In short: Organisation was shocking - start lanes crossed toilet queues! start littered with traffic cones and barriers which due to the numbers running was a real hazard. No chip and debaccle at the end of the race on the 2 hour mark mean timings unreliable. In full: The use of water bottles without sports caps baffles me - the majority of bottles are discarded just after the water station after a couple of sips - what a waste. The race start was also delayed by at least 15 minutes and the delay at the end meant runners were stopped suddenly and allowed to get cold which is not good. The race was meant to start and finish at Ocean Terminal but you arrived back to find that you are diverted away for another 1/2 mile before turning round and heading back - poor route planning. Finally for such a well patronised and sponsored event - no T shirt! Criminal! Date of review: March 26, 2006
In short: Over priced, badly organised, goody bag full of leaflets - where did my £20 go ? Oh, couldn't actually finish due to the queue at the finish ! In full: I took 5 minutes to actually cross the finish line due to the back log of runners. People finishing were told to slow down ! HOw on earth are they going to assign you a time ?
Organisation was awful. Best intentions where meant but it went badly wrong ! I stood for about 20minutes in a crowd at the end trying to get out - happy to not get a medal or bag or banana !
3600 * £18 = approx £65,000 - where did that money go ????
Course was too narrow. They knew it was over subscribed so could have alleviated most problems by some forward thinking and planning !
What a mess !
If you want to know how not to organise a race, ask these ! Date of review: March 26, 2006
In short: Fast course, but poorly organised and expensive In full: Some serious bottlenecks early on made it diffcult to get into your stride, and as others have mentioned, having the loos in the same area as starting pens was a silly decision. A nice flat, fast course with some great scenery (mixed in with some grim industrial wasteland). There were good, supportive crowds of specators too. I think that £20 should get you a champion-chip timed race and a decent goody bag (a nutrigrain bar and a bottle of water... come on!). WIth improved organiation this could be a very good race. Date of review: March 26, 2006
In short: Love the forthside bits, but organization is woeful In full: There were double the expected runners, so the course was much too narrow in places, making the first 3 miles especially difficult to get a pace going. The finish was worse, you couldn't even get over the line after a while, and the marshals were not doing anything constructive to alleviate the situation, restricting the funnels to one at a time, all three needed to be open.
Scenery wise, there was some awesome sites, but as with almost any water front, for the beautiful stretches you have run down industrial bits as well, but that could change over time as there seems to be tons of new development changing the forthside's face.
The organizers need to do the following if they want to improve this race:
1. Chip timing 2. Don't have the porto-loos in the same area as where you want the runners to get into their stalls, causes havoc to say the least. 3. Start on time 4. Figure out how to widen the course near the beginning to allow better running for those in the 90 minutes to 120 minutes range.
Saw a complaint about the weather, since it ended up being mostly sunny, not raining, and warmer than originally forecast, can't quite understand that, though the course was both sheltered and exposed to the wind, so in some places cool in others very warm -- but I find it tough to dress right in these islands at the best of times. Date of review: March 26, 2006
In short: A fast course with great potential. Organisation Could Do Better. In full: It's all too easy to weigh in with the criticism for an inaugural race, but Edinburgh's waterfront has potential to be a very fast out and back course. When the organisers promise "an exhibition of international class running" then they really do have to plan a bit more for the basics.
Oversubscription may well have been a problem - it is noted in the official literature in the goody bag that the first year target was 2,000 runners and that there were double that number of entries. Yet for a race that costs £20/£22 to enter and with a number of major sponsors on board, chip timng should really have been provided.
The layout at the start did not help. When the race pack positively encourages runners in a large metropolitan area with excellent public transport links to arrive by car rather than make use of one of the six bus routes that service Ocean Terminal, there are going to be problems.
Due to the traffic tailbacks into the car parks (it is assumed, since no reason was given) the race start was delayed by fifteen minutes. Not that this mattered unduly - the lack of sufficient toilet facilities and the 'unusual' layout of the warm-up area meant that that the WC queues formed neatly across the start pens, mixing together runners of a wide range of paces and target times.
The three pens were allocated to sub-75, sub-90 and sub-120 targets. A cursory glance at any list of results from a race of comparable size will show this is not a reflective division. An overwhelming majority of us will sit in the 90-120 range, and the difference in pace between the front and back of this group is large.
For those of us waiting in the pens, the call to move forward the 200 metres or so to the line was not audible (if given). I crossed the start line three minutes after the klaxon sounded - time that will not be accounted due to the lack of chip timing - and then spent the first three miles attempting to overtake slower runners who had been caught up in the same melee. This was frustraing for all involved.
Once out on the course things improved greatly, although more marshalls on the water stations, and placing them on both sides of the road would have helped - again the sheer number of runners overwhelmed the organisers at several points.
The finish was better, although slightly idiosyncratic - one of the four switchback turns in the course was at 12.5 miles and bizarrely provided with a water station - somewhat late in the day it seemed.
After that, the usual big race confusion took over - queueing for medals, photos, water, bananas, goody bags, etc. Thanks go to the many spectators who lent a hand in distributing water to those waiting in line.
To summarise, gripes aside this could be a good PB course and has a fun atmosphere that is great for beginners and spectators also. Let's hope in Year 2 that the organisers put right a few of the niggles. Date of review: March 26, 2006