Controversy following the end of last year's Edinburgh marathon has prompted race organisers to re-think the finish area for the big May event. Until 2010 Musselburgh Racecourse offered a popular grandstand finish for Edinburgh marathon but increasing numbers in both the full marathon and the half marathon meant that the racecourse could no longer offer the capacity required.
Last year's runners complained of post-race bottlenecks and problems meeting up with relative and friends at the end of the race. At the time organisers promised to address those issues and their response has been to create a new finish area in the grounds of Pinkie St Peter's primary school which has over 10 acres of playing fields. This was the reunion area and charity village for the 2011 marathon, half marathon and team relay.
Athletes will now run along Linkfield Road In Musselburgh and turn left into Pinkie School playing fields for the finish straight which will be lined by thousands of cheering supporters. Finishing in this more spacious location means organisers can give all runners the finish they deserve as they are not limited by space as they have been in the last few years.
The new finish doesn't affect the route elevation which remains almost exactly the same as previous years. With an elevation drop of almost 40m, the course will still be the fastest marathon route in the UK and possibly one of the fastest fully IAAF compliant marathon routes in the world.
Organisers are hoping that activities at the finish area will make this part of the event a feature of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival experience. Runners will enjoy a finish cheered on by family and friends as well as a big crowd of spectators, plus the opportunity to visit the charity village, watch the presentation ceremony, enjoy the Forth One radio road show, visit the Run and Become official merchandise stall, choose from a wide variety of eateries and have a celebratory beer!