As this was a big local race and also incorporated relays for those non-machocistic non-marathon inspired runners out there, we had a good turnout of EAC members past & present at this years race. Fortunes during the race varied considerably, so rather than post individual accounts, we thought you might enjoy hearing about the race from a variety of different perspectives – enjoy!
Jenny MacLean (2:51:37)
After months of hard work training & preparing mentally, I was really ready and relishing the opportunity to make my mark at the marathon distance. It was lovely being able to wake up in my own bed, eat my own ‘normal’ breakfast and just stroll the mile or so along to the start in the warm sunshine.
Although adding to the scenic benefits of the route, the sunshine became decidedly unhelpful to running quickly the further into morning it got and I soon found that pouring half of each water bottle over my head (& drinking the rest, naturally!) was the best strategy to keep coolish. Even so, I found the last few miles tough & had to bully myself to keep my legs turning over at a reasonable rate to get me across the line! Even the possibility of catching back up with Richard or even Toni McIntosh couldn’t spur me on to go any faster.
The Grandstand finish (apart from the horrid, ultra bouncy, energy sapping plastic tiles we had to run along on) was really exciting & there was a fantastic atmosphere, added to by the enthusiastic announcer and the music blaring from the speakers. Bung in the excitement of finishing 3rd female and knocking 4 minutes off my PB and you’ll know that I had a really brilliant day.
Superb support on the course too – so thanks to all the cheering squads out there, you made a huge difference!
Malcolm Fraser (3:10:45)
After quite a comfortable first 3 quarters of the marathon my confidence was high that I would meet my sub 3 hour target.
But things got harder in the 20’s, as I got closer; I got much slower and more desperate for water. With 2hr 45min gone I saw the start of the 25th mile, but 2.2 miles had never seemed so long, my body was too weak to maintain the slowest of runs.
I needed to do the previously unthinkable and walk… when I ground to a walk I was dizzy. I then lay on the grass for a bit whilst stuffing my face with jelly babies and water which the great Garry Robertson had given me.
After relinquishing willpower to move on with the race and at least get a PB I walked on. I decided to force myself into 60sec sprints alternated with 60secs walk for the last 2 miles. (I am well used to forcing myself into good sprints thanks to Rogers track sessions)
The race was great experience despite my late burnout and my new lobster complexion.
Steve Booth (Leg 4: Napier Uni – Winning Relay Team)
A Quick Recipe for Cheeky Edinburgh Marathon Relay Success
Total Cooking Time: 2 hrs 25 mins
Preparation: Take 1 Irish under-23 international Cross Country runner, the 2003 Edinburgh Marathon bronze medallist Martin Ferguson and 1 Algerian ex-international half marathoner. Mix carefully with 1 large Edinburgh AC club runner (give him the shortest relay leg) and advise the runners that they will be rewarded with silverware and Run and Become vouchers in return for front-running at the Edinburgh Marathon. Inform Edinburgh Napier University of your plan to gatecrash the front of the marathon and receive race entry and team kit sponsorship from them.
Step 1 (8.1 miles): Flame Grill for 41 mins 17 secs taking care not to burn nearby marathon runners who may be unaccustomed to 5 minute miling at the start of a marathon. Separate the clock car from elite marathoners and proceed to Musselburgh.
Remove from heat and stand to cool for 1 minute 20 seconds. Although this will allow the clock car and elite marathon runners to bind again it is likely to be quite frustrating!
Step 2 (5.4 miles): Return to the heat and boil for 30 mins 45 secs, carefully proceeding to Port Seton whilst avoiding further scaldings from the Race Director.
Half Way: Enjoy cheering on other Edinburgh AC runners at the half way mark. Marvel at Hugh McInnes’ split time… Consider whether Richard Meade and Jenny MacLean are running together in supportive club formation or are secretly locked in a deadly duel… Speculate whether Richard’s bandana represents a sufficient deterrent against the threat from Jenny’s frankly intimidating arsenal of Honey Stingers?
Step 3 (8.0 miles): Flambé for 42 mins 30 secs around the Gosford Estate, removing any overheating elite marathoners along the way. By this time, the gap back to the 2nd place relay runner should be about 1 mile and you are nicely tucked in behind the 3rd place full marathon runner.
Step 4 (4.7 miles): Bake for 29 mins 4 secs, enjoying your illustrious running company and generous support from the cheering masses en route to Musselburgh Racecourse. Turn up the heat during the last few minutes of cooking in order to sneak inside 2:25:00 and meet the expectations of your team mates. Celebrate liberally along the finishing straight though apologise for this afterwards if you encounter any elite marathoners who may still be upset your team-mates early pace-making!
Elaine Davies (Start Crew Volunteer)
As I was not running the Edinburgh marathon this year, and I still wanted to be part of a race that I love, I decided to volunteer. I was given the pretty easy task of collecting the elite runners bags from them at the start and taking them up to the baggage lorries. I’ve ran the race for the last 3 years, and strangely felt almost the same range of emotions not running it as I probably would have if I was in the race. I had the same sleepless night (I’m not used to having to start work at 7:30am on a Sunday, so was possibly worried I would sleep in) and then on arriving at the race start early on Sunday, as there were already quite a few runners gathering, I too felt the great buzz of excitement in the air. At 7:30 it was already quite warm, so I was quite glad that I wasn’t running and actually felt a bit nervous knowing all those runners would have a tough day ahead. It was great to see Jenny at the start and wish her and all the other elites the best of luck. Unfortunately I did have a job to do which meant as the race started I was fighting my way through crowds of supporters with several rucksacks, and missed everyone else at the start. It was great to be part of the race, albeit a small part and would definitely volunteer again if I wasn’t able to run.
Martin Ferguson (Leg 1: Napier Uni – Winning Relay Team)
DO NOT BEAT THE MARATHON RUNNERS!
Another Edinburgh marathon and another request from Napier students if l would like to run a relay leg for them, OFF COURSE!
They first got in touch two years ago when one of their team members got injured/ ill and l know how much work goes in to organising a relay team so l said yes.
I was also very impressed by Steve Booth’s team management skills. Fortunately we won two years ago but the organisers were not happy when all the press photographers started snapping Steve as he came into the race course and were very ‘disappointed’ to find he was only a relay runner!
This year in spite of the university changing it’s name to ‘Edinburgh Napier’ it didn’t fool them, they were terrified it might happen again. So much so that l was told l could not start leg two of the relay until the marathon runners had past the 1st change over point. Dan our first leg runner came in 1 minute 28 seconds (yes l started and stopped my watch) before the marathon boys and l had to stand there twiddling my thumbs until they pasted the change over point! Another ploy they had to slow the relay teams down was, we had to change over the champion chip at each leg of the relay! That meant undoing your laces or undoing a knot,(l know l was in the scouts but that’s pushing it), but l had a better plan. l pushed out the middle of an old 7 inch vinyl record and tied it to my shoe lace. It fooled them, although l had to bend down mighty far when l went over the check point mats and listen for a ‘bleep’(l was carrying the chip in my hand). One spectator shouted “look at that marathon runner doing the limbo” and threw me a can of lilt, l threw it back, it was diet.
No other things were thrown in our way and Zac our 3rd leg runner ran well and ‘took’ over a few marathon boys and Steve brought the team home safe and sound.
The only problem might have been if the second team had beat us by say 30 seconds we would have had to put in a protest as we were held back 1min 28secs on leg two, hence we would have beat them by 58secs.
Bears thinking about for next year.
Richard Meade (2:50:48)
Hot, hot, hot and we’re not talking about me in my wonderful blue bandana that I was wearing on Sunday morning. It was the blazing Edinburgh sunshine. I’ve never run in heat like I did on Sunday.
Although to be fair the heat never really affected me until mile 17 – Gosford Park. I’d set off a little fast, but running with Jenny, the first half of the marathon was fairly comfortable. In fact I really enjoyed passing all those people that had set off even faster at the start and were flagging at 8 and 9 miles. After the half way mark I really pushed on and felt great until turning into Gosford Park. However, the nice cool breeze that had been blowing off the coast suddenly disappeared and it was like entering a dusty oven. Breathing that hot, stuffy air and feeling the blaze of the sun beating down on my legs left me almost dizzy as I came out of park to start back down the road.
From that moment onwards every step felt heavy and I noticeably slowed – cursing everyone and everything along the way.
I did, however, really enjoy the marathon, particularly the crowds who were just fantastic and all the EAC members who encouraged us along the road. I would especially like to thank Garry Robertson who was watching at mile 24 and ran along side me as I passed giving me both encouragement and water. It was a real boost, and the final 2 miles saw me pick up my pace by 15 seconds a mile.
I knew my chance of a sub 2.50 was gone, but a PB was still in the offing. My sprint finish was probably faster than it felt, as the seconds ticked by. One final spurt of speed and I crossed the line in 2.50.48 a whole 20 seconds faster then my PB! I was pretty pleased as lay on the floor with my legs twitching with cramp and a helpful steward trying to straighten out my muscles. So 5 marathons in 2 years and the last 4 all under 3 hours – I don’t think I can have any complaints, however, I am already planning to go even faster at Berlin, but not until 2010.
Full Marathon Results:
1 Holly Rush – 2:41:38
2 Toni McIntosh – 2:47:18
3 Jenny MacLean – 2:51:37
1 Martin Williams – 2:18:24
2 Andi Jones – 2:18:48
3 Antnio Souza – 2:23:01
EAC – Results not searchable by club, so apologies to anyone I’ve missed, I didn’t know you were running!
26 Hugh McInnes – 2:40:12
54 Richard Meade – 2:50:48
58 Jenny MacLean – 2:51:37
243 Malcolm Fraser – 3:10:45
826 Eric Stevenson – 3:29:59
845 Joanne Thom – 3:30:15
848 Alex Guest (aka Jim Buick) – 3:30:16