Overseas Cultural Visit

Over the years the Edinburgh Marathon has seen some incredible performances from some of the world’s leading athletes. 2005 was particularly noteworthy as it saw course records set in both the men and the women’s race. Zachary Kihara, from Kenya came in at 2:15:26 and Zinaida Semenova, from Russia, clocked 2:33:36 in the women’s race. Although these records still stand, they have been closely challenged since, showing the high quality field that the Marathon attracts.

2018 will see some major changes to the event. The route has been updated to take in more of the amazing sites of Edinburgh city centre without compromising the flat course profile.  The other major change is the move from including an elite athlete field to an Overseas Cultural Visit. We have set up this scheme to bring in developing athletes that may not otherwise get the opportunity to take part in a race with the status of the Edinburgh Marathon. This year the athletes are part of the Project Africa Athletics Charity and we are looking forward to welcoming them to Scotland.


Caroline Jepchirchir, Kenya, PB 2hr 49min

Caroline is part of Northern Ireland based Non for Profit organisation ‘Project Africa Athletics’. The project supports athletes from east Africa (predominantly Kenya) who do not have the required support structures in place to make use of their talents. The project focuses on supporting athletes who have the required talent to compete outside their country, but lack the support or backing in which to do so.

Caroline has only ran one marathon before, back in 2015 in Doha. Her personal best for half marathon is a very fast 1hr 14mins (at altitude in Kenya) when winning the world class Family Bank Half Marathon in Eldoret in 2015 (see here), which should equate to a sub 2hr 35 marathon at sea level. She is building towards a big personal best in Edinburgh having gained much experience from her first marathon.  


Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo, Kenya, PB 2hr 13min

Located in Eldoret in Kenyas Great Rift Valley, Joel has finished in the top 10 in the Kass international Marathon, which is run between Kapsabat and Eldoret in Kenyas Great Rift Valley. The race, because of its altitude (9000ft in parts), undulating hills and talented athletes who take part, is considered the toughest marathon in the world by many.

Joel also ran 2hr 13mins in 2017 at the Hong Kong Standard Chartered Marathon 2017. This is Joels personal best time for the Marathon, which he hopes to get close to in Edinburgh.

Speaking with Joel earlier this week at the high-altitude training camp in Eldoret, as he comes to the end of his preparation for Edinburgh Marathon he explained “my training is going very well and I am excited to compete in Edinburgh at the end of May. I look forward to running a fast time, and I will do my best to win the race. Thank you for the opportunities”.

Joel’s weekly training in preparation for Edinburgh has been Monday- 1 hour progression run and evening jog and gym work. Tuesday- Early morning slow run up to 40 mins. Mid Morning Fartlek up to 3/3 and evening recovery jog. Wednesday- Morning slow run and mid morning gym and stretching. Thursday- track work out mainly 1km reps or longer 1 mile/2 mile tempo reps. Friday- Hill work. Saturday- long run up to 45km. Sunday- REST.

Zero Tolerance to Doping

Any athlete with a proven doping history will never be invited to compete at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Every year we implement the necessary anti-doping testing, ensuring that the event is clean.

Athletes who participate in this competition may be subject to formal drug testing in accordance with IAAF Rules and the rules of the national federation and national anti-doping agency. Athletes found positive for banned substances, or who refuse to be tested, will be disqualified from the event and will lose eligibility for future competitions. Any Athlete who is subsequently determined to have committed a doping offence at the time of the event or is suspended from competition due to an offence committed prior to the event resulting in his/her performance at the event being invalidated, shall be liable to refund any and all sums from the race organisers relating to his/her performance at the event. This includes any commission they have paid to an Athlete Representative.