23 May

Edinburgh Ready For New Hero

Edinburgh Marathon men

In 2005, Edinburgh marathon witnessed two course records that remain intact. That year, Zachary Kihara of Kenya overtook defending champion John Mutai in the final 100 yards to complete the race in 2:15:26, whilst Russian runner Zinaida Semenova blew the female field away with a finishing time of 2:33:36. With the event celebrating its 10th staging on Sunday and weather conditions looking likely to be conducive for fast times, the respective records of Kihara and Semenova may just be in jeopardy.

The elite male field for Sunday's race lists two runners who have recorded quicker times than the current course record holder with South African Totsang Maine (2:14:17) and Anatoli Orzhekhovski from Ukraine (2:15:13) both in strong positions. Kihara, fresh from a second place finish at the Run Doncaster 10k, will need to draw upon all his experience as he returns to the event.

Closer to home, Central AC's Ross Houston will be looking to build upon his second place finish at the Lillebaelt International half marathon in Denmark earlier this month. His time of 65:50 at the Danish event represents his fastest over the distance and bodes well for an improvement on his current marathon PB of 2:21:05.

A number of other Scottish runners - David Simpson (2:26:16), Jonathan Carpenter (2:28:06), and Stuart Kerr (2:30:00) - are all capable of hitting the sub 2:30 mark, and will be looking to take advantage of home support.

In the half-marathon, Inverclyde AC's Andrew Douglas - buoyed with victory at the Run Balmoral 10K - will be one of the favourites over the 13.1 miles. The Inverclyde runner posted his strongest half marathon time to date in Denmark, coming narrowly behind Houston with an impressive 65:51. Only one competitor, Nick Swinburn, boasts a better PB than Douglas, with a time of 65:15.

As part of our build-up to the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, we will be assessing the elite women's field tomorrow on scottishrunningguide.com