Edinburgh Marathon and Half, 29th May 2022
The Edinburgh running festival has races at various distances over the weekend, and it is incredibly popular with runners from both north and south of the border. A number of Claremonters made the trip this year to run in the half or full marathon. Laurie Johnson ran in the half and sends this report of the day:
“This was by far the largest event I’ve participated in my nascent running career. A little shy of 10,000 competitors finished the half marathon, with 40,000 taking part in all events across the Marathon Festival weekend.
The sheer scale was apparent early on. With 15 minutes to gun time, the baggage trucks were still swamped with frantic runners, and toilet queues snaked out across the foothills beneath Arthur’s Seat.
Once the race started, everything was about as perfect as one could could’ve wished for. It was overcast, but the temperature was cool, not cold, with almost no wind, and a course elevation that was 90% flat or downhill.
The early going saw us coasting down the historic Royal Mile, followed by a nice out-and-back loop beneath Salisbury Crags (there might have been some sunshine at this point, too!)
After a pleasant stroll through suburban streets, miles 5-8 took us down the coast towards Mussleburgh, with gorgeous ocean views providing a lovely backdrop for the cheers from the spectators lining the esplanade.
Back inland, the final 3-4 miles consisted of another seemingly endless out-and-back loop, allowing a glimpse into the future as faster runners hared past in the opposite direction, scenting the finish line.
The musical encouragement and ‘motivational’ signs (‘naked strippers next mile’, ‘do it for the Strava kudos’) seemed to increase on this final stretch.
From a personal perspective, the race went better than I could’ve dreamed. Managed to nail the pacing, so that by mile 10, I realised that I only had to maintain my level to get under 1:40:00, and I had plenty left in the tank to actually pick up the pace slightly.
I imagine the extremely kind elevation played a big part, but I found the run to be very enjoyable, a world away from the hellish slog that was the Gateshead Half at the start of the month. An 8 minute improvement told its own story.
Despite some difficulty communicating via WhatsApp (due to everyone and their dog attempting to upload to Strava post-race, no doubt), the 3 Claremonters (& Lena’s mum) managed to meet up to swap stories and take some photos.
Everyone was ecstatic with their performance, and agreed it’d been an incredibly successful mission.
Even a long walk and queue for the shuttle buses, and a spell spent sitting in traffic on the bypass, couldn’t dampen our spirits. The sun even came out to allow us to bask victoriously in its glow.”