In short: Potential for great race spoilt by too many organisational issues In full: Why did they change the route that was run in 2006 ? That started in Princes St. and ended in Holyrood Park, and went via Leith, along coast to Portobello and back to the city - a bit hilly in last few miles but a much better route all round - and of course no transport problems at the end. My main gripes, already echoed by many others were : 1) Not enough water between 16 and 21 - need to be every mile if the race start time is to remain as late as it is. 2) No shade at end and a long stagger back to the reunion area - in 2007 when it finished at Musselburgh, I don't recall there being this problem. 3) Rubber mat in finishing straight - was like a bad dream where all your efforts to move forward are thwarted - again, in 2007 the finish was fine - why change it ? 4) My Garmin measured the distance as 26.48 miles, that's 450m longer than it should be - now I know the accuracy of a Garmin is not always perfect but I am convinced the distance was at least 400m long - that's about 2 minutes at my pace. Date of review: May 28, 2010
In short: good but could be better In full: my first marathon and happy with my time considering the heat!
1.pre race emails and details were excellent and easy to understand.
2.start of race was well marshalled and public toilets at end of london road was handy to find.
3.course was fast and good to see some scenery on the way (not including cockenzie power station!)
4.plenty of water and lucozade plus support was excellent from locals and kids handing out jelly babies.oranges and water.
5.excellent t shirt and medal
6.text messaging service was nice touch.
1.did not like the detour off the coastal road for a mile to make up the distance.start of race could be moved possibly to avoid runners having to adjust their pace to run around a cone!
2.the gosford park stretch could have done with a water station plus the surface was tricky in some places.
3.the finish on the matting was a nightmare and should be moved to finishing on the road somewhere else.
4.start of race should be brought forward to between 7-9am to avoid running in hottest part of day.
5.the results would be better if running club names are mentioned.
overall i enjoyed my first marathon experience until i hit the wall at 22 miles!having previously ran the cardiff half marathon last year and seen the chaos of the baggage reclaim and transport issues post race i decided to stay in a campsite close to finish which was three quarter full of runners!i found this arrangement ideal as the walk back was good for my legs and the journey in to the start was easy as long as you gave yourself plenty of time.i agree with other people's comments about the reunion area access and lack of marshalls directing runners to the shuttle buses.if the organisers pay heed to everyone's constructive comments then there is no reason why this race shouldn't grow and grow. Date of review: May 28, 2010
In short: Not enough drinks stations and too far to walk to collect bags and not enough signs for transport back to Edinburgh In full: This was my first marathon and I must say I was a little disappointed. There were not enough drinks stations and to say that collecting bags and getting back to Edinburgh at the end was a shambles was an understatement. After the hottest day of the year, we had to queue to get our photos taken in the heat, still with no shelter. There was also no sheleter for runners to strech out in at the end after walking the best part of what felt like 1 mile to collect our baggage. Runners were crammed behind the lorries to get some cover. I had also allowed 4 hours to get back to my hotel and relax prior to getting my plane back home, but it took nearly 2 hours sitting in the sun with no shade to catch a bus back to the City. There appeared very little organisation to give priority to runners and before we knew it after the end of the race we were surrounded by supporters.
I know the weather cannot be guaranteed, but would it not make sense for the marathon to start prior to the 1/2 marathon say around 8.30 in case of the heat? Would it not also be bette to end the race closer to the city? I do worry that the route cannot support this number of runners. Date of review: May 28, 2010
In short: A good race but don't get caught by the hype. In full: I have run this race for the last 4 years and will be back next year. I think it is a great event but would urge all to watch out for the hype and understand that this is not necessarily what you would expect.
The criticisms of the route are fair as anyone expecting "Edinburgh", which makes only a cameo appearance at the start, will be disappointed. For those who criticise this, however, why didn't you check out the route before hand? If the race finished in Edinburgh or even was around Edinburgh, can you imagine the hills! The route is fine and benefits from being closed to traffic for well over 2/3 of it. Although it is downhill and "fast", do not be lulled into believing it is easy as it is not. The intense heat has affected the race for the last two years and makes it VERY tough. If that isn't a factor, in previous years, the wind coming off the sea which is always in your face is just as bad. Be prepared for a challenge.
I didn't experience the baggage reclaim or the shuttle buses but would suggest that a little realism needs to come into play. Other marathons I have run have needed an equal amount of walking to get to transport (if not more). In the mighty metropolis of New York, the only way to get back to the hotel was to walk as the taxis were all full and that was nearly 3 miles! The transport does get difficult around Musselburgh and I truly hope that the event isn't getting too big to cope.
The medal is the best I have got at the end of a race for the 2nd year running.
The start was very well managed and put London to shame this year. Pens were policed, kept separate as you approached the line to allow a clear run. WELL DONE!
I do have some major gripes:
Firstly the toilets at the start for the second year were a joke. Nowhere near enough, tucked away, signs advertising that you would need to queue. Where are the urinals which would have removed a huge volume of the queue (they had them 2 years ago). This is a basic which should not be got wrong.
Secondly, although water was available after last year's calamity, it was not regular enough and the lack of stations between 16-22 miles (or thereabouts) was shameful. It was really frustrating to run past the last relay changeover to see pallets of water on the outbound route that was now clear of runners and none being handed to us.
Lastly, communication from GSI was terrible. Reading some of the comments made by others (eg where do I put the chip) suggest runners ought to read the information they are sent as much was made clear in the newsletters etc. However, why oh why wait until a week before to send out race packs. We were told they would be here by Saturday of the week before. Mine didn't arrive. Email to GSI asking what to do. No response. Pack doesn't arrive on Monday. Email to GSI exactly as described in FAQs. No response. Pack eventually arrives on Tuesday. Email to GSI telling them not to worry. No response. The first reply I got was late evening on the Friday before the race when I was already in Edinburgh and 240 miles from home telling me they would reissue a number. Do they have no idea what it is to train and get psyched up for an event and then have to set off not knowing if all will be well. This was unacceptable to me.
The push back of the start time in order to accomodate the half marathon may be a reasonable compromise for the event but put all the runners under intense heat for longer than would normally be the case. However, I would urge the person who made the comment in their review that this meant the faster runners had to finish in the heat to take a look at the poor soles who were slower and in the heat far longer.
Overall, I have some strong frustration and think that the comments made by others are fair. This is a great race though which I fear may be getting too big. It can be managed well but can the organiser, GSI, actually do that? Date of review: May 28, 2010
In full: Organisationally a disaster, Lack of Water Stations especially in the extreme heat for second year running. Lack of City sights, more like a coastal run than a City Marathon. Start in the city see some sights before going out to Crammond Newhaven, Leith. Portabello and then to the finish at Musleburgh. Baggage collection area too far away from finish (approx 15 minute walk)and Special buses back good idea but again the 30 minute walk was too far and no signage to where they were. Needs more water stations and greater number of on course first aiders. Date of review: May 27, 2010
In short: A reasonable race on a very warm day In full: As others have said I think the start and the management of the course itself was a good improvement on last year.
The marshalls, spectators and the other runners were excellent in providing encouragement and support when the going got tough. Thanks particularly to the people of local towns / villages for the vocal support, the hosepipe cooling, unofficial drinks stations and jelly babies - excellent.
What let the race down, as has already been said, was the distance from the finish line to the baggage lorries and then on to the shuttle buses. The last thing you want, when you've just run a marathon is another 2 miles of walking.
I plan to return next year, hopefully to improve on my time and also to see further improvements in the organisation, particularly at the finish. Date of review: May 27, 2010
In short: Very enjoyable day, apart from the walk to the shuttle buses. In full: I think some of the critics have been a bit harsh. I personally enjoyed the course and thought the scenery was superb, much better than looking at concrete and glass. Yes there are a few gripes but nothing major apart from the 20 minute walk to the buses. Will be back - loved Edinburgh. Date of review: May 27, 2010
In short: Fiinish area and transport a mojor problem In full: This was my second Edinburgh, so I knew what to expect. When the organisers get somethning right, they get something else wrong. Last year it was the water fiasco. This year, plenty water but major problems in the baggage reclaim and transport. The traffic is scrwed anyway and 95% of runners want to get back to Edinburgh centre to their hotel or for onwards departures, Until the organisers get a smooth transport system to handle that there will be issues. I agree with what others have said. Also the race started too late (to accommodate the earlier half) but that meant even the fsater runners ( 3 hours) were still on the route as the hottest part of the day. A 9am start at the latest, please. I may do this again as a local who wants this to be Scotland's Permier Marathon to rival London but it will be some years before that is assured. Date of review: May 27, 2010