|Edinburgh Marathon Review
Edinburgh Marathon Festival took place over the 26th and 27th May weekend. The 5k and 10k were on the Saturday and the Half and Full Marathon took part on the Sunday. There was a real buzz in the city all weekend, shops, restaurants and hotels were asking, “are you up for the marathon? Have you done it before? And looks like its going to be a hot one!”
This year I was doing the Marathon, something I was rather nervous about, because last year I entered and trained for it, then 3 weeks before got a bad in injury with my ITB, this came out of nowhere and totally flawed me being able to run. So this year being able to run it meant allot!
The morning starts early; up at 6am, breakfast at 7am. My breakfast before a race is at least 2 hours before I go. I find porridge with banana, raisins and honey the best thing to sustain me, as well as plenty of liquid. This year it was seriously hot, so I was very conscious of my hydration, heat is my least favourite weather to me running in.
The race started at 10am and they suggested we get there by 9am to find our way around and to become familiar from where we start from, as the race is pretty large with 12’500 taking part they split you into ‘starting pens’.
When everyone is at the start in the pens the environment is electric! You can feel the runners next to you nervous and excited in one, the music is coming over the speakers and the ‘starter’ is getting the crowd going. When the horn goes the runners go silent with concentration but the crowd starts clapping. Once over the start line you can see around you the runners start to relax as they get into their rhythm.
The route of this year’s course was beautiful for a road marathon. When I studied the route map before taking part I thought it was going to pretty much out and back on the same road, actually it wasn’t. Yes in parts we where on the same road but it was not uninteresting, and the crowds along the route were brilliant. Wherever we went through residential areas people were out with there hosepipes cooling us down, sweets were being handed out, some residents even set up water-stations as extras! Although in previous years Edinburgh marathon has had problems with water stations, this year was not one of them. They were very good! Water stations were every 3 miles, little bottles, then from 16 miles they had high 5 gels been given out too. My technique was drink half a bottle of water and tip the other half down my back at each station, this worked a treat in keeping me cooler! The nutrition I had with me was highly concentrated Zero electrolyte, because I knew it was going to be hot, and Shot Bloks, this combination seemed to do the trick nicely.
Although I managed to keep hydrated ok the one thing which seemed impossible was getting sunburnt, even though I put loads of sunscreen on beforehand. One of the things that made the course so lovely was the thing that also made the course so bad for getting burnt. We ran along the coastal path for quite a few miles where there was sea and sand on one side and not much on the other side. The course had very little protection from the sun, shaded areas were few, running next to the coast for the majority of the marathon did give a nice breeze though, and this helped tremendously in the heat!
Towards the end of the course from about 22 miles the crowds seemed to double in size, they really pushed you along you couldn’t help but smile! At 24 miles the buzz of being nearly home keeps you running, your mind wants to go faster but your legs REALLY DON’T! At 26.2 miles I crossed the finish line, unable to believe I’ve managed to run in that heat, legs which will hardly hold me up,
I take my shoes and socks off...No blisters, No sores, I still have toe-nails... I LOVE my 1080’s and Groundhog Socks!
Happy running and a Happy runner ;)
Gilly Wright Manager Up & Running Leeds Central