Edinburgh marathon misery as competitor medals run out

Runners in the Edinburgh marathon were left disappointed after several competitors did not receive a medal for crossing the finish line.

Organisers told a number of later finishers they would have to wait for a medal in the post after supplies ran out on Sunday.

More than 35,000 people were estimated to have participated in the popular run through the Scottish capital, despite torrential rain.

Edinburgh Marathon Festival apologised to those who missed out and said they "didn't get the numbers quite right" when ordering medals.

Runner Caitlin Whitmore told BBC Scotland News that she was offered a nutrient bar instead of a medal when she finished the race.

Ms Whitmore, who has Crohn's disease and fibromyalgia, joined other family members in the marathon.

She said she was the only one unable to display a medal in their group photo.

"With the amount of effort that you put in, that was what made it even more gutting, because I had nothing to show for it," she said

An email sent by organisers Edinburgh Marathon Festival to runners who missed out promises that medals should arrive by the end of June or July.

Ms Whitmore said that by that time "the excitement will have passed a bit."

Competitor Justyna Watycha, who took up running four years ago, told BBC Scotland's Lunchtime Live programme that her first ever marathon was tarnished.

She said: "It’s so disappointing. I’m quite slow and never thought I would run a 5k never mind a marathon.

"The thing that kept me going throughout the race was that I envisioned myself crossing the line and showing off the medal to everyone.

"Now I can’t do it because there’s no medal for me."

She added that t-shirts, snacks and other items promised to those taking part were also unavailable at the end of the race.

Ms Watycha said that as applications for the event closed more than a month in advance, organisers should have had "plenty of time" to sort the problem.

Naomi Milne took part on Sunday after recovering from Covid two weeks earlier.

She said she "just burst into tears" after crossing the finish line and discovering there was nothing left for late finishers.

"I was already choked up. You’re emotionally tired, you’re physically tired It was a bit anti-climatic," she said.

She added: "There was no real apology. They’re already advertising next year’s race when they haven’t sorted out the issues from this year.

“It was my 44th marathon and one of the worst experiences I’ve had."

Edinburgh Marathon Festival has been contacted for comment.