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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Mental Health Benefits of Running

MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF RUNNING

Apart from the obvious health benefits that running can give you, it can provide many psychological advantages too. No matter your circumstance, running can help ease your mind and get you back on the right track. Here are some positive changes that running can bring to you:

1. Stress Reliever
Whatever you are stressing about, getting active can significantly reduce this. Lacing up your trainers can help with relaxation, anxiety and negative thinking cycles. Running can help your body control stress and deal with existing mental tension. Long distance runs can help you solve problems that have been nagging you. Whilst shorter speed runs can reduce aggression and tension. Make running your new friend.

2. Your new sleeping pill
Nobody wants to be tossing and turning in bed late at night. Indulging in physical exercise, whether that is running or another form, can be your new way of counting sheep at night. Moderate exercise can also significantly improve the sleep of insomnia sufferers.

3. Decreases depression
Running can be a fantastic way of combatting that sluggish and withdrawn feeling that is associated with depression. Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and it’s especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression. Running can take your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.

4. Self-esteem boost
If you’re suffering from low self-esteem in adulthood, go for a run and watch your confidence soar. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising in the great outdoors can also result in lowered blood pressure and increased self-esteem. Get your running shoes on and watch your confidence soar.

5. Increased creativity
An invigorating run can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Next time you find yourself staring at a blank page waiting for a genius idea to pop into your head, get those legs moving and refresh your body and brain at the same time by going on a jog.

So the next time you’re having a bad day or you want that extra hour in bed, remember all the benefits your body will enjoy from getting active.

Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 116 123.
CALM, an anonymous helpline for men is open 7 days a week, 5pm to midnight. 0800 58 58 58.

It’s okay not to be okay. Let’s keep talking.

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Edinburgh Marathon announces exclusive offer for London Marathon ballot entrants

EDINBURGH MARATHON ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR LONDON MARATHON BALLOT ENTRANTS

ORGANISERS of the Edinburgh Marathon are calling on London Marathon ballot entrants to also enter the 2020 Edinburgh Marathon.

The event is part of the ever-growing Edinburgh Marathon Festival taking place in Scotland’s capital across the May Bank Holiday weekend on 23-24th May.

Runners who have entered the London Marathon ballot will anxiously anticipate whether they have been successful, with results not due to be announced until October. Thousands of disappointed runners who do not receive a place will seek an alternative spring marathon to enter.

The 2020 Edinburgh Marathon takes place on 24th May and is one of the biggest and best the UK has to offer, making it the ideal alternative to London.

The fast and flat route takes in the city’s iconic sights before heading east for the coastline, making Edinburgh the perfect marathon choice for first timers or marathon veterans alike who have set their sights on achieving a PB.

For a limited time, Edinburgh Marathon Festival organisers are offering to refund entrants who are successful in the London Marathon ballot, and decide they no longer wish to participate in the Edinburgh event. The offer will remain open until the end of August.

Annette Drummond, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Marketing Director, said: “Many runners set their sights on a number of marathons alongside London and wait until post-ballot announcement to make alternative arrangements if unsuccessful”.

“This offer is a fantastic way for runners to have peace of mind that they’ve secured a marathon place and can confidently begin a training schedule – with the added option of running London instead if the opportunity arises. Although many do choose to run both!”.

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival now annually attracts more than 36,000 runners each year, has had an economic impact of more than £40 million for Scotland’s capital and helped raise more than £60 million for hundreds of charities.

This offer is only available until the end of August. For more information and to enter CLICK HERE.

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Thousands of runners take part in seventeenth Edinburgh Marathon Festival

Thousands of runners take part in seventeenth Edinburgh Marathon Festival

Sunday’s drizzly weather made for challenging running conditions on one of the world’s fastest marathon courses, where for the second year running, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival collaborated with not-for-profit organisation ‘Project Africa Athletics’ to welcome talented, developing athletes that may not otherwise get the opportunity to take part in a race with the status of the Edinburgh Marathon.

Kenya’s Dan Tanui raced to glory with a winning time of 2 hours 30 minutes and 13 seconds.

“The course is good and there was lots of support and cheering along the way, I found the wind challenging today, I’m hoping to come back next year to retain my title.”

London’s Ollie Garrod claimed second place in 2 hours 32 minutes and ten seconds, followed by Inverurie’s Tom Roche in 2 hours 32 minutes and 19 seconds.

The women’s race was dominated by Winchester’s Melanie Wilkins who lead from the front with a time of 2 hours 42 minutes and 56 seconds.

“This is my first time in Edinburgh and I’m very happy to win!”

Megan Crawford from Fife in 2 hours 54 minutes and 2 seconds and Carys Hughes, Cardiff in 2 hours 54 minutes and 7 seconds completed the podium.

Conquering 26.2 miles isn’t tough enough for some, Jeremy Hill from Edinburgh completed a ‘hairy’ – the collective name used to describe the grand slam of running a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k over the weekend. Jeremy ran for the MS Society and the MS Therapy Centre Lothian in support of his wife who has the condition.

At the finish line, a tired Jeremy said: “I’m so glad to be finished, I almost didn’t make it from the half marathon finish! I got a PB last year and just thought ’why not’ when I saw the Hairy challenge.”

Claire Dalrymple from Edinburgh crossed the Edinburgh Marathon finish line for the 17th time. This year was particularly poignant for Claire – she ran in memory of her husband Stephen for the events Official Charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Stephen sadly passed away in February after losing his battle against Oesophageal cancer. Throughout his illness, Stephen and Claire received incredible support from the charity to ensure the precious time they had left together was spent making happy memories.

“Throughout Stephen’s illness I kept running to keep me strong and focused, it really was my therapy” explained Claire.

“I’m raising money to say thank you to Macmillan for all their help and support.” As part of her fundraising challenge Claire also completed the London Marathon in April and is looking ahead to the Harris Marathon later this year.

Salford’s Karl Darcy stormed to victory in Sunday morning’s half marathon with a winning time of 1 hour 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Local favourite Neil Renault took second place with a time of 1 hour 9 minutes and 46 seconds, and Billy Hobbs completed the podium in third with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes and 20 seconds.

Karl said “It was a really great course, good conditions for running, although the last 2 miles were tough. I decided to run hard and just go for it!”

Birmingham’s Molly Browne was the winner in the women’s race with a time of 1 hour 18 minutes and 27 seconds.

Molly said: “It felt really good, the support was really good on the course. I ran in Edinburgh two years ago but today was a bit different, I’m really pleased.”

She was followed by Glasgow’s Sarah Potter in 1 hour 18 minutes and 51 seconds with Bathgate’s Jo Williams finishing in third place with a time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 26 seconds.

Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park played host to Saturday’s action with the 10k, 5k and junior races kicking off the festival’s line up.

Londoner Ewan Cameron was first home in the EMF 10K race with a winning time of 33 minutes and 17 seconds.

Commenting on his win he said “It was fantastic! I went to Edinburgh University, then after I finished university I took a 17 year hiatus from running, so it was good to be back!”

First female in the EMF 10K was West Yorkshire’s Sarah Cumber in a time of 38 minutes and 26 seconds.

Sarah said “We’re here to visit one of our friends, I’ve never raced in Scotland before. It was great! Lovely weather and the views were absolutely beautiful, everyone was so supportive.”

Catherine Meyer stole the show in the women’s 5K field as she set a new course record with a winning time of 18 minutes and 37 seconds.

The American said: “It was good! I’m studying in London for a year and my brother’s running the marathon tomorrow so my whole family are in Edinburgh and I figured I’d run the 5K the day before!”

Sixteen year old Cameron Bullen from Dunbar was the first finisher with a winning time of 17 minutes and 40 seconds.

Commenting on his win he said: “I thought it was a really well organised event, going up the hill was tough but once I got there, I stormed the downhill. I’m thinking of coming back to take on the 10K next year.”

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.

Three year old Anne Murphy completed the Kids’ Kilometre with dad Tom and officially started the race alongside mum Cheryl.

The family took part  in memory of daughter and sister Edie who tragically died after a short and sudden illness in October 2015 aged only two.

Cheryl said: “Running helped us so much after Edie died and continues to. It’s a way for us to keep her memory alive”.

Their involvement in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival forms part of a wide range of fundraising activities Cheryl and Tom have undertaken over the years to raise an incredible £25,000 for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and they hope to surpass the £30,000 mark this year.

“We will continue to support this charity forever now as it holds a very special place in our hearts and is part of a beautiful legacy for Edie”. 

Fourteen runners from El Salvador travelled to Edinburgh to take part in the marathon, half marathon & 10K events. They ran in tribute to one of their group, Maria Olimpia Escobar de Melhado.

Maria was stabbed on an early morning training run whilst preparing for the event, and tragically passed away on Saturday 18th May.

Oscar Edgardo Melhado, Maria’s brother-in-law said: “These are the risks that our runners take, in our country plagued with crime, to keep our passion for running. We are not giving up, Maria Olimpia taught us that love and passion transform ugly realities.”

“Our beloved Maria Olimpia started running 10 years ago and was very enthusiastic. She created at least two runners’ groups mainly of ladies. She encouraged many of her friends to register to the Edinburgh Half and Full Marathon and organized the trip. We will always remember her joyful and cheerful personality”.

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Director, said: “2019 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 2019 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 2020 Edinburgh Marathon Festival which takes place on Bank Holiday Weekend on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May 2020 are open with an early bird discount for everyone who registers before midnight on Sunday 9th June at www.edinburghmarathon.com

Join the running chat:

Follow EMF on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdinburghMarathonFestival

Follow EMF on Twitter: @MrHairyHaggis; #edinburghmarathon; #emf2019

Follow EMF on Instagram: http://instagram.com/edinburghmarathonfestival

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Edinburgh Marathon Festival becomes a zero waste to landfill event

Edinburgh Marathon Festival becomes a zero waste to landfill event

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival have today announced a partnership with the team at Hamilton Waste & Recycling in its ambition to be one of the only events in the country which is a zero waste to landfill event.

Sandra Scott, Event Director said; “We are delighted to announce our partnership with the team at Hamilton Waste & Recycling to ensure that none of the waste generated at the event ends up in landfill.”

“Each of us understand the importance of making the event as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible, so while we investigate and develop products to allow us to eradicate plastics completely from our event, this interim step to ensure that zero waste goes to landfill is vital.”

Hamilton is one of Scotland’s leading independent recycling and resource management companies. Founded in 2002, the company provides services to customers across East Lothian and Edinburgh where it operates under its distinctive Tartan Waste brand. In addition to its fleet of modern collection vehicles, Hamilton recycles a wide range of commercial, construction and domestic waste through its award-winning materials recycling facility in Musselburgh.

“Every individual at the event has a personal responsibility to help do this by making sure that any rubbish they have is placed in the bins that will be provided around the start, finish and course areas of the event. This is important, particularly on course where the wind can catch empty bottles and gel wrappers and transport them miles away, so please help our teams in these areas by making sure that every last piece ends up in the bin.

“All waste will then be taken away by the team at Hamilton to their recycling facility where each piece will be sorted and recycled into useful products.” Sandra continued.

Recognised as one of the UK’s most sophisticated waste management sites, Hamilton is capable of recycling and recovering all of the waste it processes. Any waste that cannot be recycled is used in the production of a waste derived fuel which in turn, is used to generate sustainable energy and offset traditional fossil fuels.

Having recently invested over £10 million in new processing technology, the company is now able to recover and recycle an even wider range of materials including general waste, mixed recycling, food, glass and plastic. It also operates Scotland’s only mattress recycling facility and accredited plasterboard recycling service.

Hamilton is committed to ensuring that Scotland maintains its position at the forefront of developing the circular economy and helping its customers to realise the environmental and commercial value of the material that they throw away.

Ahead of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival event this weekend, Sandra said; “Good luck to all of our runners, and thank you in advance for supporting the event and the team as we all work together to ensure that this is a ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL event!”

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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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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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