The Edinburgh Marathon Festival
The Edinburgh Marathon Festival, first run in 2003, has developed quickly from being just another race in the marathon calendar to the second most popular race of its type in the UK, second only to the London Marathon.
History of the Edinburgh Marathon
The Edinburgh Marathon Festival, brainchild of Geoff Sims, first took place in 2003. Compared to recent years it was quite a small affair with only 3,000 runners taking part. The winner of the men's marathon was Frank McGowan with a time of 2:35:21 while the first woman to finish was Michaela McCallum with a time of 2:48:06.
The race was most notable for the runner who came last, Lloyd Stott taking six days to complete the distance wearing a deep sea diving suit that weighed over 100 pounds. The size, and popularity, of the race was quick to grow. In 2004 6,000 runners took part.
With the help of well known runners, including Liz McColgan and Liz Yelling, this number has increased steadily ever since with the 2013 Marathon Festival expected to attract over 30,000 participants, 16,000 of whom will be running the marathon.
What’s on offer?
100,000 spectators, 30,000 runners and your choice of 9 races. The Edinburgh Marathon Festival in partnership with Macmillan will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May. There is something for all runners and all ages and abilities.
1. On Saturday 25th you can join a 5k, 10k, two Junior Races, Mascot Race or the International Breakfast Run.
2. On Sunday 26th the Half Marathon, Hairy Haggis Team Relay and of course the renowned Edinburgh Marathon will take over the city.
With over 30,000 runners taking part over the 2 days this is the biggest running event in the Scotland so come along and be part of this fantastic weekend Festival.
If you don’t feel up to running a full marathon the EMF has lots of other distances to choose from including a half marathon, relay, 10k, 5k, and junior races. Entries sold out from 2008-2012 so complete your entry now to guarantee your place (entries close when course capacity is reached). Charity places are available at www.forthone.com/charity/marathon-festival/
What else should you know?
1. Edinburgh has been voted the second best city in the UK for runners, according to a new survey by a top running magazine. Scotland's capital has raced up from fourth place in 2009, when the last survey was carried out. Glasgow finishes sixth while London remained in 18th place out of 20 in the survey by Runner's World magazine.
2. Edinburgh Marathon has joined the world’s elite road races by becoming the first 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.
3. Since it started the Festival has had an economic impact of more than 25 million for the capital and helped raise more than 30 million pounds for hundreds of charities. Together with the Edinburgh Marathon Festival’s partnership charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, and hundreds of other other charities, the organisers are hoping to break all previous records and raise even more in 2013. For more information visit www.edinburgh-marathon.com/?charity
Edinburgh Marathon Festival Celebrities
* Fauja Singh - The world's oldest marathon runner aged 101 took part in the EMF in 2012.
* Liz Yelling - The Commonwealth bronze medallist started the race in 2010.
* Liz McColgan - The Commonwealth gold medallist took part in the inaugural team relay.
Edinburgh Marathon Video