In short: Overall the organisation seemed to run smoothly with the massive exception detailed below. In full: Start - probably not enough toilets however being in the city centre, most should have taken advantage of their hotel's facilities
Water - being one of the slower runners, there was just not enough water available and this was a serious problem later on when the heatwave really kicked in.
I felt like the Ancient Mariner after three miles - water, water, evrywhere nor any drop to drink. Plenty of empty bottles strewn across the wet road surface but nothing for the slower runners. Either those up front were greedy and snatched more than one or there were just not enough.
The problem was just as bad at the back of the course beyond Prestonpans where two stations were without in the back of beyond.
I am aware that further supplies were taken down but not enough. Lothian and Borders set up an impromptu water station on the way in and that was gratefully accepted.
To compound matters, passing the twelve mile water station by the museum and it was either a mirage or an oasis - there was a plethora of Adam's Ale and Lucozade on the table but in the wrong spot. A lot should have been transported down the course to slake the thirsts of runners.
Medal - excellent
Expo/souvenirs - I would love to have bought a polo top but the logo was a transfer, not embroidered on. And no event mugs to annoy the missus with.
Beer mentioned in the blurb but no sign of it - not that I would have drunk it then but now I've got home....... Date of review: June 1, 2009
In short: Everything spot on this year In full: A great day, marred only by my own performance. The loos at the start have moved so the start was flawless for me, I'm glad there was no expo (except there's no free potatoe this year! :) ) everything along the way was great, sorry to hear about water problems for others at the back but I never thought of taking two bottles, it's easy enough to wet the hand and splash the face and carry/sip the rest from one bottle isn't it?, but yes, given the forecasts extra should have been laid on and perhaps even every 2 miles (7 + 17). Thumbs up from me, good improvements from last year, well done. Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: Happy with my PB but understand the anger In full: Very easy start. No real worries with loos etc. Down hill to start but a bit worried about the sun. Sea breeze mot handy on a hot day. I had no issue with water but I guess I got lucky. After the Chicargo marathon organisers need to understand that they should have too much water. Runners (me included) do take two bottles - one to drink and one to soak - accept this and stock up. Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: Unacceptable mistakes made over water provision In full: It's all been said. It has the makings of a great race, but today's weather conditions caught the organisers out. And they shouldn't have... The forecasters have been saying today was going to be scorcher for days. Running from the red pen, I was faced by an empty water station at the very first hydration point. From there on, whether there would be water or not became a lottery. This is not a cheap race. Supplying enough water is an absolute must - and, frankly, pert of a race organiser's duty of care to their participants. I had to walk once I reached 15 miles and realised I couldn't count on there being any water available.
Suggestions for next year... Double the order of water if the weather even threatens to be as hot. Improve signage and organisation of water stations. Little things like 250m warning signs (rather than half mile ones); a consistent layout of tables with water first and then sports drinks, clearly labelled; marshalls briefed to remove caps from bottles; etc. If in doubtm refer to the brilliant organisers of larger evenst such as London, Paris or Berlin , where they've got this nailed.
That said, really friendly marshalls, who tried their very best in trying circumstances. I was particularly impressed by the Scout Group who were all so enthusiastic and helpful.
The finish at the racetrack was great. Lovely tee shirt. Smashing medal.
In full: A great race troubled by 2 problems - the freakishly hot weather and lack of water on the course. Nothing can be done about the weather , but the latter problem was completely inexcusable. I managed to obtain water at all the stops , but my wife , who finished 4h 30 min, had no water from miles 12 to 22. This is appalling. What were the organisers thinking of? The race director is on the BBC website saying that were supplies were adequate; a blatant untruth. We'll be writing to him to follow this up - I suggest others do the same. A real pity ; this is a great course and support was fantastic. Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: Race director totally blew it in hot conditions In full: Running out of water is unacceptable in a marathon when you know the number of people doing the race. Denying there was a problem on a BBC press release is ridiculous. Stopping the slower runners completing the full distance shows how much the race director lost the plot today Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: Good race compromised by exceptional weather conditions In full: First up, this year I did an 8 mile relay stint so in no way can compare my experience to those of full marathon runners but I can only say how desperately sorry I felt for those runners between mile 15 and 21 who had no water. No water. The marshals and supported were great but would have to agree that at such a crucial stage in the race to run out of water was a disaster. Many runners were reduced to walking during that stage and I can only hope it didnt compromise their race altogether. Date of review: May 31, 2009
In short: Baking hot. Started walking when they stopped giving out drinks. In full: I did below 3.45 despite a walk and a wee, so I can't imagine how little there was to drink for those at the back. Really disppointing. Also my wife's bus from the start was so slow she missed me on the way out. Good support in places but long periods with no spectators - but then I'm used to the London and the Great North. Date of review: May 31, 2009
In full: A really good course and great atmosphere from the supporting spectators. I was very disappointed by the organisation though. This is the 3rd time it has been run over this course so the organisors should have it down to a "T" by now. There is no excuse for having inadequate water provision for this race on such a hot day. At several of the stops on the latter part of the race the water had simply run out by the time I got there. Makes the announcements at the start of the race about avoiding dehydration sound rather ironic in retrospect. I was lucky and several spectators kindly provided water to help out. I am sure though that quite a few of the later runners faced the prospect of miles at the end desparately thirsty. Can't stress enough how bad it is to be running without water in the conditions today. It just should not be allowed to happen. Date of review: May 31, 2009