Edinburgh Marathon bosses run out of excuses

Runners in the Edinburgh event wanted their times published. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Runners in the Edinburgh event wanted their times published. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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ORGANISERS of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival have performed a U-turn and decided to publish the full results of the race.

Race chiefs were criticised after claiming strict rules on data protection had led them to announce only the top three times and placings in each category.

Confirmation of each runner’s time was texted to participants’ mobile phones and could be retrieved from their personal “my details” account, but many said they were disappointed friends and family could not see the times.

Almost 10,000 people took part in the event on 25 May and many threatened to boycott future events in the Capital saying the policy was virtually unheard of and that organisers, Edinburgh-based GSi Events, had taken “data protection” too far.

Marathon times at races around the world are typically published in full online and often in local media.

Some critics even claimed the move breached rules laid down by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

However, race director Neil Kilgour issued a statement yesterday on the Edinburgh Marathon Festival website under the heading: “We’ve listened, and we got it wrong.”

The statement read: “Thank you for all your feedback and for telling us what is important to you.

“We value our runners and we now know that only publishing your results within your “my details” account was the wrong decision.

“We thought that it was the runner’s preference to receive results exclusively, however we have been listening to your feedback and now understand and accept that this is not appropriate for you.

“We have asked people to choose and you have in your thousands.

“As such, from now on all results will be fully available on the event website after each race.

“Full and final results will continue to be submitted to relevant parties for the purposes of verification of entries to other races and for ranking systems.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and stress that this has caused many of you who have been waiting to use results to update your rankings or enter other events.”

The move was welcomed by competitors who posted on the EMF Facebook page.

Geoff Bowery posted: “Refreshingly honest and open. Well done and thanks for a great event.”

Jamie Orr said: “Right decision. Next thing to sort out is the finish area. It’s an absolute nightmare. Far too many people in a small space. It’s impossible to find anyone and is like a cattle market.”