Mixed weather - there was drizzle, overcast conditions, sunshine and a downpour - didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the big fields at today's Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon. And Gloucestershire newly weds Amber and Craig added a hint of romance crossing the finishing line together.
Amber said: “I have been running for years now, and when we started dating Craig was really interested in seeing if it was something he could do too. Running has since become an integral part of our relationship: we have run numerous races together (including fancy dress!), have planned previous holidays to Dartmoor and the Lake District and North Wales around our love of running. In 2012, on Christmas Day, we celebrated our engagement with a 5 mile trail run in Wales. So, running for our honeymoon was a natural next step!”
Steve Bonthone won an ambitious race against time to complete today's half and full marathons after running both the 5k and 10k yesterday. Steve ran a total of 48 miles during the two-day festival to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. He said: “I ran the four races to honour my dad’s memory who lost his battle with oeophageal cancer in July 2013. He inspired me to take up running and took me along to my first run when I was young.”
The 43-yearold from Perth ran the Half Marathon today in 1:38:58 seconds then jumped on a motorbike back into the city centre to join the crowds in the nick of time and ran the Full Marathon. Steve was exhausted but elated when he finally crossed the finish of the Full Marathon on 4:26:15.
Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival director, said: "We are proud that the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is the most inclusive festival of running in the UK. From the world’s best elites through to the first time marathon runner, to youngsters standing in the start pen for the first time in their lives, we welcome them all. Each of these people are changing their lives and many are changing the lives of others too through raising vital funds for charity."
More than 1,500 runners from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival official charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, took part and together with hundreds of other charities, the organiser of the 12th Marathon are hoping to raise more than £4.5 million.
Entries for the 2015 Edinburgh Marathon Festival which takes place on Saturday 30/31 May 2015 opens tomorrow (Monday 26 May) with an early bird discount until 8 June. Full details at the event website.