I did not participate but did travel to Bagan last year to cheer on a friend who planned to run (she fell ill the day before and in the end was unable to run - another story).
- Small number of participants and Albatross Travel worked very hard to help ensure the participants were well supported and had a good time. Several of the participants had run a number of other events produced by Albatross and spoke VERY highly of their organization. They acknowledged the relatively high cost but still felt that it was a good value for money.
- International participants first visited Yangon and had a chance to get to know one another and build some real friendships. It was a very international group of runners.
- Hotels used were of a high quality.
- Bagan is an incredible place to visit, add a marathon to the trip and you have a memory that will last a lifetime.
- The race started too late in the morning, so by the time people were finishing it was WAY too hot. There were veteran runners who had to drop out of a race for the first time in their life because of the heat. I understand that this was not entirely the organizer's fault, initially the race was scheduled to start at something like 4am. I was given to understand that the local tourism officials mandated a later (7am) start in the days leading up to the race. 2013 was the first time they held the event, so I suspect that this will not be an issue in future years.
- Much of the race is run on roads that are not closed to traffic. Drivers here in Myanmar are not very good about sharing the road (understatement) so I think that took away some of the enjoyment from the runners. Again, an earlier start would have mitigated much of this as there would have been fewer cars out.
- There were virtually no (maybe not any, I'm not sure) mile/kilometer markers along the course.
I can't speak for my friend, but I believe that she will participate in another of the races organized by Albatross, but I doubt that she will return to run the Bagan Marathon.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you for your input, it is very useful to me.
I doubt I will participate to Bagan Marathon this year, I want to see first if they will have the same problem about time this year.
For the price they charge (few hundred dollars), the least you can expect is that the Marathon goes on time however I understand the difficulty to organize it well especially in Myanmar.
Are you yourself a runner salmonela?