Sunny conditions are expected to greet the 30,000 runners heading to the Scottish capital for the 15th Edinburgh Marathon Festival this weekend (27-28 May). The festival features a marathon, half marathon, relay race, 10k, 5k, and junior races.
Starting the marathon proceedings will be Donald MacGregor, who ran most of the current marathon course when he competed for Scotland in Edinburgh’s 1970 Commonwealth Games. Course highlights include running past Holyrood Palace, through Holyrood Park in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, and heading by Meadowbank Sports Stadium – scene of Commonwelath Games glory for stars such as Liz McColgan.
Another runner who’s familiar with the course is Kenya’s Japhet Koech, who finished third at the event in 2016 and second in 2014. His compatriot Stanley Bett will be hoping to replicate his success at last year’s Bournemouth Marathon where he claimed victory. Both men will face stiff competition in the form of Ukraine’s Ihor Russ who is tipped as the pre-race favourite.
The fastest entrant in the women’s field is Belarusian Olena Duboskaya. She’s expected to be pushed hard by the Kenyan pairing of Pennina Ndungu, and Eddah Jepkosgei. Jepkosgei will be particularly confident, having triumphed at Edinburgh Marathon last year.
Scotland’s Hayley Haining (Kilbarchan) will be looking to record her first win in the women’s race, having finished second in 2015 and third in 2012 and 2014. Notable competitors also include Greater Manchester Marathon winner Georgie Bruinvels (Aldershot Farnham) and Dianne Lauder of Gala Harriers, who finished sixth in last year’s race.
Following Monday’s attack in Manchester, race organiser Neil Kilgour issued a statement, saying: “The horrible events in Manchester and the raised UK wide threat level have resulted in four multi agency meetings involving all the Emergency Services, Edinburgh City Council and the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Team. Resulting from this, there will be an increased police presence and security resource over the weekend, both at the event and across the city as a whole. This is reflective of the increase UK wide threat level.
“There is no information or knowledge linked to any threat to Edinburgh or the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, this increased presence is in place to further ensure safety for all and reassure that the experience remains positive for all those involved.”
For more information, visit the Edinburgh Marathon Festival website.