Despite high temperatures, ten ERNs and friends entered and completed this year’s Edinburgh marathon posting impressive times given the circumstances. Separately, seven others ran the Half Marathon and three ran with relay teams. Chris and Les’s friend Daniel was visiting from England and his time is also included. This was a particularly challenging and serious run so mega credit and congratulations to all runners. Many thanks to Gillian and Adrienne who helped out at waterpoint one and also to all the ERNs, family and friends who came out to support the runners at various points around the course – they made a big difference. Some of the marathon finishers and friends met up later for a celebratory meal at Pizza Express in Stockbridge – thanks to Jo for organising. A good day out.
|Place (9,459)||10K Split||Half Split||30K Split||Time|
|Daniel Schofield (visitor)||510||00:44:24||01:33:55||02:15:23||03:22:40|
Scottish Half Marathon
|Place (3,737)||Halfway Split||Time|
Hairy Haggis Relay
|“White & Mackays”||434||04:13:20|
There were two separate full marathon race starts, Regent Road and London Road, before the race route merged and went via Holyrood Park – Lochend Road – Leith Links – Portobello – Musselburgh – Prestonpans – Cockenzie & Seton Sands before a loop round Gosford House Grounds and returning on the same route to finish at Musselburgh Race Course. The Edinburgh Marathon has been rated the fastest marathon in the UK by Runners World magazine and has an overall elevation drop of over 50m which should have made it a good course for those looking for a good time or a personal best.
The Scottish Half Marathon started earlier at London Road and followed a similar route to the full marathon up till after the 11 mile point in Prestonpans where it turned back and finished at Musselburgh Race course. The course, similar to the Sir Chris Hoy Half Marathon earlier in the year, is also potentially very fast. The team relay was made up of four sections (two of 8 miles and two of 5 miles) and took place at the same time as the full marathon with changeovers at Musselburgh and Port Seton Links (twice).
This year the marathon was particularly hot; up to 25°C, even hotter than last year. The start was at 1000 (the Scottish Half Marathon starting at 0800) with concerns regarding health and safety raised by experienced runners turning out to be prophetic. However, the course is flat and the support from the marshals, police and spectators was excellent and universally appreciated. Thankfully, ERNs had arranged their own transport as there has also been criticism of the transport arrangements to and, in particular, back from the finish. Conversely, the earlier half marathon has received better feedback.
Hairy Haggis Team Relay
Gillian White said: “I did the first leg of the Hairy Haggis relay on Sunday, from the city centre out to Musselburgh…it started so well, all lovely & cool but the clouds soon lifted and the sun just beat down on us. I struggled a bit with the heat and with the extra miles beyond the 10K, so I was glad to come off at the 8 mile changeover. I think the heat affected us all in the team, but we kept good time, I can’t see any results up yet, we were team White & Mackays (based on surnames, not on whisky!) and our provisional time by text was 4hrs 13mins. I’d wholly recommend the relay, just for buzz of running in the marathon but without the pain of the full 26miles. The only detraction was that the relay buses from the second changeover point didn’t get the runners back in enough time to see our finisher over the line which was a shame.
The lasting impression of the whole day though was watching the marathon finishers, I was just in awe watching them complete the 26 miles and in that heat, my hands were numb from clapping and a lump in my throat a lot of the time watching some of them struggle on. I saw Laurie & Eirwen earlier at 8 miles, looking fresher than I felt, but unfortunately I didn’t see any ERN finishers (I was trying to find our last team member & our all-important medals at that point), but I hope they were all OK in the heat and finished well.”
Geni said: “Our 7th Edinburgh Marathon Hairy Haggis Relay, accurately named ‘Already Knackered’, began with me venturing outside at 0730 to the sound of someone drifting home from a club. Walking like a runner on mile 23 himself, he lurked forward, peering at my ostrich feather and tu tu and then spotting the trainers…’So’, he began, in a friendly tone, ‘how far is this marathon?’ Trying not to laugh, I replied ‘The same distance as all the others’. En route to the relay buses, I met a dutch business man out for a peaceful jog. He chased me up the royal mile to ask ‘who are all those people that I have just been in the middle of?’ I replied- ‘That was the start of the half marathon’. Nearing the bus stop I was passed by four cows on their hind legs with dangling udders- that’s why I do this, I thought, year after year. Well, that, and the chance to raise money for those that need it more. By mid-day it seemed that even some of the hardened athletes were wilting. We knew the rest of the race would be tough. Leg 3 hoped to join me for the glory run to the finish- no chance. It was heart breaking to see a woman collapse less than a mile from the end- at least she was still alive. At the end, I talked to the partner of our first runner who completed his first marathon. He was running to raise awareness of and funds to treat male breast cancer, having lost his mate the year before. I asked him how he kept going in the heat and he said simply ‘ I keep thinking of my friend’.”
Zoe said: “Hi, attached are a couple of pics from my relay experience! we were Team Neon Disco. We did it in a respectable time (given the amount of polyester we were wearing…) of 3 hrs 47… we came 192 out of 900ish teams. Was a great day although the logistics of getting between points was a bit of a nightmare… next time I think the 4 of us would run the last leg all together rather than try and drive it!”
See you soon
Hairy Haggis Team Relay
Scottish Half Marathon
George said: “Hi there, have just woken up from my post Scottish half slumbers and thought that I would drop you a couple of lines about the race. I certainly had my reservations about the 8 a.m. start and made sure that I ate really early to ensure that my breakfast would have a chance to be digested by race start time. After the alarm went off at an ungodly hour I looked out the window and was delighted to see that there was some cloud and cooler conditions than yesterday. I arrived at the start just in time for a heavy downpour and got a bit of a soaking, but by Edinburgh standards it was warm rain! The start was well organised, if a little subdued, but what can one expect at that time of the day?
It was great to see so many ERNs out cheering us on, thanks to everyone, it really does help to have that level of support. I certainly think that the half marathon runners had the best running conditions for the day, warm, cloudy, and only a slight breeze. I think that I squeaked in with a time a little less than two hours, it was a bit disappointing as I felt great, and full of running but I spent a fair chunk of the last two miles suffering from pretty bad cramps in my calf muscles.
After the race I wandered over to the baggage area, had a shower (what a luxury), changed, and went back to the race course to cheer on fellow ERNs on their way out and managed to spot quite a few. The scenes at Musselburgh Race course were chaos, with half marathon runners, and supporters, milling about along with the finishers from the first leg of the relay, and full marathon supporters. If the organisers go for a repeat next year I think that this is a choke point and needs a bit of a rethink.
Anyway, well done to the marathon runners.
What did I think of the Scottish half? Put it this way – can I sign up today?”
Fiona Mackinnon said: “Perfect running conditions, warm but cloudy, with a sea breeze and the odd light shower to keep you cool. The hardest part was the long drag from Musselburgh to Prestonpans, it felt as if we were never going to turn around, for the last stretch. I’ve never run a ½ marathon before, it seemed very well organised and I enjoyed it. It was good to see so many supporters and marshalls that you knew on the way round.’
I take my hat off to the marathon runners. That’s some undertaking.”
Wendy said: “Hi, it was great to see that everyone finished both the marathon and half marathon and I’m so pleased that Laurie got to run, I was thinking about her and hoping. I wish I’d known that everyone was meeting up to watch, I would definitely have come along. To be honest, I was so nervous about doing the half marathon, because I was putting pressure on myself to get under 2 hours, that I never planned anything for afterwards. But I did it!!! I was so pleased and proud of myself. That last disastrous run did mean nothing after all. Had a bit of a dip in the middle along the straight, flat part at Portobello (as I’d been telling myself for weeks that I would!) but as soon as I’d passed the 8 mile marker I had a second wind because I knew I was going to do it! I’m not even suffering. My friends reckon I should’ve worked harder! Hhmmm!! Anyway, I’ve attached a couple of photos. Would you give my congratulations to everyone.”
Scottish Half Marathon
Val said: “Hiya all, thanks for all the support – here’s how I found it – Woke up to a dull rainy day – that didn’t last long – met other ERN’s at the start and we were off and out came the sun! Got on grand first few miles – saw lots of ERN’s along the way and friends so that was great. At Musselburgh began to feel the heat and met Gordon who spurred me on (ta). Met Krista around mile 13 and I was struggling and thinking of jacking it in – more support spurred me on to carry on. At Gosford became clear that others were struggling as much as me – looked like a sponsored walk! Started running 2 mins and walking 2mins right to the end (wish I’d thought of that earlier on!). Realised early on that a PB was off limits and finishing was the aim – couldn’t believe I did it when I crossed the line – thanks everyone for the support and it was such a lift with the ERN banner and crew at mile 25! Well done to everyone!
What a challenge! Tad red today!”
Tracy said: “This marathon was by far the hardest I’ve ever done. The heat, sun and unsheltered conditions made it a real challenge and I struggled with ITB problems the last few miles. Nonetheless it was the best marathon I’ve ever done in terms of the race support. ERN was out the whole day in full force to support us, and it made such a difference to me seeing smiling and encouraging familiar faces. The ERN station at Musselburgh was a brilliant surprise as I could see Murdo’s sign from the end of the road. Seeing ERNs at mile 25 and getting two rejuvenating hugs from Fiona and Aicha (sorry for the sweatiness!) made an enormous difference to me, giving me the strength and motivation to run the rest of the way to the finish. Well done to all who participated in the event, runners and supporters alike!”
Mike said: “Once the sun began to break through the clouds to warm us on Regent Road the stage was set for a blistering hot day. ERN supporters were out in force in the early miles, Chris and Les in Holyrood Park and Elly and Phil on Leith Links and Nigel, my Aussie trainer, standing on the wall on Portobello Prom.
During the first few miles I’d set a good pace, apart from the first which was way too fast, but adrenaline and a downhill start can do that! Shortly after passing the first relay changeover I saw my first casualty of the day. Stumbling, possibly over one of the road bumps, a lady runner hit the ground and was helped to her feet with blood running down her cheek from a cut near her eye. She brushed herself off and started to walk on as I passed her. A minute later she ran past me as if nothing had happened.
As for me, I started to feel the symptoms of the Plantar Fasciitis I’ve been experiencing for several months, the first time I’d felt it while running. I slowed for a bit and walked through the water station at the race course before setting off again at a slightly slower pace, passing Murdo at ERN’s support camp with me on the wrong side of the road. How I didn’t spot that sign, I’ll never know! I spoke briefly to Fraser as I passed him while he was stretching on the verge before Prestonpans, but he passed me a few minutes later. Tracy passed me in Prestonpans but I didn’t see her until she was 20m ahead of me! I caught Fraser again after the short loop into Longniddry and we chatted for a bit before the entrance into Gosford House Estate. I was caught by Jo at the water station at the estate exit and we walked while we drank. Refreshed, Jo took off towards the finish. A minute or so later, when I decided it was time I should do the same, I felt several painful twinges of cramp in my left calf and almost swore, loudly! This was to happen repeatedly every half mile or so until the course started the decent from Prestonpans towards the finish and I was running for no more than five minutes at a time before slowing to a walk for the same time and sometimes longer. The support from Murdo, Alan, Aicha and Gillian just after mile 25 managed to lift me for the finish tho’ and it made all the difference.
Not what I’d hoped for, but in those conditions I’m happy to have finished! I never felt I wanted to quit and I did enjoy the day, with the pizza and the company later that evening being a particular highlight! Well done and congratulations to everyone who ran. Let’s do it again, but please, make it a bit cooler next year! Oh, and someone please remind me to buy decent sunscreen!”
The ERN Groupies
Murdo said: “As there were so many ERNs running the full marathon this year, Nicola and I thought we’d go and support and take some photos. Decided on a spot just as the route leaves Musselburgh not long after the Levenhall roundabout which allowed us to see the runners at mile 10 on the way out and mile 25 on the way back. We had an ERN sign (thanks to Stephen, James and Helen!) so hoped to be easily seen and had water and jelly babies if they were required. We were joined by Chris, Les and Ben and then by Anne-Louise, Aicha, Alan, Gillian and Fi. The weather was hot, damn hot, but our runners all looked fresh and happy on the way out. By the time the runners were coming back the way, the story was a lot different with a number looking very tired and suffering from the heat. I’m happy to say that despite the brutal heat and the physical challenge, all our runners made it; some were understandably tired but looked fine and were determined to finish. It was different watching them and I felt as if I should have been doing more somehow. Once we’d seen the ERN’s pass, our remaining water and jelly babies (others had brought more) were well used and much appreciated by other runners. Hugely impressed by all the runners but our own ladies and gents in particular. Hearty congratulations to all – well deserved.”
Chris said: “My chum Daniel was up from Shipley near Bradford to run the marathon. He’d been harbouring this plan since the early 80’s with the advent of the London marathon and with one thing and another (work, university, children – life) had never managed to get the training in! He decided to make his marathon ‘debut’ earlier this year by entering Edinburgh and got his place just behind the elite runners on London Road. He was concerned about a recent cold and which shoes to wear (you have to look good!) I think I’d have been more concerned about this being my first marathon and starting with the elites! But he seemed very relaxed a the start. Les, Ben and I then went off to Holyrood Park and managed to spot ‘our guy’ plus Mike and Tracy – all looking fresh and focused. Ok so, it was only a mile into the race – but the clouds were starting clear and the sunshine emerging.
Then off to Levenhall roundabout which was great – watching everyone go by and supporting our ERNies still looking surprisingly fresh – but hot – it was turning out to be a scorcher. I was a bit worried as I didn’t see Daniel – what had happened to him … He was too fast that’s what – we hadn’t got there quick enough! But we made our way to the Racecourse and saw him come in in good time – no – amazing time I would say of 3:22:40! Wow – I’m still stunned – and glad to be backing him! So, what did he have to say about Edinburgh …’Is it always this hot? It was a great course, very flat, but long – the support was fantastic along the route, really helped you. I was glad we’d done a reccy trip in the car on Saturday afternoon so I knew what I where I was going. At 18 miles I thought I might be on for a 3:10 but I just couldn’t push it for the last 8 miles in the heat. Who knows – maybe next year!’ Over lunch we had our post race chat and Ben offered coaching advice to Daniel … so … who knows … maybe next year …”
Some photos: Thanks to Chris, Nicola, Fi and Andy (and also to Road Run Pics where there are lots more)