Edinburgh Marathon Festival provided a sunny weekend for the 30,000 plus entrants who took part in a nine race programme across two days. The event attracted runners from across the UK and from around the world and saw international successes in the senior races.
Joel Kimkemboi Kiptoo took advantage of favourable conditions to set a new course record at yesterday's marathon, his 2:13:33 lowering the previous best time, which had lasted for 12 years, by almost two minutes. Post-race the Kenyan said: "It was really nice for me, the course was flat and good. I just ran as I felt as I was alone most of the time."
American Jeffrey Stein was second in 2:21;21 while local man Michael Crawley (2:24:43) completed the podium places.
Caroline Jepchirchir (2:47:35) was always prominent in the women's race and finished ahead of Edinburgh's Shona McIntosh (2:49:07) and Tracy Milmore (2:52:14).
Spanish runners dominated in the men's half marathon with Severino Felipe Gomez (1:10:37) and Arturo Quijada Gonzalez (1:10:53) taking the top two places.
Irish Olympian Breege Connolly was the winner in the women's race in a time of 1:16:09. The 40-year-old said: "I really enjoyed the race. It was definitely tough going in parts with the head wind along the coast but all in all I'm happy to come away with a personal best. The support along the route was great!"
Outlander star Sam Heughan completed the marathon as part of a double challenge to raise funds for Cahonas Scotland. Post-race he said: “My second marathon within a month and another personal best! Thanks so much to the organisers and the volunteers of Edinburgh for making this such a great experience to run.
"I am so happy to be able to raise awareness for 'Cahonas Scotland' through 'My Peak Challenge', my charity fundraising company. Through donations and a limited edition t-shirt for sale we have already raised over £70K and hope to reach £100K for the fight against testicular cancer.”
As if running 26.2 miles wasn’t tough enough, seven runners attempted a ‘hairy’ which involves the grand slam of running a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k over the weekend. One of them, Luca Basso from Edinburgh, ran for SAMH in memory of his brother who committed suicide at a young age.
Saturday saw Holyrood Park bathed in glorious sunshine as 7,500 runners took part in 10k, 5k and junior races, supported by thousands more friends and family savouring the big event atmosphere.
Michael Christoforou, 25, of Edinburgh AC comfortably claimed the top spot in the EMF 10K race with a winning time of 31:37. Afterwards, Christoforou said: “I had a lot of fun today. I just wanted to run hard and see what I could do so I'm pretty happy with the time and the win. I train in Holyrood Park a lot so I knew it would be a challenging course. That hill never gets easier but it's definitely worth the graft for the views at the top! The support was awesome the whole way round and that really pushed me on when it started to hurt.”
The women’s winner was 32-year-old Hana Randakova from the Czech Republic with a winning time of 38:49 seconds. She said: "I really enjoyed the race - I loved the stunning views and people around the track cheering me on.”
Arron Larkin, 28 from Rotherham stormed home first in the sunshine to clinch the 5K title with a winning time of 16:25. 29-year-old Amy Young from Leeds was the first female home with a winning time of 19:38.
Around 1600 youngsters took part in Saturday’s junior races, consisting of the 1.5k for 6-8 year olds and the 2k for 9-12 year olds, as well as both the Junior 5K and the Kids’ Kilometre.