In short: Terrible finish In full: A great city marathon spoilt by a really disappointing finish, what were the 'organisers' thinking with such a bad finish area? Too many bad points to mention here and most of the others posts have covered my concerns I will only come back if they drastically change the finish. The supporters and marshals who braved the wind and rain were brilliant.
In short: Oh dear Edinburgh Marathon peeps this is just not good enough In full: Edinburgh is a great city but the Marathon falls way below what I expect from such a prestigious event.
The start went well. There could have been more toilets but that's really a minor problem.
I missed a number of mile markers. The ones I did see were very small and difficult to see. Good job I had my garmin. The water stations and energy drink stations were plentiful and worked really well. It was a lovely route by the sea, very little wind on the way out.
When I finished I was given a medal that didn't have the year on it...why was this? My baggage lorry was surrounded by lots of other runners waiting for their bags. There were so many runners arriving at the same time that the baggage team could not cope and some runners were collecting their own bags.
I finished in 3:22 and didn't have a problem getting a T-shirt but I know for those finishing much later many sizes had run out. My wife ran the relay and ended up with marathon and half-marathon T-shirts but not in the sizes she wanted. My marathon number had my T-shirt size printed on the bottom, could this system be used for the relay runners?
The relay runners were given no shelter from the elements. My wife ran the 4th relay leg and her bus left at 11.30 but she did not run until 3.30. Also the course had changed and the length of the relay legs were different to what was published. The 3rd leg was 9 miles and the 4th leg was 3.9 miles. Its really not worth spending 4 hours waiting in a field for a 3.9 mile run.
But the worst problem, in my mind, was the farcical bus system back into Edinburgh. Why was the rendezvous point and the bus pickup points not in the same place? The bus pickup point was a good 20 mins walk, if not more. Then the queue for the bus appeared to go on for ever. I pre-ordered a bus ticket but no one was checking these. It took me 45mins in the bus queue, I had just run a marathon…this is unacceptable. Then the bus returned us back to the start and a 45 min walk back to my hotel.
To me this could be a great event but you need to think about the runners experience rather than maximising profits. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Never again In full: I totally agree with all the comments regarding this race and the bad organisation but I do not believe the organisers will own up to the mistakes made if you feel as strongly as I do send an email to Rt Hon Alex Salmond listing all your complaints as I have done. If enough of us complain maybe some action can be taken against the organisers and the event improved for future runners. Please email : http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msp/memberspages/alex_salmond/index.htm
In short: Fantastic for PB chasers but better organisation at the finish would have been appreciated In full: I was slightly suprised with just how negative some of the race reviews have been as I did genuinely enjoy this race (more so than I did the London Marathon last year) - the fact I managed a PB and broke 4 hours may have contributed to this however!
To everyone commenting that the race is not in Ediburgh after the first few miles - I'm not sure how this came as a suprise to you? The course map makes it quite clear and I seem to remember last years race reveiws making the same comments. Personally, I wasn't bothered that we left the city as some of the views were lovely (the power station less so!) and I actually prefer running on quiet courses (I found the crowds and noise at London overwhelming for instance). The tight turns weren't great and the road surafce near the stately home didn't do much for my legs but otherwise no complaints about the course.
Organisation at the start was very good and all the drinks stations/ fuel stops worked like clockwork - the big signs letting you know these were coming were particularly helpful as I knew when to move to the side. Mile markers were quite small and I did miss a couple but I think they were all there. I had my Garmin beep on the mile in any event so knew more or less how far I'd gone.
I didn't actually notice the lack of crowds at the finish. I was running with 9 other runners from my club and we didn't have any non-running supporters at the finish so I wasn't aware that the big screen was broken. Being made to walk on at the finish I'm used to from larger events but I was suprised they made us go so far before we got to the water as I was gasping for a drink! I discovered from my faster clubmates and a couple who ran the half that earlier (and half marathon) finishers were handed bananas as well but these had clearly run out by the time I arrived.
I was lucky in that I managed to collect a medal, goody bag and small T-shirt quite quickly and easily. I do have a generic "marathon festival" T-shirt not a "marathon" one but I can put up with that (and I am certainly not paying to send it back to them in the hope I'm given a marathon one - I think they might live to regret that comment!) I can't work out how they managed to get T-shirts mixed up/ run out when we all had our size on our running number. The only conculsion I can come to is the fact that most of the crew handing out T-shirts seemed to be children. I'm not sure it's even appropriate to have children "working" in what must have been quite stressful circumstances dealing with a lot of tired and emotional marathon runners. Add to that the fact that there were the last of the relay runners coming in and funneled the same way as us (despite the fact they were supposed to receive different medals etc.) I can see how mistakes were made.
The medal is disappointing having seen the ones from last year and as for the bit at the back so you can buy a personalised insert - I'm not about to give any more money to EMF! Wondering if I can make myself one!
My real issue was at the bag reclaim. Having been at London where they spot you coming and have your bag ready I wasn't expecting a 20 minute wait trying to shout over other runners to yet more children to get my bag back. Again, I think adults were really needed here to try to ensure people were looked after in the order they arrived rather than on the basis of who shouted loudest. Also, I can't work out why they didn't mix the bags up more? Baggage tags were based on race no. which was based on pen - when I arrived there were lots of other pink number people finishing (as you would expect) so two of the lorries were heaving and others were empty.
Finally, who on earth thought it was a good idea to send us all out of the finish area through a tiny gap in a fence? Any logic tells you that's a bad idea! When I finally got through I found the reunion area fine and was able to meet up with my clubmates very easily.
However, the chaotic nature of the end of the race didn't detract from what was a fantastic day - most of all I'd like to say a huge thanks to all the marshalls and spectators who gave up time in what wasn't the nicest of weathers to cheer us on. It was very much appreciated. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Poor race in great city In full: I don't normally comment on events but with so many negatives you must be warned:
* Public transport along the route was difficult to say the least, I’m amazed my partner managed to find these places in the middle of nowhere * Returning to Edinburgh was nearly impossible * Virtually no support for what seemed like miles at a time * No organisation at the finish (My partner was supporting but somehow managed to get into the finish area). It took ages to get through the tiny gap to the reunion area (I needed first aid treatment but there didn't seem to be any at the finish) * Missing mile markers (glad I had my Garmin) * Uninspiring route miles from the city, not much but the sea to look at for miles * Poor road surface * Poor goody bag, why so tight with the freebies!? * 30 minute walk to any kind of public transport.
Some positives: • Good support from other runners, as usual • Really friendly and helpful first aid (once you got there) • Fast and flat (if there wasn’t a headwind for the last 8 miles but I can only blame mother nature for that one).
The race organisers could learn a lot from many club organised runs. I would return to Edinburgh but not to run
In short: Spoilt by the diabolical post finish area. In full: Post race finish area was a disaster. Long walk to water tables, 15 minute bottleneck queue for goodie bag/T Shirt (no room to bypass this), after baggage collection everyone bottlenecked again to get through 3 metre gap in exit fence then one mile walk (part uphill) to shuttle buses. Route OK but the finish area left me really disappointed. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Too many basic problems need fixing and from what I can see the organisers ignore feedback repeatedly In full: Don't want to repeat all the points raised many times by others. I can't see a reason why the organisers couldn't have shortened the long route and finished back in Holyrood Park which would have been better for many many reasons. The finish, goody bag and medal were poor. Dreadful travel arrangements back into the city. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Post Race Let Down In full: I enjoyed and rated highly everything right up to crossing the finish line where GSI forgot to organise things. To put it mildly if they paid somone to plan the post race part they should ask for there money back as it was hopelessly organised, que's followed by que's follwoed by no where to relax and thats before the depressing lack of transport to escape the area.... A great race but they must sort out the finish if they expect to charge so much! Date of review: May 24, 2011