In short: Fantastic coastal scenery but lack of support at the critical stages In full: This was my first marathon but I have run in a few big halfs to compare to on the organisation front.
Good points: Loved the coastal scenery. Good support in a few spots and great at the end. Start area well organised, efficient bag drop. Lots of water stations and good marshals.
Bad points: Long walk to the buses and then a long bus ride in bad traffic. Not fun. Not enough toilets on the course. Sports drinks at a couple of stations would have been nice. No clear directions to anything at the finish area. Mile markers well out. The course is relatively flat compared to other races but it's far from the flat course the organisers claim it to be. The undulations make a big difference if you've trained on the flat expecting a flat course. Poor photos. There is no picture of me crossing the finish line, yet they managed to get me on a DVD which I can pay for instead. Who on earth wants a DVD?! The design of the course means miles 15-22 are pretty remote and with the road closure no supporters can get to that part of the course. Had I known how minimal the support would have been I would have taken my iPod. I had a bad run and really needed some support at that point.
For me it's that last point that really made a difference. If you advertise yourself as a big city marathon (it is called the Edinburgh marathon after all, not East Lothian) then people expect some support. The supporters in other areas were fantastic, especially everyone so put their sprinklers out on what was an unusually hot day for Scotland! But people simply can't get to some of the toughest miles mentally.
In short: Great! Already signed up for next year! In full: This was my first marathon and it was a wonderful experience. I actually enjoyed the 20 minute walk to the shuttle bus. Kept thinking how much good it was doing me :) Agree the goody bag was a bit pathetic, but when you are used to Market Drayton's 10k bag, everything falls short!! May do the 5k on the Saturday next year too! :D Date of review: June 1, 2013
In short: Great for a PB, crowds are wonderful but finish still needs work to reach full potential In full: The crowd were great, the information points the day before were good and the route is flat-ish so potentially fast. BUT a large part of route is "out and back" which can be dull and the paths seemed narrow for the number of runners, so spent a lot of the time dodging other runners and getting out of other people's way which is a bit tiring/annoying. Also the finish was not so good - the floor was uneven and high potential to trip right at the end - which is not what you need. Also goodie bag was poor and they ran out of merchandise early at the shop so it was pretty empty even for the early finishers. Having bronze, silver and gold medals for the different events was a nice touch though and all the marshals were fantastic, and very helpful. Overall it was a great day and I got a PB so had an ace time...but for an event of this size it just feels like they could make some small changes to make it a really fantastic event for everyone. Date of review: May 31, 2013
In short: Good to go at PB's but could do with some improvements In full: The start was fairly straight-forward and even I didn't use the toilet felt they should had more. But the start was 5 mins behind start, good crowd to cheer you off. I managed to find a running buddy and we just said let's go for it. We did and first half sailed quickly enough. But it is at this point as I had trained with SIS they were NO ISO drinks ;-(. I can't stomach gels. It wasn't until 20 miles that my body was needing an ISO. But then crowds were helpful. Now the end please no rubber mate when you have run on blisters for 5 miles. The after finish is poor, goody bag is shocking. I along with others were shaking. And lastly what you don't is a 1.5. Mile walk to the train station or bus shuttle.
In short: Potential to be a lot better In full: Edinburgh marathon is okay but I found it very lacking in the finer details. Some of which were very important.
1. There were nowhere near enough toilets either at the start or on the route. Toilets that were at the start area were not sign-posted. They could have had signs saying 'more toilets over here, etc'. I never had a chance to go before the race but needed to. I planned to stop at the 3 mile point but there was already a queue of about 10 people when I got there! The same was true of almost every toilet stop along the route. This is not good enough.
2. There were not enough loud speakers at the start area. I was in the 4 hour start zone and we could not hear a thing the guy on the loudspeaker was saying. Apparently there was a countdown to the start - we couldn't hear it.
3. The mile markers were out almost the whole way along the route. At one point all of the garmins around me beeped simultaneously but the mile marker was still about quarter of a mile away. This was really annoying.
4. The goodie bag is rubbish. A museli bar, a bottle of water and some electrolytes after running 26 miles. It would have been nice to have more food/fuel.
5. No signage at the finish area and nobody to help. It was really crowded outside the finish area and no signage to where the meeting place was.
These might sound like small points. But they did affect the day and have definitely put me off running Edinburgh again. Date of review: May 31, 2013
In short: It was HOT HOT HOT & I suffered towards the end. In full: Very well organised, Only small moan was no energy drinks available during the race just water & gels but great medal & t-shirt and fantastic support from the crowds. Date of review: May 29, 2013