In short: Yes it is the marathon distance but, no, it is certainly not 26.2 miles of "a spectacularly scenic route", unless you are partial to running round grim housing estates In full: If the organisers are really serious about making this one of Scotland’s premier sporting events, why can't they take a leaf out of the book of the Great Manchester Run, which has been going for a similar amount of time, but is far more professionally run? Basic provisions such as changing and loo facilities, for example, were found badly wanting. The results service was also appalling, fuelling the parochial feel (unless one lives in Edinburgh or knows somebody who does and can buy the local paper, you can forget about getting your official time until over 48 hours have passed). Rather than aiming to "provide Scotland’s capital with an annual athletics event of the same calibre as the host of international festivals that the city is so famous for", they'd be more honest in billing it as an "unusual" event. Overall, it seemed altogether more like a village fayre.
In short: Beautiful scenery in parts! Love the medal and Ladies' Reebok T-shirt! Could have planned pace better with more accurate course profile and map. Did anyone check it?? Energy drinks would be more useful at Expo than magnets and titanium! Very bizarre! Date of review: June 14, 2005
In short: My second Edinburgh experience and course changes were all for the better. A faster time than previously and a great day. More toilets at start line would have been helpful! Date of review: June 14, 2005
In short: Where were the toliets? In full: This is the third time I've ran this marathon and the fastest. However the organisation was poor. It looekd like 8 loos for how many runners?? I actually missed teh start as I was still queueing! I did quite enjoy the race itself, shame no Arthur's Seat but the roads are pretty narrow. The cycle pasths themselves were showing signs of overcrowding as well, my pace dropped noticeably at this point. The contra-flow idea is psychologivally dis-heartening and there were tow of these to handle! The weather would have dampened the specators enthusiasm, the least 2 years were much better. Had to agree about the changing facilities being poor, why were there females and non-runners in the male changing tent?? Ladies, this is not on! To sum up: good race despite the efforts of the organisers. Date of review: June 14, 2005
In short: Terrible, Terrible In full: Really badly organised from start to finish. I waited around for over ten minutes at the start and then couldn't get going for tripping over spectators!. Why were they with the runners?. The state of the roads for the first three miles were appaling, so many holes and un-even tarmac, accident waiting to happen. The atmosaphere amongst the runners was just terrible. You could have heard a pin drop. I even heard one girl tell a lady who was cheering to shut up and stop being patronising. As for support, it was sparce to say the least. A very lonely, depressing run. why were these relay runners there?. At 18 miles plus the last thing you wanted to see is a fresh sprinter! As for the goody bag, microwave Pasta and a bag of sugar?. Tell me where was the microwave?. How about a banana or sports bar?. I even had to go back and ask for my medal. Organisers need to get their act together and think again before charging so much for such a poorly organised event. Date of review: June 14, 2005
In short: Enjoyable yet gruelling run- happy I finished In full: I've read through most of the fascinating comments, and agree with most. No real transport connections the early 1.5 mile walk for me in the rain was off putting- especially as the kit bag was just big enough to only hold trousers and shoes and that a towel or change of clothes was simply too much to hold (so left towel behind!)The Nike 10K run in London accepted small bags/holdels, why not here? They were not transported at all just sorted out. Had to flag a taxi going back. The greeting image of hundreds in a queue so close to race start daunting, I agree there seemed ludicrously too few toilet facilities. The mens changing rooms were packed, and the pungent smell of travasin etc., quite overwhelming- again no benches, so we were expected to change on wet grass in a tent, balancing on socks and shoes, its not really a great start is it? Changing facilities?(where were they) I counted 3 or 4 chairs. The race start was good, not so crowded and, yes the scenic beginning was amazing, glancing up at the castle, etc., Princes street, Scotts memorial, Hume’s tomb on the horizon. Did not like running anxiously on the wet and slippery cobbled streets, am sure running on these resulted or caused my injuries. The cycle path I found enjoyable, but was eagerly awaiting the sight of the sea. The coastal run was magnificent- however, I did not like the doubling up aspect of seeing runners winding so far ahead to an invisible point and then seeing those already on the return part. Found this pyschologically irritating. Its true, as many suggested, some of the mile markers were missing. I too noticed that enthusiastic cycling official reappearing, lol. The watering points seemed to me to be plentiful, I did miss the first aid promise- and towards the last stretch was ideally anticipating some helpful massage and ice packs for severe calf pain- instead had to administer water and massage myself. I must have stopped 3 or 4 times in pain but no medical officials around. Feel sorry for the chap here who pulled out after 19 miles waiting for attention. Despite the invitation to fill out on the reverse side of your number emergency details where were they, I guess the Scottish equivalent of St. John's Ambulance men and women? few and far between.
Towards the end of the coastal section I got caught in the downpour with a bitter wind- it was sheer hell. No toilet facilities here at all for runners and had to pee up against a sea wall. I too noticed the shower set up in some chaps front garden, and noted with bemused irony the fact that I was still soaking wet as I passed it.....still on a hot day it would have been a wonderful gesture! The hilly streets towards the end were tortuous, especially with an injury and like many I was walking/running towards the end. Cannot the planners give us a downhill route for the last stretch? Still, the Edinburgh crowds were very encouraging – a nice man gave me a welcome banana- although at times it did feel as if I was in a zoo. Nobody has mentioned it but I positively hated the fool screaming loudly in a microphone at the beginning & end of the park for Elvis et al- what has this got to do with running? Why so loud? I'm afraid I loathe the charity mafia who appear to have parasitically attached themselves to our sport. It isn’t as pronounced in other sports- why long distance running? I read The Scotsman's coverage for Monday and the politically correct journalist has alighted on an Indian turban team and the participation of a refused asylum seeker with pics- no surprise there then. I too awaited a certificate without further payment.
But to end on a positive note, I would run again- hopefully next time without incurring any injury and, god willing, without those windy coastal downpours. Edinburgh is a magnificent city and the coastal landscape was breathtaking (for a Londoner!) But is it really possible to run a pleasant marathon? this was my first one, I somehow doubt that very much? We all experience our highs and lows, pros and cons, participating is everything, and it was a great shared experience.