25,000 plus participants in this weekend's Edinburgh Marathon Festival will be relieved to hear that high temperatures in the capital are set to ease. As Scotland basked in the mid-20s this week there were fears for runners across the weekend's events however the lastest predictions of highs of 18 on Saturday and 19 on Sunday are less concerning.
With the festival casting a net far and wide, the marathon now attracts more international runners than it does Edinburgh-based competitors. One person who has seen the event develop is Footworks' Colin McPhail. Colin, a 5-time veteran of the marathon, told scottishrunningguide.com: "I'm amazed at how many people tell me they are desperate to get to Edinburgh. It's incredible for the city and brings people in from all over the world."
Even though he won't be participating this year, Colin wished runners the best of luck: "I'm sorry to be missing it this year but everyone at Footworks sends their full support. With the predicted weather, anyone that has trained in Scotland is going to notice a huge difference, so I would suggest taking as much fluids in as possible."
Of the 30,000 participants expected to turn out in all of the events over the course of the weekend, many will be doing so for charity. This year's official charity for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is Macmillan Cancer Support, who will have a team of 1,400 runners.
Director of Macmillan in Scotland, Elspeth Atkinson, highlighted the importance of the festival to the charity: "We are absolutely delighted with the amazing numbers that have signed up to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for Macmillan. This year we have almost double the number of runners we've had in previous years and we hope to raise £750,000 to help fund our services."
On scottishrunningguide.com's facebook forum, meanwhile, runners were keen to share their race preparations, with charging ipods, Garmin and hydrating fully the most common threads. One runner tweeted: "Given the weather, I've made sure I have enough sun block to cover my large shaved head!" Although delivered in a comedic tone, the advice is certainly sound, and we recommend everyone to consider sun protection.
Finally, Michael Nowicki, who recently completed a 440 mile London to Edinburgh run, summed up the feeling that is perhaps most prominently felt by runners and the city alike: "Can't wait!"