Unfortunately, the registration process for the event was even more chaotic than in 2012. In this respect, many smaller cities which organize a running event in China (Xiamen, Zhuhai) are light years ahead of Guangzhou. In Guangzhou the website, the registration procedure, the whole organization is poor. Until the beginning of September 2013, the website was not yet updated and was still reporting about the 2012 event. (official website of Guangzhou Marathon and here the modified route 2013)
Neither a schedule for 2013 was mentioned nor any information whether the Marathon will take place in 2013 could be found on their official website. The English translation was only available for a a small part of the website. Finally on September, 25th the 2013 website was active and the registration was opened. Only two months (!) before the marathon, which was now announced to take place on November, 23rd.
What has happened is clear. The servers were overloaded with all the requests of runners who wanted to register. Only those who were lucky, were able to register successfully. I was lucky. Somebody did the application for me. On the internet many complaints could be found about this poor organization. Instead of registering in Guangzhou many runners decided to join the Zhuhai Half - Marathon, which takes place three weeks later. And the registration for Zhuhai was quite smooth.
Something more about the organization: in 2012 two runners died, one at the end of the 10km race, the other one at the 5km race. From the organizers point of view all participants for the 2013 event should qualify for participation by finishing a test run. (typical Chinese: shifting the own responsibility away - e.g. providing adequate medical care in the shortest time) (here some information about this incident in 2012 in South China Morning Post, published in Hongkong)
The time limit to finish the 5Km test run was one hour. This means those who could finish this distance by walking in a fast pace were qualified to participate at the Marathon distance. Later people told me that the real distance was only 4.6Km. About 3000 (out of totally 30000) runners took part at the test run. I have decided for the other qualification option: presenting a certificate from a previous run when picking up race number and documents. Details like how old the certificate could be, whether a Chinese translation is necessary, which race distance the certificate should show and so on was not mentioned. I am sure that some runners are also experts in using Photoshop ....
Update November, 23rd 2013: Done !
The organization was better than 2012. Instead of plastic bottles which were offered in 2012 at the catering stations they offered now paper cups. Every race kilometer was marked this year and the race course was more interesting. Of course there is still much space for improvement. (e.g. better food on the last kilometers, information on the official website about the winners and their time, information about the participants etc.) But all in all it was worth to join although as usual the last seven kilometers were quite tough.
In 2012 the Guangzhou Marathon took place for the first time. The registration process was quite chaotic, but runner colleagues were able to organize two race numbers for me for the half marathon. I forwarded one number to a colleague from Germany, who was at that time accidentally in Guangzhou. (here is his report)