In short: In full: Shame this years race has been tarnished by some thoughtless idiots who stole some of the much needeed water. If the organisers tighten up on the organisation of the race it will become a major calender event. \More thought has to go into an energy station between 16 and 22 miles. Agree with comments about run towards finish on springy metal surface. Date of review: June 9, 2009
In short: It ain`t arf hot Mum.......and a bit shambolic in places. In full: Poorly signed mile markers. Running out of water. Chaotic start Chaotic finish. Still got a PB and I will return, although I`m not sure about the race director !
In short: A better finishing surface and more frequent water/lucozade sport stations from the 16 mile mark. In full: Very warm weather meant I just missed out on sub 4hours by a few seconds. I didn't run out of water but still very dehydrated between 16 and 21 miles as I felt there weren't enough water stations in that area given the heat. The Moray marathon in 2005 increased the frequency of their water stations due to the heat that year. Gosford House section was incredibly hot and stifling particularly with the dusty running surface.The huge toilet queue at the start meant I was nearly late for entering the starting pens. I thought the finish was a bit shambolic - spongy running surface and then wasn't clear where to pick up goody bags etc. Completely missed out on the free beer. Good things are the technical t-shirt in the goody bag, plenty of water at the end, helpful marshalls, fabulous support along the whole route and despite the heat I still got a PB though not quite as good as I was hoping for.
In short: Faults ok yes, but great In full: Yes I know their were some pretty big flaws and the water situation could have been quite dangerous. Personally I decided to take the not sure if any water so started walking at 15miles till 20miles and came in an hour after I expected to but I loved it. The support was one of the best I have ever known. Date of review: June 8, 2009
In short: A good course, on the right day, to get a pb. Weather was very warm this year though. I found the race to be well organised. The finish area to be much better laid out than last year. Spectators and marshalls were very suppotive. Date of review: June 7, 2009
In full: This was my first marathon and a real hot one with temperatures getting to 22° Celsius, so much so that the Gosford House loop (almost 2 miles) was apparently cut off to slower runners as the organisers were worried about heat exhaustion - that must have been infuriating for the runners. There were 9 water stations in all, evenly spaced, and a few residents with welcome hosepipes, was the course reduction really necessary?
Thankfully there was a bit of a sea breeze, the course is nice and flat and plenty of support along the way. The course was all on the road, apart from Gosford Park, but the much hated gravel of the previous year had been removed though this loop did feel particularly hot as you left the sea breeze behind.
When you hit mile 19 you are re-running previous ground so psychologically there are no surprises and you can see slower runners on the other side of the road. I enjoyed being able to see the sea for a lot of the course (a useful distraction as I gradually got more tired!) but it was a shame that the finish was not in Edinburgh itself, though the Musselburgh Race course finish was quite dramatic with lots of vocal support making you want to sprint to the finish line!
Nice well made medal which has a space on the back for engraving your name and time if you are wish!
In short: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly In full: Felt a bit let down by this year's event unfortunately. I enjoyed this marathon (my first) so much last year that I entered it this year at the first opportunity and waxed lyrical about it to various friends, citing it as an 'ideal first marathon' and encouraging them to enter too if they were considering a first marathon. Some of them did enter it on the basis of the recommondation and it's to their great credit that they each not only finished very well (considering the heat of the day and other 'challenging' factors) but still took the positives from the day, of which there were also many and didn't allow the negatives to spoil their overall experience.
The 'ugly' of course was the lack of water fiasco. Frankly skeptical about the theft part but plenty has been said about it already, let's just hope that next year sees a huge improvement there.
The 'bad': Irritating DJ/announcer at start and finish (totally agree with the person who mentioned the elite loos situation - was glad I ignored the announcer and stayed in the loo queue, still had plenty of time hanging around waiting for the start afterwards ... who wants to start a full marathon desperately needing the loo when there's more than half an hour before start time to go?), tiring trampoline surface to finish up on, poor post-finish organisation, in fact I don't remember seeing that many marshalls though I appreciated the ones I did see and think they did a very good job. The insulting 'fun runners' comment in the newspaper by one of the organisers still makes me seethe and is probably the main reason why I think I'll give Edinburgh a miss in the near future. As a slower runner that made me feel a little like a second class citizen marathon-wise and detracted a bit from my sense of achievement (it's been a tough year so far but I still stood on that start line and completed a full marathon, albeit under 6 hours rather than under 4½). Disgraceful to learn too that some people weren't even allowed to complete the full distance - my heart goes out to those runners. Last year I was impressed by the events ability to make runners of all paces feel their achievements were equally valid (making it a good 'first marathon') but this year a bit of elitism seems to have crept in.
That said, there is so much good in this event too - certain aspects very well organised (e.g. start wave system and pre-race information), I love the course which is why I returned to do this marathon again after last year, fantastic support from the locals (will be eternally grateful to those wonderful people with the hosepipes and the tables of water cups outside their door ... almost cried with gratitude at such acts of kindness, thank you thank you thank you!), fab medal (so heavy I almost garotted myself as I lay down on the grass afterwards with it on!) and a nice, technical t-shirt. Stadium finish is also terrific, minus that weird plasticky surface of course!
I'll most likely do this marathon again in the future because I really like Edinburgh, love the marathon course, was impressed and grateful for the excellent local support and overall it had a great atmosphere (during the times when dehydration/lack of water weren't an issue that is) – but I hope by then at least some of the bigger issues have been addressed. I look forward to either the Loch Ness or Toronto Waterfront marathon instead next year. Date of review: June 7, 2009