In short: Improved from last year, still room for more In full: The finish area was a huge improvement on last year and the year before (still doesn't beat the race course finish). But, as others have pointed out, an earlier start would be more comfortable if the weather was hot, there was very little shade available. And the walk for the buses is horrible. 4 and 5 years ago, the buses were right outside the race course, why can't they do something like that again? Nice medal, shame about the goody bag. Date of review: May 28, 2012
In short: A real antidote to the big halves that are getting too corporate In full: No medal, no t-shirt, no goody bag. But, what you get is a small friendly race which is well organised with supportive marshals. Oh and a mug, oh and a chance to buy a t-shirt with the names of all the runners on the back for a very reasonable £6. After the crowds and less than stellar scenery of Bath, this one comes as a real relief. Oh and a course that is flatter than a very flat thing. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: Lots of things to like, let down badly by the finish In full: This is my 4th Edinburgh Marathon, we have family in the area so it's a good excuse for a trip. There are lots of things I like about it in general and this year in particular. There appeared to be enough loos at the start and the announcer was giving out advice on London Road as to where to find the shortest queue and when to start queuing. This was the first year I didn't see people watering the railway arches or the trees in Holyrood Park. I like the scenery and I like the fact that there are quiet stretches of road where I can just gather myself together and run. The diversion via the village seems random, but the support is good on that stretch. I could do without Gosford House, especially as this year it combined with about 17 miles and that nasty headwind.
But, the finish, I think everyone's said it already. 4 years ago, we finished in the stadium and were picked up by (complimentary) buses from just outside. Maybe there are too many runners these days for that approach. But, asking runners to add another 20 mins walk uphill (f you didn't get sent in the wrong direction like me), to get back. Well, maybe the number of runners attending will cease to be an issue. Date of review: May 25, 2011
In short: Spoiled by the arrangements for afterwards In full: This is third time I've run this marathon and it's still high up in my list of favourite runs. But, I don't like the recent changes. Having the new half marathon run first at 8:00 means that the marathon is run over the hottest part of the day and the last two years have been warm ones.
Worst was the arrangements at the end. Luckily, we didn't have to pick up bags, but friends reported a wait of about an hour for those finishing at about 4 hours. Then, there was a 20+ minute walk to the buses for home. So, you've just run 26 miles, top of your list of things to do next is walk another mile or so, isn't it? I'm afraid that rather took the shine off things. Date of review: May 24, 2010
In short: Notch up another success to Patrick and the team In full: I took part in the inaugural Thunder Run as part of a team, but when this came up I couldn't resist the temptation to ditch my Reading number and get involved as a solo runner. The course was a just over 9km with two hills and a set of terrain that could best be described as 'mixed': mud, woodland paths, tarmac, stony paths, goat -tracks. Marshalled by the ever encouraging Venture scouts and it was a very long day for them. There was nothing to fault organisationally, sure the main generator broke down for a little while, but there was enough power for the catering tent to offer porridge. And at the end of the day the showers were almost too hot.
Beautiful scenery when I remembered to look up, great atmosphere, but next year B&B I think rather a than frost covered tent. Date of review: March 22, 2010
In short: More hills and more mud than a very hilly, muddy thing. In full: Days of rain had effectively sabotaged parts of the course. The march we had been promised in the last third was a fully fledged lake with waves and probably tides But, we weren't shortchanged, there were puddles a plenty and no point in running round them. There were muddy trails up hills, through woods and what seemed to be a ploughed field. Friendly marshals gave out helpful advice like "I think the next field contains sugar beet" or just laughed at my reaction to what lay beyond the next bend.
I've read that in terms of effort the halfway point in a marathon is at about 21 miles It ca't be that different for a 30 miler. Anyway, that was where the hill was. 600 foot up in two very steep sections. It was downhill after that, but any advantage from the gentle downwards slope was taken away by the wind which started gusting against us and did so for the rest of the course. There was a lovely view of Arundel Castle as I trudged along the river, good job that a check of my Carmin told me there was another 4 miles to go, otherwise I would have fallen prey to something like hope.
T-shirt and shot glass to finish. I think I would have preferred a medal, although the glass came in handy for drinking the water provided at the finish (some plastic cups would have been good.
Lovely. friendly race, but 30 miles cross country in those conditions is tough. Date of review: December 7, 2009
In short: Generous, well organised, different and fun In full: T-Shirt, mug, headtorch, chip timing, free soup and bread at the finish and all for £15? Sort of bargain that puts some of the big commercial runs to shame. Incredibly well organised as well.
Flat course, but an uneven and muddy surface with lots of twists and turns means that you're not likely to PB, add to that, the almost total darkness. But, it was friendly and an awful lot of fun. I don't normally bother with 5Ks, but I'm ready to put this on my calendar for next year. Date of review: November 1, 2009
In short: Great support - but crowded In full: I had a great time, especially giving extra sweaty high fives to the kids. But, the first mile or so was a nightmare. I was in Zone B about 200 metres back from start line. One guy I spoke to cheerfully admitted to lying about his expected time so that he could get over the start line quicker. I bet he wasn't the only one and I even passed a couple running hand in hand. Things got much better after the crowds thinned a bit, but I'm guessing this will never be a run with PB potential. Date of review: September 21, 2009
In short: Shhh - don't tell anyone, it's too special In full: Couldn't fault the organisation, hot showers and plenty of loos (with toilet paper). The restaurant tent was open for 24 hours to cater for hungry runners throughout the night. Marshals on hand all the time and a well marked course. OK, it rained sections were a mud bath and at times it felt like The Grim, only worse. At the end of the (very long) day, it didn't matter.
This has to be one of my favourite races of all time. We started as a team of relative strangers from a Weight Loss forum and ended up good friends.
Good races have the potential to change lives, this has more potential than most.
I must admit to some mixed feelings. There were 170 odd runners in this new event and I'm proud to be one of them. Next year, there will be more as it is bound to grow in popularity. I hope, as organisers and participants we can keep all those things that made this such a special event. Date of review: August 3, 2009