Report on DUBLIN CITY Marathon IRELAND 25th October 2010…..

The luck of the Irish provided a sunny dry day even this late in October.

Dublin marathon has a good web page with lots of information, and entry online was
simple, with discounts for early entrants. Many runners have done the “series” of 5km,
10km and half marathon races in Dublin, as a build up to the marathon. There are many
visitors running from all corners of the world, and many first timers also. Bank Holiday
Monday allows the city streets to be closed for the event and brings a festive holiday

Expo in the city centre runs Saturday and Sunday before the race, well organised and no
queues, but that’s the experience of 31 years of marathons. Expo had many stands with
clothing and footwear, foreign marathons, foot scan and a conference area with speakers
advising. Maps online were useful for guiding spectators around the route, and free
copies were available at the expo. Expo had “The Wall” upon which to scribe your
message. Entrants got colour program book with every entrants name in it.

A very big start with 13,000 runners segregated using bib colours for estimated finish
times, pacers using coloured balloons, and a festive atmosphere (but no music) among the
longest streetscape of Georgian buildings in Dublin. Cool to begin with, but the prompt
9am start made this no problem. Great tourist route past Trinity college Dublin, although
getting 13,000 runners through at the same time was an issue. Cross the Liffey to O
Connell Street and west to the Phoenix Park where the freezing fog still lay at ground
level at 10am, but the scenery made up for it. Unavoidable traffic jam at the park exit at
Chapelizod as the gates are simply too narrow for 13,000 people. Great support all along
the route from this point, and the crowding reduced as the runners spread out. Half mile
marker in Walkinstown is an anti climax, but the run back in toward the city has plenty of
support to help you over the hills and valleys. Long slow tough hill up to Roebuck and
Fosters Avenue after which its all downhill to the city centre finish!

Mile markers every 5 miles, with drinks points roughly aligned with them. Plenty of
water and energy drinks.

Dublin’s finish is one of the best in the world, back into the city centre through the streets
of Georgian buildings, then past Trinity College again as the spectators become more
packed and more boisterous – it’s a great finale.

Finishers received a goody bag with medal and a unique long sleeved tee-shirt.

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 5100
October 2010

Report on LEA VALLEY Marathon UK LONDON 11th September 2010…..

Sunny warm weather in a riverside setting, this was London running at its best. Organised
by the Two2Go group, to gather the community around the concept of organising the
forthcoming 2012 Olympics, the point-to-point route started at St Margaret’s (near
Stansted north of London) and finished at Hackney Downs where the Olympic stadia are
being constructed.

Entry online was simple, but the web page showed “more information coming…” with
just two days to go, but no more information came before we had to fly. Number
collection on the day at the St Margaret’s sports ground, the very few organisers coped
with the small field of only about 200 runners. For such a small field, there was of course
no Expo. Baggage taken by bus to the finish at Hackney.
Simple start became crowded for even a small field when we were directed over the
pedestrian railway bridge, UK Athletics not permitting us to cross the level crossing on
the roadway only 5 minutes from the start. The route followed the River Lea southward
to London, picturesque but on gravel surface all the way (tough underfoot). A continuous
stream of obstacles such as walkers, fishermen, cyclists impeded progress, but the worst
were the pedestrian gates at each canal bridge which only allowed one runner through at
a time. That said, the route was wonderful and the runners (mainly from UK) were
clearly there to enjoy the natural surroundings rather than seek a marathon record.

Small detour along the route into a reservoir, with a nice forest run that went horribly
wrong when someone messed about with the signage leaving us all up the wrong road.
Worse was that the leaders had not seen the reservoir detour, and arrived at the finish
early and short of the full marathon, so they had to cross the finish line and then run on
for an impromptu 5 mile addendum to get the distance correct.

Mile markers were – surprisingly for UK territory – in kilometres, and only marked every
5km which made calculations difficult. Water and energy drinks provided ever 5km – or
wherever the nearest road bridge allowed access for marshals vehicles – but this led to
consternation at 20km when the mid-forest drinks station ran out of supplies and the road
closures prevented them replenishing.

Very little support on route, as it’s a mainly off-road countryside route, but some
supporters gathered at canal bridges where roads allowed access. It was obvious that the
many cyclists resented being confronted with a field of runners (maybe not enough notice
given to them?), but the boatmen passing on the River Lea generally waved greetings and
added to the atmosphere.
Route was downhill heading toward London city, so the approach of the finish was
signalled by the noise of the M25 motorway overhead and the increasing presence of
industrial warehouses and high rise buildings.

Finish in Hackney Downs sports field with refreshments in the sunshine, and some
attempt at music which was welcomed not for its excellence but for the fact that it was
the only music provided by the marathon organisers throughout the day.

Finishers received a small medal, but no Tee-Shirt.
Summary - a small event upon which the (very few) organisers worked very hard, scenic
area and a great countryside run.

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 81
September 2010

Report on BARCELONA Marathon SPAIN 7th March 2010…..

Second time round for this marathon! Great website regularly updated, easy to enter

Expo is a large and lively event, good interesting stands and lots of information on other
marathons, clothing and shoes.

Registration was easy as the system in place left a lot of space to register, clearly marked
areas. Its also a great help that the registration happens just beside the start area, so you
know where you will be coming to early the following morning. The historic twin towers
are the point to aim for.

Weather forecast was surprisingly dismal, threatening cold rain which was unusual for
Barcelona, but on the day it dawned cool and clear skies. Organisers kindly started the
fountain to make the scene picturesque, but the starting are is always packed for this race.
Baggage store simple and well organised at the start line, no queues this time.
Lots of support all the way around, great scenery. The route passes all the city highlights
– Gaudis Pedera, World Heritage sight Sagrada Familia, and of course FCB Camp Nou.
Grand finale at the run to the finish line at the towers, security pens this area in so that
supporters cant get much of a view and its difficult to meet up at the finish area. Plenty of
water stations along the route.

Barcelona is shaping up to be one of the greats, the numbers are high and it may one day
become restricted entry.
Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 11373
March 2010

Report on VENICE CITY Marathon ITALY 25th October 2009…..

Listed on international site marathonguide.com, and widely advertised in magazines,
Venice Marathon web site easy to use and in English. Payment by credit card accepted,
good directions to the Expo to collect your number, and a clear map of the running route.
There was mention of a doctors certificate required, but in the end this was not requested.
The scenic setting makes it a popular marathon, and the 6,000 quota fills quickly, and
there was no half marathon or walker route. Venice is all canals, so of course the
marathon is on the mainland, with the final 6km on the island.

Expo was a small but lively event, not much of a queue to collect numbers, and it was
apparent then that most runners are Italians.

Marathon start about 30km to the west of Venice in Stra, beautiful canal route lined with
scenic mansions and a few spectators, but its not highly populated. Bus to the start from
the train station at 6am, for a 9.30am start, leaves you tired and cold for the off. Baggage
store was the issue, the buses had top get back into Venice before the road could be
closed for runners.

Distance markers showed kilometres very clearly, and miles in smaller print under.
Timing via chip with a few mats along the route. Half marathon location was barely
noticed and not even time recorded. Few spectators along the most of the route, but large
crowds in the centre of Venice where the crowded pathways had been cordoned off for
the runners.

Route is flat and turned out to be very warm for October, the last stretch onto the island
of Venice across the wide roadway had no shelter from the midday sun and drained
everyones energy. Once on the island, the scenery is great, but the bridges – lots of small
bridges over canals – are tough and the signposts “only 14 bridges left” did not encourage
enthusiasm. The longest bridge is set up only the night before the marathon, and
dismantled afterwards. Finish past the famous St Marks Square was impressive, and the
finish line and recovery in the parkland worked very well as the centre of the city was by
that time packed with tourists.

Plenty of water stations with bottles and cups of water, and some energy drinks.

Approximately 6000 ran the full marathon, and there were many pacers with coloured
balloons to identify them. Medal provided for every finisher, depicting the emblem from
the front of the Gondola. Results online shortly after.
Overall, this is a great marathon, flatter course than most, and welcome warm weather for
the time of the year, with a most impressive finish.

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 7772
November 2009

Report on REYKJAVIK CITY Marathon ICELAND 22nd August 2009…..

Marathon web site was very good, the photos of sunny skies enticing Europeans to the
Icelandic north. English translations very good, and easy to enrol using payment by credit
card. No breakfast run, but theatre are not many foreigners and it’s a very small marathon
with only 560 runners. The start is Saturday, so you need to arrive Friday to collect race
pack and number. Online route map in colour is very clear, but the expo location is
unclear even though it’s a small town to search.

Expo was a small affair at the sports stadium with a fabulous 800m indoor track,
unfortunately we did not get to run on it! A few clothing stalls and opportunity to sign up
at the last minute. Everyone speaks excellent English, there are no communication
problems. Pasta served after 4pm.

Marathon start at the town centre, it’s a small affair but the 10k and half marathon start
later with another 4000 persons attending. The town is small so getting there on foot is
not a problem. Olympic Stadium - but from outside, not from inside the stadium.
Baggage store was in the building nearby, not very organised but it worked okay.

Distance markers showed kilometres using traffic cones at one side of the road, so it was
easy to miss them. Timing via chip with only one or two mats along the route. No time
displays along the route, and the kilometre markers were not removed for the second lap
so it was confusing. Many spectators along the route, given the small population, and
well spread out.

Route is quite exposed, along coastland which is very scenic but exposed to wind and
rain, but the weather changed very quickly from cold rain to warm calm with sunshine,
making it almost too hot at times. Average about 12degC, rain jacket necessary!

Many water stations, with energy drinks also available. Finish at the start line in the main
street was surrounded with enthusiastic supporters and fanfare.

Approximately 560 ran the full marathon, no official pacers. Many locals but also
widespread visitors from every part of Europe, USA, and South America. Medal
provided for every finisher, and several photograph companies competed to sell good
shots along the route. Results online within 24 hours.

Generally – very scenic, small, flat route, unique.
Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 092
August 2009

Report on HELSINKI CITY Marathon FINLAND 16th August 2008…..

Web site is okay, English version is sticky – application form stalled - but organisers
responded swiftly to email. Credit card payment accepted, and site shows lists of runners
registered and you can search by country to see who is running. No breakfast run, but
then this is an odd marathon – the start is Saturday (so there’s no time for breakfast run)
at 3pm, which is designed to leave you running in the late evening northern summer
sunshine. Instead we got overcast darkness, and the streetlights did not come on (I still
haven’t worked out why!) although the car headlights illuminated the roadway, which
was a little worrying at finishing stages when sharing the roadway with oncoming traffic.
Regular newsletter emailed (in German and English) encouraged training. Online map in
colour is very clear, and entrants receive in the post a starting pack explaining where the
Expo will be and giving very clear instructions in English.

Expo was a small affair at the Olympic Stadium, which was worth a visit in itself. Good
Nike stall with a very wide range on display, but then there is a Nike shop downtown
anyway. Some adverts for other marathons, and a few smaller stands. Registration was
quick, foreign runners received at a separate desk. Expo is open Friday and Saturday
before the marathon, but there are only 6,000 runners so processing is not difficult or
crowded. There was no pasta party.

Marathon start at the Olympic Stadium - but from outside, not from inside the stadium.
There is no explanation as to why the stadium remained empty while 6,000 runners
gathered on the roadside! Getting there is easy, the city is small and all hotels are within
walking distance, but there is also a good tram and bus service. Directions given in
English and Finnish. Baggage store was in the stadium stands, which would have worked
well if the rain did not pour down on the gear while runners were away!

Distance markers showed kilometres and were good size, easily recognised. Timing via
chip with several mats along the route, and a few time displays at fixed points along the
route. Few spectators along the route, but quite enthusiastic – this is a small city so the
numbers aren’t expected to be high, and the rain did not help.

Route crosses city areas, parks, forests, lake side, bridges linking the islands, and forest
routes – great variety and lovely scenery, even through the grey drizzle. Some
cobblestones underfoot, and a little running along tram lines – at one point with trams
approaching – to keep your mind concentrated. A few dangerous crossings of
construction works with temporary wooden covers, which were not designed for 6,000

Many water stations, every one with energy drinks also available. Medical assistance
ambulances visible throughout the route. Salted cucumbers were a novelty, but many
runners took them. Bananas also offered in later stages.

Finish in Olympic Stadium was uncluttered, great voiceover announcing runners names
as they entered the stadium, but no video showing on the large screen.

Overcast drizzle for all of the route, warm 15degC throughout.

Approximately 6,000 ran the full marathon, with clearly marked pacers for every half
hour. Route double back on itself often, allowing you to see winner run past you, but also
showing the last of the pack which finished around 5hr30minutes. Runners were mainly
from Finland.

Medal for every finisher was very heavy cast metal, without a band or hook, leaving
runners carrying them around or losing them in the bottom of a bag somewhere.

Speedy results online service, showing splits and much information decipherable to
Finnish speakers only.

Generally – very scenic, great route, very well organised, Olympic Stadium finish.

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 2488
August 2008

Report on VIENNA CITY Marathon AUSTRIA 27th April 2008…..

Web site is good, but no mention of breakfast run (there was none!) and no map to find
the Expo event – at which all other maps can be found anyway! Entry online was easy,
credit card payment accepted, shows lists of runners registered and you can search by
country to see who is running. Regular newsletter emailed (in German and English)
encouraged training. Souvenirs for sale online pre-determined that there would be no
“finishers” tee shirts handed out to runners at the finish! Entry also online for relay race
(11km + 16km + 8km) and half marathon.

Expo was a large exhibition in Prater Centre on the outskirts of town, very difficult to
find as not well advertised – some runners were mis-directed to the wrong side of town
and ended up at the United Nations Conference Centre. Expo was small in scale with
only few stands for clothing, gear, and many adverts for other marathons. Registration
was very quick and smooth, there is additional payment required for the chip which had
not been collected online, partly refundable upon return of chip. Expo is open Friday and
Saturday before the marathon, which makes it easy for the 30,000 who have to be
processed for the marathon, half marathon, kids run and relay marathon.

Missed the pasta party as it was not well advertised, it ended at 6pm which is a little

Marathon start at the United Nations building is easy to get to, with many metro trains lad
on. Baggage collection arranged with bags provided. Start at 9am was warm and sunny,
plenty of toilets, but continuous calls on the public address for everyone to get ready.
Missed opportunity to play some warm up music.

Distance markers showed kilometres and were decent size and height, placed always on
right side of road which made them easy to look out for above spectator heads. Timing
via chip with several mats along the route, but no time displays provided – bring your
own stopwatch! Many spectators spread along the route, despite this being a relatively
small city. Music generally provided by radio or recordings long the route, with Strauss
inappropriately setting the pace for the Pakring main street runners.

Start route was not too crowded, and crossed the scenic Danube bridge into the old city,
around the Prate fun park with its conspicuous ferris wheel.

Water stations plentiful, with energy drinks also. Good a quantity of medical stations

Course route excellent, designed to pass all major landmarks of the city, which is very
scenic. Parkland route is also included. Passing the 21km drop off point for half
marathoners makes it easy for full marathoners to drop out at that time if required. Relay
runners joining in mid route were a little confused, sometimes on the wrong side of the
road. Finish at the city arch was photogenic, with football pitch laid on for the final
stretch. Rest and recovery area in the castle forecourt and parkland was much welcomed,
and party atmosphere was very good.

Sunny weather most of the route, warm 15degC at start with about 20degC at finish, but
good shade along the route, and many water hose stations to cool down at.

Nearly 8,000 ran the full marathon.

Medal for every finisher was good quality cast metal.

Results online very quickly, showing splits for every 5km, which is very useful.

Generally – very scenic, great weather, great route, well organised.
Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 4631
April 2008

Report on NEW YORK Marathon 4th NOVEMBER 2007…..

Web site is good, lots of photos and course map, no mention of breakfast run, need to join
the lottery system to get an entry into this race as it’s always full. Note you can enter also
with charity groups, who present many of the runners on the day.

Expo was a large exhibition in the Jacob Javitt Centre with many stands for clothing,
gear, other marathons; easy to get to within Manhattan city centre. Registration was very
quick and smooth, there is a great team of volunteer helpers who are very experienced.
Expo is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the marathon, which makes it easy
for the 40,000 who have to be processed.

Marathon fireworks the night before in Central Park was reported to be a great spectacle.

Marathon start on Staten Island is not easy to get to, as the races starts on the island and
crosses the Verzano Bridge to the mainland. Buses bringing runners to the island must
cross the Verazano Bridge to deliver runners, and return to mainland, before the bridge
can be closed to allow runners to race cross it. First runners cross at 6.30am so all runners
have to get to the start before 6.30am, though the main race starts at 10am. It’s a cold and
long wait – bring spare clothing!

Spectators maps with mile markers showed spectators where to view along the run,
allowing them to follow the runners. Spectators line the entire route, often more than 3
deep, with great cheering and encouragement. Many bands and musicians, of great
cultural diversity, all very enthusiastic.

Start was very well organised to reduce crowding (given the 40,000 runners present!).
Route splits early on freed up even more space for runners, but this is a very big field and
crowding is inevitable.

Signage along route was excellent, mile markers easy to read and very distinctive.
Multiple time displays along the route were very useful. Water stations (much more than
normal) served energy drink as well as water at every stop, also stations served from both
sides of the roads which eased the crowding. Some enthusiastic spectators also served
their own fruit, sweets and drinks to runners.

Medical stations were plentiful and very clearly marked.
Course route excellent, designed to cross all 5 boroughs of New York City, spectacularly
crossing the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers through culturally diverse neighbourhoods.
Rising to cross bridges and the Central park district created quite a hilly route, especially
after mile 23 where runners feel it most. Finish route through Central park is memorable,
the New York skyline providing a spectacular backdrop.

Finish area was much too narrow, causing very long delays which caused many runners
to suffer cold and collapse. The resultant casualties could not be removed as there was no
space to get ambulances in, but this is a change from pervious years as the Central Park
grass had just been re-seeded and marathoners were restricted to the narrow pathway.

Sunny weather most of the route, warmed up after a cool and windy start.

Nearly 40,000 ran the full marathon (there is no half or 10k), this is one of the big world
races with London, Berlin and Paris. Winner finished 2hrs 09 minutes.

Medal for every finisher was good quality cast metal.

Results online very quickly, showing splits for every 5km, also groups by country of
entry which is very useful.

Generally – this is very large race with millions of local runners trying to enter every
year. You need to enter the lottery early, and every year, until you get in – it’s well worth
the effort! Truly the worlds best marathon!

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
November 2007

Report on BERLIN GERMANY Marathon 30th SEPTEMBER 2007…..

Web site has English option, online entry system is good, need to book early for this as it
is usually filled early on. Update newsletters are issued regularly in German by email.

Expo was a large exhibition with many stands for clothing, gear, other marathons, and In-
Line skating which is a big part of the Berlin marathon. Getting there was not easy as the
instructions only gave a Street Name – but then with such a number or runners, you just
follow the crowd! Registration was very quick (given the 40,000 who had to be
processed). Goody bag did not contain a Tee Shirt, and none was handed out at the finish.

Breakfast Run was well organised, though there were too many runners to fit into the
narrow street route so it was a walk rather than a run. Finish in the Olympic Stadium was
great, very entertaining for all, and free breakfast was appreciated, but the rain cut short
the entertainment.
Marathon start was easy to find, maps showing where to go were clear, starting flowed
very well given the numbers concerned. Music and bands helped cheer everyone up.

Signage along route was excellent, km markers easy to read and very distinctive. No time
display along the route which would have been useful. Many bands and musicians all
along the whole route – so many the sounds overlapped!

Course route very good, generally flat in interesting city scenery. Finish route under the
Brandenburg Gate was awe inspiring, just the boost required for the last sprint to the
finish line.

Thousands of spectators spread throughout the route, all very enthusiastic and animated
with klaxons, whistles etc. Majority of runners from Germany, though European
countries had groups on tour, and some from South America. About 20 Irish runners that
I heard of.

Marshals well organised at junctions. Many first aid stations along the route, with
massage available later on in the course. Water stations had drinks, fruit and isotonic
drinks – well stocked and very frequent. Water sprays provided by the fire service were
welcome, though the weather was not hot enough so not many used them.

Finish area well arranged with runners clearing through quite quickly, and spectators kept
clear from runner changing and gear collection areas.

Winner came home under 2hr5mins

Overcast weather most of the route, and rained a little after 5 hours, but generally not too

Over 40,000 ran the full marathon (there is no half or 10k), this is one of the big world
races with London, New York and Paris. Marathon world record time was broken here
again at this race.

Medal for every finisher was good quality cast metal.

Results listing available online within 24hours, with a personalised finishers certificate to

Generally – this is very large race aimed at international runners, enter early as the places
are limited!

Charles Dunn
Runner No.13578
Dublin Ireland
September 2007

(Writer ran Half marathon)

Web site good, aimed at a “package” tour including local trips as well as the race night.
Online registration failed at the payment stage, but emails sorted this out. Organising
company worked hard to ensure the entire package of hotel, trips and race was all
coordinated – a “one stop shop”

There was no Expo – this is a small event, limited mainly by lack of accommodation in
the town, entrants are only accepted is accommodation is available. The Santa Claus
starting area at the Artic Circle provides much to do and see, it’s a memorable trip in

Missed the Pasta Party, but heard it was good.

Goodie bag for runners contained only a tee shirt and instruction page. Tee shirt design
very unique and memorable.

Organisers arranged to collect entrants from hotels and bring them to start at the correct
time. Baggage store and gear return also provided. Start 8pm timed to ensure marathon,
half marathon and 12k walkers all arrived for midnight sun prize giving in Rovaniemi
city centre, and this worked very well. No spectators at start (except Santa Claus) as its
remote from the town of Rovaniemi.

Signage along route was very confused, rain having removed the chalk marked route.
Marshals at some junctions helped, but there were enough marshals. Full marathoners
spoke of getting lost and adding to the route, one half marathoner ran 30k before realising
he was on wrong route. Water stations very good, despite the rain!

Route is very scenic countryside with along walking paths and forest trails, good sturdy
ground. Finish has a “killer” hill in last 300m city centre finish area, wheelchair athletes
Few spectators along the route, generally outside their remote countryside houses.
Weather was downpour for first hour, becoming drizzle, but warm 16deg.C throughout.
Note this was unusual for this area, the weather later returned to hot 26deg.C which
generally pertains during the summer days. The sun really does not set at this time of year
here, so this midnight finish is a spectacle with (too many?) street parties.

Approximately 200 ran the full marathon, 200 ran half marathon, and 200 walked the
12k, numbers curtailed by availability of accommodation. Some foreigners from diverse
countries, but many Finnish running.
Distances are great and connections to airports make the logistics of getting here difficult,
though the trains are excellent.

Kilometre markers were very small but okay.

Medal was unique timber (timber is a key product here!)

Results listing printed minutes after the race for all to see at the town square prize giving,
though inaccuracies existed in the listings (its not a “chip” event). Prizes were excellent
with prizes for each category and a chance for everyone to bring a trophy home.

Certificate presented to all upon completion.

Generally – this is a unique and memorable event, you simply must try it. Organisers are
very helpful but entrants are put off by the distance (now resolved with cheaper flights)
and worry about weather (cold is not an issue – though I reckon it could be too hot here at

Charles Dunn
Runner No.97
Dublin Ireland
June 2007

Report on BILBAO SPAIN Marathon 15th OCTOBER 2006…..

Web site difficult, not in English, no online entry system, cannot pay by credit card. But,
organisers were very helpful with email responses. No online map or course route.

Expo was Registration only, nothing else. No pasta party. Difficult to find, hidden inside
organisers office building, but easy to get to in city centre.

Did not meet any other foreign runners, and there was no Breakfast Run

Goodie bag for runners was reasonable, contained a free tee-shirt

Start was easy to find in main street, well organised, few spectators. Quiet atmosphere at

Signage along route was very good, course route very good with few hills and scenic
route from city centre out to nearby beach town (except for short industrial area in
between). Very few spectators, this is a small local race only. Some locals joined in along
the route to run and unofficial half marathon, they were great for encouragement and
support. Marshals primarily on motorcycle, mixed use of road provided some danger with
car traffic sharing the space. Route not segregated except at start – finish area.

Overcast start, rain en route but generally warm and not too cold.

Few spectators along the route. Water and aid stations frequent and well stocked.

Approximately 200 ran the full marathon, there was no half or 10k, race is organised by
local club and is low key event.

Medal was big – very big ! (don’t they realise airlines now weigh the baggage!!)

Results listing not seen, local photographers only – no official setup.

Generally – this is a small local race not aimed at international entrants.

Charles Dunn
Runner No.48
Dublin Ireland
May 2007

Report on AMSTERDAM NETHERLANDS Marathon 15th OCTOBER 2006…..

Web site good, passable English translations, the course map online was poor but a large
clear one appeared by post. Registration online worked okay.

Expo was easy to find, easy to get to as the tram network is good. Expo inside was good
if a little small, good stands and lots of information.

Missed the Pasta Party if there was one….not much chance for foreign visitors to get
together, the breakfast run was poorly promoted.

Goodie bag for runners contained – well, one tee shirt! And nothing more!! Very poor!!

Start was easy to find, well organised, but the 11am time on some literature had suddenly
changed to 10.30am – not good! Olympic stadium start was great for runners but only
1000 spectators in a 20,000 seater stadium didn’t work! Large screen was good,
spectators got to see runners along the route after we left the stadium. Music at the start
was very good, nice lively atmosphere.

Music and signage along route was very good. First aid excellent, I availed of freeze gel
and people were very helpful route very good, scenic, excellent use of city where possible
(noting the lots of cobblestones to be avoided in the centre)
Crowds of spectators were great all along the route. Weather was windy and cool outside
of city along the Amstel river, but this was the most beautiful part of the route.

Approximately 20,000 ran the full marathon, which is a low number for a central
European city – this city deserves more! Many were from abroad, mostly European, few
from USA, many south American.

Kilometre markers were excellent, very large.

Medal was good

Results listing and speed information on the web was excellent, produced on the web
very quickly, easy to search the database.

Photographs and even video -excellent, on the web very quickly, easy to search the
database for name or number.

Well done.

Charles Dunn
Runner No.5397
Dublin Ireland
October 2006
Report on Madrid Spain Marathon 29th April 2006…..

Web site very poor, the course map online was very poor, online directions for the
marathon expo were non existent. Registration online worked okay on second attempt
only. (and now, there is no email address to send this report to !)

Expo was a very far from the city centre, very difficult to get to for foreigners as it was
not signposted and nobody in the city knew about it. Expo inside was very good, plenty
of lively stands and lots of information.

Skipped the Pasta Party as the was a very long queue in the midday sunshine heat –
organisers should have tried to guess, from experience, how many would be attending.

Goodie bag for runners was excellent, and contained no less than 3 tee shirts.

There was no “breakfast run” for international runners the day before

Start was easy to find, well organised. No music at the start was a disappointment.
Parachutists dropping into the street from above was very good, but not well advertised –
the crowd near me did not even see or hear of them.
Severe shortage of toilets along the route, and portable toilets installed at 25km were
locked shut! Most runners had to take to the woods….

Crowds of spectators were great all along the route, but there was no music or bands for
them to enjoy.

This new route (for 2006) had very many hills for what was considered to be a capital
city race.

The route did not go past any city monuments or sights, the route passed mainly through
industrial suburbs of the city.

The route did not run through the parks or grassland, except a short run at the end.

Approximately 15,000 ran the full marathon, which is a very high number for this city,
but very few were from outside Spain and also very few were women.

Mile markers were excellent, very large.

Barriers and segregation at the finish were excellent, it was well managed for such a large
crowd. Food at the finish was excellent.

There was no collection of chips at the end, and it was impossible to even find someone
to give them to. It seems an expensive waste not to re-cycle the chips if at all possible.

Medal was good, but consider one with the necklace on it, finishers like to be able to
wear the medal after the finish. Also consider giving one of the 3 tee-shirts at the finish,
runners would like to wear them after the race, it makes for good publicity around the
city after the race (at no extra cost).

Results listing - excellent, produced on the web very quickly, easy to search the database.

Photographs -excellent, on the web very quickly, easy to search the database for name or

Well done – an experience to remember.

Charles Dunn
Runner No.4768
Dublin Ireland
May 2006

Report on Barcelona Spain Marathon 26th March 2006…..
Web site failed a little, but route map on web was excellent. Registration ok online,
worked well

Expo was a little empty…..query why have two days of it, need only one
Pasta Party was a let down, the pre-packed and pasta was a poor presentation and the
need to microwave caused a large queue. There were no photos, music, or marathon
video on display – pasta eaters simply looked around the vacant space.

Goodie bag for runners was good, and contained 1 tee shirt, but there was no opportunity
to buy more tee shirts, caps, jackets – all the souvenirs that go with a marathon! Runners
have money to spend, and partners often want a souvenir also!

Having the start + finish + expo all in one area helps greatly, runners get to know the
layout by visiting expo on the day before the race. Start and finish area was big enough,
well organised, very photogenic!

There was no “breakfast run” for international runners the day before

On the day, severe shortage of toilets at the start which delayed many starters

Baggage handling caused huge delays at the start, but improved with only 10 minutes to
go before the start.

Approximately 2,000 ran the full marathon, another 2,000 ran a 10k from the same start.
The low number of starters is surprising for a city with so much to offer the international
runner, a great organisation on the day – need more marketing!

Mile markers excellent, very large, but note spectators stood in front of them – need to
hang them up on the lamp posts.

Supporters excellent all along the route, query the need for more barriers or tape to
separate crowds from finish (from approx. 1km back)

Medal was very poor, sponsor name is the biggest part of it! See Valencia for a better
style or design of medal.

Route was brilliant, best for any marathon. Included all the city sights. Well thought out!

Well done – an experience to remember.

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
Runner No. 1692
March 2006
Report on Valencia Marathon 19th February 2006…..

Airport very much under construction, and no information or city map available at 9pm
when we arrived. City centre is 20km distant, there is no train.

Website belongs to local sports club, works well but directs you to pay via another
website which – for web users – is always a worry! Worked very well though.

Runners route map online was very difficult to read, but useable.

Accommodation listed on the website was good, but soon full up! I booked on one of the
listed hotels, but found there was no transport or system to get to marathon start or
exhibition from that hotel.

City was one large building site planning for the Americas Cup race 2007, but was well

There was no “breakfast run”

Marathon Expo was very good, though not easy to get to – the public transport routes did
not match from my hotel. Expo was a little small, no pictures or video, no music. Need to
get sponsors on board! Also poorly signposted – get sponsors to do signboards! Though
there were lots of marshals who were very helpful.

Goodie bag was excellent – actually too much stuff! Should save some for spot prizes on
the race day and at the pasta party!

Supporters were great, all along the route – need to think of a way to reward them – spot

Pasta Party was very good – even though they ran out of plates !! Again, should have
video or pictures in the hall – it was a bit empty and cold.

Start on the day was good, despite the very cold weather and gale force winds. Start line
not signposted from distance, but the crowds were small so it worked out ok.

Music groups along the route were very good.

Signposting “km” markers were very good.

Water stations were very good, and very frequent.

The route went through the commercial port which was like a smelly building site, and
the route did not go along the best part of the sea front which would have been very nice.
The route past the Americas Cup boats was very good, also the route through the Cauce
Parkland was very good. Route was generally very varied and gave good view of the
entire city.

Finish in the stadium was excellent, and after finish facilities very good. Too many
oranges though! - would be good to have water at the finish instead. Results services was
very quick.

Medal was the best for any marathon!

Approximately 2,000 ran the full marathon

Caution with the chip – marshals tried to get them all back, but you need to take a deposit
for each chip to ensure you get the chip back. Paris took the deposit and put it into the
numbered chip envelope, when you got to the finish you returned you chip and got back
your numbered chip bag with your deposit (in whatever currency you supplied) inside it.

Well done – an experience to remember.

Charles Dunn
Runner No.1999
Dublin Ireland
February 2006

Report on Budapest Marathon 2nd October 2005…..

Website is very good, easy to read and follow the menus, it has plenty of information.

Registration was easy, but I paid by credit card July and the payment was only taken
September – by that time, my card had expired. The organiser should take the money
soon, to protect themselves in case people drop out.

Accommodation listed on the website was very good, but we did not have a map or plan
of the city and it was not easy – on the web - to see how far the hotel was from the city
centre, or from the start. It worked out very well though, and we were very happy with
the hotel.

We asked in the hotel about the “breakfast run”, and the hotel had no information. This
was a surprise, as the hotel was selected by the marathon organisers, and the hotel should
have a map or information notice in the entrance foyer. The hotel staff were very nice,
but were not able to provide any information – indeed, they seemed surprised that we
were arriving for a marathon!
Marathon Expo was very good, easy to find, entertaining for runners and supporters.
Maybe you could have a bar or café there, then people would stay there longer and make
groups to chat.

Sorry, I did not go to the Pasta Party, but other runners said it was very good.

Start on the day was excellent, better than any other marathon. Lots of music and fun for
spectators as well as runners.

Music groups along the route were excellent, even when it was raining.

Signposting “km” markers were excellent, better than other marathons.

Water stations were very good, also Banana and Glucose sweets were very good.

The map of the route was very difficult to follow, the supporters were not able to
understand it and they got lost. The map needs to be bigger. Map needs to have more
“km” marks on it. Also maybe show the Metro stations on it. See the map for Paris
marathon – that was the best, and supporters were able to follow it.

Finish timeclocks were very good, they help you to run faster before the line! Supporters
had a very good view, the fences kept the supporters out from the finishers which was
very good. The speaker system calling names as we crossed the line, this was very good
and made it interesting for supporters.

I did not see any water station at the finish line, this could be a problem – but the “goodie
bag” did have drinks in it anyway.
Medal was very good

Tents with the café and bars at the finish were very good, the supporters were also able to
join in and have fun.

Overall—well done, very good race, you deserve more runners!

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland
October 2005

Report on Paris Marathon 10th April 2005…...

Website is good, easy to read and enter.

Missed the breakfast run, which was my fault really.

Marathon Expo was very good, the best so far in any marathon. Lots of colour and

Start on the day was good, but impossible to get close to the pacefinder under which I had
registered – there are just too many runners! Not much music or action at the start – we
tried to guess when the race had actually started, as we were too far back to hear or see

Music groups along the route were very good.

Banana stations were very useful, but very dangerous when runners discarded the banana
skins on the runners route!

Supporters found the transport underground very good, easy to follow runners around the

Finish Arc de Triomphe was obscured by the large timeclock or screen – not very

Markers for finding supporters after were great – well done.

Overall—well done, very good race, well run for such a large crowd

Approximately 35,000 started the full marathon

Charles Dunn
Dublin Ireland


Approximately 10,000 ran the full marathon

Cant be helped, sure wasn’t it likely to rain some time since the October date falls in what
would normally be our winter!! Never mind, the runners enjoyed it but feel sorry for the
spectators who froze for hours in the cold rain – without a festive note!! Yes, there were
drinks and tee-shirts for the runners, but nothing for spectators. We need to make this
more of a festival (like the Patrick’s Day parade) for all, if it is to survive and prosper.
Below are some “constructive” (they always say that!) criticisms. But the best part is at
the bottom…read on.

Not a sound could be heard – why no bands? Paris managed 25 bands along the route.
Dublin managed ……none??? Bands provide entertainment for the spectators also, this
encourages a festival atmosphere. The start was introduced by a droning voice (not
coherent in the crowd and rain) rather than “get them going” music.

Sponsor FM104 could only manage about 3 cars on the route, only one with radio turned
up for us all to hear. No amplifiers, only standard car stereo provided!! If the sponsor
cannot play their own music for the runners – and the spectators – then consider changing

Burger vans, chip vans…..spectators need food! This would add to the sense of festival,
like at a football match. Besides, when it is raining and cold (ie – October !!) some hot
food is critical for spectators who are standing around for hours.

Expo had only one visitor information stand, hidden inside the runners number collection
area. Hardly enough to entertain 3,000 foreign visitors I would say!!! Hotels, bus tours,
Guinness Visitors Centre, Smithfield, Powerscourt, Kilkenny Design ….all should come
and offer their wares to foreign visitors loaded with foreign currency to be spent during
one weekend visit.
The web site is worryingly short of photos. Given there have been 25 years of the race,
that’s a pretty poor album you are showing. Certainly not enough to lure foreigners who
check out the web site.

Failed to get a look at the registrants before the race, to confirm if I was actually
registered. There is something the matter with a database that cannot provide this
service!! Hey, who said Ireland was the computer leader of Europe??

Eh no, not really, couldn’t get the teeshirt because the link on the web site didn’t work.
Or the cap, or the jacket….though they were all on sale later in Expo. But when it comes
to internet buying, the Dublin Marathon website was not happening.

Guinness, The Spire, Pigeon House, Smithfield Tower, GPO, Dublin Bay – you name it,
we missed it !! We did get a look outside Trinity College, skirted the Liffey, and
managed the Phoenix Park, but the tourist map of Dublin has many sights we did not
venture near. Though we did get Walkinstown, Crumlin, North Circular Road – which I
don’t believe are on anyones tourist map!! The route was certainly not chosen to entice
foreigners seeking a tourist trip of the city.

We never even knew there was a short run, until Expo day!! Badly missed opportunity to
get more of the city out running, just needed to be advertised more.

Dublin City Marathon – well done, you excelled in the following….
Organisers….very helpful, very friendly, responded personally to any queries
Course….clearly marked, varied territory
Map….clearly marked, easy to get spectators to plan their meeting points
Expo…brilliant, lots of space, good stands
Marshals….. very helpful, very friendly, tough job at the busy finish
Teeshirts…..best of any marathon
Medals….very good
Results…..very quick getting them online

Add music, add advertisers – most important, Think of the Spectators, make this a
Festival for All or else the city folk will not welcome us back!

Charles Dunn

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