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 www.edinburghmarathon.com.

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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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Running as Christmas: Dos and Donts
The festive period is always a challenging time for us runners. As the calendar fills up with work parties and social gatherings, and the kitchen cupboard fills up with mince pies and yule logs, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running! 

But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this Christmas, and some dangerous pitfalls to avoid!

Become an early riser
If your calendar is chock-a-block with parties, gatherings and family reunions, why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous 
You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit
There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together, don your Santa hats and reindeer antlers and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs
A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!

Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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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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Hamish running Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust after cancer diagnosis
HAMISH ROBINSON, 22, from Selkirk, is getting set to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday 27th May, just 16 months after being diagnosed cancer.

The 22-year-old is determined to give back to the charity Teenage Cancer Trust after the support he received through being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour in January 2017, at the age of just 21.

Hamish started feeling ill in January 2017 and rapidly went downhill with a minor headache which quickly got worse.

Hamish said, “My co-ordination was going, I started to lose my balance and I had double vision, and ringing in my ears. I was struggling to eat or walk. My mum recognised that something wasn’t right and encouraged me to go back to the doctors three days later. The doctor had an idea of what it might be and said she wasn’t going to send me away without a scan.

He was transferred to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where he underwent an MRI scan which revealed a brain tumour the size of a pool ball.

“I was in that much pain that they inserted a ventricle access device into my head to remove brain fluid and release the pressure on my brain. Tests on this fluid showed tumour markers, substances secreted by cancerous cells, of >4000, with <2 being normal”

“I was shown a picture of it and I couldn’t believe that it was in my head, or that this was happening to me. I was only 21. The type of tumour I had was very rare, I was one of 10 people in Europe aged 16-24 with it.”

Hamish was then referred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit where he began his chemotherapy treatment.

“After three rounds of chemo, I was told I may need further surgery to take some of the tumour out. I was told the surgery could cause paralysis and brain damage but also that by having it I was more likely to make a full recovery so I made the difficult decision to go for it.

“I had another round of chemo, then six weeks of radiotherapy. I felt more tired and nauseous as it went on but I finished my treatment and got through it.

Hamish praised the work of the staff on the unit, saying: “The nurses were incredible throughout my treatment and were one of the best things about being on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit. They were chatty, funny and reassuring. The surgeons were amazing too.”

Hamish has now finished his treatment and is preparing to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday 27th May to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust.

“I decided I wanted to do the Edinburgh Half Marathon to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust after the amazing treatment I received.

“I’d always took part in a lot of sport but I haven’t done a long distance run before so I gradually increased my distance using a training plan. There are a few young people from the unit running so I may be able to do the course with one of them.”

You can support Hamish by donating to his JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hamish-robinson, or if you’d like to join Hamish on the start line, you can sign up to run in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for Teenage Cancer Trust today. For more information, visit https://www.edinburghmarathon.com/charity/affiliates/?charities_id=932.

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Daughter to run in her father’s footsteps at the Edinburgh Marathon
Charlotte’s dad was the reason she started running. His military training made him the perfect coach and running buddy – always there to give her the support and encouragement she needed for her next race. In June last year, Charlotte’s dad found out he had terminal cancer. Four months later he passed away. 

“He was my absolute hero and my best friend. I knew I had to do this for him. From the day he got the diagnosis, Macmillan nurses were there for him. Their help and support meant so much to my dad and the whole family. 

“Before he passed away, I told him I was going to run the Edinburgh Marathon for Macmillan – a route he loved and had run many times. He was so pleased for me but I could see in his eyes that deep down he wished he could be running it alongside me.

“He may not be here to join me in his trainers on the start line but I still feel he’ll be running it with me, and I hope I make him proud.”

Join Charlotte by signing up 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 kids just starting out on their running journey. 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, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on the new route for the first time ever.

For more information, visit www.edinburghmarathon.com.

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THE EDINBURGH MARATHON has launched a brand new route for the first time in 5 years.

In what will be the 16th year of the Edinburgh Marathon, Scotland’s largest running event, which takes place on Sunday May 27 2018, announced the new route this lunchtime.

The new route starts on Potterrow, the Old Town heartland of Edinburgh University, for the first time in the event’s history, before heading North over the historic High Street and down The Mound. Participants will then run past the 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.

Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Director, said: “We are delighted to announce the new Edinburgh Marathon route to the world and and believe we have a route which showcases the incredible and stunning historic city of Edinburgh to it’s very best.”

“The key for us was creating a route which not only let our participants see more of Edinburgh, but also stays true to its worldwide reputation as one of the fastest marathon routes approved by an IAAF label – not an easy thing to achieve in this small but fine city!”

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival now annually attracts more than 30,000 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.

The Edinburgh Marathon joined the world’s elite road races in 2012 by becoming the first race in Scotland to be officially recognised by the IAAF, the athletics governing body. The IAAF Bronze label puts the race among the top 75 in the world making it a pivotal part of the sporting calendar for runners. It remains Scotland’s only IAAF labeled road race.

Mr Kilgour said “With a descent of almost 90 metres to near sea level, we believe that this is one if not the fastest marathon routes in the world.  If you have put in the training then this route will reward this effort: it is full of PB potential”

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has eight 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 May 26 at Holyrood Park with a 10k, 5K and two junior races. On Sunday May 27, the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and team relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City and continues through East Lothian offering stunning views and an unforgettable running experience.

Entries are open for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on May 26 and 27, 2018. More information is available via the website at www.edinburghmarathon.com

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How to recover from a marathon

Five Ways to Recover from a Marathon

Keep it Moving

Now we know you’ve more than earned a week (or more) of chill time after your exploits this weekend. HOWEVER, we would definitely recommend you keep it flowing this week. This doesn’t have to mean running every day – or even at all – walking will do just fine. But the more you can keep moving, the faster you’ll be able to flush out the lactate from the muscles, break down the scar tissue that’s causing those aches, and get those legs back to feeling close to normal again!

Get the Prote-in
Your muscles are damaged, the DOMS have hit hard and you’re walking like you’ve soiled yourself. Diet plays a massive role in the recovery process, and foods high in protein will accelerate the resynthesis of these muscle fibers across the week. Eggs, nuts, fish, meats, beans, pulses and grains are all great sources – you know the score! Happy munching, you’ve earned a wee bite we think!

Massage or Foam Roll (ooft!)
This one hurts – but with great pain comes great relief! If you can book a massage, fantastic – a good rub down will increase circulation, relieve muscle tension, reduce soreness and speed up that recovery process! Equally, a good foam roller will help in the same way. You’re in control here so find your trigger points and spend some time honing in on them and working to undo those horrible knots. You’ll find hundreds of videos on YouTube on good foam rolling technique for different muscle groups!

Listen to your body
Possibly the most clichéd phrase in the running world, but it certainly rings true here. Everyone is different and will respond to the marathon in different ways. So please don’t panic if you see your friends off out for a run, and you’re sat there feeling like you’re 150 years old. It will take time to recover so be patient and don’t rush back!

Celebrate, enjoy, rejoice, you’re legendary.
We’ve saved the most important bit of advice until the end – CELEBRATE! You have just become part of a very exclusive club; running a marathon really is an incredible achievement and one which deserves due merrymaking. Draw out the celebrations for as long as you possibly can, milk it because you’ve just accomplished something amazing.

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‘The Don’ to start the 15th Edinburgh Marathon

Donald Macgregor to start 15th Edinburgh Marathon

Donald MacGregor, who competed for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games back in 1970, will be the official starter for 2017 Edinburgh Marathon Festival. Donald ran much of the current Edinburgh Marathon route when he represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, and we’re delighted to invite him back to Edinburgh to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the iconic Edinburgh Marathon.

The Don, as he was known had a fantastic record in the marathon where one of his finest runs was that pictured above – although Hill eventually passed him to finish sixth to The Don’s seventh, it was one of the best ever races by a Scottish endurance runner. He had a super career as a runner on all surfaces and over all distances – 25 sub 2:20 marathons for a start! He continued this excellent running as a veteran and in the 45 – 49 age group he appeared four times in the world rankings with times of 2:19.1 for eleventh in the world all time list as well as 2:19:36 (16th), 2:23:00 (54th) and 2:27:27.

1970 was the year when the Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh and the trial for the marathon was hotly contested. Donald Macgregor ran almost 4700 miles in training that year, the most he ever did. He was only narrowly outsprinted by Jim Alder (the 1966 C.G. gold medallist) and was delighted to make the Scottish team. In the Games event, Ron Hill of England rocketed away to a British record of 2.9.28 (still, more than 40 years later, a Scottish All-Comers best performance). Donald has written that Hill ‘ran like a god…no praise could be too high for his performance.’ Jim Alder was the bravest of silver medallists and Macgregor was satisfied to finish 8th in a personal best of 2.16.53.

It was in the Olympic year of 1972 that Donald Macgregor, aged 33, reached his peak. In preparation for the Maxol Marathon British trial, as well as averaging ninety miles per week, he tried two consecutive 120 mile weeks, a month before the race. In addition this was his second attempt at the carbohydrate depletion/loading pre-marathon diet. In the Maxol it worked perfectly – he passed thirteen rivals during the second half, and finished in 2.15.06 to secure a surprise place in the British Team. Having recovered quickly, he managed ten 100 mile weeks, mainly at 5.30 per mile, and spent three weeks at altitude in St Moritz, coming down to sea level ten days before the Olympic marathon. In Munich on Sunday September 10th, he paced himself very well and came through fast, moving from 30th at 5k to 8th at 40k. Ron Hill wrote in ‘The Long Hard Road’ “I glance round and get the shock of my life: there, head on one side (the left), black-rimmed spectacles, grimacing face, it’s Macgregor ….He’s ungainly but Christ he’s travelling, he’s like a man possessed.” They passed Jack Foster of New Zealand; then Hill’s desperate sprint on the Olympic track left Donald to cross the line 7th in 2.16.34 – a very fine achievement, and one of which the modest Macgregor is rightly proud.

Edinburgh Marathon is delighted to have Donald start the 15th Edinburgh Marathon this Sunday.

*Sources & image http://www.scottishdistancerunninghistory.scot
Scottish Marathon Club magazine of April 1984
Colin Youngson

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