As spring progressed in Scotland, thousands of runners across the country enjoyed race action at the weekend. The biggest turnout was in Edinburgh where 5,500 participants completed the Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. Unfortunately conditions were tough and runners had to battle persistent rain and strong winds, however, they were buoyed by musical entertainment at each mile point along the route.
Inspirational sounds around the course were provided by some of Scotland's hottest up and coming bands - Campbell's Wild, Hello Frisco, Madison, Jim Black & Mark Patterson, Rab Burns, Pirate Sons, Gonzo a Go Go, Size Queen, Rolled Up 20s, The Boston Tea Party, Vantage Point and DJ Iain Waugh. The big field included runners from the USA, Australia, Brazil, Lebanon, Singapore, South Africa and numerous European countries as well as from across Scotland.
Podium regular Bryan Mackie (Edinburgh AC) was first home in 1:15:25 with Holly Rush fastest lady in an impressive 1:21:53; both collected £250 prizes. Runners up Robert Watson and Christy Gelineau (second), and Robert Weston and Danielle Sansonetti (third) took home £150 and £100 respectively.
The race route featured some of Edinburgh's most scenic views including the Meadows, the Mound, the Queen's Palace at Holyrood, and the Scottish Parliament building. In their final stretch, runners travelled down the Royal Mile with a glimpse of Arthur's Seat in the background. Runners also enjoyed views of Edinburgh Castle while running throughout the city centre, and the Firth of Forth as they passed along the seaside stretch on Portobello Promenade.
Conditions were tough too for the Balloch-Clydebank half marathon which Shettleston AC's Paul Sorrie (1:09;19) won in the rain ahead of club mate Thomas Fay. Shettleston dominated the woman's race too with a 1-2 as Claire McArthur kickied away from Avril Mason in the last 100m to claim first place.
Meanwhile at Lochaber marathon Robert Gilroy was unextended finishing in 2:33:19 finishing 15 minutes ahead of Fife AC's Steven Reid. However it was Joasia Zakrzewski (Dumfries Running Club) who crossed the line second as fastest woman 2:45:55. Her time was a new course record by over 4 minutes and she collected a £1,000 bonus to add to her £300 prize money.
Another Scot in marathon action was Joe Symonds who made a promising marathon debut (2:20:50) in Rotterdam.
On Saturday, better weather saw busier parkrun events - 1,500 plus runners - in total and there were record turnouts at both Aberdeen and Inverness.
Full results at scottishrunningguide.com's race listings page.