In short: Chaotic from Expo to Finish! In full: Possibly the worst Expo ever, as a club with several first time marathon runners the expo experience should be a memorable event, however a single tent with 8 below average stalls (4 of which were unmmanned!) was a joke!
The race is scenic and potentially a fast course but the distance from the city made the finish more of a shambles than ever!
The organisation was horrendous! T-shirts were randomly given out,the congestion caused huge ques (not what you need after 26.2miles)AND members of the public were being given medals!!! which by the way was half the size of last year with no dates, cheap and uninspiring! The buses were heaving and having approx 2 an hour running caused obvious problems!! GSI are a joke! Never again! Such a shame as 28 from our club made the long journey.... Date of review: May 27, 2011
In short: Good race, behind the scenes needs more work In full: I ran the first leg, making it my longest run & the run itself was good. An enjoyable atmosphere along the route & the 1st leg was v quick & had some nice downhill stretches to ease people into the full marathon.
On handover though there were no signs to the reunion area. Nor was there any shelter for teammates at the handover points. Or facilities except for a couple of portaloos.
We also had to fight our way back into the finish area to collect our t shirts as our finishing team member wasn't given enough.
Finish area also chaotic & a poor way to treat people who have just run 26 miles! Why have a reunion area if you don't marshall people away from the finish? And please, more than 2 toilets at the finish commented my team mate!
Reunion area could have been a good idea, big screen for everyone to watch, if you liked watching T in the Park that is.
On the whole the run was good, but the organisation was a disappointment. Why not finish at Musselburgh with the nice grandstand & have reunion in the middle & around the racecourse, would have made the event a bit more special. Date of review: May 27, 2011
In short: Edinburgh is an amazing city - Marathon had good points but also some bad In full: Starts off like a big city marathon but then becomes a rural one.
On the positive side - the way the marathon was started from 2 starts at different times meant there was practically no congestion - so this is what makes it very possible to get a PB and gives this race a fast feel.
On the negative - the finish didn't have enough room for the number of runners. Would cause problems if people started collapsing in the finish - like on a hot day.
I don't know the politics of moving the finish from last year off the race course - but would suggest they look again at where the race finishes/goes - maybe route it back to Edinburgh somehow (like to Holyrood Park?)
The marshals were good - I witnessed them having to deal with frustrated car drivers - maybe need more road closures on safety grounds.
Most races get their atmosphere from the spectators - But I think it was the spectators who got the worse deal here - as they struggled to give support along route and at finish.
In short: Other reviewers have said it all In full: I cannot add anything new to the comments that other reviewers have made, but I must say that the marshalls and those manning the water/energy stations did a fantastic and uplifting job. Also the support from spectators throughout the race was very welcome for my first marathon - it ensured I was still smiling at the end, although the last six miles into the wind was a killer! Date of review: May 27, 2011
In short: The whole experience for my first marathon was good. The start was well organised, baggage lorries were well run, and the run was great. Friendly crowd variety of scenery. The finish was poor, a big let down for my first marathon. You ended up in In full: A street of houses. No crowd to meet and greet and to top it off a long walk which i could have done without to the bus back to the city. Will have to thnk if i will do this one again next year. Will deff do another marathon but not sure where. Highlight: the start , low's the finish. Thought my first ever marathon finish would feel special, not the case Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: few more miles around the city would have been nice! i had great day! In full: enjoyed the day overall, could have done a few more miles around the city, (yes i know it is hilly) a lot of the local's i spoke to before & after the race didn't even know it was on. Edinburgh is a fantastic city, even if there was no marathon, it was worth the trip! Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Great potential - however dreadful organisation at the finish In full: My first marathon and really enjoyed the course and the atmosphere - however at the end it took me 40 mins to walk to the area to meet family. Spectators couldn't get near the finish either, and this needs addressing big time. Date of review: May 26, 2011
In short: Run good post race organisation poor In full: A good route with plenty of support, let down by a poor reception at the finish. After crossing the finish line I was left to find my way to a chaotic table where I had to beg for my medal. The large finishers t shirts had all gone ( despite having ordered one in advance) and no refreshment or finishers pack was offered. The medal is generic for the whole Edinburgh marathon festival event and without any date. A poor show and contrasts massively with the excellent effort at other events such as the bath half. Date of review: May 26, 2011
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?