Posted: 28/01/2013 at 16:55
Ian, two points:
1 - I found that communication and information prior to picking up the start number could be better. Once you find out at which location you should pick up the number at it is a matter of locating it. Even when entering the building you are not quite sure you are in the right place but once you find your way down the escalators to the basement everything is great. Furthermore, I had to contact the organizers a few days before via telephone - it took numerous attempts before I got someone on the line who could help me in English. These are not major things but things I would have expected such a big marathon to have thought through.
2 - I have run several marathons before and always completed without any problems, but in Istanbul I ran into an injury which took me to the hospital. I went through 4 hours of total confusion and eventually ended up on the street outside the hospital (with a note in my hand saying 281 which was apparently the bus I could take back to my hotel) I must admit that it would have helped me if I had had my mobile phone by me (but as a runner I try to run with as little extra weight as possible), some money (which I could have used for the bus....or a taxi) or if I would have spoken Turkish! But even so, I found it appalling that the organization could not even inform my wife (standing at the finish line for hours extra waiting for me) that I had been taken to the hospital (they even denied that I was on the list of people who had been taken to the hospital!!) or that they at the hospital seemed sooo surprised that someone from the marathon would end up there. I tried to ask for some water at the hospital (never got it!), tried to ask for a blanket as it quite quickly gets cold when you cool down (never got it) and also tried to ask if I could get some papers with me in relation to which tests they had done (mission impossible). My best advice; DON"T get injured there