Drizzle doesn't dampen EMF podium joy for winners
Thousands of runners from all over the world gathered in the nation's capital to take part in the 17th edition of Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF). Across the action-packed weekend, Scotland's biggest running festival featured nine races including a full marathon, half marathon, team relay, 10k and 5k, plus four junior events.
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 EMF collaborated with not-for-profit organisation 'Project Africa Athletics' to welcome talented, developing athletes who may not otherwise get the opportunity to take part in a race with the status of Edinburgh Marathon.
Kenya's Dan Tanui raced to glory with a winning time of 2.30.13. After his win, Tanui said: "The course is good and there was lots of support and cheering along the way. I found the wind challenging today, but I'm hoping to come back next year to retain my title."
Speaking to runABC Scotland online the day before the marathon, local favourite Tom Roche of Inverurie admitted it was ‘a bit mad’ to take on Edinburgh just a few weeks after his phenomenal 2.27 run and 44th placed finish at London. And while he might have expressed a light-hearted concern about how ‘the last five miles’ of yesterday’s event might go, it’s clear he needn’t have worried.
Roche stormed home for third place (2.32.19), just a few seconds behind Ollie Garrod of London (2.32.10). The JSK Running Club member will now be taking a well-deserved rest before he gears up for another 26.2 in the autumn.
The women's race was dominated by Winchester's Melanie Wilkins who led from the front with a time of 2.42.56. Wilkins said: "This is my first time in Edinburgh and I'm very happy to win!" Fife's Megan Crawford in 2.54.02 and Cardiff's Carys Hughes in 2.54.07 completed the podium.
Salford's Karl Darcy stormed to victory in Sunday morning's half marathon with a winning time of 1.07.40 seconds. Local favourite Neil Renault took second place with a time of 1.09.46 seconds, and Billy Hobbs completed the podium in third with a time of 1.10.20. Darcy said: "It was a really great course, good conditions for running, although the last two 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 1.18.27. Browne 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 1.18.51 with Bathgate's Jo Williams finishing in third place with a time of 1.19.26.
Image courtesy Stuart Attwood Photography