University of Edinburgh
Officially opening in 1583, the University of Edinburgh has produced many distinguished characters, from Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers. It was also here that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to create his notorious character, Sherlock Holmes and James Young Simpson pioneered anaesthetics through his discovery of the properties of chloroform. More recently, theoretical physicist and Professor Emeritus Peter Higgs was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his 1964 prediction of the Higgs Boson. Through the many achievements of its staff and students, the University has continued to present cutting-edge research, inspirational teaching and innovative thinking as its central ethos, attracting some of the greatest minds from around the globe.
Scott Monument & Edinburgh Castle
The Scott Monument, as Bill Bryson called it, the “gothic rocket,” is a 19th century monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the largest monument to a writer anywhere in the world, and rightly so- we’ve a lot to thank him for! From uncovering forgotten royal jewels, to essentially inventing the Scottish tourism industry, Scotland got a lot more from him than just the name of Edinburgh’s train station! Edinburgh Castle is the historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh. Archaeologists have established human occupation of the rock since at least the Iron Age (2nd century AD). There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633. According to the Edinburgh Visitor Survey, more than 70% of leisure visitors to Edinburgh visit this impressive building.
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is actually more than a mile by 107 yards. This historic part of the Old Town is home to Mary King’s Close: a historic close located under buildings. It took its name from one Mary King, a merchant burgess who resided on the Close in the 17th century. For years, the hidden Closes of Old Town Edinburgh have been shrouded in myths and mysteries, with blood curdling tales of plagues, ghosts and murders – keep an eye out for anything eerie as you run past this part.
Holyrood Palace & The Scottish Parliament
As you approach the second Mile Marker you will notice two very different but distinct Edinburgh buildings. On the left you can view Holyrood Palace which has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. On the right you will see the Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Central Edinburgh. Both buildings are popular with visitors over EMF Weekend as runners relax before the marathon.
Musselburgh Racecourse & Golf Course
Musselburgh Racecourse, known until the 1990’s as Edinburgh Racecourse, is steeped in history, holding its first ever race meeting as far back as 1816. Situated within the race course is Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course in Musselburgh, is generally recognised as the oldest golf course in the world, and the oldest on which play has been continuous and there is documented evidence that golf was played at the links in 1672, and it is reputed that Mary, Queen of Scots, played there in 1567. The course hosted six Opens in all, the first in 1874 and the last in 1889.
The finish line!
The most beautiful sight for any half marathon runner – the finish line! Have a recovery pint, meet your loved ones and bathe in all your glory!