In short: A long, lonely run close to Edinburgh...but not close enough to see anything! In full: This was my 2nd marathon after Paris last year, though I'd run the Shakespeare Half on the marathon route this year too. The race wasn't on a par with either of them, which was disappointing.
Pre-Race - The website was hard-to-navigate and confusing (I eventually found my entry details in the faq section!), with some misinformation. For instance, the numbers and chips were sent a week later than advertised, giving me the jitters somewhat.
Start - Starting points weren't particularly well signposted, and the start areas felt a little flat. The support at the start was virtually non-existent! Pens weren't marshalled at all, but there didn't seem to be many problems with people jumping pens. Plenty of toilets.
Course - The course had more inclines than I expected. It couldn't be classed as hilly, but there were a number of long shallow climbs and it certainly wasn't flat or downhill! Still plenty of PB potential though.
My biggest disappointment was that it wasn't an 'Edinburgh' marathon. It started on the very edge of the city and headed straight out. Not a landmark in sight! What a shame. This was more of a pleasant countryside run.
The lack of energy drinks amazed me...surely somebody would want to sponsor the race?! Only gels were provided, and as these tend to be a personal choice anyway, most people ended up carrying their own. Running out of water was criminal!
Only the last mile was well supported (in terms of numbers), though where there were sporadic supporters, their support was good. For long periods it felt like a lonely run! The Shakespeare Marathon was better supported in torrential rain and gale-force winds!
Marshalling/policing on the course was very good. No complaints there!
Post Race - Really, really poor goody bag! I'm not talking about freebies, but a tiny square of oat flapjack isn’t enough after a marathon!
The long, uphill walk to the buses was unacceptable. The organisers need to get the hostile locals on-side or change sites completely.
The comically phallic medal and T-Shirt were great, but I'd have preferred to do without if the above was sorted out.
In short: I did the half and felt sorry for the full marathon runners In full: I have run the full marathon here three times, relay once and also did the recent rock n roll half. The start time is nuts, ok weather unpredictable but it has been a hot day in recent years so wakey wakey organisers. The comment about Ryanair is funny and true but to do the course in town involves hills, the rock n roll was fun but hilly. No energy drinks on the half and just normal bottles instead of sports caps. Organisation is getting better though, just needs some professionalism adding. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: Poor organisation, its like they were embarrassed it was going on In full: There was a complete lack of water, especially given the hot conditions. Luckily a few locals came out and supplied water, sweets and hosepipe spray, without that it would've been even tougher. I was amazed by the lack of support from Edinburgh locals near the start. Perhaps I've been spoiled by doing London twice before but that is in an entirely different league to this as a race from a support, organisation and route point of view. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: Weather made it tough but really enjoyed my first marathon In full: As my first marathon i didnt realy know what to expect. Despite some negative comments from previous years i found the organisation and whole event fantastic.
As i mentioned the weather was very hot but there were ample water statins and the locals with encouragement and hosepipes made what could have been a real nightmare a wonderful day. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: After last years race what a massive improvement. Plenty of water and energy drinks. Maybe could have done with the energy drinks earlier. People on route deserve a pat on the back.. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: beautiful and gentle route but badly planned with double backing and lack of water stations in areas In full: I really enjoyed it as a first time runner but I felt the planned route wasn't very good when you had to double back on yourself. There could have been more water stations in some places, especially through the estate where there wasn't a sea breeze. The atmosphere was great with more support than i expected from spectators. Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: Emotionally charged first time marathon In full: Key points pretty much as everyone else has said: no sports drinks (bad) long walk to the bus (bad) phallic medal (???) 10am start (could be earlier)
crowd support (fantastic! thanks for the hosepipes) scenery brilliant stewards
It was my first marathon and the heat bothered me (but nothing could be done about that apart from perhaps an earlier start). The crowd support was amazing and it was such a boost to hear people calling my name. I really struggled miles 15-20 due to lack of crowds, but again, not much to be done about that! The stewards were fantastic (thanks to the lady who let me sob on her shoulder at the end!)
Will I do it again? Don't know. Will I ever do another marathon? Don't know.
I love Edinburgh and knew that the route wasn't much in Edinburgh, however it does remind me a little of a Ryanair flight... Date of review: May 30, 2012
In short: Excellent race - earlier start needed! In full: Probably just reiterating what others have said but really enjoyed Edinburgh as my first marathon with only one or two complaints.
The major problem is that the later start for the full marathon meant that we were running in pretty much midday heat. This would explain why over 35% of starters did not finsh - a very high dropout rate. Considering the hours and massive effort people put in for training for a marathon this is very disappointing. Obviously the organisers can't do anything about the weather but they can mitigate it by having a sensible start time and running the half marathon second or on the Saturday.
The other smaller problem was the distance from the finish to the buses - I really struggled to walk the mile or so uphill and if you've injured yourself a bit then it's even worse.
Overall had a great time - lovely views, lots of great support, friendly atmosphere and a super city! Date of review: May 30, 2012