In short: the tantric sex of ultra-running In full: Sting should take this up instead. It goes on for ages, (the scenery) makes you ooh and ahh, you get sweaty, chaffing in your nether regions, the odd blister and friction burn, it doesn't matter if you come first or last you still get a hug from Lee and a beer, and even though it takes a good few days to recover you want to do it all over again. In fact this is even better because people cheer you as you do it and you get to stop every wee while for jaffa cakes and vinegar crisps. Date of review: July 23, 2012
In short: A fine half marathon In full: This was a fair bit more challenging than I expected. The net downhill elevation masked a number of serious climbs and with the wind into your face it was harder than expected.
The organisation was fine, everything was in place, and it had the feel of a race organised for runners as opposed to the more glitzy commercial "events" we tend to see more and more of. The route was more varied than the cycle path I expected with muddy forest sections.
No PB for me, but the long steep downhills probably offer PB potential for some.
Overall this was an interesting and challenging race and good value for money. Date of review: July 17, 2011
In short: Brutally hard, but in a good way In full: This is a really good race, with a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The organisation is good and has the potential to be a big mountain marathon.
The post race music and food in the sunshine was excellent.
The description as a trail marathon is a wee bit misleading - this is a seriously hard race especially the descents on tired legs which are tricky due to the rocky eroded paths. Some of the paths are really hard to run on unless you are a mountain goat or an experienced skinny fell runner with young knees
The blazing sun added to the challenge but made the river crossing more welcome than it might otherwise have been!
Overall a really worthwhile event, and definitely worth doing, but not to be taken lightly. Date of review: July 4, 2011
In short: shabby organisation. could do so much better In full: there is something deeply unsatisfactory about the organisation of this race. From the change away from the racecourse without any proper explanation, to the poor quality web site, there is a feeling that this race is about exploiting the runners and giving very little back. This year the finish was appalling. The long walk through baggage, then having to fight through a very narrow gate to get to the main road, before a long trudge into the reunion area from which there was no quick way out and no way to easily get back to watch friends finishing. There didn't seem to be any marshalls or first aiders in the baggage or reunion area which isn't great when runners are feeling a bit wobbly as they slow down. Really not catering for the runners needs at all. There was something of a debacle with t-shirts where my friend and wife couldn't get the t-shirt in there size because there were either none left or were given the wrong ones. The medal is pretty tacky and has no date on it presumably so they can be reused. t-shirts are averge to poor quality. The course is fine but is better suited to the 500 runners you get somewhere like Lochaber and the logistics of getting back in to Edinburgh are a nightmare.
Having done this race twice, I am sorry but I feel the runners are being exploited as is the use of the Edinburgh brand.
The road surfaces were pretty broken up in places
How hard can it be? runners want an easy start and finish experience and a reasonable memento of the occasion.
The marathon hub was an improvement this year but very far away from the marathon!
Positives: the marshalls and water stations were good and the crowds on course were suportive. Date of review: May 22, 2011
In short: Well organised,good course, enjoyable race In full: This is my local race so I know the course well. There is enough variety in the course to keep you interested with a couple of healthy sized hills to keep you honest.
The organisation is very slick and there is a good mix of club runners, first timers and locals.
Not the biggest crowds of supporters but pockets around the course were enough to give you a lift.
The t-shirt is decent - you might actually wear it in public unlike some.
Only real gripe is the number of toilets at start and the behaviour of some of the drivers along the hillfoots road.
Overall, a very good race and well worth doing Date of review: March 29, 2010
In short: Mud, hills and bog followed by more bud hills and bog, finishing with bog, mud, and hills. In full: Great race only thing missing was a shower or hose at the end to get the mud off! Excellent goody bag. Date of review: September 12, 2009
In short: A little gem of a race In full: A low key race, but extremely well organised, and a surprisingly pleasant course for Coatbridge. The loops seemed to make the course seem shorter. There was plenty of water. The long downhills make it potential PB territory as there seem to more downhill than uphill which is weird for a looping course! Definitely deserves to have a bigger entry. Date of review: May 17, 2009
In short: A good, well organised race In full: The course is a bit more challenging than the advertised "gently undulating" however it is good fun and well organised. Even the weather held off until 90 minutes into the race when the skies opened. If you are patient with the hills the last few miles are pleasantly downhill. Date of review: May 16, 2009
In short: Brutal weather but flawless organisation In full: Snow, gales, rain, sleet, some sunshine and a few unexpected hills, this was a good race. Kudos to the marshals for standing out and being so supportive on a freezing day. Good atmosphere and well worth the detour on the way home because the snow gates were shut on the A9 Date of review: March 9, 2009
In short: Getting better year on year but some annoying niggles In full: This is a good race. On the whole it is efficiently organised and while there are some hills to keep you on your toes, there are also some good downhill and flat sections. The various changes to course probably improve it. The weather was kind this year and the finish area was well organised and spacious, though it would have been good to have more in the way of catering outlets given the large number of people taking part.
My biggest gripe is that the website has no results, not even the winners. With chip timing it is not a difficult thing to do, to put results up. Most folks like to get home after the race and pore through the results.
Maybe more attention needs to be paid to PR generally because, as of 7.30 on the Sunday evening, there are no results or race coverage on the BBC website, though there are results from the London 5K. Nor is there any race coverage on any other website that I can find, and I have had a good look. Having paid a fairly steep entrance fee, it would be nice to know at least who won the race.
I do this race every year, but there is still something unsatisfying about it