Broughton Primary School crowned EMF Junior School Champions 3rd year running

BROUGHTON PRIMARY SCHOOL CROWNED EMF JUNIOR SCHOOLS CHAMPIONS 3RD YEAR RUNNING

PUPILS from Edinburgh’s Broughton Primary School are celebrating after they were revealed as winners of the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival Junior Schools competition, defending their title for the third year running.

Over 1500 children from schools across Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife took part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Junior Races last May, marking the biggest year in the events’ history.

Young runners aged 6-8 took part in the 1.5K race and 9-12 year olds raced over 2K as part of a packed weekend of running last May which also included the 5K, 10K, Team Relay, Half Marathon and Marathon.

Due to the success of the events in recent years, two new junior races were introduced to the Festivals line up in 2017- the Junior 5K open to kids aged 11-18 and the Kids’ Kilometre accommodating ages 3-6.

EMF mascot, Mr Hairy Haggis, will make a special visit to Broughton Primary School during an upcoming school assembly and award the school with their winning trophy and £150 worth of sports equipment vouchers.

The Parent School Association (PSA) who organised training for the pupils in the lead up to the festival said: “The Broughton Primary runners are a very special group of children, so to be crowned the winners of the EMF schools competition for the 3rd year running is amazing.”

“The children put their all into training, running the races and having lots of fun. We are so proud of them and are delighted all their hard work is recognised and rewarded in this way.”

Broughton Primary School were first crowned EMF Junior Schools Competition winners in 2016 and have claimed the title each year since. The competition was launched with the main aim to recognise and reward the increased efforts of kids getting active throughout schools in Edinburgh, The Lothians and Fife.

Neil Kilgour, Director of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival congratulated Broughton Primary for their efforts:

“Pupils and staff from Broughton Primary School are a brilliant example of why we do the Junior Races at EMF and we are really proud that these events help make real change.”

“Broughton’s dedication and commitment through organised training ‘fun runs’ prior to EMF weekend reflects how the school are determined to make the children more active. We realise it’s important to build on this momentum of keeping our children more active and by encouraging kids to get involved with the EMF Junior Races it provides a special occasion where they can celebrate a sense of achievement and inclusion as they cross the finish line.”

Four different Junior races will take place throughout the day on Saturday 25th May at the 2019 Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Entries are filling up fast, with the Junior 2K and 1.5K events already sold out – remaining events are expected to reach capacity in the next few weeks.

For more information and to enter, visit www.edinburghmarathon.com.

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Run EMF 2019 with Teenage Cancer Trust and help teens like Natasha living with Cancer

RUN EMF 2019 WITH TEENAGE CANCER TRUST AND HELP TEENS LIKE NATASHA LIVING WITH CANCER

In January 2017 Natasha from Glasgow received the devastating diagnosis that she had Hodgkin Lymphoma in her spleen, aged just 16.

“When the consultant told me it was Hodgkin Lymphoma I didn’t know what that was. It wasn’t until she said the word cancer that it hit me. I couldn’t see for tears and I shut off at that moment. I just zoned out” Natasha explained.

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Around 1,700 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year. It is most common in people who are 20 to 34 years old or over 70 years old.

Hodgkin lymphoma usually starts in the lymph nodes in the neck. Often several areas of lymph nodes around the body are affected. Sometimes organs such as the spleen, bone marrow or liver are affected too.

After discovering cancer was confined to her spleen Natasha began six months of chemotherapy at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow and had to take a six month break from school whilst undergoing her treatment and postpone her preliminary exams.

“I knew there was no way I could concentrate on exams while thinking about what was to come next. I was really scared before my first session of chemotherapy as I was expecting the worst. The nurses were amazing and were a big part of my life. I knew them all on a first name basis and they talked to me and made me laugh during a very difficult time”.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’  

“Some of my friends didn’t know how to react when I told them I had cancer, so it was nice for me to be able to go through to the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the hospital and meet people who understood what I was going through and to hear their experiences. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone”.

Teenage Cancer Trust are the only UK charity that provides specialised nursing care to young people with cancer. Their 28 specialist units within NHS hospitals bring young people together, to be treated by teenage cancer experts in a place designed just for them.

Natasha received one-to-one support from Ronan, Teenage Cancer Trust’s Youth Support Coordinator within the hospital.

“Ronan was also there for patients who were feeling down and wanted to talk to him. He often organised activities and day trips which helped keep our minds off what was happening. There is also a big cinema screen, cinema chairs, a pool table on the unit, along with a kitchen where you can heat up your own food, so you didn’t have to have hospital food.”

Right now Teenage Cancer Trust can only support half of the teenagers who are in desperate need of their support.

Run with #TeamLegend at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival in 2019 and help Teenage Cancer Trust provide more and more young people with the specialised cancer nursing and emotional support they need.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

At her mid-treatment review, Natasha received the incredible news that she didn’t require radiation as her initial chemotherapy treatment had been a success.

“Beating cancer was my proudest moment. Having had cancer has given me a new perspective on things as when you get that diagnosis you realise you aren’t immortal and you won’t live forever. I have been given a second chance at life and I am making the most of it. I’m back at school and enjoy spending time with my friends and being a normal teenager again.”

To find out more about Teenage Cancer Trust and the services they provide to teens click here.

Click here to join #TeamLegend at The Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

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Daughter inspired to run Edinburgh Half Marathon after Dad’s MS diagnosis

DAUGHTER INSPIRED TO RUN EDINBURGH HALF MARATHON AFTER DAD’S MS DIAGNOSIS

Jo Perrin, 24, from Edinburgh is running in the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May for MS Society.

Jo has set herself the challenge in support of her Dad who has been battling with Multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 10 years.

“Not a day goes by that Dad doesn’t amaze me with how strong he is and he doesn’t let MS bring him down, even on the bad days”.

Over 100,000 of people in the UK have MS. It’s an unpredictable condition and different for everyone. Often painful, exhausting it can cause problems with walking, movement, seeing, thinking and feeling.

Pushing herself out of her comfort zone, Jo admits running 13.1 miles in the Edinburgh Half Marathon is going to be a real challenge but she is determined to achieve the goal she has set herself in support of her Dad.

“Signing myself up for a Half Marathon is totally out of my comfort zone but I want to make my dad proud just like he does me every single day”.

MS Society are a community of people who pool experience, expertise and voices to drive change. Providing care, share supporting, and commissioning life-changing research – all of which help those with MS and their loved ones to face the future with more confidence.

“If my dad can achieve the things he does day after day then I can do this to!”

You too can join the MS Superstars at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. To find out more click here.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

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Running the Edinburgh Half Marathon for Team Macmillan – Lauren’s Story
Running the Edinburgh Half Marathon for Team Macmillan – Lauren’s Story

Last year Lauren decided to take the plunge and sign up for the Edinburgh Half Marathon and fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. Read her story:

Why did you decide to run in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?

“I think the event is incredible. I’ve ran the half for the past 2 years and the support on the course is second to none, especially when you’re running for a charity. It’s so well organised and I can’t think of any faults with the event itself. This will be my second marathon so I’m definitely aiming for a PB.” 

Why did you choose to run for Macmillan?

“I have chosen to run for Macmillan because the Macmillan nurses at the Borders General Hospital looked after my mum when she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2015. They were there to support my mum, myself, my dad and the rest of the family from the day of diagnosis to the day she sadly passed away. Even though she was moved to a local hospital, they still stayed in touch.”

How does it feel to be part of Team Macmillan?

“It is such an amazing team to be a part of. My experience in Team Macmillan over the past 2 years has been super positive and motivating. The support provided from the start to the actual event itself is brilliant, and the Macmillan cheer points on the marathon course are the loudest by far! The noise they make is insane and they cheer for every runner, but if you’re wearing a Macmillan top prepare to be deafened!! There’s always ample high 5’s, orange slices and sweeties at the cheer points which are all very much welcome, especially at the closest one to the end. One year when I’m not running in the actual event itself I’ll definitely be cheering at a Macmillan cheer point!”

Any top tips to share with others about your training or fundraising?

“Training wise, take it easy and build up the miles slowly, and never miss a long run! Fundraising wise, get all your friends involved and make it as fun as possible. Try to involve your local community as much as possible.”

What would you say to someone considering running for charity?

“I would say definitely do it! Not only are you raising money for a good cause, you’re getting fit in the process. When you find it hard during training, just think of the reason behind it and you will definitely feel motivated to keep going.”

Have you been inspired by Lauren? Follow in her footsteps and click here to run Edinburgh with Team Macmillan today.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

For more information, visit www.edinburghmarathon.com

For more information on the work of Macmillan Cancer Support, please visit www.macmillan.org.uk

Being part of Team Macmillan means that we’re here to support you, your family and your friends too. If you have any questions about cancer, call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm).

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Top Five Tips for Winter Running

TOP FIVE TIPS FOR WINTER RUNNING

There’s no denying there’s been a definite shift in temperature recently, autumn is arriving and winter is definitely on it’s way. Plan ahead with our top 5 tips for training during the upcoming nippy time of year:

1. Make a Plan
Make plans to meet someone for a run, then there’s no backing out if you’re not quite in the mood for it. Making plans will help you to get motivated and stay on track throughout the winter.

2. Dress for the conditions
The general rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer. You want to be warm but not overheating when you run. 10 to 20 degrees: 2 tops, 2 bottoms. 0 to 10 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms. Two tops (fleece for the cold-prone) and a jacket. Minus 10 to 0 degrees: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, extra pair of gloves, 1 scarf wrapped around mouth or a balaclava.

3. Gone with the wind
Wind is brutal when running, especially in Scotland! Start your run into the wind and finish with it at your back, so the breeze doesn’t blast you after you’ve broken a sweat. To avoid a long, biting slog, you can break this into segments, running into the wind for about 10 minutes, turning around to run with the wind at your back for five minutes, and repeating.

4. Old habits die hard
Traditionally a morning runner? Why not try a lunchtime run instead when the temperatures are a bit warmer? Alternatively, try running twice a day, in the morning and in the evening – it’s better than doing one long run where you might get very cold toward the end.

5. Winter sun
If all else fails, book a flight and head somewhere warm for your Vitamin D fix!

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Kiptoo sets new course record as thousands take part in the biggest ever Edinburgh Marathon Festival

Kiptoo sets new course record as thousands take part in the biggest ever Edinburgh Marathon Festival

OFFICIAL PRESS PICS HERE

Over 35,000 runners signed up to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival this 26th & 27th May. Runners from all over the world gathered for Scotland’s biggest running festival across an action-packed weekend, which included new city centre routes for the half marathon, team relay and full marathon events.

Sunny weather made for perfect running conditions on one of the world’s fastest marathon courses, where for the first time in the event’s history, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival worked alongside not-for-profit organisation ‘Project Africa Athletics’ 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.

Kenyan Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo took advantage of both the new route and perfect running conditions to set a new course record, finishing in 2 hours, 13 minutes and 33 seconds. He smashed the previous record by almost 2 minutes, which was set by fellow Kenyan Zachary Kihara back in 2005.

Afterwards, Kiptoo said: “It was really nice for me, the course was flat and good. I just ran how I felt as I was alone most of the time. Of course I would love to come back and defend my title next year!”

American Jeffrey Stein took second place in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds, followed by local favourite Michael Crawley in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 43 seconds.

The women’s race was dominated by fellow Project Africa athlete Caroline Jepchirchir, who lead from the front with a time of 2 hours, 47 minutes and 35 seconds.

The podium was completed by Edinburgh’s Shona McIntosh in 2 hours, 49 minutes and 7 seconds, and Tracy Millmore from Stanley in 2 hours, 52 minutes and 14 seconds.

As if running 26.2 miles wasn’t tough enough, seven runners attempted a ‘hairy’ which involves the grand slam of running a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k over the weekend. One of them, Luca Basso from Edinburgh, ran for SAMH in memory of his brother who committed suicide at a young age.

Scottish-born Outlander star Sam Heughan completed the marathon as part of a double challenge to raise funds for Cahonas Scotland. He said:

“My 2nd marathon within a month and another personal best! Thanks so much to the organisers and the volunteers of Edinburgh for making this such a great experience to run. I am so happy to be able to raise awareness for ’Cahonas Scotland’ through ’My Peak Challenge’, my charity fundraising company. Through donations and a limited edition T shirt for sale we have already raised over £70K and hope to reach £100K for the fight against testicular cancer.”

Fundraiser Amuz Sandhu ran the Edinburgh Marathon for Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. This cause is particularly close to Amuz after the charity supported him through difficult times after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January 2016. His mother was also diagnosed with cancer when Amuz was young.

He said “You never know when yourself or somebody close to you might need the same support, so it would be great to help Macmillan keep their services going in any way possible.”

It was a Spanish one-two at Sunday morning’s half marathon as Severino Felipe Gomez stormed to victory with a winning time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 37 seconds. Fellow Spaniard Arturo Quijada Gonzalez took second place with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 53 seconds, and Conrad Franks finished in third with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 55 seconds.

42 year old Severino said: “It was a good race, beautiful city! It’s very fast although a little windy today. The people and the city are wonderful, I think it’s one of the best races in Europe.”

Irish Olympian Breege Connolly was the winner in the women’s race with a time of 1 hour 16 minutes and 9 seconds.

The 40 year old said: “I really enjoyed the race. It was definitely tough going in parts with the head wind along the coast but all in all I’m happy to come away with a personal best. The support along the route was great!”

She was followed by Glenfarg’s Annabel Simpson in 1 hour 16 minutes and 31 seconds, with Dunblane’s Fanni Gyurko finishing in third place with a time of 1 hour 18 minutes and 32 seconds.

Inspirational Alice MacNab completed the Edinburgh Half Marathon for MS Society after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in July 2017 after partially losing her vision at the age of 19.

“My vision never fully returned, and I never know what the future means for me. I don’t know if in a year I will still be able to do the things I love such as skiing or going hill walking, the things that most, including myself, take for granted. I have learnt now that life can be unfair, but don’t let it consume you.

As this is the year I turn 21, I want to make sure that from now on I do everything I want to do, in case how my life unfolds in the future will not allow me to do those things.”

Saturday saw Holyrood Park bathed in glorious sunshine as 7,500 runners took part in 10k, 5k and junior races, supported by thousands more friends and family savouring the big event atmosphere.

Michael Christoforou, 25, of Edinburgh AC comfortably claimed the top spot in the EMF 10K race with a winning time of 31 minutes and 37 seconds. Will Peppercorn clinched second place in 33 minutes and 13 seconds and Lorenzo Masi finished in third place with a time of 34 minutes and 8 seconds.

Afterwards, Christoforou said: “I had a lot of fun today. I just wanted to run hard and see what I could do so I’m pretty happy with the time and the win. I train in Holyrood Park a lot so I knew it would be a challenging course. That hill never gets easier but it’s definitely worth the graft for the views at the top! The support was awesome the whole way round and that really pushed me on when it started to hurt.”

The women’s winner was 32 year old Hana Randakova from the Czech Republic with a winning time of 38 minutes and 49 seconds.

She said: “I really enjoyed the race – I loved the stunning views and people around the track cheering me on. One guy joined me on the 7km and really helped me to get to the finish. I found EMF while planning a holiday to Scotland with my mum – we always wanted to visit Scotland and I decided to connect the trip with a nice race as I really love running.”

Marc Quipp, 18 years of age, took part in the EMF 10K for Teenage Cancer Trust. In January of this year he was told he had a cancer that was a Ewing’s like sarcoma. Marc says the first and only symptom was a lump at the side of his hip which he first noticed in September 2017. The lump grew from the size of a pea to the size of a tennis ball. Tests followed including a biopsy, before the diagnosis that it was a cancerous tumour.

Mark is currently receiving treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, and has recently completed his sixth session of chemotherapy. He is due to have surgery to the tumour in two weeks which has been reduced in size thanks to the chemotherapy.

Mark said “The care I receive in the teenage cancer unit is second-to-none. From the small things such as no restrictions on visiting hours, to the more luxury matters of my own en-suite and Sky Sports in the room, I can assure you that the work and facilities put in place by the Teenage Cancer trust most definitely makes something so horrid, all the more endurable.”

Arron Larkin, 28 from Rotherham stormed home first in the sunshine to clinch the 5K title with a winning time of 16 minutes and 25 seconds.

29 year old Amy Young from Leeds was the first female home with a winning time of 19 minutes and 38 seconds.

Amy said “I really enjoyed the 5km today, it’s a great route with awesome support throughout and amazing views as you head up and around the park. I’m so happy to have won the women’s race amongst some tough competition and I’m looking forward to running in the half marathon race tomorrow morning.”

Ashley Macrae took part in the EMF 5K to raise funds for the Stroke Association after she suffered a stroke last year at the age of 22.

She was on holiday in Thailand when, whilst traveling on a bus, her friends noticed her speech was slurred and she couldn’t use the whole left side of her body. They got her to a medical centre so quickly.

“As soon as I got to hospital they took me for an MRI scan. They said there had been a bleed in the brain and that I’d had a stroke. I couldn’t believe it.”

A year later, with the support of her family, she has just completed the EMF 5K. She is keen to raise awareness of the fact strokes can happen to younger people.

Around 1600 youngsters took part in Saturday’s junior races, consisting of the 1.5k for 6-8 year olds and the 2k for 9-12 year olds, as well as both the Junior 5K and the Kids’ Kilometre.

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Director, said: “2018 has been another incredible year for Edinburgh Marathon Festival with outstanding performances, tens of thousands of participants and millions raised for good causes.

“We are so proud to host a truly world class running event in Scotland’s capital for runners of all ages from across the globe. Congratulations to everyone who took part. Thanks for making the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival one of the UK’s greatest mass participation events. Come and see us again next year!”    

Runners from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, together with hundreds of other charities, are hoping to raise more than £5 million for worthy causes.

Entries for the 2019 Edinburgh Marathon Festival which takes place on Bank Holiday Weekend on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May 2019 are open with an early bird discount for everyone who registers before midnight on Sunday 10th June at www.edinburghmarathon.com

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Warm weather expected at Edinburgh Marathon
Warm weather advice for Edinburgh Marathon Festival runners

WARM WEATHER ADVICE FOR EDINBURGH MARATHON FESTIVAL RUNNERS

The Met Office currently predicts it is likely to be between 13-18 degrees in the Scottish capital this weekend as more than 35,000 runners take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.

If the weather conditions are hot then it is essential that runners keep hydrated before and during the race. 330ml bottles of water are supplied by Strathmore Spring Water along the course for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival races. They’re available at every 5K of the route and at the Finish.

We also advise our runners in hot weather to:

Keep hydrated

Make sure you’re taken on enough water when you start the race but not excessively – an easy way to tell is by the colour of your urine. It should be a pale, straw colour. It’s important to drink at each hydration station during the race, particularly in the first half when you may not feel thirsty but will be losing a lot of fluid.

Staying hydrated will help you keep going as you near the finish, and also prevent cramp. Try not to drink a lot of water in one go as it can make you feel ill – little and often is best.

Wear sunscreen

We would advise runners to apply adequate sunscreen. The British Skin Foundation recommend an SPF of 30 or above.

Stay cool

Wear loose mesh running gear in hot conditions. If it’s an excessively hot day, try to run in the shade where possible. Wearing a breathable hat may help keep your face in the shade.

Finish well

Make sure you eat and drink as soon as you finish the race but not excessively. You may feel fine as you cross the finish line, but it’s common for runners to start feeling dizzy and faint over half an hour after they stop running. As soon as you can, make your way to the baggage trucks to change into comfortable, dry clothing.

If you need to, seek medical help

If you’re well prepared for the race it’s unlikely you’ll need any medical attention, but if you do feel ill or suffer an injury, full medical care is provided on the courses by staff from the Scottish Ambulance Service, the British Red Cross and the event medical team. If you become unwell at any time during the race, STOP RUNNING and speak to one of the course marshals.

For more advice go to www.runnersmedicalresource.com

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EMF 2018
Edinburgh Marathon Festival set to be the biggest on record

2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival set to be the biggest on record

Over 35,000 runners will take to the streets of Edinburgh and East Lothian for the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27 May.

The new city-centre marathon route, which starts on Potterrow, will see participants run past the National Museum, Scottish National Gallery and into Princes Street Gardens, with the iconic Edinburgh Castle as their backdrop.

The route then takes in the Scott Monument, before heading down the Royal Mile and towards Holyrood Park, The Scottish Parliament and Royal Palace before then east towards the beautiful coastline. The marathon finishes in Pinkie Playing fields, Musselburgh as per recent years. Both the Half Marathon and Team Relay routes have had similar changes.

For the first time in the event’s history, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is working alongside not-for-profit organisation ‘Project Africa Athletics’ 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.

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.

Joel Kipkemboi Kiptoo and Caroline Jepchirchir, both from Kenya, are the Project Africa athletes taking part in this year’s event.. Kiptoo has finished in the top 10 in the Kass international Marathon, which is run between Kapsabat and Eldoret in Kenya’s 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.

Jepchirchir ran an impressive 1hr 14mins when winning the world class Family Bank Half Marathon in Eldoret in 2015. She is building towards a big personal best in Edinburgh.

The British contingent at this year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival is also very strong, with lots of runners aiming for quick times along the new Edinburgh Marathon route.

Shona McIntosh of Hunters Bog Trotters set an impressive 2:45:09 time at the ASICS Greater Manchester Marathon back in April. She looks set to be challenged by Tracy Millmore of Birtley AC who ran 2:46:09 at the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon last October.

Carl Hardman is one to watch after running 2:19:35 in Berlin last September. He’s closely followed by James Bellward, an RAF Athletics runner who clocked a 2:30 in Brighton last month, and Phil Martin of Peterborough AC who grabbed a personal best in London last year.

The Half Marathon should also make for interesting viewing with last year’s female winner, Avril Mason of Shettleston Harriers, coming back to defend her title. She will be pushed all the way by local favourite Dianne Lauder who finished third in the marathon last year.

In the men’s half marathon race, last year’s second place finisher Patryk Gierjatowicz is looking to make it one better along the new route this year. He will face fierce competition from Spaniard Severino Felipe Gomez and Sam Stead of Keswick AC, who clocked an impressive 68:29 at the Brass Monkey Half Marathon back in January.

There will also be tens of thousands of runners, each with their own reason for taking part, and with an abundance incredible stories amongst them.

There are seven runners who are known to be ‘doing a hairy’ at this year’s event. This consists of running the 5K and 10K on the Saturday, then the half marathon and the full marathon on the Sunday. One of them, Luca Basso from Edinburgh is running for SAMH in memory of his brother who committed suicide at a young age.

Amuz Sandhu, age 32, is running the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, the Official Charity of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Macmillan supported Amuz through difficult times after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in January 2016. Now Amuz is determined to give something back through his fundraising efforts to help raise awareness of the disease.  

Broughton Primary School have the largest group of runners taking part with over 100 pupils, teachers and parents taking part in this year’s event. They have been going out on regular runs to train for their events ranging from the Kids’ Kilometre to the Junior 5K.

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Race Director, added: “Scotland is preparing to welcome the world to this amazing city and we look forward to delivering another outstanding Edinburgh Marathon Festival that the nation will be proud of.  

We as a team are already proud of the effort put in by all of our runners as they work hard to prepare for the big day. In our eyes, every EMF runner is elite and we value every runner’s contribution to the Festival in equal measure.

This year is extra special with the combination of the new routes: we can’t wait!”

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is Scotland’s largest mass participation running event. There are nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to the charity fundraiser and beginners. The fun kicks off on Saturday 26th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 27th May, the Edinburgh marathon, half marathon and team relay start in the heart of Edinburgh and continue through East Lothian offering stunning views and an unforgettable running experience.

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Team Simpsons running Edinburgh Marathon Festival for SANDS Lothians
Team Simpsons taking on the Edinburgh Marathon Festival to raise funds for SANDS Lothians
An incredible team of 134 runners from the Edinburgh Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health is set to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May.

The team of staff, family and friends (Team Simpsons) are running various distances over the two day festival. Team Simpsons have runners entered in every race, including all the junior events.

Team Simpsons are running to raise funds for SANDS Lothians, a local charity which provides support for families who’ve experienced the death of their baby. The funds the team raise will be reinvested into the Simpson Centre for Reproductive health to improve the care of bereaved families across Lothian and support for staff.

Christina Marshall, Midwife RIE, who originally signed up to run EMF with fellow midwife Maria Wood, said:

“SANDS Lothians is one of the charities that we work collaboratively with and signpost families when they leave hospital without their precious baby. They are a small local charity that offers support, understanding and help to bereaved parents. We wanted to give something back in order to help them continue the fantastic work that they do and chose to run in the EMF as it is Scotland’s largest running festival and is an ideal platform to raise awareness of babyloss.”

“As midwives, we are very lucky to share in one of the happiest events in the lives of families as they welcome their baby into the world. However, it is not always a joyous event as some families never get to take their baby home. Maternity staff all too often witness the devastation the death of a baby has – it is the most unimaginable pain. Maternity staff see and support families at the start of this lifelong journey along a path that they can never leave.”

The 134 strong team is made up of midwives, obstetricians, anaesthetists, pathologists, pathology technicians, students, administration and support staff – aged from as young as 5 up to 60 years old.

“The team has brought the whole unit together and there is a massive amount of support and camaraderie for each other. The buzz and excitement it has generated is something very special to be part of. Everyone is highly motivated to do their best running for SANDS Lothians.” said Christina.

“Our youngest runner taking part is 5 year old Hannah Teasdale who’s running the Kids’ Kilometre. She is the daughter of Midwife and 5k runner Laura Teasdale. The oldest runner taking part is recently retired Consultant Obstetrician and Clinical Director for NHS Lothian, Dr Rhona Hughes, who at 60 years old is running the half marathon.”

Their fundraising target is £12,000 and have so far Team Simpsons have held various fundraising events including a race night and raffle in Duddingston Golf Club, and an Easter themed cake sale and chocolate tombola on the labour ward at Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, raising over £1400.

“Our current fundraising total is sitting at just under £10,000, any donations are greatly appreciated.”  

You can support Team Simpson’s incredible fundraising efforts here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/team-simpsons2.

Entries for the 2018 Edinburgh Marathon Festival have now closed, with over 35,000 entrants expected to take to the streets of Scotland’s capital on 26/27 May 2018, raising over £5 million for hundreds of charities.

To find out more about the event, please visit www.edinburghmarathon.com

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Mum Shirley gets set for EMF 5k with help from pony pal Winnie
A young mum who was left temporarily paralysed is set to take part in the
Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5k to raise funds for MS Society Scotland.

Shirley Reise was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2017 after becoming
unable to move from the chest down and experiencing loss of vision.

But less than a year on, and with the help of friends, family and one very special pony, the 33-year- old is raising funds for MS Society Scotland by taking on the EMF 5K this May.

Shirley who works in Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service, said:
“Experiencing paralysis from the chest down and blindness was one of the most
scary and overwhelming experiences of my life. If someone told me that I would be running a 5k nearly a year to the date of diagnosis, I would never have believed it. Going from being in a wheelchair to wearing my trainers and running is unbelievable.”

Shirley, who is mum to Joseph, stuck up an everlasting friendship with her son’s
chestnut Shetland pony Winnie as she began her recovery as well as dealing
with her diagnosis.

Shirley who lives in Pitlessie, Fife, said: “My family and friends would carry me
into the field and let me sit in peace with my horses. Winnie would stand beside
me for hours, grazing and being happy to let me groom her and teach her tricks.

“I developed a special bond with her and she comes for walks with me and my
dogs to get fit in preparation for EMF. Winnie was bought for my son but she has blessed our family in so many ways. Although my son has nearly outgrown her, she has earned her keep for life with us.”

As Shirley looked ahead to see what she could do to support others living with
the neurological condition which affects more than 11,000 people in Scotland,
she decided to look at MS Society Scotland’s fundraising events. And she was
overwhelmed when her colleagues at Fife Council decided to get behind her
upcoming EMF 5k.

Shirley said: “The team surprised me with a box. I opened it to find a stack of
registration papers for each of the team to participate with me and help me get
over the finish line. “I have been blessed with the greatest of colleagues and management within my team. They have been exemplary in the whole concept of ‘practicing what we preach’. I belong to the Supported Employment Service of Fife Council and we help those with health conditions and disabilities obtain employment. Part of what we do also includes the provision of a retention service to those who find themselves developing a health condition or disability whilst in work and finding ways via reasonable adjustments to help people stay in their employment. My team have been an exceptional display of how this ought to be done.

She added: “I have gone from a busy mum, working full time, riding my horse
and being very independent to entirely incapacitated then full circle again.
“The MS Society provided me with a wealth of knowledge and supportive
resources, and I want to raise money for them to do the same for someone else. It’s not just fundraising, it’s literally life changing.”  

Gemma Cowan, Fundraising Events Manager for MS Society Scotland said: “We
are delighted that Shirley is taking part in this amazing challenge to raise funds
for people affected by MS.

“Shirley’s story is extremely inspiring and we were thrilled to also meet her
fantastic companion Winnie. Together they make an incredible team and the
bond between Shirley and Winnie is wonderful.

“As well as this, we were touched to hear about the fantastic support Shirley has received from her colleagues and we are so excited to have them in our MS
Superstars team this year. Fundraisers like Shirley and her team help support
the MS Society to drive research into more – and better treatments for
everyone.”

MS is unpredictable, different for everyone and can affect how a person thinks,
feels and moves. The MS Society also provide a free confidential helpline on
0808 800 8000 which offers information and support on everything from being
newly diagnosed to treatment options.

For more information on the work of the MS Society, please visit
www.mssociety.org.uk

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