In short: One to say you've done In full: This was my second attempt at the Marathon, having run it last year as well. I really like the start area. PLenty of room for runners and spectators, people taking photos, warming up etc. Once we got going the crowds were brilliant, but this was only in places. Members of the public handing out jelly babies was much appreciated. Support from volunteers at water stations was fine. The bottles of water were the right size (330ml) so well done to the organisers for this.
For the long boring bit of the race where people are running in opposite directions there needs to be some kind of barrier down the middle of the road to prevent any chance of accidents. Once the race was over it wasn't obvious where we had to go. I appreciate the runners only area is good and the reunion area is a nice idea. However it wasn't clear where anything was. In future can I please be handed my finishers medal by an adult? Many reasons for this, the least important of which is that it looks amateurish otherwise. Nice big open space at the finish which is great but do you really expect people who have just run a marathon to walk that far to catch a bus back to the city centre. NOBODY checked our tickets anywhere. I paid 20 pounds to get my parents to the finish and then all of us back to the city centre. I needn't have bothered! Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Superb Flat and Fast marathon In full: My first Marathon and well worth the 400 mile trek to Edinburgh. The race was superb, scenery, support, organisation, first class. The support through the villages was awesome, lots of sweets being given out by the locals and amazing support all the way round. The Scottish people did them proud! I'll be back in 2014!! Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Good all round Marathon In full: This was my second Edinburgh marathon overall everything went very well, I must agree about the mile markers and my garmin being a lot out at times, I have run two marathons before and never been that much out.The finish was great with lots of noice ok there are places where nobody watches like where you turn to head back from old house.Goody bag was very sparse as as been mentioned already.A bigThankyou to all the marshalls and the volunteers who give you water ect I probably will do it again maybe next year Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Call it the Musselburgh Marathon In full: Was looking forward to the "Second biggest marathon in the UK" but unfortunately it didn't live up to my expectations.
Ok you start in Edinburgh, but much of the race is actually run in Musselburgh, which is dull at best. Slight relief was the country route, but then a bit of a killer running through the woods on uneven surfaces.
Support was thin on the ground, which I imagine is due to it being outside of Edinburgh.
I didn't find it flat as advertised at all, more like a undulating course, which is fine just wasn't what it said on the tin.
I paid for the shuttle bus for ease of getting back to Edinburgh but found the 1 mile walk uphill unwelcome after just running 26.2 miles! An elderly gentleman who I walked with agreed!
Water stations were a bit sparse and could do with a few more energy stops.
As you can tell quite dissapointing really, could do a lot more with what is a lovely city and other than the race I enjoyed my weekend. Date of review: May 29, 2013
In short: Well organised, fast and enjoyable In full: Well supported with a fast route. It actually has a slight rolling feel (instead of being purely flat) but is still a very good place for a PB. Most of it isn't in Edinburgh but it's well supported anyway. Personally I'd love it to finish running up the Royal Mile to finish by the castle; but the climb would be a bit brutal! It really is a full mile's walk to the shuttle buses after the finish but at least you can shower and rest first, and to be fair there were plenty of buses running. I'd like a "400m to go" sign near the finish but the mile markers were clear and there were plenty of drinks stations (and toilets at the start) so no real complaints. I've signed up to run the Bournemouth Marathon in October which seems to be the same organising group. If it goes as well as this one I'll be happy! Overall this and Brighton seem to be vying for 2nd place after London in UK big city marathons. Both are good but this just gets my vote for being better value (i.e. not feeling like a rip-off!) Date of review: May 28, 2013
In short: Has the potential to be a great race, but needs some organisational improvements. In full: Fast and flat, but slightly boring on the long stretch out and back of East Lothian. Organisation in general was very good, but the end was poor - couldn't see event staff and signage was extremely poor. Took me 30 mins to find my family as there was no signage, or event staff and the police wandering around didn't know where anything was and sent me to look for an event staff member. Walking round in circles after 26.2 was a bit of a dampener on the event. On a less important note, my 'small' t-shirt was the same size as my partners 'XL', and my partner who ran the half marathon a few hours earlier, was handed a bag with the marathon t-shirt at the end. Needless to say, this could be a great race, but needs some organisational tweaks! Date of review: May 28, 2013
In short: Picturesque, well-organised and fast In full: I've seen a number of criticisms levied at this year's Edinburgh half marathon, some of which I think are justified but many of which are not and, as we have to look at the overall package, I think the organisers did a pretty good job on the whole.
First, the distance: according to my Garmin the race was smack on. I was consciously running tangents, which many were not, since in the early stages of the race this involves accelerating aggressively to overtake other runners in often congested sections of the route. Merely going with the flow will easily add another 0.1 miles to your run (i.e.161 metres).
Second, refreshments: this is always a matter of personal preference and you will never satisfy everyone. I cannot personally understand the need for gels or sports drinks for a half marathon, but gels were available at the last two stations (only one which was officially going to carry gels according to the briefing). The water bottles would have benefitted from sports tops, but this wasn't a big deal for me.
Transport: My own situation was probably unusual in that a training injury (torn soleus) recurred at 19k and, being bloody minded, I hobbled the last 2k on one working leg. You can probably imagine what I thought when I found out that my transit bus back was more than a mile away from the finish line!
Facilities: toilets at the start were inadequate for the size of field. I queued for over 30 minutes and just made the start (which was 1 minute early - not helpful). Many behind me had queued for almost as long with a choice between starting late or crossing their legs.
The positives: Edinburgh has a great combination of "big event feel" without being too big. The course is scenic, fast and flat and the organisation is generally very good. The local support is excellent, the marshals were great and it's definitely in my calendar for next year.