In short: Edinburgh is a beautiful place but GSI can’t organise a race! In full: 26.2 reasons not to enter a GSI race:
1. They take your money and then don’t come up with the goods.
2. No marathon T-shirt (just a generic EMF one and you were lucky if you got the right size).
3. No year on medal.
4. Not enough water stations on route – I carried my own water but when I ran out at approx 17 miles did not think there were enough stations at the end of the race.
5. Marshals who were unprepared – when asked where the next water station was, one just replied ‘down the bottom’ – not that helpful when you are trying to work out how long you have to go before you can get a drink!
6. Marshals were few and far between – and some of them were rather lacklustre – one spotted sitting on the grass at Gosford House looking decidedly bored.
7. No thought given to spectator experience – TV screen in the reunion area to show runners crossing the line was broken.
8. Spectators not allowed near finish.
9. Very little shelter provided to spectators / runners in reunion area – big open field and not much else.
10. Poorly-designed reunion area – letters too close together and not positioned high enough to be visible.
11. Herding people like cattle through a narrow gap in a metal fence to try and get to the reunion area.
12. Lack of first aiders particularly at the end of the race.
13. Lack of guidance at the end of the race – no-one advising where the exit was, where to go to get goody bag, medal, water etc.
14. Baggage trucks positioned to cause congestion as runners who did not use them had to fight their way through queues of people waiting to pick up bags.
15. Not enough bananas at the end – those of us finishing with later times just had to look at the peel.
16. One person giving out T-shirts that were still in boxes and being undone as the crowds stood waiting to collect one.
17. Lack of toilets at the end of the race.
18. Lack of toilets along the route – I queued for over 5 minutes around the 5 mile mark.
19. No toilet paper in the portaloos either at the start or end of the race.
20. Lack of mile markers – first one seen at mile 6.
21. Mile markers too small.
22. Making runners walk for very long distances to catch buses back to city centre.
23. Not liaising with local public transport to ensure runners could get back to the city centre – why were there not more frequent trains / buses?
24. No text message to indicate provisional time even though they had my number and sent me a message on the morning of the event. However, some runners did receive texts.
25. Using a route where the road surface quality was poor and a potential risk to runners – how many potholes did you have to dodge?
26. Trying to do too many things at once – runners from the 10k on the previous day also reported problems with the organisation.
26.2 GSI do not respond to complaints – have they actually taken any notice of runners’ views from last year?
In short: This was my 3rd Edinburgh and each time the route has varied just a little bit.The finish on Musselborough racecourse previously was much better than this years choice of finish. In full: I hope the organisers look at all these comments with regard to the awful set up after the finish.It's always the same chaos.Such a pity because other areas of the run are very slick.The crowd were lovely and very enthusiastic and encouraging-it ll helps when you're being overtaken by Bill and Ben!See you 2012 but please sort out the finish. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: just not a city marathon. It would be fantastic otherwise. Terrible organisation at the finish including the long walk to the return bus. Also the finish time on the clock did not match my official time - bizarre. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Really enjoyable first marathon! In full: I had read the previous years' reviews and looked at the route before entering this marathon and so was well aware that we would be running straight out of Edinburgh. This really didn't bother me as Edinburgh is pretty hilly and some of the coastal route was stunning! I had also been advised by someone who ran last year about the long walk to the buses at the end, so it came as no surprise. I actually think that this helped my legs recover a little. However, the bottleneck caused by the number of people being herded down a very narrow street after the finish was shocking. Also the fact that the reunion area was in the opposite direction of the buses back to Edinburgh was pretty rubbish. I didn't bother going to the reunion area. That said, for my first marathon I loved every minute of it! There were quite a lot of people supporting and I found it very uplifting. I also didn't mind the loop back and was encouraged by the site of the quicker runners on the opposite side of the road. I also didn't mind family not being right at the finish line-I preferred to have them encouraging me over the last mile or two. As others have said, the medal's a bit rubbish as it doesn't have the year on it and my small t-shirt doesn't mention "finisher" and is enormous but this has also been the case in other races I have ran. All in all, the finish needs to be improved but I had a great day and would probably do it again! Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: My first marathon - didn't live up to my expectations In full: I spent 4 days in Edinburgh over the EMF weekend and it is a lovely city with some amazing sights. With the exception of running past Holyrood Palace and Arthur's Seat at the very start of the race, I could have been anywhere whilst taking part in the marathon, which is a shame. The crowds were enthusiastic and handed out jelly babies and the like towards the end which were gratefully received. The finish was randomly in the middle of a housing estate and there was chaos to get through the collection of medals, drinks, t-shirts etc and out to the "village". I felt slightly disappointed by the whole experience. On the positive side the route was fairly flat and I got the time I trained for. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Come on Scotland - you can do better than that !!! In full: I was really looking forward to this race my first Marathon, but left feeling somewhat disappointed. The start area in London Road was good, although not enough toilets. The race should have used more of the city really, what about the Royal Mile, Princes Street etc.. it would have been amazing. The first 10 miles were reasonably interesting, then it got pretty dull really. Was there any thought or planning put into the finish area ? What a complete shambles. Once you fought your way through the spectator crowds and finally got to the reunion area, you were then faced with a 2 mile uphill hike to the Shuttle Buses (do they know how hard a marathon is ?). Goodie Bag was nice though, decent medal and a great t-shirt. The race distance was accurate. Throw your Garmins in the bin, they're known for not being very accurate. My new Nike+ TomTom GPS Watch said 26.22 miles, spot-on. I'll definately come back to Edinburgh one year, but not for this race - more to see the sights of the City. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In full: I managed to achieve a personal best and finish in 3.25 minutes as such I encountered a minimal amount of problems after crossing the line due to amount of other runners finishing fast than me. I do agree however that the finish area leaves much to be desired in terms of the location of the meeting point, showers and buses but due to reading previous reviews I knew exactly what to expect so I prepared myself for the worst and decided to skip the bus traffic and get a train back to Edinburgh instead.
There are obviously a lot of unhappy runners posting negative feedback on this race but I have to say it get the most out of travelling to new places for a race you have to do your research to know exactly what your letting yourselves in for as such you should at least know precisely where the route of the marathon is going before you enter.
The most important part of the race for me was the absolutely stunning coastline which was nothing short of stunning and glorious especially when the the sun came out to play. I was so in awe at some points I almost felt like stopping and taking a few pictures.
In summary I also agree that the organisers should change the name to reflect the fact that it is not a City race but a 'Coastal Marathon' however I will definitely do this run again because Edinburgh alone is such a wonderful place to visit and who knows I might be in with a shot at an even better PB!!
In short: Very good potential but organisation could be improved In full: This is the second time I have done this race and both times with extreme weather conditions and both times I have felt more knocked about than I have done after completing other marathons. So I do not think this is really a very good pb course unless you are a fell runner. Organisation of hotels was a fiasco. First they could not get the days right and to say it was near the finish when it was two miles away was pushing it. Medal could have had year on it and there were no tee shirts at the finish on such a cold and windy day. Results should also be broken down into Gender and Age and Gender positions Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Great race marred by a poor after finish area In full: The race has got slated but the only bad thing I found was that the post finish area was too small and as such badly organised.
If they move it back to the racecourse it should be perfect.
I found the route fast and scenic - a bit windy but this is Scotland. Drinks stations were plentiful. It was marshalled well. There was a small stretch of broken road at the country house but the rest of the route was in great condition. Buses back to the start were a bit of a walk from the finish but we were told that. There was no queue for me so I was on the bus and away before too long. I didn't bring any spectators with me but there wasn't much for them at the finish as it was. If you have spectators - maybe look for another race unless the finish is rearranged. The start was well organised in the city centre so easy to reach - a short walk from the main railway station. Teeshirt was nice and a technical one too - so that's better than London. Medal a little dull but that's not important for me. I would definitely go back.
In short: There is little more I can say that hasn't already been said by others. In full: School report would say “good effort but must do better!!”
I agree with everything that Katarina Darcy and other have said - Finish was shocking. Organisers need to improve and take a look at races like Loch Ness, Dunfermline or GSR for tips. I'm still waiting for a response to my email query it been 7 weoking days now!!