Excellent smaller race for less-slow runners (about: 2012)|
C. B. from Luxembourg (5/22/12)
3 previous marathons
| 1 Europe-Marathon Luxembourg
This is an excellently organised race - especially for faster runners and as a night race (it starts at 7pm)it works far better than I thought it would.
The race starts and finishes in Luxembourg's main exhibition centre, which can easily take the 10,000 people (of whom about 9,000 were running the half or relay) Shuttle buses deliver you there and you can stay inside perfectly happily until 30 minutes or so before the start (I was in the 'chill-out room' watching with bemusement people eating plates of chips (french fries) before the start). Being inside was important as it was unusally hot and humid and it woudl have been even more welcome had it been cold and/or wet.
The finish is also inside the building and, depending on how you feel, you can be back on the shuttle bus within 20 minutes of finishing or can stay and party.
I found the organisation on the course itself also very good - plenty of marshalls and well-stocked frequent aid stations.
However, I did hear complaints from people who were further back at start the that there were blockages at aid stations and that they were slipping on carpets of fruit peel left behind. This was because the much larger half-marathon is run at the same time (sharing the course up until about 10 miles) with very many slower runners and because the course is narrow in many parts.
I was aiming for 3:30, started in the correct corral for that time, and was on that pace until the courses diverged and had no problems. Even though my race went badly wrong later (chest infection, locked knee and stomach problems), once the half marathoners had gone, there was no crowding even for slower runners (such as, by then, me).
The course itself is a pretty fair one -not flat but not very difficult. It is not the most scenic route you could devise around Luxembourg City but, as the most scenic route would be very hilly, that is fine.
Support was variable - a lot of people at some points and none at the others. As I dislike screaming crowds, I found that a bonus as I did the fact that the last few miles are in the dark around the back of the deserted business district. However, if you do like screaming crowds, this may be a drawback for you.
My only complaint about the organisation is that people could set up 'go-go' boys and girls to run with them for the last mile or so. Apart from the fact that people using them should have been disqualified for being paced by a non-entrant, my run for the quite narrow finish was blocked by people hand in hand with their children. As my time was a disaster anyway this was not a big deal but, if it had caused me to miss a PB or BQ, I would have been furious.
Also, a huge number of people (mainly halfers) were cutting corners through one part of the course (Limpertsberg) but that is a matter for their own consciences!