In short: Reasonable if slightly dull race, definitely still learning as an event. In full: I did the full marathon while my wife did the half so overall, between us we got a good sense of this race.
Firstly the route: The route was, as has been mentioned, very loopy (presumably to minimise road closures), but for me this was to the detriment of the race. It got more than a little boring running up and down the same residential streets and just doing a 180degree turn at the end and while I appreciate Sunderland is not New York or even London, some of these streets were either industrial estates or through derelict areas, doesn't give you the best impression of what is really a fine city. The rotten hill at mile 18-19 was also a bit mean and probably robbed more than a few of a PB but at least you got to see the impressive windmill up there!
Organisation / Planning: I found it frustrating that the Half Marathon, Relay and Full Marathon all set off at the same time which made it a bit of a bun fight initially though it did thin out particularly after the half'ers had finished. Another result of the looping was bizarrely positioned water / isotonic stations, some of which you passed twice within 10 mins or less due to the loop effect, a few extra toilets at stations would have been nice, maybe an open urinal for the men so ladies can use the portaloos in peace, at most stations there were no more that 4-6 portaloos which was nowhere near enough and resulted in large queues when I passed by. Most folk disappeared to the side of the roads to relieve themselves on some of the quieter bits and parks which is never nice to see. Also not a fan of the water bags / isotonic boxes as you cant put the top back on and run with it, you've either got to drink it all down in one go or discard it after a sip which is a bit of a waste.
Weather: As others have mentioned the conditions were pretty awful, gale force winds to start (which apparently stopped organisers putting up much of the hoardings and signage - which led to difficulties at the end). A nasty cloudburst late on made sure everyone was soaked prior to finishing!
Atmosphere: The atmosphere at the race was friendly and the good people of Sunderland came out to shout and cheer which was great, though they were few in number along certain sections of the course. Nicest part was the brief run along the River Wear and the coastal section (twice), some nice enough bits in the parks but you had to dodge small children running across parts of the route which was in the play park. There was a rather sad pasta party the night before with some terrible music (just my taste I guess but some X-Factor guy apparently) and really quite mean portions of pasta which didn't really have any protein or sauce present in it, had to fill up elsewhere afterwards.
Finish: The race finish was welcome and it was nice to finish near the stadium of light, though I found it really odd that you didn't get your medal or goody bag upon finishing but rather had to wander around to an unsigned entrance to the stadium and you had to go and find your own medal and goody bag! All very odd. Was ok for me as I managed to get a t-shirt (pretty decent too) but my wife couldn't get one in her size as they'd run out of small half marathon t-shirts which is not great (though it transpired the reason for this was the organisers had a van stolen which had t-shirts in and they've since offered to send out the missing t-shirts - so well done to them there). The goody bag was poor otherwise (aside from the Clif bar) but it was great that there was tons of banana's available. Bag drop area also didn't feel especially secure either, no attendants and no numbering of bags.
Final word about the announcer on the day who was terrible, haranguing the later finishing marathon runners as they approached the finish line continually trying to get them to run. I'm all for encouragement but this felt awkward and more like he was trying to embarrass folk who were clearly knackered!
The organisers are clearly learning as this is a young event. Am sure 2014 will be better though I'll probably try elsewhere.
In short: Could have been so much more... In full: Edinburgh is a beautiful city and deserving of a great race, sadly I don't think this "Great" Edinburgh Run is it! High winds made parts of the event a real pain (obviously can't blame organisers for that). However the lack of Km markers (I only saw 1, 8 & 9km) made the race harder than it needed to be (difficult to gauge your progress) and the woeful water supply was frankly dangerous on such a hot morning (1 at the halfway mark), no wonder so many folks had opted for their own supply, if I ever do this race again I'll do the same! There seemed to be a real lack of support for those in the final (pink) starting group, which made parts of the course somewhat lonely. Also there was a real feeling of much of the course being cleared away from around the pink phasers what with the lack of the aforementioned Km markers, very few race marshalls, cars being allowed in and out of the course and pedestrians ambling about unawares!
Nice medal and decenet t-shirt too, though for such an expensive race there was little else in the goody bag other than a biscuit! A shame all in all...