Seaside Rambles (Edinburgh 1/2M)

Women's Scottish 1/2M Podium

I’m going to start by saying something that a good number of you may well disagree with – Half Marathons go past very quickly. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that they zoom!

When my alarm went off at 5am & I peeked out the curtains, the sky was blue. By the time I’d finished breakfast just before 6, it was decidedly heavy looking, so I was anticipating a much cooler, damper day for the Scottish half marathon than it had been on the scorching Saturday. With this thought in mind I happily headed off out up the hill to catch the bus to the start.

The ‘elite’ experience at Edinburgh is decidedly unelite, as you’re left to fight to leave your bags on the baggage trucks (they’re confused by the elite coloured numbers with surnames on) & there’s no-one to hand last minute kit to on the start line. But… you do get to start up front with plenty of space for warming up unhindered & have easy access to the London Road public toilets for pre-race pit stops! As Niamh & I had been chatting to & warming up with Richard beforehand, he stayed unchallenged in the elite pen – all the better to get a quick, clear start.

With a brief rain shower shortly before the gun, we were nicely cool at the start, even if it did make the roads a touch slippy. Before we knew it, we were sent on our way by the illustrious team of EAC’s own Barry Craighead & the rather more nationally famous Liz Yelling. I had resolved beforehand to attack the race & go for a time, so was determinedly not looking at my mile splits – just as well, as the markers appeared to be somewhat erratic & not to be trusted. Instead, I concentrated on one mile at a time, dug in & just ran.

Despite the size (reported to be around 5,000) of the field, this was to prove to be another somewhat  lonely race. For a few miles I ran (possibly a tad foolishly) with Richard & a small group, although this had splintered by the time we reached the murk of Portobello Prom, with us straggling around in singles, twos & threes. Just after the bridge into Musselburgh, I came up on two other runners as I was passing Ian Gouldie who was taking pictures. He yelled at them to ‘help her out’ & the very gallant Andy Whitworth (not sure which club – purple & green quadrants) took up that challenge & sheltered, shouted & otherwise spurred me on through the remainder of the race – HUGE thanks :0)

Having gone instantly into the lead, I had no idea of the position of the other female competitors until Richard (quite far ahead by this time) shouted that I had a 15sec lead at the 11mile turnaround just by Prestonpans. Feeling fairly weary by this point, I responded as best I could & dug in to keep the momentum going. Still, when Dianne Lauder came past like a train (in a good way) shortly before the 13mile point there was nothing I could do about it and could just grit my teeth to get the best finish possible over the horribly bouncy boards over the grass on the way into the finish line in front of the Grandstand.

To be overtaken at 13miles & be beaten by 9 seconds was somewhat disappointing, but I was delighted to take another 73seconds off my PB to clock up 77:07. Conditions for 1/2 Marathon running were just about perfect – warm, but not too warm, damp & murky in places, with only a light wind, so no excuses. What I learnt today was that I need to start more conservatively in long races to allow me to pick up the pace & finish strongly – look out Dunfermline! This is nicely illustrated by my 35:47 10K split – more than a touch too quick… No matter how much experience you have, there’s always more to learn.

There was a great atmosphere at the finish & I watched Niamh Devlin finish 8th female in 82:52. As I was being interviewed at the time, I didn’t get to congratulate her, or Richard who’d zoomed off after clocking yet another PB. I was also pretty ‘annoyed’ at how difficult it was to get to & find the presentations later. “10 o’clock in front of the grandstand” eventually became (after not a little stress on my part) 10:20ish in the paddock area, tucked away behind another stand, with none of the otherwise excellent race crew knowing where it was. However the tshirts & medals were great and the goody bags had real things you could eat in them, so overall a positive experience.

Thanks also to Colin McGill who was having a lovely time zooming around the course on his bike taking pictures & cheering us all on. It’s always good to have a support team!

I’ll leave our full Marathon runners to report on their mixed fortunes themselves, but I was certainly glad that I wasn’t doing it as the sky had cleared, the sun had come out & it continued to hot up during the day. By the time I’d refuelled & hydrated on a friends excellent tea & scones, got the normal bus home & chilled out in the garden with a picnic, I’d go as far as to say it was distinctly unsuitable for Marathon running!


  • David Webb 64:44
  • Martin Williams 66:24
  • Richard Kay 70:32
  • 5 – Owain Bristow 70:59
  • 12 – Richard Meade 75:54
  • 16(1) – Dianne Lauder (Gala) 76:58
  • 17 – Andy Whitworth (my escort) 77:01
  • 19(2) – Jenny MacLean 77:07
  • 25(3) – Samantha Amend (Belgrave) 79:58
  • 39(8) – Niamh Devlin 82:52
  • 56 Nick Rowan 84:55

Apologies – I know I’ve missed some other EAC runners, but the results aren’t searchable by club & I’m not entirely sure who else was running…

4 thoughts on ““Seaside Rambles (Edinburgh 1/2M)”

  • Garry

    Some of the Marathon results include:
    Callum Reid 2.58.23
    Issy Menzies 3.03.17
    Ken Mortimer 3.12.29
    Dan Clarkson 3.18.59
    Vik Lomax 3.22.54
    Karen Dobbie 3.32.55
    Emma Laverie 3.35.16

  • Issy

    Great report Jenni and congratulations on a gutsy run & a PB. I agree with your comments on the elite status for the Edinburgh races, it all seemed a bit confusing this year!
    I suffered out there yesterday. Any hope of a sub 2.50 and a PB disappeared at around mile 13 when the runners’ best friend, The Stitch, jumped on my back! Maybe the heat/maybe the fact I was trying to take on fluids little & often? Who will know?! It just became about finishing & making sure Mr. Incredible didn’t catch me up!
    Well Done to all those above in Gary’s post – forgive me I have no idea if any of these times are PB’s but think we all did well to be out there and get round!

  • Jenny

    Stitch sounds nasty Issy – 13 miles is a long way to struggle round with a stitch! Definitely well done to you all marathoning, I remember the heat from last year & how difficult it made things all too well, so congrats to everyone – top effort :0)

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