Some of the world’s fastest marathon runners will take to the streets of Edinburgh and East Lothian on the 24th and 25th May 2014 as part of the 12th Edinburgh Marathon Festival. As well as some of the members of Team Scotland who are taking part in races as part of their pre Commonwealth Games race build up.
Abi Beautyman, Edinburgh Marathon Festival Elite Coordinator, predicts another “super fast series of road races on the ultra fast Edinburgh routes” with David Toniok, 30, from Kenya starting favourite to win the 2014 Edinburgh Marathon with the fastest PB among the confirmed elite runners recording a time of 2:10:39. This is almost five minutes ahead of the current course record set in 2005 by Zachary Kihara of Kenya in 2:15:26. Another Kenyan, Linus Maiyo, 31, took Bronze last year in the Barcelona Marathon in a personal best of 2:11:34 so should also be in contention in the lead pack. That pack should also feature Ebisa Merga from Ethiopia who is the reigning champion of the Bournemouth Marathon (2:16:41), as well as Sufa Chala from Ethiopia who recorded an impressive finish time of 2:12:44 at the Dubai Marathon earlier this year.
Race Director Neil Kilgour added that “The Edinburgh Marathon Festival delivery team see every entrant and runner as an ‘elite’ given the massive training commitment and personal sacrifice that everyone of the 30,0000 participants have given in the build up to their big race”. This ethos is typified by the ultra fast International elite runners being accompanied by fellow Kenyan athlete Japhet Koech, star of the international best selling running book ‘Running with the Kenyans’ by Adharanand Finn. His participation in Edinburgh has been in part paid for by crowd funding from within the running community and the Edinburgh Marathon delivery team.
The women’s contest is equally as strong with some of the brightest female marathon stars. Risper Kimaiyo, from Kenya is back to defend her 2013 Edinburgh marathon female champion win of 2:35:57; reigning Casablanca marathon champion Gulilat Serkalem from Ethiopia whose personal best of 2:31:50 is about a minute and a half under the current female course record of 2:33:36 set by Zinaida Semenova of Russia in 2005; Fabiola Perez Igari from Mexico (PB 2:43:46); Ukrainian Kateryna Stetsenko who has a strong personal best of 2:27:51 set in Dublin 2010 and French athlete Adeline Roche with a personal best of 2:38:31.
The ever young Scottish running star Hayley Haining takes 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 is an ideal race for my build up to the Glasgow 2014 Marathon. It has a fast international field and is an ideal opportunity to race on home soil before the Marathon in Glasgow."
Fellow Scottish runner, Derek Hawkins, who is also selected for the Glasgow 2014 Marathon, takes part in the EMF 10K race on Saturday 24th May as part of his preparation for Glasgow.
Also lining up on the marathon start line will be Britain’s elite runners including, Salford Harrier runners, Ian McBride and Tarus Elly alongside Scots Kerry Liam Wilson, Cambuslang clubrunner. And Kelly Crickmore, Chester TC, will fly the female British flag with a personal best time of 2:45:14 set last year in La Rochelle.
Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, The Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which in 2014 will be in its 12th year, takes place in Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh and continues through East Lothian. There are seven 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 24th May at Holyrood Park with a 10k, 5K and two junior races. On Sunday 25th May, the Edinburgh marathon, half marathon and team relay starts from the heart of Edinburgh and continues through East Lothian offering stunning views and an unforgettable running experience.
Neil Kilgour, Edinburgh Marathon Festival race director, said: “Scotland is preparing to welcome the world and we look forward to delivering another outstanding Edinburgh Marathon Festival that the nation will be proud of.
The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is an ideal way to showcase the capital at its very best and complement Scotland’s £3 million programme of “Homecoming” events that tourism bosses believe will help create the industry’s biggest ever year in 2014.”