In short: Could have been so much better. In full: This was my 8th marathon, my second year running Edinburgh, and despite the wind and the rain I knocked 31 minutes off my personal best, finishing in 4:28:34.
It seemed from day one this year that the organisers were trying to save as much money as they could. My running number came folded in half in a small envelope with a tiny piece of paper telling me to go online and download everything else.
I don't live far from the start so didn't have any issues with toilets etc - although i did notice that the public toilets at the corner of London Road / Easter Road were locked shut.
The route itself was mainly fine, although at one stage they had the outward runners on a pavement and the inward runners on the inside lane on the road, which lead to a little bit of congestion. This was only for a short distance though, so it wasn't a huge problem.
I had a friend who was running the final leg of the relay - she said that despite the promise of places to buy food etc at the changeover point there was nothing, nor was there any shelter for the waiting runners. Also one of the buses transporting the relay runners to their start point got lost!!
The end was a farce. Musselburgh racecourse was empty and clearly not being used, so why this wasn't used again I don't know (perhaps another money saving effort from the organisers??). There was a short wait for the medals then a 20 minute wait for the goody bag and t-shirt, as a huge bottle neck developed. By the time I got there they had ran out of large and extra large t-shirts, which is inexcusable, particularly as every runner had the size of t-shirt they had ordered on their running number...
I feel I should defend the buses slightly - although not as good as the buses from the Edinburgh Half Marathon a couple of months ago, you are warned that there is a 15-20 minute walk to them from the finish. When I got there there were perhaps 50-60 people queueing, but I was on a bus within 5 minutes. It was then a relatively quick 20 minute drive to the city centre - you're dropped off back at the start, so 2 minutes from Princes Street and the train station etc.
The organisers need to have a long hard think about next year, as if the organisation continues like this year after year then I can see a lot of people staying away, myself included. Date of review: May 23, 2011
In short: Only let down by the organisation In full: My first time of running this one, and it seemed to get off to a good start - the start at Meadowbank Stadium was well organised and the "pens" system seemed to work well.
I finshed in 1:56.52, so I wasn't exactly at the back of ther field, but by the time I got to three miles all the water was gone - seeing people picking up half drunk bottles from the ground is never a good thing. There was water at the next two stops, but like so many others I found none at the final water stop.
The route was fine, fairly flat with a couple of downhill sections, it wasn't too crowded either so plenty opportunity to get a PB.
Like others my Garmin measured it at just over 13.4 miles, and the last few mile markers did seem to be out slightly... Although that's not that uncommon and something I put down to not running the most direct route.
The medal and goody bag was fine, the technical tshirt being the highlight.
I was quite disappointed however with the baggage system at the end - all of the bags were just left unguarded in the paddock area of Musselburgh Racecourse. There was nothing to stop you picking up any bag you liked, and no one checking numbers.
When I left I found two buses waiting right by the exit, they were quick and clean and far better than the shuttle bus system found at the Edinburgh Marathon which finishes at the same location.
All in all it was a good race, only let down slightly by a couple of things. I'll certainly run it again. Date of review: April 12, 2011