In short: Fantastic race, just a shame about the weather! In full: What would've been a lovely, scenic race unfortunately turned into a miserable, cold, wet, muddy one. Fair play to the organisers and marshals though. They were as enthusiastic and supportive as they could be, even in pouring rain. And organisers certainly did their best to try to make the finish area as safe as possible given the mud field it turned into. There was hay put down on the corner into the straightaway and announcements to slow down safely once you'd crossed the finish. No faults or complaints from me, just a real shame about the weather. Just couldn't be helped though. Date of review: March 18, 2013
In short: Excellent marathon on a scorching Scottish day In full: This was my first marathon. Overall I thought the organisation was quite good. There are never enough toilets but the only real criticism on those lines is the two facing walls of toilets made for confusing queueing. Otherwise the start area I was on at Regent Road was fantastic. Good signage and a nice view of the city and Arthur's Seat before setting off.
I know there were problems last year with running out of water at the aid stations but no such problem this year and it's a very good thing. It was an incredibly hot, scorching, baking day. The stations seemed to be well-situated; I didn't run out of fluids the whole race.
The finish was well-organised also and first aid was excellent. The reason I know the first aid was good was because of this criticism: the plastic mats bolted to the grass in the final stretch. I fell and busted my knee requiring four stitches.
I understand why the mats were needed. If it had rained we'd have been running on mud. It's just hard to go from concrete that doesn't give to plastic mats and grass that do. You've done 26 miles already, your legs will only lift so high. Surely other people fell. They weren't overly loose but they obviously can, and did, produce a hazard. Just something to think about maybe.
Finally, the race was great, the organisation was good. The bits mentioned above are just minor annoyances. My one big criticism has to be the reunion area. It was in a park that had stone walls and two one-person size gates into the park. The backlog of people trying to get in was 30-deep. It was utterly ridiculous trying to get into that park. I know you can't just tear down the walls but something has to be done, especially if the race continues to grow. It should not be so difficult to get into the reunion area.
Transportation is also a big criticism but given its suburban location there may not be anything else to be done. This is not London obviously. There just weren't enough public buses. They were going by full leaving loads of people to wait ages. With it being a Sunday the schedule was reduced. Surely, though, introducing some extra buses on marathon day is feasible. I did not use the race-organised transport so I have no comment on that. Perhaps it provided better service. We ended up going the opposite direction and getting on a train that also ended up packed with like-minded people. It worked out in the end because otherwise I reckon we'd have been hours waiting for a bus to town.
Keeping with the transport, due to the road blockages my husband sat on the bus to get down to the race for nearly two hours and missed me by three minutes. Bus diversions are inevitable but, again, more services and maybe some better traffic management could be looked into.
I was impressed with the Edinburgh marathon and would definitely do it again. One can only hope that next time it won't be so hot but there's nothing the organisers can do to fix that! Date of review: May 29, 2010
In short: Decent mid-sized race In full: Overall a very good race. Nice Kent countryside. My only criticism is starting and ending in an industrial estate. It was a bit cramped with cars, people, gates, etc. Otherwise, a good race. Date of review: April 11, 2010
In short: Can't get better than running in Hyde Park In full: I think the scenery saved this race, possibly. Few things I didn't particularly like: 1) not sending race pack in the post (why did I pay a whopping Â£20?); 2) no goody bag, just a medal (again, where did my Â£20 go?); and 3) bag storage did not seem reassuringly safe.
I don't want to seem petty about the race pack and lack of goody bag but I have paid far less for two other 10Ks in the past year and have got both. They did have water, energy drinks and free bananas at the end of the race though. I suppose that makes up some for the goody bag. And a few goody bags I've got had men's skincare product samples in them so, as a female, what's the point? It's a toss-up all round really.
As for the bag storage, the bandstand wasn't the worst place. I just think the person in charge had possibly never done a race before. Others have mentioned the bags laying around after the race. I agree someone could've walked away with mine easily. Very glad I had planned not to leave anything of value.
Overall the course was lovely, shame about the grey day but that's nothing against the organisers obviously. Date of review: March 29, 2010