Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon's Race Director spoke today of celebration and a call to arms as the city's Festival of Running 2012 opened to entries.
Speaking at the Festival's official launch in Edinburgh's Dynamic Earth, he called to marathon aficionados and newcomers alike, emphasising that the weekend of running caters for all.
The mood was one of celebration as Edinburgh Marathon will mark a decade on the Scottish running calendar in 2012. In honour of this special anniversary, employees of Edinburgh Marathon were taking to the treadmill for 10 hours over the course of the day - with a little help from some friends.
Fauja Singh, the 100 year old Sikh marathon runner was there, and completed 10 minutes on the treadmill to an appreciative and awe inspired audience. Fauja has been taking part in the marathon since 2005 and hopes to be there once again in 2012. Neil told scottishrunningguide.com, "Fauja is an inspiration. I would say to anyone wondering if they can do a marathon to look at this man and take on the challenge themselves."
One of Edinburgh Marathon's employees, Julie, had already done her 'stint' on the treadmill and was feeling great when scottishrunningguide.com spoke to her, "I enjoy running and have completed a Kilomathon in the past. I always wonder if I could do a whole marathon and seeing Fauja here today really makes me think I could do it - he is amazing!"
Also in attendance at the launch were members of the Mile Aye club - runners who have taken part in every Edinburgh Marathon since 2003. Mile Aye President and Edinburgh resident Robert Cole is looking forward to toeing the line in 2012. He told us, "A scenic, but flat route, supportive crowds and superb organisation all come together to make this race the success it is."
Ultra runner, Mark Cooper, takes his turn on the treadmill at 5pm and will no doubt find the hour slot a piece of cake in comparison to his recent treadmill challenge which saw him complete a staggering 129.2 miles in the space of 24 hours (his first attempt at the world record in that time period of 160 miles). Read his story here.
With an International Breakfast Run, two Junior Races, a 5K, 10K, Mascot Race, 5K wheelchair race, 5K hand-bike race, Half Marathon, Hairy Haggis Relay, not to mention the Marathon itself to choose from, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in partnership Macmillan Cancer Support really does have a race for everyone. Over 30,000 entrants are expected across the weekend of May 26-27 and with 2012 marking its 10th anniversary - it will be a memorable year to take on the challenge. You know you can do it, just ask Fauja!
If you want to know more then visit the website, where you can enter today and be involved in something really special in May 2012.