Edinburgh Marathon Festival opened with a red letter day for Edinburgh AC ace Bryan Mackie, Liverpudlian Robert Cushion and Finnish 13 year old Marleena Tulkki. The local man repeated his 10k success of 2011 and immediately paid tribute to his clubmates saying that they had helped him back to race fitness after injury earlier in the year. Mackie finished in 34:12; Patrizia Russo was first woman in 42:42.
An emotional Robert Cushion dedicated his 5k victory to his 4 year old son Ryan. The Englishman had endured open heart surgery as a teenager to mend a hole in his heart and also had to fight his way back to fitness after being treated for a collapsed lung as an adult. After recording a winning time of 17:40, Cushion promised to return next year to defend his title.
For flying Finn Marleena Tulkki, Edinburgh was the scene of her first international success. The 13 year old was first girl home in the junior 3K in a time of 12:01 and tomorrow she's looking forward to cheering on her cousin Matt Nieminen (58) in the full marathon. Marleena was one of 700 youngsters taking part in the junior races which saw Henry Johnson (14) first boy in the 3k event for 11-14 year olds and Josh Abbott (10) fastest over 1.5k in the contest for 6-10 years.
Nearly 4,000 participants enjoyed bright sunshine on day one of Edinburgh Marathon Festival, now Scotland's top running event, and 23,000 more will take part in today's marathon, half marathon and relay races. Organisers expect runners across the festival events to raise around £4.5m for various charities.
Results for Saturday's races are available now at scottishrunningguide.com, while results for marathon, half marathon and relay races will be available later today.