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Sir Chris Hoy Edinburgh Half Marathon 2009

Sunny if a little nippy, flat fast course, green monsters, excellent finish venue; what's not to like!
Sunny if a little nippy, flat fast course, green monsters, excellent finish venue; what’s not to like!

The Edinburgh Half Marathon this year was named in honour of Sir Chris Hoy, the (four times) gold-medal Olympian and local boy. The course was also different this year, being a point-to-point, starting at Meadowbank Sports Centre and finishing at Musselburgh Race Course. The weather was good; sunny if a little nippy with a fair breeze on exposed sections. A flat and scenic course allowed for some fast times and the finish in Musselburgh was spectacular.

Place (2469) Category Category Position Time
Neil Page 54 MSen 42 01:24:47
Phil Humphries 109 MV40 26 01:28:54
Murdo Macleod 496 MV40 143 01:41:23
Carol Stirrat 1044 FSen 133 01:51:08
Fiona Melvin 1202 FSen 255 01:53:44
Tracy Paterson* 1210 FSen 258 01:53:55
Fiona Mackenzie 1611 FV40 112 02:00:33
Krista Black 2208 FSen 586 02:18:05
Eleanor Mackenzie 2240 FV40 221 02:19:29
Adrienne Murray 2385 FV50 74 02:31:00
Gillian Grant 2386 FV50 73 02:31:00
* Tracy’s time wasn’t registered but, based on her own timings and those around her, is a reasonable estimate.

Times in red = distance PB, blue = course PB and green = first race over distance.

Murdo said: I took part in the inaugural (and shambolic) Forthside Half in 2006 and again in 2007 (on a much improved but suspiciously fast route) where everyone achieved PBs by 5 minutes. Didn’t do it in 2008 but when I heard that Sir Chris was adding his name to the event as a one-off and that the route was changed to a point-to-point from Meadowbank (just outside my door) to finish at Musselburgh Race Course (which had excellent feed back as a venue for the Edinburgh Marathon), I paid my £25 and entered.

Unusually, you had to pick up your number and timing chip from Meadowbank either on the Saturday or before the 0900 start on Sunday. I’d picked up mine on the Saturday, no hassle, which turned out to be a blessing and strolled down about 0845 to the start. Nicola went to pick up Neil’s wife Rona to take photos along the way and meet us at the end. There seemed to some confusion about where to go; lines for chip pick-up, baggage drop etc didn’t appear to be that clear and there also was a lack of control with a bit of milling around taking place. We were asked to congregate on the stadium track where the Lucozade people were giving out goodies including gels, drinks and timing wrist-bands. Bumped into Neil and Fiona and was told that the start had been delayed for about 15 minutes, presumably to allow the completion of the chip pick ups.

Anyway, we were eventually marshalled and moved on to the road to the front of Meadowbank (met Krista and Elly) and we were away. I started at the back so had to negotiate through the runners but this wasn’t an issue as for most of the way, there was plenty of room. Also, stopped you going off to quickly as the first section was downhill on Lochend Road. The route was pretty good, Lochend, Links, Seafield, Portobello Promenade, Joppa, Musselburgh, Prestonpans then back on the same road to finish at Musselburgh Race Course. Nicola and Rona were at the Links and at the finish and managed to get photos of most of the runners that they knew.

Weather throughout was sunny and bright (wore sunglasses which were a great help), bit cold at the start and finish when you were standing around, and there was a bit of a headwind once you turned at Prestonpans. Not being that fast, I always had runners around me so had a bit of shelter. I liked the route (the weather helped) and the course was flat and fast, well marshalled and the drink stations were well placed and manned. I’ve heard comments about the return leg from Prestonpans where runners found it demoralising to see the fast ones returning while they still had a bit to go but I found it okay; trying to find other ERN runners on the opposite side kept you occupied. I particularly liked the finish in Musselburgh at the race course, well supported and you felt as if it was a proper finish. I didn’t have any problems (or I was too dozy to notice) but others complained about bottlenecks after the finish resulting in getting cold waiting. You got a nice medal, passable T-shirt, a banana and a Mars-Bar which could have been better for the money. Met up with Neil, Rona, Lily and Nicola, and tried to get photos/encourage any ERNs finishing before we left.

In short, this race has great potential let down by some administration and organisational blips at both the start and finish but these could be easily rectified. Lovely route, good support, well marshalled would do it again. Thanks to all involved.

PS, Jo Parry was out supporting the runners as they passed the shore in Musselburgh, and it was much appreciated, she’s looking well – motherhood must be agreeing with her.”

Some photos:

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