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Edinburgh Marathon Race Report - Paul Reed

I did it..... nearly 4 years after my last marathon due to lockdown and one DNF, I've got the bling again.

Today really wasn't about time, it was about the grit and determination to see out those last 5/6 miles, to prove to myself mainly I can still do it..

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is an interesting thing... in so many ways it shouldn't work but it seems to.

The 5k/10k on Saturday are on silly hilly routes, the half starts in the middle of the night on Sunday and as somebody put it today, it's the Ryanair of marathons with only the first 5 miles actually in Edinburgh. The rest are through East Lothian villages on a soulless coast road than then turns around and comes back along that same road.

BUT, I never expected so much crowd support, Portobello beach is awash with charity cheer stations and gets you to that all important 6/7 mile distance so it's less than 20 to go. Musselburgh is mobbed with half marathon finishers out supporting with their work done and beers in hand! It's early enough that passing the finishing line is not too painful and you can't actually see it. (Budapest runs under the finish gantry at mile 18)

The out and back is more scenic than I thought it was going to be and the country estate thing at the turn is quite pretty and shady today in the trees which was nice.

All the little villages have plenty of support, the residents don't seem to mind literally being trapped in their houses... jelly babies, garden hose showers, even ice lollies were offered up.

GSI the company that runs EMF is definitely in it to make money, however the organisation is really good... I have the good fortune to have a top notch supporting wife, who is happy to drive as close to the start as possible, drop me off then find random car parks near the finish and stand for 4 hours, so I don't have to worry about the most difficult part of EMF and getting back from the finish.

How was your actual race you say.... I'm bored now....

It wasn't either my fastest or slowest marathon, but the reality is I've done a 20, 18 and 15 mile training run with maybe 4/5 12/13 milers. So overall it was exactly what I would expect, nice even sub 9 min miles to half way in about 1:53ish. Then some slowing to mile 20 and a well used walk/run strategy for the last 6 miles..

Just literally checking now and I was 5 seconds under the time for a Copper club standard so that's a bonus, (I didn't check before)

And even in 3 days time when I move up an age category it's not bronze and still copper so I think a good result overall.

It was hot for Scotland, and I think it's fair to say all the DRR's were maybe 10 mins or so slower than possibly planned.. but everyone I've spoken to is happy enough with their races.

And there it is, Dundee Road Runners, the real reason I run, what a great bunch of people, from training runs, to passing the time with when you have 40 mins to kill before the start of race.

I'm sure it won't be my last marathon... but I think I'll be back on the Ultra trails next, once I've properly upped the miles again. (Shh don't tell Nicola Reed I said that...)

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