In short: The Kingston Bridge is just a flyover why is everybody obsessed with running over it!!!!!! Shouldd the underground not be open early on race day? In full: Well I have ran the Glasgow half for the 3rd yer and dont know if I ran a PB or not as they seem obsessed with changing the course. The major reason for these changes seem to be the anal obsession with running over the "iconic" Kingston Bridge. The Kingston Bridge is not in fairness a thing of great beauty like the Tyne Bridge, Tower Bridge or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its a flyover and a pretty ugly flyover at that. Once you get over it you then run through a derilect industrial area that makes the locations filmed in taggart look selubrious. If the route went down queen st, along argyle st, down clyde st and along the river (under the kingston bridge so folk can marvel at its beauty), past the finniston crane to the armadillo and over the squinty bridge before passing the science centre and castle greyskull the course would be exactly the same length, even flatter and faster and join the current course at the parks for the more scenic bit. Basically its a good race. Only other gripes are that the t-shirts are horrid again this year (I dont like dressing up as a pint of milk), the results are very slow, and support is always pretty sparse in comparison to events like the GNR probably due to a lack of publicity that the run is even on.
One other question and I dont know if this can be blamed on SPT, the organisers or the council is why was the clockwork orange not operational from all stations before the races started? Me and a good few other runners were met with a closed station at 9.30 with a note that trains dont start until 10.15. If I hadn't been staying with a Glaswegian who could quicky find an alternative mode of transport I would probably of missed the start. Pretty poor effort when moving runners and spectators around the city should be made as easy as possible. Date of review: September 8, 2008
In short: For too long the Dundee half has been a race you run because it is close rather than good. next year I'll enter because it is actually a good race!!!! In full: Since its birth the dundee half has been shambolic to use a non sweary word. Last year was the current organisers 1st year and I thought it was horrendous and even worse than trigger's 13.7 miler. Its amazing how reversing a course can improve a race so much.
By avoiding a lot of Dundee's tourist attractions and the city centre the course may not show dundee off in its best light like the original one but it is decent. As it gets bigger moving back into the city may become possible. The lap of the park makes being there worthwhile (last year's uphill finish running through trees didn't do it for me), it is very fast if the wind is in the normal direction, the rediculous and dangerous late climb has gone and the picturesque finish at the castle with bigger crowds (that was always the races best feature) is back. The organisation was far better and the facilities at the ice rink were far better than the glass pavillion's last year. Shame the family run was cancelled and that the support at the finish was sparser than the last castle finishes but the weather prob played a part. It was a mingin' morning. A later start by an hour or so to get the Ferry's sunday visitors and church goers out on the final stretch could make it even more special. My only gripe was the over trafficconing of the course. Do we really have to run so many tight right angle turns when we cross junctions and pass circles. The only place there weren't cones was tuppany jocks brae where most of the field ran into the triffid. Shame Dundee's press gives next to no coverage to this proper running event in comparison to the massively overhyped "race" for life.
In the past the Dundee half was a race you ran because it was close. If somebody asked me whether it was worth travelling from central scotland I'd prob have said no go to east kilbride its better. Next year I can honestly say I'll enter because I want to run the Dundee half rather than it being something you felt you should run to keep it going. I also wouldn't be embarassed to recommend it to others. Well done to the organisers this race is getting there at last!!!!! Date of review: June 23, 2008
In short: Much bigger than last year but not quite as well organised. May be outgrowing current course. In full: I thought last year's event was close to perfection so I cant be too critical it is still bloody good. I didn't think the expo was worthwhile but if it is necessary to attract sponsors it maybe has to stay. I also wasn't a big fan of the gravelly sections or wobbleboards. Other than that the course was pretty good. The congestion at the start area was unfortunate but probably unavoidable due to the changed location which was less conducive to princes street's gardens and side roads. We cant blame the organisers for the tram lane going in. The signage was a bit poor especially in the early stages and the timing mat location was mystifying. I did run a big PB though so I wont be too critical. The finish is absolutely brilliant though. The grandstand finish cant help but inspire a sprint finish once you get over the gravel, grass, wobbleboards, more grass and onto that last stretch of tarmac.
The current course was devised primarily to reduce police costs in edinburgh city. The event has almost trebled in size since 2006 though and the traffic chaos in and around musselborough suggested to me that the current course is possibly about at saturation point. Hoepfully the increased entry fees and benefit to the local economy of so many runners coming to the city will allow the council and organisers come to a sensible fee for putting on the event.
I'd love to see a return to the 2006 course and the city but with an amended finish. If the course headed out to musselburgh from portobello rather than back up to hollyrood it would remain a very fast course, be a true Ednburgh marathon again and retain the fantastic grandstand finish which has been the one real success from the course change. Allowing free access to musselburgh from the north and east would also make access for spectators much easier and facilitate the escape of knackered runners. Date of review: May 29, 2008
In short: A bit too triggeresque for me. Didn't like the new course and worry for the safety of runners over those last 4 miles if weather was typical hot for July. In full: Maybe I was expecting too much after the shambles of the last three years but alas the new organisers created a pretty uninspiring show. The course is not as good as last years even though it is now 13.1 miles. A net 100m climb in the last 4 miles is however verging on fell running and brutality. Running up Lochee Road used to be hard but at least it was over in the 1st quarter of the race and you had a long downhill stretch to recover. Fortunately this year was not as hot as 2 years ago. Into the breeze and 20C+ could potentially cause problems to runners like the climb at Marsden in the Great North Run where fatalaties are common and I'm not sure there was adequate first aid to cope with these potential problems in this section. There was also less water on the course than previous years which although adequate yesterday may have been a problem 2 years ago.
Didn't really like the finish either. The castle was a much better place to finish and its a shame that in Broughty Ferry gala and the Dundee Blues festival weekend the organisers couldn't make more of the festivities. What was the point of the chips if there was no mat at the start? When did the race start after the 3-2-1 nothing or when the runners got fed up and just went? Did the bloke who won really do it in 0.00.41 as it shows in the Courier because they couldn't get the clock at the finish to work?
The support was even more sparse than in previous years as the run was predominantly through uninhabited parts of the city. Scenery was less dramatic and without the city centre section a lot of what dundee has to offer would have been missed by visitors to the city. The organisation was probably slightly better than in previous years but the event is less of a showcase to Dundee as a city which is a shame.
If we are going to be in camperdown in the future I'd rather just stay in the park and surrounding area to concentrate the crowds. I'm sure a couple of laps of the park, templeton woods, clatto reservoir and the wildlife park would make a distance nearish to 13.1 miles. Personally I'd rather see the course reversed or start in the city centre again and finish in the ferry. I'm sure the grassy areas on the esplanade could still accommodate things like the family fun runs. Date of review: July 2, 2007
In short: Brill, brill, brill. This was the year that Edinburgh became a real big city marathon. For a race that didn't look like it would go ahead at one point the organisers did a brilliant job to put on a real showpiece event for Scottish athletics. In full: What can you say about the race other than it was absolutely fab. The organistaion was brilliant this year and this should be the day when Edinburgh becomes a real big city marathon. Everything about this event was brill today and it is probably the best event I've entered. It takes a lot to knock the Berlin half off top spot!!!
Start was like clockwork. Pens and walk in worked really well and most importantly people were respectful of the other runners and started in their correct pens.
Water stations were excellent. No big gaps and actually more than I was expecting. Well stocked. Cant ask for more there.
Race route was nicer than last year. No industial estates, no loading bays, no derelict warehouses, no uphill finish. The wind was a killer at times but you cant blame the organisers for that. The only bit on the course I didn't like was that pointless 2nd wee loop after Gosford house. I couldn't see whay we didn't just go another 0.25 miles along the road we had already gone 16 miles down. Edinburgh city centre, pretty wee towns and scottish countryside was a perfect mix.
The finish was also great. There is something good about grandstand finishes in stadiums or race courses. It was good for spectators for shelter and as mum said it was great at 5 foot not very much to actually see over people and see me and Lizzy finish. Normally she is squinting between people. The cheer when you reached the flags was just great. There was a godd atmosphere amongst spectators as I waited for a friend to finish and MC keeping everybody clapping and cheering did a really good job to keep the crowd and in turn the runners going. I wouldn't go as far as to say it sparked a sprint finish but it certainly spurred me on to one last push.
A big thanks to Caroline Vevers (our forum friend) again for her common sense review of the entry system and the meticulous planning that must have been put into the race by her and her team. That was fab today well done. Date of review: May 28, 2007
In short: They started Carol Vorderman walking before the elite men. Need I say any more about the organistaion at the start!!!! In full: Yes its big, yes its a great occasion but you just think the organisers have lost sight of the fact that people like running the run as a running event and not a fundraiser. The colour coding should have been a good introduction but was just as shambolic as before. I crawled under the fence into the green paddock having been told to make my way to the back of the pack. I dont understand how wave starting the event would make it any worse. How does a man in a rhino suit get a green number? At worst there should be 2 starts based on past times in the event. The 1st start with sub 2h runners, then celebrities (for the tv) and then the fun runners. The predicted timing boards/colour coding of the waves could then be used to help subdivide the field. At least the sub 2h folk have been there and done it in the past and know where to stand.
Other than that the event was better than last year. There definately was water at gateshead stadium and the 1st aiders looked much more experienced at the side of the road. They looked like they had a much higher percentage oftrained paramedics rather than kids with jars of vaseline and as tragic as the death was this year this action hopefully prevented any further fatalities like last year on another hot day. Date of review: October 3, 2006
In short: If you want a pb give this a go. I ran 4 mins faster than at any other 1/2 marathon and 5 mins faster than I thought was possible!!!. In full: Good race. 1st time I'd done race and liked it. The start was in a good place and with plenty of facilities and the race course was pretty good. It missed most of Glasgow's minging bits which is quite some feat. I know the Kingston bridge is meant to be a highlight but I'm not sure whether it is worth the bottle neck. Even with a white number it became very tight and almost impossible to overtake. I'm not sure that taking the race over one of the other bridges would take much away from the race. The one thing I wasn't convinced of was the finish. I kept running round corners and expecting to see it and it was never coming. I'd rather of started 50 yards further down george street than the finish 50 yards around a blind corner. As one cause of concern I was confused by the apparent lack of 1st aiders at the finish line. I was in worse nick than in berlin 1/2 after chasing a sub 90 min target. In Berlin I got bundled into a 1st aid tent on sunday nobody even encouraged me to keep moving past the finishing line. Maybe the organisers would have had appropriate provisions but I wouldn't have fancied it being 10 degrees warmer. Date of review: September 7, 2006
In short: Its getting better. Tough course not helped by the wind but in comparison to last year there was a big improvement. Malawi choir at start and on discovery was nice touch for race doing its bit for charity. In full: The organisers are getting there. Still think course was a bit long but not as bad as last year possibly due to wider coned areas allowing you to follow tighter lines. Shame we cant keep running all the way through the docks past the old caledon though as the climb up to B. Ferry Rd is tough and just adds to a long course. It was hard going into wind all along the river it doesn't blow that way all that often. Lack of toilets at start was my major gripe this year. Using the Overgate/Castle St/Caird hall would have been useful. Shame event clashes with East Kilbride and is so soon after edinburgh marathon and stonehaven half which must limit numbers especially with the more serious club runners. A change of date and getting a permit for the race could make it more attractive for years to come. Getting some press coverage wouldn't hurt either. There wasn't a mention of the race in Saturday's Courier. Fears of another organisational shambles shouldn't be a deterrant again after a pretty decent effort this year. Date of review: June 25, 2006
In short: best race i did last year. pancake flat ideal for PB. Runners friendly and even heavy rain couldn'r ruin occasion. In full: What an excellent race. Course flat and scenic. Organisation excellent, personalised names on numbers was a nice touch, finish at race course was very nice and the commemorative beer went down a treat and was a novel souvenir. Runners and marshals very friendly and much more enjoyable race than Blaydon a few days later. Yorkshire folk are much more inviting to outsiders than Geordies (controversial I know but true). The sight of people sitting on deck chairs in bucketing rain with their brollies up in picturesque wee villages cheering you along was amazing and had me smiling all the way up the A19. Quite simple Thirsk is the kind of race that makes running so enjoyable. Date of review: May 28, 2006
In short: Tough course but delighted with time marathon training helps, Marathon not great but day on whole made up for it. In full: Good race, marshals, organisation and support good. Course tough at times but start and finish through the park and town centre were really good. A good work out for anybody doing the Reekie marathon. Only gripe would be the medal was not great. The one on the web site looks much better than the one handed out. The "goodie bag" was just a bag with a bottle of water in it. Nice as it is I'd rather have a t-shirt than a bag. Other than that great. I'm surprised this lot got Edinburgh half marathon so wrong as I've done the Dunfermline and Carlisle half marathons they organise and they have both been excellent. Stick with them they will get it right. Date of review: May 22, 2006