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RUN FOR FUN IN EDINBURGH E


It’s ‘relay’ good fun


dinburgh is a special city, the much praised ‘Athens of the North’. Late May, and the Edinburgh Marathon Festival


(EMF) in association with Oxfam, rolls into town bringing with it a hint of summer to come, and a series of events that will this year involve 30,000 plus people. Once, there was simply a marathon,


and a relatively small affair at that - just 3,000 runners - but in recent times things have developed, and now there is a whole of weekend of races, fun and Expo excitement. The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is about more than one race - there are seven events across the weekend of May 21/22. And it’s not just about runners, it’s about families, spectators, charities and lots and lots of fun too.


Saturday, May 21


Saturday sees the action centred on the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Hub, the fancy title for the event Expo, at Holyrood Park. The running action starts with the International Breakfast Run on Saturday morning. It’s restricted to international


runners, but if you’re taking part expect some fascinating history along the three mile route, which takes in Edinburgh Castle, the historic Royal Mile, the Parliament Building, Holyrood Palace and Royal Holyrood Park. A great opportunity for visitors to see the sites of Edinburgh at a leisurely pace. The big Saturday races are the 10k and


5k which start at 9am and 11am respectively. Entries are available for these races until 18th May unless the entry limit is reached before this. The 10k route sees some dramatic views of Edinburgh with the start on Queens Drive. It also takes in the Royal Palace of Holyrood House, Dynamic Earth, Salisbury Craigs, Dunaspie Loch and some glorious panoramic views across Edinburgh, before finishing back at the festival hub next to Holyrood House. The 5k route takes a single loop of majestic Holyrood Park running clockwise around the park exclusively on Queens Drive. Sandwiched between the 10k and 5k


are the junior races, which start from outside the festival hub and run eastwards along Queens Drive. Runners aged 6-10 will run 1.5k and runners (11-15) will run 3k. If you’re thinking of making Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend a family affair then these are ideal events for kids to sample the big race atmosphere. Race entry to all races includes chip


timing, ASICS technical t-shirt, race certificate, goodybag, great atmosphere and a fantastic running experience.


TSunday, May 22he second day of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival sees the focus move east with three big events - the ‘Hairy


36 n RUNNING FREE


Haggis’ Team Relay, the Half Marathon and the daddy, the grand old super-fast Edinburgh Marathon. The Team Relay was introduced to give athletes of all abilities the opportunity to run along the same course of the marathon without having to run the 26.2 miles individually. Enjoy a host of on-route entertainment while you take in the scenery of Edinburgh and East Lothian. Teams of four will run, splitting the marathon distance between them, with the longest leg about eight miles and the shortest leg about five miles. As you enter you can choose between


seven different categories. ‘Young Guns’ must have a combined age of less than or equal to 100 years, ‘Auld Reekie’ teams must have a combined age of greater than or equal to 180 years. Each leg is individually timed and all


1. CORPORATE TEAM CHALLENGE 2. ALL MALE TEAM 3. ALL FEMALE TEAM 4. MIXED TEAM CHALLENGE 5. FANCY-DRESS 6. YOUNG GUNS (AVE AGE OF 25) 7. AULD REEKIE (AVE AGE OF 45)


relay team members will receive an ASICS technical t-shirt, race certificate, finisher’s medal and a goody bag. It’s a great way for club members or work colleagues to get involved. The Half Marathon runs along the same course as the marathon, so it captures the big race excitement of the Edinburgh Marathon and the amazing finish in Musselburgh. n For more details, visit www.edinburgh-marathon.com


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