Beside being a generally nice race, in In my opinion the Edmonton Marathon is a very good race for people that want to qualify for Boston and need to do it August. The course is mostly flat, the race was well organized and prices are very reasonable compared to some other last minute qualifying races. Also the temperatures are acceptable and in my opinion it is hard to find a race with better temperatures in August.
If I would need a fast race in August, I would go again to Edmonton.
Basically you run two half marathons. Each out and back. Hence I would divide the course in quarters. The course is flat, but not completely. The first quarter feels like a slight downhill, hence the second is a slight uphill. The second half is mostly flat. But be prepared for a short uphill just after the second turnaround that feels hard as you are 3 quarters in a marathon.
Pacing strategy: I like running negative splits but that seems to be difficult in Edmonton: The slight downhill on the first quarter is good for faster splits at equal effort. You will lose some of the time gained during the second quarter.
Raising temperatures during the 3 and 4th quarter may impact you. As well you have to overtake slower runners from the half marathon. In my opinion plan for an equal paced race or positive split.
The course is very clearly marked. But bring a GPS watch! I was missing most of the km/mi markers.
Waterstations: The only real thing that was negative in my point of view was the number of water stations. I would have wished for two additional water stations.
I had a throw away bottle with 700ml with me that did rescue me as I was well hydrated for the 2nd half.
Host Hotels: Nice and very close to the start line. Reasonable prices that included breakfast and parking. Parking is ~25$ otherwise.
Restrooms, bag drop etc. are in the Shaw Conference Center next to the Start/Finish.