In short: Gutted with the finish fiasco In full: This is my 3rd and possible last Edinburgh Marathon. Good Points The crowds were great upto a few hundred yards from the finish when they all vanished. I got cramp with 1/2 mile to go and a guy on the sidelines helped me which was great - cheers mate! When i got moving again the crowd having seen the pain on my face gave me great encouragement. Plenty water/lucozade, good marshalls.
Bad points It has all been said by others already so I won't bore everyone about the finish apart from to say a finish without fans is like playing champions league final behind closed doors saying it will be on a big screen and then it breaks down. I have a wife and 3 kids under 6 who tried to see me finish, which they didn't - i think it was T-in the park with no volume that was on the screen! Even if the big screen worked are the runners suppossed to hear the cheering from the field next door! The uneven surface in the park at Gosford house is bad underfoot were you concentrate more about potholes that times.
Final point was this 26.22miles as there are a few of us on EMF facebook registered on various GPS watches as 26.28 to 26.34 miles and my watch has never drifted on any races before. EMF follow Loch Ness and start outside the city and finish in City centre. Needs a major re-think or it will fizzle out. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Great potential but let down In full: Great potential for this race but let down by the finish and also tpp many add on bits to make up distance. This is 2nd year done this race and neither of above has improved. I will not be returning until I hear it has improved the above areas. It is a shame as the marshalling was top class and the support superb. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Scotlands Capital city, but not exactly the equivalent of London marathon In full: I think this race is maybe becoming a victim of its own success. It's billed as a major race, but is certainly not able to compete with the likes of London etc. - especially on the organisation front. Sometimes it felt like your local town marathon, (which is not always a bad thing), but had becomed swamped by the numbers.
Course was good - flat so a PB is on the cards (despite that headwind on the way back in!) although don't think the enery sapping off road trail section around mile 18 did anyone any favours! It was nice and scenic following the coast. Water / Lucozade stations were fine, but mile markers were very small and well hidden! Support was always good - but sometimes thin away from the towns. At the start, we were pretty much left to our own devices - very little marshalling etc and no fixed pens so was nice not to be hearded like cattle. More toilets would have been good though - especially mens urinals which would have eased the demand on the portaloos.
Can't really add much more to what has been said re. the finish area; personally, it wasn't too congested when I got there (3hr 48min) but I can see where potential problems would be. Got my goody bag etc. ok but there was a definite bottleneck leaving the area to go to the reunion area = narrow street, with members of the public swarming over it. Totally agree that it's just not on not allowing spectators see the finish line - and could have done with a countdown from 800mts to the finish for the runners. Would have been nice to be able to finish back in the centre as then there's no hassle of getting back to where you started (long walk / queues / cost of coming back on public transport) and would also give spectators something to do whilst waiting.
I thought it was an over priced event - £45 is steep. OK, was nice to get decent 'technical' T-shirt rather than yet another cheap cotton one, and medal will make a good paperweight! but not much in goody bag. At the very least, shuttle buses should be provided free back to the city centre.
Also, on the point of price, I was really disappointed to see most hotel rooms taking advantage and hiking their prices so much. I'd heard of several fold increases in room prices. I ended up staying a bit further out (but then spending a lot on cabs backwards and forwards!) I know it's a case of supply and demand, but by the time you've paid the entry fee, travelled, paid for a couple of nights accomodation and eaten, then it soon mounts up. Would be cheaper to actually go abroad.
Not sure if I would do it again as it's not special enough to make it a rival to London etc. As I say, it's looking like a victim of it's own success - not big enough to be on a par with the major city marathons, but not small enough to be forgiven for its downfalls. Not at the price they are charging anyway. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Finish line farse In full: This was my first the 'one' when your family see you cross the finish line, did it happen, NO it did not yes I finished but my family who had travelled from sussex to support me had been told they could not get to the finish and would have to watch it on the screen. when they found the screen was not working they did not know when I had finish or when I would meet them. I had done the training, I have spent the last 6 years with cancer I wanted to feel a sense of acheivement for me and my little boy. I may not get the opputunity to run another marathon all I got at the end of this was a long walk and long queues and my family had not seen anything. what lack of respect the organisers showed us. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Great PB potential race, but very poorly organised. In full: This was my second marathon and my first at Edinburgh. Great PB potential course, but due to the high winds in the last 8 miles like many others was slowed down, however was still a good time for me.
Plenty of water stations and Lucozade if you like it. Great atmosphere and plenty of support from the locals, supplying sweets etc...
However this marathon was very badly organised, which has let it down badly. I never attended the expo, and just decided to turn up on the day, and glad I did. I asked a steward on London road where the bag drop was and was sent to the wrong one, had a nice wee walk (I guess could have been part of my warm -up) and ended up at the right one.
It was fantastic to have my spectator's support on the final stretch to the finish. Although they were told they couldn't line the final route i'm glad they and many others did as the big screen in the reunion area which was supposed to be showing the finish, was broken!! Their support kept me going to the finish. What is the point in family/friends coming to support you when they have to watch you on a big screen anyway. The fact it was broken must have been a huge disapointment or those who took spectator buses to the finish then walked a couple of miles from the bus park to the reunion area. Edinburgh, this is NOT acceptable! The Reunion area was also a shambles! Hundreds of people going in opposite directions on the pavement and entrance into the park, not enough drinks/food vendors and mile long queues. The walk to get them medal and goody bag after the finish was long enough let alone struggling through crowds to get to the park. The showers were freezing and i finished in the top 300. No where near adequate for the number of entrants. From a spectator point of view it would have been much better if the route had been reversed. Edinburgh city center has much more facilities and amenities for spectators to pass the time and spend money which would have been fantastic for local businesses. My family spent most of the time i was running, travelling to the finish.
Come on Edinburgh you've got a great course that just needs a few adjustments, like the finish being in the main town and get a grip with the organisation.
The main reason I'd do this again is purely down to the course PB!
In short: Good until you get to the finish In full: Any positive qualities this race has were unfortunately overshadowed by the shambles at the end of the race. A narrow, cramped finishing area totally unsuited to so many runners, horrendous crowds, chaotic organisation, and a walk that felt like another marathon to queue up for shuttle buses back into the city. Never again. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: Biggest anti climax i have ever experianced. In full: The organisers should take a look at the Lochness marathon and learn how to organise a marathon for the runners and not to suit their pockets. Expected a whole lot more from Edinburgh but thanks to poor planning from finish line to location of busses i was very dissapointed. To "top" it all off I was given the wrong tshirt and GSI now expect me to pay for postage to have them correct their mistake,as if the best part of £50 is not enough in the first place. As said by so many others, the EDINBURGH marathon should start and finish in EDINBURGH. THINK OF THE RUNNERS AND SPECTATORS. Date of review: May 24, 2011
In short: On reflection- dull, disorganised, dangerous In full: This was my first attempt at the distance and I had heard very good things about Edinburgh Marathon as being a friendly and a good opportunity for a good time so I paid the fee and looked forward to it. There were a number of very good points: 1. The baggage collection was very good at the start. 2. The start was very nice, very Edinburgh!! 3. The support of the locals and charities was encouraging and welcome. 4. The friendliness of the other runners was brilliant. At around the 23 mile mark my cramp overtook me and I hit the floor at the side of the road. A guy helped me up and gave me some good advice. I assumed he was also at walking pace by that point but when he patted me on the bak and got back into his stride I was amazed. If you read this, thanks.
The Bad points 1. The Hub was too far away from the start. It's good to be around the hub prior to a run. 2. I was told I couldn't change pens to run with my friends and being naive I didn't try to swap even though the start was unmarshalled. 3. Are you sure it was the Edinburgh marathon? 4. Mile markers? They were small when they were there but more often than not they were not there. 5. The water stations were sometimes too small and caused 'pile ups' every time. 6. In such a big city would it have not been possible to run a loop rather than an out and back? Passing runners ahead and behind is hard and it is heartbreaking for a novice. 7. Why did we have to run past the finish line, that's just cruel. 8. In some areas, the terrain was down right dangerous. 9. I don't think I need to say too much about the finish. It wasn't my proudest race finish but all the same, having the privilege to have my loved ones, who had made big sacrifices to be there, see me finish my first marathon removed was unfair. Why have empty stands and a family ban at the finish and then fail to show it on the screen. 10. Between the finish line and the reunion area was extremely poorly organised. Goodie bag, ok, medal nice but not 2011 dated, t-shirt not my size. 25 minutes in a queue in agony watching people really struggle to cope with cramps and breathing with no help. If this isn't rectified for next year, I can see newspaper headlines. Not a pleasant experience.
Please learn from this next year as it has great potential, spend some money and close the roads and run around more of the beautiful city. Date of review: May 24, 2011