SCOTLAND’S biggest running event was at the heart of a spectacular sporting weekend with more than 29,000 people taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
In glorious sunshine, runners from more than 100 countries set off from the city centre today (Sunday, May 26) to take on the world’s fastest marathon course.
They included super-fit Kenny Heney who won an ambitious race against time to complete all FOUR adult races and a total of 48 miles during the two-day running festival.
The 37-year-old Scot who lives in Dubai ran the half marathon today in one hour and 24 minutes then jumped on a Harley Davidson motorbike back in to the city centre to join the crowds in the nick of time and run the full marathon. Kenny, who yesterday (Saturday, May 25) also completed the EMF 10K in 39 minutes five minutes and the 5K in 19 minutes 21 seconds, was exhausted but elated when he finally crossed the finish of the full marathon after three hours and 57 seconds.
Kenny said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to finish. I’ve had the most amazing day and I loved every minute of my journey on the Harley Davidson bike back in to Edinburgh. The last 10 miles of the marathon was tough but I knew it would be. None of this would have been possible without my family who were a perfect support team. It was great to see my sister Katy at the finish line. I know it’s time to celebrate now but not before a quick sleep.”Trent Morrow, 39, from Sydney, Australia, crossed the line in 4:14:44 – as part of his superhero mission to set a world record for the most marathons run in a calendar year. Trent, who has been dubbed ‘Marathon Man’, is aiming to complete 160 marathons in 2013. He has already completed more than 50 and aims to average a minimum of three marathons a week for the rest of the year.
Trent said: “In the last five days I’ve run marathons in New England, US and Springfield Massachetts and now I’m here in Edinburgh.
“It’s not all about me, and not about breaking records as I’m running in support to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. I lost my mum to bowel cancer 20 years ago this August so it’s close to my heart.”
The overall winner and first to the finish of the marathon at Musselburgh in East Lothian was Tola Lema from Ethiopia, who finished in just 2 hours, 15 minutes and 32 seconds – only six seconds off the course record still held by Zachary Kihara of Kenya from 2005.Risper Kimaiyo from Kenya was the first woman home in the marathon. The 33-year-old, who is in Scotland for the first time, finished the race in two hours and 35 minutes. Avril Mason, a doctor at the Yorkhill Children’s hospital in Glasgow, was the first Scottish woman home. The 39-year-old crossed the line in 2:55:02 while the first Scottish man home was Will Wright in 2:40:53.
Organisers provided 1,085 bottles of Strathmore water along the 26.2 mile route and another 29,000 at the finish.
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 11th marathon are hoping to raise more than £4.5 million.
Ryan Beattie was the first Scot in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival race history to win the half marathon. It’s the first race the 26-year-old builder from Falkirk has ever won and he completed it in one hour and nine minutes. He plans to celebrate with his fiancée Natalia Sharpe who also completed the half marathon today.
Ryan said: “We’re getting married next May so this win today is a brilliant early wedding present.”
Police officer Dianne Lauder, 36, from the Hawick Gala Harriers was the first woman across the line at the half marathon, racing to the finish in one hour 24 and 55 minutes.
A team of four from Askern District AC won the marathon relay race while the Howgill Harriers finished second and the Ramsey Road Runners were third.