24th and 25 May 2013
By Alistair Urquhart
Over the weekend of 24th & 25th of May 2013, four of our club members took part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, enjoying a much welcome couple of days of fine weather after those long winter training miles. The event spreads a mixture of race distances over two days in the Scottish capital, culminating in the Marathon race climax on Sunday afternoon. The festival attracts a quantity of runners only bettered in the UK each year by the big UK major – the London Marathon – and is a well staged event that draws participation from all over the world. Both half and full marathon courses begin in the city centre and head promptly into Holyrood Park before stretching along a length of East Lothian coastline towards an eventual finish in the town of Musselburgh. The sunshine helped to swell the number of spectators and supporters along the route, who did everything possible to sustain the festival feel and drive along the efforts of every runner passing by.
Sophie, Mark, Alistair & Des each took the journey north with a mixture of stretching personal goals and solid preparation. Sophie’s lead up to the half marathon had unfortunately been hampered by a late Achilles injury which made her performance of 1h51m in the half marathon a colossal, if painful, effort. Alistair drew some inspiration from running a debut race in his home town by going on to record a marathon PB of 3h16m. Both Mark & Des were aiming to better their prior finishing times on the Edinburgh course, both having run the 2012 marathon in rare oppressive heat. This they achieved in style with Mark completing the course in 3h33m and Des in 3h51m to cap a fine weekend of achievement for Roundhay Runners north of the border.