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.
In short: Poorly organized and no results list published In full: The organisation at the start was poor as the start pens were unmanned meaning you could enter the start area anywhere you like, the roads were quite narrow and congested around the start of the race. Only the first few miles of the race are in Edinburgh, beyond Musselburgh you run about 8 miles down a coastal road, round a cone at the turning point, do about a mile detour around Gosford House, then run back up the same road, trying to avoid runners going in the opposite direction. Water bottles were handed out about every 3 miles, minus the bottle tops meaning you couldn’t carry the bottle without the water sloshing out of it. Mile markers were ‘miles’ out; for instance mile 19 took me 9.15, mile 20 took me 4.55, but generally they were all over the place, and were not really easily noticeable. At the finish, baggage lorries were parked a reasonable walk from the finish line across some rugby pitches and the bags were left lying outside in the rain. Buses back to the start were positioned over a mile from the finish line, however with local knowledge you could catch the normal bus service from much closer and costing much less than the bus service provided by the organisers. Results are not published making the race pointless as you cannot use your time to gain a ‘Good For Age’ entry to other marathons, since your time cannot be verified. The race is advertised as the fastest marathon in the UK, but if the results are not published, who knows? Having tried to contact the organisers about the results issue both before and after the race, they just ignore you and don’t even give you the courtesy of a reply. Finally, being from the local area is would be nice to be able to say something positive about this event and encourage others to come along and take part next year, but sadly it was a complete shambles and you would do well to avoid it.
In short: 10th and final time for me, as they still can't get it right In full: 10th consecutive Edinburgh and sadly last. They always do something wrong (previous low lights being moving most of the course to the middle of nowhere, moving the finish to a side street, allowing water supplies to be stolen, the cock shaped medals), but refusal to publish results (breaching IAAF rules) and having no fuel stops before 16 miles are definitely up there. Think I was one of the few to get the right tshirt in the right size, but goody bag consisted of a cereal bar and finish area congested with no dry area to sit down. Course is too narrow for numbers meaning having to zig zag/move into incoming lane to overtake, surface rough in places, no fences for spectators in final mile so no room for runners to overtake by that point. Price keeps going up but race is getting worse, with profit presumably being the only goal. Also appears to be no point complaining to organisers who don't respond to anything (check out the Facebook page) Date of review: May 28, 2014
In short: Finish organisation & results publishing let it down In full: Hosting 3 races on the same day, same finish area must be hard but if you are going to attempt it then you must put more effort into getting it to work. At the end of a race (be it 13.1, 26.2 or as a relay) a runner is not going to be the sharpest tool in the box. There seems to have been lots of issues with runners getting the wrong medal or tshirt or not getting one at all. As the runners number clearly showed half, marathon or relay the finish area volunteers (yes I appreciate they are volunteers) need to be better trained and alert to who needs what. the actual finish area could have been much better funnelled to make sure everyone received what they should have and that they had their Marathon-Photo finish pic taken if they wanted.
And lastly the baggage collection being right over the other side of the playing fields with loads of spectators with pushchairs crowding round the runners exit to fight past was not appreciated.
Bags left out in the rain.... well it was forecast so I placed all my clothes etc inside plastic bags in my kitbag. The walk to the return shuttle busses being a mile+ away was information available to all as was the local bus route and trains if any number of internet search engines were used when planning to run. Date of review: May 27, 2014
In short: There are better ways to run Edinburgh In full: Interesting scenery in the first half, just the right amount of runners on the road and great crowd support (thanks to the folks Musselburgh).
However, I feel very let down by the barmy organization.
Why not publish our results online?
Less offensive but still disappointing was the decision to have the shuttle bus service starting so far from the finish? Also, in the interests of creating a flat-ish course, they managed to pick a rather dull route for a marathon that takes its name from one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Can't wait to go back to Edinburgh but I'll be picking my own routes next time.
In short: there were organisational issues this year In full: My third time at EMF so i obviously like coming! First wet one and waited fifteen mins for start of the half marathon. Thankfully it eased off. There were sections where you felt squashed going under the rail bridge and crossing the road near Meadowbank. Some roads were poorly surfaced but i take that as part the challenge! Would prefer if race was more in Edinburgh but do enjoy the breeze off the Forth! Big downside - the shuttle buses!! Drivers having a break!! what!! werent they contracted to shuttle weary runners back after a 1.5m walk! Then our driver didnt know where he was going and we got a free tour of the city centre before the eventual stop and BIG CHEER!! i will be back though. I love the city! Date of review: May 27, 2014
In short: Not bad but doesn't deserve a top notch rating - some big issues to address In full: Ok. This race is ok. Not great, and the three other city marathons I've done - London, Chester and most recently Belfast - were much, much better. On the upside my girlfriend got a PB. And the baggage drop off/pick up is well organised. However... The race is too congested, and it makes it quite unpleasant dodging in and out behind other runners. The route is dull and the road surface in places is atrocious. It was a slog rather than an enjoyable race. This was the second time I've ran the Edinburgh Marathon, and the first in 2012 was warm and sunny. This meant I was a bit blind to the organisational issues I saw this year as it pissed it down. There is nowhere dry post-run to sit down and rest, the food in the bags was rubbish, and the lack of stewards to direct you about was appaling. Then a 20 minute walk in the bloody rain to the buses back to Edinburgh. When we got back to Edinburgh the bus drove past our parked car to the centre of town (just the one stop) so we then had to walk another 15 minutes in the, by now, torrential rain. By the time we got back to the car we had been on the go for about an hour and 45 minutes. So in summary, race ok, pretty underwhelming, organisation crap. Edinburgh: could do much better. Date of review: May 26, 2014
In short: Highly misleading info and terrible organisation In full: Terrible experience - organisers lied about it being fast and flat. It is NOT flat. It is undulating throughout with some long draggy hills that were a killer. The road surface was potholed - I saw one woman take a terrible tumble. Lots of other runners needing medical attention - anyone who trained on the flat expecting a flat route would have had an awful shock. V narrow running lanes, with two-way runners on parts of the course. You constantly have to dodge out of the way of other runners - accidents just waiting to happen. The organisation was terrible - nowhere near enough loos at the start line, the baggage truck people left my bag out in the pouring rain so my change of clothes was damp and cold. Why do such a stupid, thoughtless thing? Nothing in the way of foil cape / rainproof poncho provided for the finishers and goody bag had just one cereal bar, 2 small cookies. That's it. There was NO signage to the shower / changing area and no signage to the shuttle buses. They turned out to be 20 mins-plus walk away, uphill, in the cold and rain. Not ten mins as advertised and as repeated at the finish line by staff. If they had been honest with me, I would have got a taxi. By the time I boarded the bus I was shaking with cold, fatigue and hunger. And I paid for this experience! Please note that I am not usually a "whinger." I have done a marathon previously (Berlin) and fully expected it to be tough. But with proper organisation it also should be fun - and this was a horrid experience. Date of review: May 26, 2014
In short: Ok but let down by the poor organisation. In full: 3 miles in the city centre then finishes nowhere near Edinburgh. You need to get the bus back. This bus service is terrible, as the official buses are a 1.5 mile walk uphill from the finish line (good luck doing this with tired legs). The bus only does one route stopping nowhere near my accommodation, so another long walk. No other bus accepted the ticket I bought from the Edinburgh Marathon website. Post race results are not openly placed online so you have nothing to link to, to prove your time. Post race, people received tshirts for the wrong event. Date of review: May 26, 2014