In short: having always loved this marathon this year's has been quite a downer! In full: There have always been a few tweaks required for the marathon but this year's has proved that a lot more need to be sorted out especially if runners are to trn up next year! I've said that I would run in it again, I have my reasons, but certainly not for the organisation etc.
The Good Bits.
The goodie bag. The colour of the t-shirt. The road finish to ensure a sprint finish and not a slippery board over the race course. The selection of Lucozade. Helpful marshals. The views around the chicken farm and the chickens themselves. Receiving the race number before flying to Scotland (it was 'pushing it' the last couple of years). Baggage was not as far from the finish as last year.
The Bad Bits.
Why were some marathon runners being given half marathon finisher t-shirts and medals? The t-shirt's front design was 'boring' and should have been replaced by the back design. No programme or race information or bus ticket was sent with the race number as in previous years - we paid a lot of money for this marathon and yet we were expected to print these off ourselves. The 'contact us' box on the website is a joke. Last year's and this year's my queries have been completely ignored despite stating that a reply will be made around '2 days'. No telephone number provided to contact - I had to google to find a telephone number. Despite the help desk at the Hub giving me a direct email address - this has also been ignored. The Hub was not in Edinburgh - why move it from last year's position? There were no additional stands and so the Hub could easily have been put in the central location again. Were all of the mile markers out? Not impressed with the medal this year - much prefered the ones in previous years. Spectators banned from the finish area so after everyone's hard work to actaully run the marathon it was kind of dead at the end. Having compared distances over Garmins etc it appears that it was more than 26.2 miles. Squeezing out onto a path after baggae etc was tight and not much fun trying to get to the reunion area - nobody was walking anywhere, it was gridlocked. The screen wasn't on when I looked at it - was it working at all? All the food and drink queues seemed to interlink, did anyone actually know what they were queueing for? Not a lot going on in the charity area, except massages. No toilet roll in the portaloos - did anyone use their number as an alternative? over a mile and a bit walk to the shuttle buses. Queuing for ages and no signs to show which bus to queue for. The weather - obviously this is the bit that GSI cannot help with.
In short: Shame, Shame, Shame. In full: Not to flog a dead horse but I am embarassed to be from Edinburgh. This was my 7th marathon, and my third Edinburgh marathon. The organisation was apalling at the finish line. The lack of T shirts fraudulant after the high entry fee. I have had no response from the organisers to my email requesting a Tshirt. The organisers clearly are not marathon runners. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: A bit of a mess, & a bit of a disappointment In full: Take a good race, 'tweak it', and watch the complaint levels rise... You put your 'festival hub' on the edge of the city, making it awkward for those who wished to visit; your 'big city marathon' only spent approximately 3 miles in your city; the part of the course that ran through Gosford House wasn't on a decent road surface; don't even get me started on the way that the relay runners were allowed to just charge out into the race, straight into the marathon runners; you prevented the crowds of supporters from being at the finish line, ensuring that you went from a caucophony of noise to a relatively muted few, resulting in a bit of an anti-climax; the walk to the medals & water was a fair old traipse after a 26 mile run; on a day that had produced high winds & cold rain there was no foil blankets handed out, the medal must rank as one of the most imaginative on record (just 'EMF Marathon' really doesn't cut it after 4 months of training, especially when the ribbon states'jnr, 5K, 10K, team relay, half marathon, marathon), the baggage reclaim was a shambles (for some reason all the higher numbers were offloaded first, leaving the elites & faster runners standing around in the cold waiting for their bags); the runners village & reunion area was a disaster, putting everything at the bottom of a field, further away from the baggage area & even more further away from the bus pick-up points, and consisting of very little by way of facilities; and finally, do you really think that it is acceptable to expect people who have just completed a marathon, people who are stiff, cold, exhausted, hungry etc to then walk over a mile to catch a bus back to the centre of town, especially when those self-same people have to then probably cover another few miles to get back to their hotels etc???
In short: Good, flat, fast course - terrible organisation In full: Second Edinburgh Marathon, enjoyed this year more than last. I like the course, scenery etc, but minus points:
Mile markers too small / missing? Same as last year. Finish area v. disorganised, long way to get water. Handed 'Festival' T-shirt not marathon one Rubbish medal compared to last year Ridiculous ‘pinch point’ to exit baggage area V. expensive given facilities provided
Plus points? Preferred finish on tarmac rather than bouncy mat in race course Plenty of toilets at London Road start – if you looked... More water stations than last year, or was it just less hot?
In short: What more can I say that hasn't already been said..... In full: For a big city marathon I found this totally disappointing, it should be called the Musselburgh marathon. It felt quite isolated from miles 16 to 21 with no support apart from fellow runners. The lack of water was terrible why not follow the examples of London and Brighton by having water at every mile from 18/20 to the finish. The finish area was so muddled and to make people walk for 25 minutes to get to the buses and then stand and queue (which is expected) after having run 26.2 miles......I was looking forward to completing another big city marathon but would I do it again, no way. There are lessons to be learnt. Date of review: May 25, 2011
In short: Otherwise enjoyable race, marred by poor organisation at the finsh In full: There was a great atmosphere and good organisation at the start and I enjoyed most of the route, especially running along the coast for much of it. Main gripe was that mile markers were too small and hard to spot (were there actually any at all in the last few miles?). Also, the two "about turns" later in the race were strangely dispiriting. A course needs to have a sense of travelling somewhere to be really memorable. The positive side of this race, as compared to somehwere like London, is that you can run at your own pace for most of it without too much congestion (and without the glitz and overt commercialism). The marshals and support crew were helpful and enthusiastic, though not always plentiful.
But the finish... what more can be said? Having got through the chaos of the actual finish area, I queued 30 mins for a beer, 45 mins for a burger then, after a 20 min walk, 45 mins for a bus, which then left me in a part of the city I didn't know, another 20 mins from my hotel. I got back at 6pm, having finished the race around 1.30. It left an unpleasant memory of an otherwise enjoyable day, and the atmosphere during the interminable wait for buses was, by that point, understandably very sour.
There does seem to be a problem with undercapacity of staffing, facilities and general provision at the end - almost as if the organisers were taken by surpise by the numbers. But then, really, how could they have been? Date of review: May 25, 2011