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

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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


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

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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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Woman inspired to run for Alzheimer Scotland in Father’s memory


Ursula Hunter, 47 from Edinburgh, ran the Edinburgh Half Marathon in 2018 for Alzheimer Scotland.

She was inspired to fundraise for the charity after receiving the devastating news her Father was diagnosed with terminal Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia in January 2018, aged 71.

Whilst admitted to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for tests for memory loss, Ursula’s Father suffered a serious seizure. Afterwards, he was left stripped of every day abilities he once had – including walking and many of his cognitive skills.

“He was unable to walk or feed himself. His speech did come back but he couldn’t understand what was going on around him anymore” Ursula explained.

“I felt like I had already lost my father, the man that I knew was hardly there anymore, just a flicker… perhaps only for a few moments when I visited”.

Sadly just eight months later, Ursula’s father passed away.

“He had been so inspirational, a hard-working artist with an academic mind, a great reader, thinker and teacher, who had a wonderful spirit and a creative mind. I couldn’t understand how this learned knowledge and bright personality could all go so quickly”.

After her Father’s death, Ursula wanted to do something meaningful that could help change the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

“I think as a society we need to spread awareness about Dementia, to show just how debilitating it is and how it can happen to anyone and not only when we are elderly, people in their 50’s have been diagnosed with it. If only more research could be done to help people with early onset Alzheimer’s, to find ways to slow the progression of this terrible illness”.

Alzheimer Scotland is the leading dementia organisation in Scotland, campaigning for the rights of people with dementia and their families as well as providing an extensive range of innovative and personalised support services.

By deciding to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon in memory of her dad, Ursula raised over an incredible £1000 for Alzheimer Scotland.

“It was a great experience and such a sense of achievement! I’ve learned how much can be achieved when you put your mind to it. Especially when you are inspired by the memory of a loved one or a respected person in your community”.

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.

If you would like to follow in Ursula’s footsteps at this years’ Edinburgh Marathon Festival and run for Alzheimer Scotland, please click here.

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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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