runABC Scotland News

8 Sep

Entries Open For 2015 Scottish Half

Gemma Gibbons and Freya Ross

The dust has barely settled on Saturday’s Scottish Half Marathon, but Olympic and Commonwealth judo medallist, Gemma Gibbons, and Olympic marathon runner, Freya Ross, are already urging runners to sign up for the 2015 event. Entries are now open for next year’s race on Saturday 19 September after the successful staging of the Scottish Half Marathon which saw just under 3,000 participants.

Thousands of supporters lined the East Lothian route, starting at Meadowhill Sports Centre and finishing at Musselburgh Racecourse with an estimated £500,000 being raised for good causes including for official charity Cancer Research UK.

Edinburgh-based Gemma Gibbons, who won silver at London 2012 and again at Glasgow 2014 is urging people to sign up early for next year’s race.

She said: “I had the huge honour of starting this year’s race, it was an incredible atmosphere for the event and massively enjoyable. Next year will be another great sporting year in Scotland with the European Judo Championships, IPC World Swimming Championships, World Gymnastics Championship and World Orienteering Championships. The Scottish Half Marathon is the perfect chance to take part in another great Scottish sporting occasion.”

Edinburgh-born Freya, Team GB’s best marathon finisher at London 2012 is also urging runners to sign up for the 2015 race: “A half marathon is a brilliant distance to aim for. It’s challenging but achievable for runners of all standards. Even if you are an absolute beginner, with a year to go, there is also plenty of time to train and prepare for the 2015 Scottish Half Marathon. Now is a great time to sign up as it gives runners a real goal to aim for in 2015. The first ever event at the weekend was a superb day and next year is bound to be even bigger and better with thousands of runners and spectators wanting to be part of it!”

Early bird entries for the Scottish Half Marathon start from £28.65 and close on Sunday 21 September at midnight. To sign up, visit the Scottish Half Marathon website.

Comments

  1. Brian Hughes said...

    I would like to point out to potential entrants for next years event that there is huge controversy regarding the accuracy of Saturdays Scottish Half Marathon course. For some reason the organisers have so far chosen to ignore the numerous queries from runners. It does not inspire confidence in the organisers.

  2. Brian Hughes said...

    PS: If you persist in questioning them they might delete your facebook posts as they are doing with me right now!

  3. Graham Angus said...

    As per Brian's comment above I strongly suggest all looking to take part in next years Scottish Half Marathon review the comments on their Facebook page first regarding the distance controversy and the car parking fiasco.

    Overall this years event which was a very enjoyable experience and for the most part excellently organised event has been spoiled by a couple of fundamental failures. All of which could be very easily forgiven with an apology and admission of errors instead of arrogant denials of any issues.

  4. Sarah said...

    Completely agree with Brian and Graham above. Until the race distance discrepancy is dealt with appropriately I would not enter this race again, nor would I recommend it to others. It's such a shame as the event was otherwise an enjoyable experience, but the way the organisers have dealt with this situation has been unacceptable. I fortunately did not suffer from the parking fiasco (I parked elsewhere, thank goodness) but I also agree that this matter should be addressed too.

  5. Brian Hughes said...

    Unfortunately after more than 4 days the serious issues with the 2014 event remain unresolved. No proper explanation regarding the numerous claims of course inaccuracy, no explanation to the runners who were stuck in the car park for hours with little assistance from the organisers. No official results. In fact, no communication at all. The organisers are even refusing to comment on their own Facebook page. So sad that GSI Events have spoiled a potentially good event for so many. They also 'organise' the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, Big Fun runs and Jog Scotland One Big Weekend races among others so they should be able to communicate with customers better than this.

  6. Frazerelli said...

    To echo the comments above. A potentially excellent race that has unfortunately been pretty well eclipsed by reluctance from the organisers to respond to the -almost certain - issue regarding mis measurement of the course on the day. Mistakes can happen but they need to be at least taken seriously if not addressed with actual action. The lack of response so far is disgraceful. It is a potential PB course but this is clearly utterly irrelevant if fundamental factors such as assurance in the distance accuracy cannot be given.

  7. Bernie Oneil said...

    This race is one to avoid. The course was significantly over distance. The car parking was a nightmare. Very expensive day out for a long course then gridlock.

  8. Gordon Anderson said...

    If the organizers can explain what went wrong with the course set-up & how they will avoid a similar situation in the future, I would consider entering this event again. Until then, I'll be looking elsewhere.

  9. Rachel said...

    Hello,

    I would like to echo the comments on here. The course this year was most likely too long, yet the organisers (GSI Events) have denied this being even a possibility, and have behaved very rudely and aggressively to people (their customers!) who have questioned them too much (I have email evidence of this). According to them, everyone's GPS devices must be wrong, or we must all have been zig-zagging around for water/to avoid crowds at the same point, between miles 5 and 6 (despite the fact that even the winners have commented on the course being too long). The Marketing and Sales Manager wrote that only 20 out of 2600 have complained; a quick look a the Facebook page demonstrates far more!

    Mistakes happen, and the course length issue would have been easily forgiven and forgotten, but not the way the organisers have responded. They could have responded politely saying they would look into it, but instead have been extremely tight-lipped, only stating that it is IAAF certified, they are right and we are wrong.

    Further, having done another event organised by these people (Edinburgh Marathon 2012), I can confirm that poor organisation is nothing new to them.

    Please avoid this race and any others organised by GSI Events (examples given above by Brian Hughes).

    Thanks.

  10. Rachel said...

    (I have also been blocked from posting on their Facebook page, and all my comments deleted, simply because I tried to post a copy of their email response to me, given that they have not bothered to address people's concerns on there. Shocking behaviour from GSI Events.)

  11. Mags Doyle said...

    I would love to register again but until they sort out this years distance discrepancies it won't be happening. Their silence doesn't help the situation.

  12. Jenny Yeo said...

    Thoroughly endorse above comments. I have never finished an event before certain the course was long. I've done many events of this nature and fully understand gps devices are not perfect however in an event with a fairly small field there was no need to deviate much from a good running line and my garmin registered spot on with mile markers until mile 6 where it was thereafter consistently 0.25 miles out. I certainly won't be doing this event again until the organisers are seen to take these concerns seriously and respond in a more appropriate fashion rather than saying we're all wrong.

  13. Brian Hughes said...

    Hi. The organisers of the Scottish Half Marathon are still banning people from their facebook page for asking about the course accuracy fiasco. The Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics has urged Neil Kilgour of GSI Events (also the organisers of Edinburgh Marathon, Big Fun, Jog Scotland One Big Weekend etc) to communicate with runners but he has chosen to hide away and delete comments and block people from their facebook page instead. I was trying to update runners on my latest communication with Scottish Athletics and express my dissatisfaction with the situation but as I am being stopped from doing so I would like to post the following comment here:
    "Still nothing from Neil Kilgour at GSI Events. The chief executive of Scottish Athletics has once again urged him to comment. Scottish Athletics have informed me that they have the option to refuse a permit for next years event but that GSI could go ahead with the event anyway as they have their own insurance. Scottish Athletics are currently reviewing their permit criteria so let's hope that it is tightened up so that this type of disreputable behaviour can be discouraged in future. I would advise runners who feel cheated by GSI to contact Scottish Athletics and ask for the permit to be refused anyway. Without proper results and accountability it is just the Scottish (13.4 mile?) Fun Run now. I have also contacted Run Britain regarding the proposed publication of 'official' results on Monday. I have asked them to treat the results with caution. Personally, I intend to be a thorn in the side of Neil Kilgour and GSI in the future unless they do the right thing. Edinburgh Marathon, Big Fun run, Jog Scotland One Big Weekend etc will all have facebook pages to leave comments on. Might even start a blog and call it 'The Extra (Quarter) Mile! My view of GSI Events differs from Neils. Here is a quote from Neil:" I am privileged to head up the world class staff team at GSi Events". Hmm.

  14. Rachel said...

    Brian, I saw your messages had vanished. I would say I'm shocked but sadly I'm not.

    I've set up this group here on Facebook for people to discuss this matter, since SHM/GSI events are attempting to block us discussing it on their page:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/588501637944913/

    It's currently a closed group, but I'm happy to take suggestions on board (having never run a Facebook group before).

    Cheers! Rachel

  15. Sarah said...

    A very interesting article from East Lothian Courier, which backs up all the above comments. The editor in chief agrees that the course was, in fact, 13.4 miles in total... http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/roundup/articles/2014/09/12/509787-jogging-2500-runners-memories-of-a-day-to-remember/

  16. Bernie said...

    The fiasco that is GSI means I will never enter one of their races again. They are treating the runners with contempt. GSI are happy to take the money but refuse to deal with the issues around the distance. Disgusting.

  17. Ross said...

    Totally agree with all of the above comments.it's now a week later and Gsi are not at all interested in dealing with this. I wasn't too bothered about the distance being over at first it could simply have been corrected by issuing 13.1 times removing the average pace for each runners extra 1/3 mile. This way many people my girlfriend included get there Pb. Brian / Rachael thanks for your persistance I also will not accept being treated like this. Neil kilgour GSI hang your head in shame you are a disgrace everyone has said a simple apology would have done.

  18. Mike J said...

    I would also like to register complaint on this. Most people really enjoyed the event, myself included, but the question mark over the distance is a tad frustrating. Particularly for those after a PB. Mistakes happen and most would have been happy with a brief apology and simple recalculation of the results. That way people would have confidence to sign up for next year. As it stands a lot of potential runners will be avoiding the 2015 event and most probably other events organised by GSI.