Stars of television and sport have lined up this week to get the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run off to a great start in 2011. Taggart's John Michie, Cal MacAninch of Holby Blue and Shauna MacDonald, leading lady in British horror film The Descent and the spy drama Spooks joined forces with Hibernian legend Peter Cormack and another ex-Hibee Willie Hunter to launch the popular 10k race.
The actors are part of the blood cancer charity, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research's famous running team 'The Banana Army' - so called because of their distinctive bright yellow t shirts - who plan to have a big contingent out on race day - Sunday, October 2. John Michie - DI Robbie Ross in Taggart said: "I have a real soft spot for the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run, it's a beautiful city centre course that captures all the great landmarks of Edinburgh. I'm running for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as I have done for many years now, it's vitally important to continue to raise funds to help find a cure to beat blood cancers."
Shauna MacDonald, who is taking part with her husband Cal MacAninch for the fourth time said "We're looking forward to taking part in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run as part of the TV Times Banana Army celebrity running team for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. We have run this event many times before and there's always a fantastic atmosphere. It's a little later in the year than usual but I think it's a good move as it will give us a target to train for throughout the year."
The launch was also supported by former Motherwell and Hibernian footballer Billy Hunter and former Hibs, Nottingham Forest and Liverpool midfielder Peter Cormack who were representing Alzheimer Scotland, Bupa's nominated charity for the Bupa GreatEdinburgh Run.
Peter, now 64, said "My days of running up and down the touchline may be behind me, but I'm delighted to be here to encourage people to sign up for the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run and support Alzheimer Scotland. Regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of developing dementia, so I hope people will set themselves the goal of keeping fit by running in October and raising vital funds at the same time."
The event attracts runners of all abilities from across the UK and has grown significantly in terms of the number of participants in recent years. It is televised live on Channel 5 and in 2010 was also the subject of a one hour highlights programme on BBC Scotland. Following the success of the new route which captured many of Edinburgh's most famous historic attractions and started and finished in Holyrood Park last year, the course will remain similar in 2011.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is the official charity for the Bupa Junior & Mini Great Run series and the day also features the Bupa Junior and Mini Great Edinburgh Run, suitable for youngsters of all abilities aged 3-14 years covering 2.5k and 1.5k respectively.
Entries for both events are open at www.greatrun.org