Interesting discussion re buses. I'd definitely agree with everyone who's mentioned getting the Lothian service back from Musselburgh. Much cheaper than the 'official' Marathon bus, and not normally too far to walk from the finish. One of my friends used the official bus 2 years ago and did comment that it was 1.5miles walk! Check the Lothian website for the current pick-up point in Musselburgh on race day (they tend to move it around depending on the course) but you might be lucky. Last year it was right outside Pinkie School's gates. In the past 7 years since the finish moved to Musselburgh, I've got the bus every time bar once, when I attempted to catch the train, but them again it's a long walk and not as frequent.
If you're planning to have your car with you, an option another friend always does it to take it down to Musselburgh on Saturday and park on an unrestricted street near the finish, while there's spaces, then return to Edinburgh on the bus. You then don't have the hassle on Sunday.
Craig's supporters route is quite good, although as he says, not ideal for non-drivers. Last year my Mum watched the start, then caught the train to Longniddry (the course passes fairly close to the station here) before returning to Musselburgh for the finish.
I would second everyone's advice about the 'roundabout disco pub' it's a great boost on the way out, but still about half a mile from the finish on the return so don't start your sprint there! Also be warned, the organisers have a habit of using some nasty plastic matting to cover the final 200yards of the course which is horrible to run on after 26 miles, that along with the gravel section at Gosford House are my least favourite parts of the course.
Also useful tip, there are convenient public loos at about 5 miles in that never have a queue. They're not well publicised but very useful if you get caught short near the second water station.
Any more useful things I can think of from my previous Edinburgh's that spring to mind I'll share with you, and don't hesitate to shout if you have any questions.
What a weekend! Thoroughly enjoyed myself and Greece definitely outlived my expectations. Plans fell apart a bit on Friday with the strike as I couldn't get to register in time so had to do that on Saturday which ate into my sightseeing, but I did get chance to have a good look round the stadium which was fascinating and also the Acropolis which was amazing. So pleased I climbed up there on Saturday though, don't think my legs could have coped with that on Monday!
The race was everything I expected and more. I knew there would be uphill, but didn't realise how hard it was going to be, more hill training is required for next time! I'm more used to the flat in Edinburgh. That really took it out of me and the last 6 miles were an exhausted crawl until rounding the corner at the presidential palace when I just went for it to get a decent finish-line photo! Yes, I really must be that vain! I'm hardly the quickest over the distance and wasn't expecting a fast time but I finished in 5:28 which is considerably slower than I know I can do, but I'm so pleased to say I've finally run from Marathon to Athens and that's reward enough. Added into that the finish in an Olympic stadium and the wonderful support of the Athenian people on the way round; it's definitely a race I will remember for a very long time. Kudos must go to the organising committee too. I was really impressed with the way everything was handled. The conveyor belt of buses on Sunday morning was some feat and all the feed stations were well equipped, even for us slower ones at the back! There are a few races in the UK that can learn a lot from Athens.
Really enjoyed my first trip to Greece and definitely thinking about going back to run again next year
Panathenaic on Saturday morning sounds good. I'd also like to see the Acropolis at some point. I'll make sure I've got a copy of RW to wave around! Hehe
I do remember reading somewhere that there will be a welcome desk for us at the airport for travel passes etc, although I'm led to believe that they're not valid on the airport service. Could anyone confirm otherwise? Incidentally, with the buses on Sunday morning, does anyone know if we're assigned to a certain bus or is it just turn up and get on the first one?
Hope you all have good journeys out there and look forward to catching up with you all at some point over the weekend.