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Edinburgh Marathon Festival 2011

Susan and Stuart at mile 10
Susan and Stuart at mile 10

Despite the dreich weather, 18 ERNs and friends entered and completed this year’s Edinburgh marathon posting impressive times given the circumstances. Separately, 13 others ran the Half Marathon and 5 ran with relay teams. Two also took part in the previous day’s 10km race which was suspiciously similar to our own ‘Little ERN’ course.

This was a particularly challenging and serious run so mega credit and congratulations to all runners. Some new records and lots of PBs to boot. Of particular note are the times of Susan (Marathon) and Heather (Half Marathon), both running these events for the first time, both rather obviously getting PBs but both also setting new ERN Women’s record times for their respective distances. Also note the stunning time of 3.22 for the “Red Ravers” relay team which included Val and Eirwen as members. Congratulations and well done to all.

Many thanks 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.

Edinburgh Marathon

Place (9,660) 10K Split Half Split 30K Split Time
Susan Wiltshire * 2012 00:51:25 01:49:25 02:36:18 03:41:05
Tom Hay  2259 00:51:09 01:48:51 02:37:27 03:47:01
Graham Scott  2713 00:53:43 01:52:57 02:42:11 03:49:12
Clint Betteridge 3280 00:52:30 01:50:25 02:40:17 03:54:52
Stuart Pirnie 3522 00:53:32 01:54:20 02:45:34 03:56:59
Trudi Robertson 4390 00:50:53 01:53:32 02:44:25 04:08:32
Stephen Garland 5017 00:56:59 02:00:43 02:54:22 04:14:38
German Rodríguez 5262 00:48:03 01:45:26 02:41:01 04:17:32
Michael Joyce 5328 00:56:52 01:57:55 02:50:27 04:18:18
William Fisher 5922 00:54:59 01:59:05 02:55:59 04:25:43
Simon Evans 6124 00:57:44 02:01:08 02:57:19 04:28:21
Mike Newton 7138 00:58:39 02:06:56 03:12:40 04:43:55
Ros Derham 7285 01:00:29 02:12:47 03:15:26 04:45:58
Adrienne Murray 7618 01:03:52 02:16:40 03:19:02 04:51:37
Verity Whiteside 8035 01:02:32 02:18:47 03:20:34 04:59:56
Gillian Grant 8169 01:03:49 02:16:36 03:24:32 05:03:34
Jim Cunningham 8383 00:59:06 02:08:57 03:17:13 05:09:57
Giuliano Broccato 8548 01:10:57 02:27:28 03:33:06 05:15:11

EMF Half Marathon

Place (4,548) Halfway Time
Heather Giovanni * 661 00:47:36 01:41:30
Laura Jenkins 1966 00:51:36 01:56:34
George Maxwell 2079 00:54:42 01:57:47
Chris March 2160 00:57:09 01:58:29
Maria Curtin 2271 00:55:09 01:59:30
Jennifer MacDonald 2345 00:50:35 02:00:15
Karen Fitzpatrick 2409 00:56:30 02:00:53
Heike Ulferts 2486 00:56:34 02:01:47
Gillian White 3081 01:00:26 02:09:03
Elizabeth Stirling 3166 00:59:38 02:10:08
Karin Walker 3766 01:06:22 02:19:45
Emily Alston 4037 01:08:01 02:25:51
Laura Slater 4063 01:08:01 02:26:33

Hairy Haggis Relay

Place (641) Time
“Red Ravers” (Val Beattie and Eirwen Campbell 42 03:22:05
“The Slipperettes” (Wendy Macfarlane) 268 03:59:50
“Team Relay 30568” (Laurie Yeaman) 336 04:06:53
“Team Relay 30725” (Nicola Frith) 456 04:21:54

EMF 10K – Saturday 21 May

Place (1,242) 5K Split Time
Andrew Duncan 137 00:24:08 00:48:18
Claire Winstanley 807 00:32:02 01:03:52

1 = First race over the distance. PB = Personal best time over the distance.

* New Fastest Ladies ERN Record

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 a new finish point on the road beside 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 again near Musselburgh Race course. The course, similar to the ADT 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).

Route Elevation

This year the marathon was particularly dreich with intermittent heavy showers and a strong headwind particularly on the return leg from Gosford House. The start was at 1000 (the EMF Half Marathon starting at 0800), the course is flat and the support from the marshals, police and spectators was excellent and universally appreciated. The feedback on the new finish arrangements was not favourable. Thankfully, most 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

Val said: “I really enjoyed the Marathon Relay. It started as a passing comment at work and before we knew it we were signed up! I took the 3rd leg – which was the worst bit for me when I did the full marathon last year. Tracy and Caroline from work did the first 2 legs and Eirwen from ERN did the Glory last leg. It took quite a bit of organising about how we were all getting there etc. We managed to watch runners at Holyrood before our second breakfast and clocked some ERNs. I had a mild panic and few expletives were said, when Steve was dropped me off at Cockenzie and Tracy called saying – ‘ I did it in an hour and Caroline is WELL on her way’. I had visions of Caroline waiting for me at the handover! I chained up my bike and all was well – I had 20 mins to breathe before taking over! I enjoyed my leg – started off too quick as usual and with change in course meant I handed over further past Mile 22. I expected to change just after 21 miles. Headwind was a bit of a pain out of Gosford but great to be in with the marathon runners and good crowd support most of the way. Good to see ERN’s on the way! I biked back to Musselburgh which was good to get through the traffic. We all met up at the end and had had some alcoholic and non-alcoholic fizz! We were delighted with our time – 3.22.05 and came 42nd out of 1000 teams! Would definitely recommend and raised over £500 for The Red Cross!


Wendy said: “Hi, was nice to see you all at the end there although I wasn’t doing very much to be fair!! 🙂

Our team was called The Slipperettes and just had a look at the results – 3.59.50. Very pleased as we were trying to get under 4 hours. (Our friend was doing the full marathon and did it in 3.59.47 – amazing!)


Laurie said: “Hi, here’s a picture of me, Gerry Sheridan, Chris Young and Jilly Maclean (we’re just showing as team relay 30586) and our time was 4:06:53. Had a great day and it was brilliant to get the support at Leith Links and again at Levenhall. Bumped into Mike at the start and Wendy at the relay change point at Seton Sands before they started their runs and cheered Gillian and Adrienne on as they came through Prestonpans looking like they were having a fab run.



Andrew said: “This was only the fourth 10k I have run but it was definitely the mother! The hill up from Duddingston to Dalspindie Loch was hard to say the least but the run down the other side was excellent. Conditions overall were good with most of the course sheltered from the wind.

The race was very well organised with lots of support, especially as it was the first time it has been run. Special thanks to George for his encouragement on the hills. As for my time I managed to get a PB in 48:18. I haven’t seen any photos but they won’t be pretty! Now for beer & curry.

See you soon,

Claire said: “Hi, well, I managed to complete the 10k this morning! I do not have any photos but can let you know what I thought of it. This was actually my first 10k race. It was really well organised and started on time. The course was quite hard going – quite a few hills, or I thought they felt a bit like mountains! The views from the top were good – Elly mentioned to me to make sure I had a look. There seemed like quite a few people in the race and a good crowd cheering us on at the finish. My provisional time was 01:03:52.

Thanks again for your good luck message – please pass on my best to the Marathon and half Marathon runners tomorrow.


EMF Half Marathon

George said: “I ran the half yesterday and had a great time – seriously! I started this year on Regents Road, the start zone was really well organised and the views from there are pretty stunning, with the added bonus of a great downhill start. The weather wasn’t too bad for the whole of the run and the support along the route was excellent, especially from the noisy crew at Leith Links, thanks Brendan, Fi, and the others – that kept me smiling for ages. I finished exactly 10 seconds outside my half marathon PB and believe me, on the basis of the half marathons that I ran last year, I consider it to be a real triumph. Went over had had a refreshing cold shower, warm didn’t appear to be on offer, and went down to the race course to cheer the other ERNs on, unfortunately because of the position I was in most of the ERNs had passed me before I spotted them, but all that I saw looked fresh and full of running. Well done to all.


Chris said: “My mate Suzy and I set off to do her first half marathon this morning. Before this the longest she’d run was 10k and when she first started training she was going for a 2:30 time so we were in the gold group! I knew I’d score a gold at some point in my life! We’ve been training together for about the last 6 weeks on her longer runs and after our last training run for some reason she upped the stakes to 2:15 … not sure for what reason … but I was certainly game as it meant we’d get back for our breakfast champagne just that bit earlier!

So off we went on the rather chilly May morning, through the Park … no longer chilly and certainly warmed by our support group Les, John – Suzy’s husband, and our mate Brian who’d come up for the week – he didn’t realise at the time that he’d be getting dragged out of bed at 6.15 on a Sunday morning to cheer us on!!! The support didn’t stop there; we saw Fi and Brendan down at the Links and a quick chat with Andrew Duncan on Porty Prom – the tale of his brilliant 10k time the day before certainly put an extra spring in my step – well done!

Suzy did brilliantly .. very steady run and only seemed to start tiring at about 12 miles … I’d sussed at 1:40 that if we pushed it we’d break 2 hours. After telling me she was starting to tire I ignored her and upped the ante on pace and ‘motivational talk’ – my support obviously knows no bounds! Before we’d started she’d told me she didn’t want to know our time as we ran – so what to do … I figured just keep the chat going … the strategy worked as I rolled in at 1:58:29 with Suzy 1 second behind – hot on my heels! I was so proud of her – what an achievement for her first half – really, really chuffed!! She said after she couldn’t work out why I was pushing her to dig deep (or words to that effect!) after the roundabout and thought we were probably on for 2:10 – so imagine how delighted she was! Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as we did and achieved their goals as well as she did – mega – gold class indeed!


Heike said: “Hi, Hope you had a lovely event out at pizza express yesterday; sorry couldn’t make it. Managed to get round the course in 2:01,47 – very happy with that; more than 10 mins faster than last year and hence a PB, hooray! Thanks for all the support and training, especially to Ellie for the Monday runs!

Ta, Heike”

Karin said: “Hi, my time was 2hrs 19 and was a PB, as it was my first half!!

I saw Fiona on route, which was a great boost, as I started running last year through Jog Scotland in Fiona’s Saturday morning group. So thanks to Fi!

I found it a lot more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be and thought the whole event seemed well organised, but I was very disappointed at the end, as were my family and friends, as no one was allowed at the finish line other than the runners. So I will need to see if I can leave feedback.”


Chris with Suzy in Holyrood Park
Chris with Suzy in Holyrood Park

Edinburgh Marathon

Susan said: “Here’s my spiel – The Marathon – A really enjoyable run, pretty much until the last two miles when a fellow runner helped me by spurring me to a quick finish (he must have heard me whimper). Threw up afterwards (not pleasant). Very poor arrangements on finishing (including transport), and disgusting toilets (ended up doing a toilet crawl, and fortunately the misnamed ‘goodie’ bag had toilet roll in it – soft, strong and very long). I can’t stand the sight of bananas or running gels (though I woke up this morning on top of a burst one – don’t ask). All the training through the winter paid off, and I’d like to thank everyone in ERN for their support, especially Murdo for planning, and Fi, who way back when I was struggling on an 8 miler, told me to take one step at a time. Well done to all other ERN runners!!!!! (: The running camaraderie has been a real motivator.”

Would I do it again? . . . (-;


Verity said: “Yes – ran yesterday but didn’t see anyone either. Enjoyed it (I think!). Was feeling really good for first 19 miles and then started to struggle a bit. Anyway, it’s done! Time was 4hrs 49. Bit slower than I had wanted but under 5 hrs so I’m happy. The wind for the last 5 or 6 miles was awful.

Thanks for all your support and see you soon.


Gillian said: “Ran the Edinburgh Marathon for the 5th time yesterday. Can see the start line from my flat window which meant a long lie and a pleasant stroll down. Start was busy but well organised. Pens were clearly marked and a good sound system kept every-one briefed about what was going on. I was running with Adrienne and the first 18 miles were good, big crowds, loads of water stations and familiar faces popping up all over the place either running or spectating. All very pleasant. We passed through the half way point in 2.16 bang on our target time. But at mile 18 the wheels fell of my wee wagon big time and I resorted to the “shuffle walk jog repeat” strategy for two miles till I met a friend and ate about a pound of jelly babies. This bucked me up a bit and luckily I bumped into Jim Cunningham in Preston Pans so we dragged each other round the next couple of miles. Then cheered by the thought only a mile to go I started to enjoy my self again. ERN support and the crowds on that last corner were just fantastic but was weird running down that final straight with so few people about. End arrangements were a shambles. Quite a long walk to stand in a que for 15 minutes to get goody bags then another walk to get into the reception field where the cider was off and yet another walk to the loos at the far end of the field. With blisters like I had really could have done with out all this. My time was 5.03, slowest ever. But much more important than that was the fact that Adrienne and I raised over a £1,000 for our charity “Leonard Cheshire Foundation”. We are both totally thrilled by that.”

Adrienne said: “Gillian and I lost each other on Regent Road (not part of the plan) but tracked each other down in the gold pens before the gladiatorial march to the start (Who would start running before you have to?) For some reason, (three years older, more aged skeleton?) this, my fourth marathon (well fifth, if you count the one I didn’t finish) never felt as “buzzy” as the PB epic that was 2008. It was more about building up the blocks, one 10k, then another, etc.

First highlight was Val and friend leaping up and down in Holyrood Park shouting encouragement. Then there were the really nice householders with their sound systems on the window sills belting out encouraging music (did Freddy Mercury and Co know they were composing a library of running songs?) Fiona, Brendan and Colin in Leith, (in fact Colin all over the place, is he actually triplets, two of them bearing jelly babies) George and Laurie in the East Lothian villages whose names I mix up. And of course the valiant ERN support point on the way there and on the way back. An unexpected treat, my elder lad Alastair, who tore himself away from student life and cycled to Seton Sands to cheer us by. Husband Bob was at Lyars Road with the emergency cold spray, gels etc. It seems I was about the only person who passed him who did not want a jelly baby. Seven bags of jelly babies vanished like snow off a dyke and (he knows, he timed it) it takes energy deprived runners 1minute 12 seconds to clear a tub of one bag.

Up till about mile 17 it was going okay time wise, and then it went a bit pear shaped. Combination of the driving head wind and increasingly heavy legs. The solitary trombonist playing “When the Saints come Marching in” in the grounds of Gosford House was a bit of a boost, but no one else seems to have seen him. Maybe I was hallucinating by then, can you overdose on SIS gels? Anyway, the crowd support and folk shouting my name (do I know them? no, it’s written on your vest you fool) hauled me through the last few miles and getting to stop was sheer unadulterated bliss.

The picking up of medals, goody bags etc was an overcrowded shambles and should be looked at for next year, but when you are standing in a queue, your muscles are seizing up and there is no room to stretch, well at least no one is making you run any more. I suspect the marathon running festival beer I quaffed in the reunion area was actually a fairly average ale, but to me it was like nectar.”

Stuart said: “Hi, What a great feeling crossing the finish. Even if I never do another one I’ll always have it under my belt.

The route itself was pleasant enough. The weather was pretty unpredictable but the heavy showers were much appreciated. Thanks to all the supporters especially the ERN crew who offered kind words, it really helped.

I feel the event itself could have been organised better. There was mass confusion as to where people were to meet up at the end to see runners finishing etc. I know there were a lot of people but I still feel it could have been organised more efficiently. It’s the last thing you want to be faced with after running a marathon.

Apart from that it was a fantastic occasion and I look forward to the shorter runs over the summer! Well done to everyone.


Michael said: “The race itself was very enjoyable although it was tough out there in the wind and rain. I had a time in mind of somewhere between 4:15 and 4:30 but I actually ran well ahead of that for the first 18 miles. Randomly I turned on my ankle going round Gosford House avoiding another runner who was avoiding a stray chicken and that put me off for a couple of miles. The wind from 20-24 really slowed me down and I was very happy to get home in 4:18, a PB of 35 minutes from last year’s race. A huge part of doing well this year was down to all the companionship I received on the long runs with ERN which gave me the confidence to keep going through the low spots of which there are some in every marathon.


The ERN Groupies

Murdo said: “Similar to last 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 25.5 on the way back. We had an ERN flag from last year so hoped to be easily seen and had water (not required) and jelly babies (which were!). We were joined by Jim and Clare (William’s wife), Fi, Gillian and Elly. The weather was very changeable; windy with intermittent heavy showers but our runners all looked fresh and happy on the way out. By the time the runners were coming back the way, the strong headwind was having an effect. First past was Susan looking very fresh and then everyone else followed in due course. It was very difficult to pick out individuals as they passed so sorry that we missed a few. I’m happy to say that despite the weather and the physical challenge, all our runners made it; some were understandably tired but looked fine and were determined to finish – very inspiring. Once we’d seen the ERNs pass, our remaining jelly babies were much appreciated by other runners. As always, hugely impressed by all the runners but our own ladies and gents in particular. Hearty congratulations to all – well deserved.”


Some photos: Thanks to Nicola, Gillian and Clare

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