13 Dec

Edinburgh Marathon Founder Dies Aged 46

Geoff Sims at work

Geoff Sims, the man who built Edinburgh Marathon into a 20,000 plus participant event from scratch died on Friday, December 10 after a long battle with cancer.

Geoff's inspirational leadership saw the Edinburgh Marathon grow from attracting 3,000 participants in 2003 to become one of the biggest events in the UK running calendar. The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is now a weekend long event which includes a series of races from 5k to the full marathon.

Another innovative idea of Geoff's was the kilomathon - a metric marathon (16.2 miles) - which was launched successfully in England and Scotland earlier this year and is already an important part of the GSi Events portfolio. Geoff was proud that the first kilomathon was run from Nottingham to Derby in the part of the world where he was born and bred.

Geoff Sims began his career working with youth and homeless charities and his forte was helping charities with their fundraising activity. Having raised in excess of £3 million annually for over 380 charitable causes in recent years, his events continue to raise revenue and support for charities such as Oxfam, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Hope for Children, and Rainbow's Children Hospice.

Geoff Sims lived in North Berwick for the past 10 years and it was in East Lothian that he decided to relocate the route of Edinburgh Marathon after problems with the local council and other funding agencies. That decision meant a couple of tough years for Edinburgh Marathon and some suggested that it may be the end of the new event. However through sheer determination and a keen entrepreneurial spirit Geoff Sims overcame those problems to establish an event that has been enjoyed by thousands of runners and has benefited dozens of good causes.

Neil Kilgour, race director of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival said: "We as a team have been privileged to have worked with and had as a friend a loving individual who will be very much missed by us all.

"His legacy is the positive impact that he had on all who worked with him as well as the knowledge that he has put in place a team that will continue to deliver world class events that raise significant money for the charity sector."

The funeral will take place in Derby on Tuesday, December 21 at 1.45pm