Edinburgh marathon has been recognised as one of the world's top road races by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) with the award of bronze label status. The weekend-long Edinburgh Marathon Festival attracted 23,000 participants in May across a full marathon, marathon relay, half marathon, 10k, 5k and junior races. It alsoimpressed IAAF adjudicators with the quality of the field of athletes, race organisation, safety standards and international TV coverage.
The IAAF bronze label puts Edinburgh marathon among the top 75 races in the world making it a pivotal part of the sporting calendar for UK and international runners. Edinburgh joins London marathon, the Great North Run and the Great Manchester Run in the elite races club and race director Neil Kilgour is delighted with the recognition which he believes is the culmination of 10 years of hard work and steady progress.
Neil Kilgour said: "We're proud that we've helped build the Edinburgh Marathon Festival into a major running occasion. I believe we have the fastest route in Europe and maybe the world. This is proven year in year out in the times achieved. If you're looking to get a personal best time then Edinburgh is the place to be. Sky Sports' coverage of the weekend has increased year on year and they see Edinburgh as their jewel in their crown of marathon coverage.
"We are looking forward to delivering another world class event in 2013. Edinburgh Marathon Festival has it all - a great city that acts as a stunning backdrop to the events and a programme of races that means that everyone is catered for from kids to veterans.
"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. It is a positive experience for all."
In 2012, 34 races in the world received a gold race label, 22 races a silver label and 15 races a bronze ranking. IAAF senior manager for road running, Sean Wallace-Jones, said: "We are delighted that Edinburgh marathon has joined the IAAF Label Road Races. We welcome the organisers' commitment to achieving world-class levels of organisational and competitive excellence."
The 2013 Edinburgh Marathon Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in May when runners from more than 100 countries set off from the heart of the city to tackle the UK's fastest marathon course. Among them was 101-year-old Fauja Singh, from Ilford, east London, the world's oldest marathon runner, who crossed the line in five hours and 23 seconds, as part of a four-man relay race team known as Sikhs in the City.
The festival is second in UK marathon size only to London. Since it started it has had an economic impact of more than £25m for the capital and helped raise more than £30m for hundreds of charities. Together with the Edinburgh Marathon Festival's partnership charity, Macmillan Cancer Support and hundreds of other other charities, the organisers are hoping to break all previous records and raise even more in 2013.
Entries are open for the 2013 event, which takes place on May 25 and 26. To enter go to the event website.