Around 3,000 runners took part in the inaugural Scottish Half Marathon on Saturday, delivering another incredible Scottish sporting occasion following the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and just ahead of this month’s Ryder Cup in Gleneagles.
Olympic and Commonwealth judo silver medallist Gemma Gibbons was the official race starter and set the thousands of runners off from Meadowhill Sports Centre in Tranent at 11am along the stunning East Lothian coastline to the finish at Musselburgh Racecourse.
Thousands packed the streets to support runners in bright and sunny conditions. An estimated £500,000 was raised for charity by runners, in particular for official race charity Cancer Research UK, for whom Gibbons is an official ambassador.
The race was won by Bryan Mackie in a speedy 1 hour 11 mins and 22 seconds, setting the first-ever course record for the Scottish Half Marathon. He was chased home by Ryan Riddell and Stuart Johnston in times of 1 hour 13 mins and 2 seconds and 1 hour 13 mins and 11 seconds respectively to complete the top three.
Afterwards, he said: “I really enjoyed the event today. Great course, great weather, great medal – what more do you want! I’m delighted to have set the course record in the first ever Scottish Half Marathon”
The first woman was Helen Bonsor in 1 hour 26 minutes and 19 seconds, setting the inaugural female course record. Charlotte Black and Rhona Anderson completed the top three females, clocking 1 hour 27 mins and 54 seconds and 1 hour 28 minutes and 11 seconds.
Afterwards, she said: “I’m delighted to have set the female record in the first ever Scottish Half Marathon. The running conditions today were perfect, I loved the course and enjoyed the fantastic support along the route. It was great to be a part of this race.”
Gibbons said: “It was a real honour to be the official race starter for the first ever Scottish Half Marathon, it was an incredible sight at the startline. Since moving from London to Edinburgh in 2012, Scotland has become my adopted home and it was really special to be part of a brilliant occasion.
“Congratulations to all those who completed the half marathon. Running 13 miles is a real achievement! Thank you to all those who took part and all those who raised so much for good causes, including for Cancer Research UK, a charity that is particularly close to my heart.”
Among those who completed Saturday’s race was Darren West who is running 52 half marathons in 2014. The Harrogate Harrier is aiming to raise £5,200 for Martin House Children’s hospice over the year. He is also racing in this weekend’s Great North Run.
Among those most colourful runners was Edinburgh’s Hannah Lithgow. Dressed in full fluorescent orange with a traffic cone hat, she was running for MS Scotland in memory of her father who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis seven years ago.