AYE Club Keeps 18 Year Edinburgh Marathon Tradition Going

Christopher Burns was not about to let a global pandemic stand in the way of him and an annual tradition spanning over 17 years.

As president and proud member of ‘The AYE Club’, Christopher was more determined than ever to not let 2020 go by without taking on the Edinburgh Marathon in some shape or form for the first time since its inception in 2003.

‘The AYE Club’, an acronym for ‘All Years Edinburgh’, is an informal group of runners who pride themselves on having run all of the current Edinburgh Marathon series – from 2003 onwards. As there was no full race in 2020, the number of AYE runners still stands at 18.

Christopher, a keen and experienced runner who specifically enjoys ultra running, was facing the rare prospect of a year with no running events, until the opportunity to participate in the EMF Virtual Challenge arose. With a 95 mile ultra run lined up for June next year, Christopher was determined to get some miles back in his legs.

Thankfully, Christopher’s running commute stood him in good stead for fitting the virtual Edinburgh Marathon around his busy life and job as a paramedic with the Scottish Ambulance Service;

“I’m used to working my long runs into my commute from West Linton into Edinburgh. I’ve now worked out how to do most of this off-road along old railway lines and, after a bit of mapping, sorted a route that was exactly 26.2 miles.” Christopher said.

Earlier this month, on his way to work, Christopher formally took on and completed his virtual Edinburgh Marathon which (while though not an AYE qualifying event), marked 18 consecutive years of the run and ensuring that the tradition would continue into next year.

He said of his run and untraditional route; “I was delighted to complete this on the 14th of December. There was one section of around 3 miles that was absolutely deserted and pitch black with only the ghosts of bygone steam trains and a glorious sheet of stars for company. Further down the line, I found myself flagging a bit but was massively inspired after a chance encounter with one of my best running pals.” 

Everyone celebrates completing a marathon differently, with some people keen to pop open the champagne immediately, others simply want a lie down, however neither of these options were on the table to Christopher, who still had his work as well as a long journey home ahead of him.

“Once at work, I had a shower and dinner before completing a night shift and then cycling the 17 miles back home again. I slept well after this!”

We’d like to say a massive well done to Christopher and thank him and the rest of the AYE Club for their support. We can’t wait to see you all again next year!