In short: hats off to the organisers In full: After the shambles of last year's half, I decided to give this race one more chance before taking my race number elsewhere, and I am very glad I did. The Forthside half this year was a completely different race and I couldn't fault a thing. Revised race route, plenty of water at the stations, phased start, strategically placed outdoor loos, chip timing, t-shirts, a goody bag and an excellent filter system at the finish so that things ran smoothly. Huge improvements from last year and if the organisers manage to keep it this price for next year's run, it will remain one of my favourites. Date of review: April 1, 2007
In short: A pleasant run along the coast, but bad start & finish organization In full: The run itself was quite fast and flat, although a bit windy, and pleasant views along the coast (when not in the Leith dock area!).
The start and finish were very badly organized. Hard to know where to stand at the start (timing bands not clear at all - should be larger and higher), so all the slower runners seemed to be at the front! The finish queue backed well up beyond the finish, making times slower, and it took ages for exhausted runners to get out of the finish area to food, drink and warm clothing!
Volunteers along the course could have been better organized - water laid out in advance. Date of review: April 9, 2006
In short: I'm sure it will be much better in years to come... In full: Ok this has been done to death and I pretty much agree with most of the points on here but here are my thoughts anyway :-
The start was a little bit of a let-down, not enough and badly placed toilets and badly signed expected time zones. Not exactly a disaster though even taking the 15 minute delay into account.
Whilst I’m somewhere between a 1:50 and 2:00 runner for a half, I took position as far towards the front of the start as I could due to the fact that I could see obvious signs of many slower runners being ahead of me – presumably due to the poor positioning / marshalling of the expected time zones and difficult to hear pa system.
I heard the hooter easily and crossed the start after about a minute – again no problems which were worse than some other events I’ve done. I have to say I didn’t notice any particular problems in terms of course bottlenecks anywhere. Anyone who ran last years Glasgow half will know all about bottlenecks on the Kingston Bridge which were far worse than the ones here!!
I always carry a bottle of water with me at the start so I avoid the bottleneck which always is the first water station and plan to make the second station my first water point (maybe a tip others should employ?). I usually also make sure this bottle has a sports cap (they’re nearly all the same size) in case the ones at the event come without (another wee tip). I acknowledge the fact that this shouldn’t be necessary but you learn these things through experience don’t you…
The route was a little boring but I was ready for this as it’s basically the same as part of the Edinburgh marathon and also is part of my local training run. People are right though – doubling back on yourself is absolutely soul destroying and the route really could be easily improved.
I was laughing about the energy drink situation. I passed two stations where I heard someone shouting “energy drink” and handing out cups. Cups!!! Cups in this day in age!!! Come on – either do it properly or not at all (Organisers of the Dunfermline Half please also take note if you still dish out your water in cups!!!). I must admit that I don’t really plan for energy drinks during a half so it didn’t bother me but I would have taken one at about half way if it was in a sports pouch.
People have done the finish to death and there isn’t much I can add… What clever so and so decided that a narrow 180 degree bend just after the finish was a good idea? Dear oh dear – I was Johnny Grumpy from Grumpsville after standing for half an hour… I don’t know if champion chip in itself would have solved that problem given the layout of the finish and I would have been really pi$$ed off if I’d had a champion chip and not been able to register my time at the finish because I couldn’t cross the mat!!!
I have to say that, on the day, I was quite happy with everything except the arrangements at the finish. I did however mention to some of my friends that this was right up there with the worst races I’ve been to in terms of organisation and that, despite the fact that it’s almost on my doorstep, I wouldn’t be running it again for a few years until they get all their problems ironed out.