In short: Great day but so bloody hot! In full: First things first - I smashed my PB by 20 minutes so that was brilliant. Secondly, the support from Macmillan was amazing, from round the course and in the recovery tent in the end, and the support from people around the course was special too. Finally, it was gorgeous scenery and a great excuse to visit a beautiful city.
Now the negatives... no clocks anywhere on the course was strange for a race that markets itself on it being the UKs fastest marathon. The organisation at the beginning was a bit light, there weren't a lot of stewards about telling people where to go. There wasn't anyone giving out sun cream on the route either, which would have been good given the sun.
Which leads me onto the heat, bloody hell it made it tough! Still, it was great to get round and the feeling at the end was fantastic. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Third year running this for me, this year was great! In full: Running this 3rd year running, I knew previous 2 years had not been good in parts, specifically the poor finish area in 2011. However massive credit goes to EMF this year. From the word go I enjoyed every aspect of race. The finsh was so organised I would go as far as saying this is best organized race I have ever ran. Marshalls so polite, specially on water stations and at end where you get medals and bag. Shame EMF can't control the weather, heat was a killer :-) Great stuff this year, I'll defo be back at some point in the future! Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Fantastic support! In full: Having made something of a mess of my first marathon (inaugural Kielder in 2010, not the one when the bloke cheated) I had trained very purposefully for this one, and I had outside hopes of a sub-3.30 marathon. In the event, I was overjoyed with the 3.40.27 I posted; yes, the heat was sapping but what an experience! If it hadn't been for the sun, we wouldn't have had all those wonderful people, showering us literally and metaphorically with water, jelly babies, fruit, sunscreen (particularly welcome for this hatless bald man - elected not to wear a hat as I get far too hot in them), good wishes etc. Two minor complaints: buses far too far away from the finish; pesky relay runners - find another race for them if they're not fit enough to do a full marathon - many carried on as if if was their race, cutting up the REAL runners. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Fantastic race well done to all involved In full: I have run, New York, Edinburgh 2010, Anglesey, London and Edinburgh again this year and I loved Edinburgh much more than London, the resident along the route were brilliant hosing us down, feeding us jelly babies, oranges and giving us drinks all off their own backs.
I much preferred the the run back along the main road instead of the narrow promenade section as in 2010, much easier to run pass walkers when your legs are tired.
Yes the water was warm I don't see how organizers can avoid this when the weather is so hot.
The finish was so much better this year great t shirt and medal.
All in all in my humble opinion I think you should all give yourselves a big pat on the back on a job well done.
Oh and I beat my PB by 13 minutes yaaahhhoooo :-) Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Improved from last year, still room for more In full: The finish area was a huge improvement on last year and the year before (still doesn't beat the race course finish). But, as others have pointed out, an earlier start would be more comfortable if the weather was hot, there was very little shade available. And the walk for the buses is horrible. 4 and 5 years ago, the buses were right outside the race course, why can't they do something like that again? Nice medal, shame about the goody bag. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Loved the race in this beautiful weather, heat was tough, but worth the effort! In full: Did my first marathon yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. Weather was certainly tough being so hot and run over the middle of the day, and as others note the race time could be earlier which would help. Despite this, the beautiful sunshine made the course a lot more scenic- I absolutely adored the sections along the coast which on a grey dull day could be uninspiring and boring!
Quick course in terms of not too many hills and overall decline...however yesterday wasn't the day for a PB! Though I do know some have managed one! Too hot by far. Yesterday the atmosphere was fantastic- it felt like a lot of people were out to enjoy the sun and cheer on the runners. I'd recommend having your name on your vest- the number of shout outs I got along the way was so uplifting! There were only odd stretches with no one on them...generally well supported most of the way. The marshalls were great and shouted support too, as did all the charity cheer points, and not just to the runners running for them, which was wonderful.
Organisation good and the finish area was generally fantastic, spacious, good amenities, decent showers, toilets, food and drinks. Only thing I found hard was finding the reunion area! It wasn't very clearly signposted and as I had just run for 4 hours I felt a bit disorientated at the end...took me a while to find my family.
Though it was too hot yesterday, the beauty of the sun made the race a charming one to run and I'd not hesitate to run it again...though it'd be nicer on a sunny but less warm day! Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Great fast course, lovely scenery, great local support! In full: Being a mostly cross-country runner, I think I had a different experience from everyone else. I loved the long quiet stretches and I thought there was just the right amount of support along the route to keep me going but without being distracting. Loved the locals out with their garden hoses and the frequent water stations. I would have preferred sport drink to those nasty gels, though (time to change sponsors perhaps?).
And I also loved the weather. Call me crazy, but I wasn't too hot - I thought the sun was gorgeous and there was a lovely breeze!
The course was super-fast and I SMASHED my PB by 1:33 (fair enough, my previous PB was Beachy Head and this was my first road marathon!!). I thought everything ran smoothly, although there weren't enough toilets at London road. An earlier start wouldn't have hurt and I wish I'd know the T-shirts were so big... I would have taken an Xtra small (maybe they were men's sizes??). Finally, surely they could find a way to make the buses closer to the finish!!! That walk was absurd!!!!!
I would do it again if it fits in my race diary. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: A few things they could improve on but don't regret running In full: This was my third marathon, the others were Paris and London so seems a little unfair comparing it to those (they were ace).
Things I liked:
Some great support in the city and near the end. They really helped me burn through the last sections.
Massive section at the finish for collecting medals and relaxing. Was good to not be stepping on each other.
Plenty of loos at the beginning if you moved around the start area - people did seem to huddle at the same ones.
Things I didn't like. No isotonic drinks. I never train with gels but i took them anyway. They weren't too bad but I had to wash them down with tepid water from the stations - in that heat tepid water was not relieving.
Massive sections with little or no supporters, maybe noticed that even more in this weather.
Relay runners! Cutting you up, fresh legged and some acting like we were inconveniencing them by taking up space.
A stupid start time for this season. I know the organisers can't control the weather - but this isn't the first year it's been a scorcher but they seem determined to go with a silly late morning start time. If it starts earlier - people will just have to arrive earlier. Other races manage to sell out which have early start times.
Got a little narrow in places - very penned in at the end and was difficulty to get past people courteously.
I would consider doing it again if they got a sports drink sponsor and considered the earlier start time. I will focus on some other races while I see what they change for next year. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Excellent race shame about parking In full: I thoroghly enjoyed yesterday. I ran it in 2009 when it was mega hot so the tmeperatures yesterday were very pleasant with a lovely breeze. The supporters were fantastic and all the helpers an volunteers were great. I managed to get a PB. Only problem-my Mum bought a ticket for the Musselburgh Racecourse parking on Saturday from the marathon website. When she arrived she found it was closed with no reason given, then had to drive around for over an hour trying to find somewhere else. Why sell these tickets a day before the event when they must have known by then that they wouldn't be using the racecourse for parking. That's my only criticism of the event. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: Was a great choice for my first marathon, nice route & excellent staff. There are a couple of issues in realtion to distance to buses & signage, but great otherwise. Date of review: May 28, 2012