I ran the marathon on Sunday - I thought it was a great experience. I will admit that the races here just aren't as good or as organized as the ones in the U.S. but it was still really cool. Adidas sponsored it this year and I think it was a huge upgrade (according to what I've read) from last year's event. The EXPO was fast and easy and well-organized, but very little products were sold. I couldn't get body glide (used to prevent chaffing) or the gel I wanted, but no big deal. The day of the race it was rainy and cold about half of the time, which was sort of miserable but then the sun came out at the midway point and the breeze was nice and cool. There were very few spectators, but I think that was due to the weather. There were a couple of weird things:
There were NO bathrooms! If you are properly hydrated you are going to have to pee sometime in 4-5 hours. Of course, men had the luxury of running off to the side, but women can't/didn't do that. Believe me, if I had seen one doing that I would have followed suit!
Finally, near the end there were porta-potties...but this was near the 23 mile mark - too far! Also, they gave out full water bottles, instead of cups of water. I thought that was strange because so many runners can't down an entire bottle of water, it will give you a cramp. So most of the bottles thrown down along the side were half-full. Seemed like a huge waste. Plus, people were slipping on the bottles. I am guessing maybe it was cheaper for Adidas to do this than to buy the huge water jugs and paper cups(?). Not sure.
I have to say though, the marathoners themselves were great! Really supportive and fun, cheering along the way, helping each other out. When the half-marathoners split off from us, they cheered and encouraged us. I thought that was cute! It was my first marathon experience, and I am hugely glad I did it. I finished in 4:29. Not stellar, but not awful! One major complaint at the end is that you have to either wait for an hour to get a taxi home, or walk about 2 miles down to get one. Either way, you just ran a friggin' marathon and are exhausted so that sucks! Ha! That was probably waaay more info than you wanted, but there it is, anyway.