Portobello Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh & the Lothians

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As home to several major races including the second biggest marathon in the UK, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh was recently voted the second best running city in the UK. And with the delights of the Georgian New Town and the medieval Old Town, the capital offers lots to feast your eyes on as you jog through the historic streets.

But it’s not just Scotland’s capital which has a thriving running scene, the surrounding Lothians also have much to offer runners. East Lothian offers spectacular coastal routes while West and Midlothian provide fine countryside to enjoy; whether you fancy hill runs, beach runs or trail runs. Top races in the area include Haddington half marathon, Dunbar 10K, Lasswade 10 Miler, and Penicuik 10K.

Edinburgh marathon in May is said to be the fastest marathon in the UK. It’s part of a weekend running festival which also includes a half marathon, 10k, 5k, junior and relay races. The city also plays host to the Great Edinburgh Run and Great Winter Run. Slightly less conventional races include Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon, successfully introduced in 2012, and the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest - obstacles, and fun, galore! Year round there is parkrun Edinburgh at Cramond/Silverknowes Promenade which earlier this year was breaking its attendance records on an almost weekly basis; fast and scenic, this course is great for a PB attempt, except if the wind is blowing.

Helping boost those attendance figures are Portobello Runners, the best-represented club at the event. We spoke to chair, Douglas Young, about life at the club. Other top outfits in the area include Corstorphine AC, Edinburgh AC, Penicuik Harriers and Hunters Bog Trotters, all have members regularly winning titles around the country.
For non-competitive runners, jogscotland’s network of groups continues to expand.  We talk to Marie Claire Donnelly about Almondvale Jolly Joggers and discover how a one-off became a regular occurrence.

The area is serviced by a strong network of running retailers all located in Edinburgh. Run 4 It  and Sweatshop (managed by Hamish  McAndrew and Mark Johnstone, respectively) both have knowledgeable staff and a wide range of apparel and accessories.  Colin McPhail offers the largest collection of barefoot/minimalist shoes in Scotland at his store Footworks and Adrian Stott’s team at Run and Become provide natural gait analysis, great customer care and a wide range of products too. And as people increasingly look to complement their running regime with other activities, personal trainer Lynne Pearson talks to us about how her Edinburgh business can help.

As Edinburgh-native Robert Louis Stevenson once said:  "The mark of a good action is that it appears inevitable in retrospect."  Whether it be entering a local race or running up the Pentlands, heading to this part of the world is inevitable for anyone serious about running in Scotland.


Have a look through the sections below to find out more about the running community in the area!


The best way to improve your running - join one of Edinburgh & the Lothians' active running clubs.


Where can you find local physiotherapy, sports massage & other services for runners.


A friendly introduction to running with other people.


The sports centres and health & fitness clubs.

Big Events

Large annual events in the area.