SCOTLAND’S biggest running event was at the heart of a spectacular sporting weekend with more than 30,000 people taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
The 12th Edinburgh Marathon which welcomed runners from more than 100 countries set off from the city centre today (Sunday, May 25) to take on the world’s fastest Marathon course.
The elite favourite David Toniok, 30, from Kenya raced to the finish line first to win the 2014 Edinburgh Marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 33 seconds, only 7 seconds off the course record set by Zachary Kihara of Kenya in 2005. Fellow Kenyan athlete Japhet Koech, star of the international best selling running book ‘Running with the Kenyans’ finished second in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 29 seconds. His participation in Edinburgh has been, in part, paid for by crowd funding from within the running community and the Edinburgh Marathon delivery team. Third place was Kenyan Elicky Kipchoge Mase in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 29 seconds.
Toniok led the IAAF Bronze label Edinburgh Marathon road race for the first 7 miles then at mile 8 the first three formed a lead pack reaching mile 10 together. At the half way point fellow Kenyan Linus Maiyo, 31, joined the group until mile 19. Koech pushed the pace pulling the group away from Maiyo. At mile 22, Toniok accelerated to give enough distance to finish the Edinburgh Marathon as winner.
Toniok said “I enjoyed running with the others. Running by the sea was lovely. Edinburgh is such a nice city. I’m happy with my finish time.” Koech added about his race “I felt today was a better run for me than last year. I felt really prepared.”
The fastest female finisher was a very happy Kateryna Stetsenko, 32, from the Ukraine who crossed the Marathon finish line in 2 hours, 36 minutes and 7 seconds finishing ahead of last year’s female winner Risper Kimaiyo from Kenyan who completed the race in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 52 seconds. Third female finisher was French athlete Adeline Roche in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 3 seconds.
Kateryna said “It was a dream to win and I enjoyed running most of the race with Risper. At mile 21 I thought I felt ready so I began to pull away. I am now going to enjoy a well earned rest!”
Kerry Liam Nelson, 43, Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers was the first Scot to cross the finish line in 2 hours, 28 minutes and 04 seconds. “I’ve been averaging about 93 miles a week so I’m happy with a 2:28 finish as I hit a low period in March/April so to come back and finish in this time is good.”
The 2014 Edinburgh Half Marathon was won by Ross Houston, 34, from Central AC who finished in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 16 seconds. “A lead pack formed early and we pretty much stayed together most of the way. At the turn at 11 miles, and with the wind, I managed a stronger finish. I’m delighted with my result.”
Ross, who will be taking part in the Glasgow 2014 Marathon commented “there aren’t many halfs as big as this in the UK ahead of Glasgow 2014 so this was a good choice to run in the lead up to it, especially as I live just outside Edinburgh.”
Antonio Silva, 27, from Queens Park Harriers came second only 27 seconds behind Ross with local lad Max Mcneill, 20, from Lothian RC smashing his PB to finish in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 2 seconds. “I’m really really pleased that I set a new PB here in Edinburgh. I tried to hang in with the lead pack but they pushed an early pace. My legs began to ache so I dropped back a bit but got back in along the coast but Ross kicked in and I couldn’t stay with them. I’m over the moon!”
First female half marathon winner was Gladys Ganiel, 37, North Belfast Harriers in 1 hour, 17 minutes and 26 seconds. “I decided to run the Edinburgh half as I needed to show form to be picked for the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Team, hopefully I’ve done enough! I ran with Hayley Haining for a fair bit but then slipped ahead with some of the men”. Second placed female was Dr Shona Mcintosh, 31, Hunters Bog Trotters in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 39 seconds. “Being a local lass I had to run it. I’m so pleased with my time considering the conditions.” Shona finished just ahead of Scottish running star Hayley Haining, 42, who finished in 1 hour, 19 minutes and 51 seconds. Hayley took part in the Half Marathon as part of her preparation for the Marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Commenting on her place in the race, Hayley said: “The Edinburgh Half Marathon was an ideal race for my build up to the Glasgow 2014 Marathon. It had a fast field and was an ideal opportunity to race on home soil before Glasgow."
The weather did not dampen runners spirits with Amber, 25, and husband Craig, 33, Bullingham, both from Gloucester, who were excited to finish the Edinburgh Marathon together as part of their honeymoon. Amber said: “This is our first Marathon and we crossed the finish line as husband and wife at the same time!”
“I have been running for years now, and when we started dating Craig was really interested in seeing if it was something he could do too, so, whilst I was coming back from a knee injury I also starting training him up. Running has since become an integral part of our relationship: we have run numerous races together (including fancy dress!), have planned previous holidays to Dartmoor and the Lake District and North Wales around our love of running and in 2012, on Christmas Day, we celebrated our engagement whilst on holiday in Coed y Brenin, Wales, with a 5 mile trail run. So, running for our honeymoon was a natural next step!”
Runners took part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for a variety of reasons – as a goal for fitness, fundraising or as part of a fun weekend with the family. They crossed the finish line with a jump for joy, cheering, with their countries colours flying, silent with exhaustion, with a grimace and laughing out loud. “You have to do this once in your life. I’m happy I ran it!” said superfit Steven Bonthrone.
Steven Bonthone, 43, from Perth won an ambitious race against time to complete all FOUR adult races,running a total of 48 miles during the two-day running festival to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Steve said: “I ran the 5k and 10k, Half and Full Marathon to honour my dad’s memory who lost his battle with oeophageal cancer in July 2013. He inspired me to take up running and took me along to my first run when I was young.”
The 43 year old who lives in Perth, ran the Half Marathon today in 1 hours, 33 minutes and 58 seconds then jumped on a motorbike back into the city centre to join the crowds in the nick of time and run the Full Marathon. Steve, who yesterday (Saturday, May 24) also completed the EMF 10K in 41 minutes and 33 seconds and the 5K in 20 minutes and 39 seconds, was exhausted but elated when he finally crossed the finish of the Full Marathon after 4 hours and 26 minutes and 15 seconds.
Richard Burge, 49, from Stroud took part in the marathon raising money for the Bobby Moore Fund to help fight bowel cancer. Former Gloucestershire Police Chief Inspector has had the all clear and a positive outlook were a major factor in his recovery. He said “I absolutely loved it – my first and last Marathon! I wanted to run a Marathon and the Edinburgh Marathon has such a great reputation”
Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival director, said: "We are proud that the Edinburgh Marathon Festival is the most inclusive festival of running in the UK.
“From the world’s best elites through to the first time Marathon runner, to youngsters standing in the start pen for the first time in their lives, we welcome them all. Each of these people are changing their lives and many are changing the lives of others too through raising vital funds for charity.”
More than 1,500 runners from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, took part and together with hundreds of other charities, the organiser of the 12th Marathon are hoping to raise more than £4.5 million.
Entries for the 2015 Edinburgh Marathon Festival which takes place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015 opens on Monday 26th May with an early bird discount for everyone who registers before 8th June at www.edinburgh-marathon.com
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