ONE of Scotland’s greatest ever distance runners, Freya Ross, gives runners taking part in the first ever Scottish Half Marathon her top tips ahead of the inaugural event this September.
Freya, who represented Scotland in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has ruled herself out of Glasgow 2014 due to a hip injury. Ross, who has a 26.2 mile best of 2:28:10 clocked at the London Marathon in 2012, has a wealth of running knowledge which she can share with Scottish Half Marathon runners as they tackle the route for the first ever time this year.
The 13.1 mile half marathon distance is today growing faster in popularity than any other race, with newer runners considering it a friendlier challenge than the marathon. It’s also a great option for experienced runners who have already won marathon glory but are determined to keep a passion for running going.
Ross, who clocked 2:35:19 in Yokohama last November to better the Scotland Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 2:40, believes the Scottish Half Marathon will make a fabulous addition to an extraordinary year of sport across the country with a line-up that includes the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and golf’s 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September.
Ross, 30, said: “If you’re going along to watch and support the British athletes at the Commonwealth Games in the next couple of weeks and feel inspired by them, then the Scottish Half Marathon is the perfect next challenge for you.
“I love the half marathon distance. It’s a really challenging event that you have to train for – but at the same time it’s achievable for most people. It allows you to set a goal but it’s within most people’s capabilities to go out and run a half marathon.”
Thousands have already signed up for the inaugural Scottish Half Marathon which will take place on Saturday September 6, 2014, and is a spectacular addition to an unforgettable year of sport for Scotland. The Scottish Half Marathon is also a chance to make a difference to other people’s lives by raising money for charity. Runners are expected to raise thousands for charity at the event which has Cancer Research UK as its Official Charity.
Kathryn Hurrell, Cancer Research UK Senior Sports Executive said “Come and join the Cancer Research UK team in what promises to be a spectacular event! We annually spend over £4 million a year in Edinburgh, funding new ways to prevent, diagnose and cure cancer. Through events like the Scottish Half Marathon we can bring forward the day that all cancers are cured. So please join our team today as every runner that fundraises for us will ensure that we will beat cancer sooner.”
Neil Kilgour, Scottish Half Marathon Race Director, said: “It’s not just the stunning scenery of East Lothian’s Golf coast that’ll take your breath away.
“If you want to train hard and set a personal best for the half marathon distance then this is the race for you. We have developed a route that is predominantly downhill and consequently is seriously rapid given the right training. By starting conveniently at 11am just outside Edinburgh, you can take part and run along the magnificent Golf coast before finishing in front of the grandstand of Scotland’s oldest racecourse. Come and be a part of it and deliver your personal best. This race will deliver perfect running conditions that will reward runners for all their efforts in training and on race day.”
Ross, 30, said: “It’s a fast and flat route with some stunning scenery to throw in the mix too! Running along the John Muir Way, the Golf Coast and finishing at Musselburgh Racecourse will be a brilliant buzz for runner. And this route has PB potential written all over it!”
Standard entries close at 5pm on Wednesday 6th August, for the Scottish Half Marathon which is on Saturday September 6, 2014, at 11am. You can enter by visiting www.scottishhalfmarathon.com
1. Challenge a friend or family member, or split the distance and do the race as a team – The Duo Challenge would be perfect for this.
2. Use it as a stepping stone to running a marathon, or a step up from a 10km
3. Follow a training plan, there are some on the website that can be followed, or use one of them as a starting point to plan your own.
4. Mix up where you run so you’re not doing the same route all the time.
5. Get good trainers, and wear them for training, don’t save them for race day.
6. Don’t put off your training runs, if possible train first thing in the morning or as soon as you get in from work, lay your kit out so you see it as a reminder.
7. If your usual training is going for a steady pace run try doing some interval training (alternate fast and slow running).
8. Train with someone, even if it’s only for some of your training.
9. Use your training runs to commute to work, I used to run to and from work on a regular basis.
10. Get everything you’ll need on race day ready the night before so you’re not rushing on the morning of the race. Get to the start area in plenty time so you’re not stressed out about being late. The Scottish Half starts at 11am so perfect timing.
11. Don’t do anything new on race day, for example eat what you would as if you were going for a training run, and make sure you are comfortable with the trainers you plan to wear.
12. Remember if you train well, you could establish the course record for this brand new race!
13. Enjoy it! Make a day trip of it and see some of the sights properly after the race.
Entries are open for the Scottish Half Marathon and close on August 6th. Go to www.scottishhalfmarathon.com