
Results not posted in contravention of IAAF/SAF rules. I'm not THAT serious a runner but am a statto so enjoy all the runbritain/Po10 stuff and it is a disappointment that the results are not available. The fact that the photo site can be searched to find times makes this even more silly.
The organisers seem not to respond to negative feedback but have plenty of time to promote next year's races. I will not be doing any of them unless they have a serious change of heart and make some guarantees.
This is all a shame as Edinburgh is a wonderful city and it embarrasses me that people come here and experience such a shambles. Date of review: June 1, 2014
In short: if you want a big city race experience go elsewhere In full: I actually did the half having got injured at brighton and i am so relieved i did. Being honest the half was a poor relation to the full race with being ran in near deserted streets at 8am in the morning. The course was not flat as advertised and positively boring. If you think your run will be interesting with things to look at think again.. Edinburgh is a beautiful city with some famous landmarks and we saw nothing. The run out to musselborough would be fairly pleasant on a nice day but as for the out and back between 9 and 13, you are having a laugh it was the most soul destroying run in my entire life.. so the summary says it all, go somewhere else! Date of review: May 30, 2014
In short: Really disappointing experience In full: My first road marathon, and I agree with pretty much all the issues that people have raised so far. The main impression that I"m left with is that it was just dull. On the plus side the support from all the Macmillan crews out & about was fantastic, just what was needed, whereas many of the 'actual' marshals seemed uninterested and disengaged (some were fab though). Also frustrating that there was no cover for finishers who then had to wait around for friends/spouses.
In short: Organisation Issues that don't go away year after year. In full: First full marathon for me, but have taken part in the half previously. I quite like the route but it's not quite as pancake flat as you'll be led to believe and can be awkward for spectators to get around! Organisation issues are the main downfall. Mile markers are inaccurate, chaos at the finish line with poor signage, not enough toilets and unhelpful marshals. Bags with runners spare clothing were left on the muddy grass and in the rain to get soaked. Don't get me started on the shuttle busses... I skipped those this year in favour of the train but walked past the bus queues on the way to the station and it seems lessons have not been learned. This event is too expensive and the organisers too unreliable for me to reccommend this to anyone. Just go somewhere else for your marathon. Date of review: May 29, 2014
In short: Lots of flaws but enjoyed the overall experience In full: The positives: Once out of the city I enjoyed the varied, potential PB, route along the coast and the focal point of turning back after 18 miles to aim for. Just dont expect sightseeing like London. The crowds & charities were brilliant in truly awful weather and the medal & t-shirt were quality. The bad included shuttle bus walk & wait, near empty goody bag & the marshall type at the finish unpolitely telling me to move along (having just run 26 miles and being barely able to stand up.) Running out of t-shirts/goody bags is unforgivable at any price nevermind £50 per entry. Well worth a long weekend trip despite a few aspects being downright shoddy.
In short: Overpriced and poorly organised. In full: Awkward to have the finish line so far from the start. Took some shuttle over an hour and twenty minutes to get back to the centre of Edinburgh. Out and back section was narrow and soul destroying. I certainly wouldn't describe it as flat. The volunteers and crowds were great however the route didn't allow for any support in the middle miles. I definitely won't be going back next year. Date of review: May 28, 2014
In short: Disorganised, profiteering, unprofessional pack of cowboys In full: I did the hairy haggis marathon and it was an absolute disaster from start to finish
•Arrived at shuttle bus pick-up area and was directed to incorrect bus by smoking marshal.
•On the bus for 15 mins and everybody was asked to vacate the bus and transfer to another bus.
•Five buses left for relay change over point one and unfortunately the lead bus driver did not know where he was going. This meant all five buses stopped at a lay-by on the A1 and publicly argued and gesticulated with each other, while they tried to allocate blame. Also, as there was only room for four of the five buses in the parking area, this meant that one of the buses was stopped in the slow lane of the A1, much to annoyance of passing motorists and much to the endangerment of the relay runners.
•At relay change-over 2/3. Inadequate number of toilets and an open urinal (what were you thinking). I counted eight toilets in total (to serve 1500 runners plus spectators). The queues for the toilets were at least 50 deep and the state of the toilets were absolutely disgusting.
•The race itself, the Gosford leg, was quite pleasant.
•Once I finished my run, I made my way to the shuttle-bus bus stop, it took 1:45 for the buses to turn up, there was a queue of over 400 people. The buses eventually arrived after the local police got involved, comical. I have tried emailing GSi Events but to no avail, also they do not have any contact telephone numbers available on any of their websites (I suppose that should really set the alarms bells ringing !! )
I’m so frustrated that I am going to pay them a visit in person, their website lists the following address: GSi Events EICA:Ratho South Platt Hill Newbridge Edinburgh EH28 8AA
The current Managing Director is Neil Kilgour . If anybody knows Neil, can you please have a quiet word.
In conclusion, it is the worst race that I have ever run in, the organisation was shambolic, dangerous and unprofessional and I will never enter an event organised by GSI events again. They are a pack of profiteering cowboys that year on year show absolutely no respect for the runners (that pay huge amounts of money to enter their events). Shame on you.
I am also going to write a letter to the Scottish Athletics, the body responsible for issuing the permit for the Edinburgh Marathon (firstname.lastname@example.org). I suspect that if any representative from Scottish athletics were to enter one of these events, the permit would never be granted again. Watch this space.
Finally, if you look at the history of the reviews, the same issues are raised year on year, these guys really do not care, all feedback is ignored. Vote with your feet, don’t enter another GSi Event until there is some sort of public acknowledgement of the issues, and an assurance that they will be remedied.