Great runs!

Yesterday was my longest run in preparation for Edinburgh marathon, it was a 24.20 mile run which turned out to be quite an undulating route.

I normally head out for my long run on a Sunday morning but due to marshaling at the Bupa Great 10 mile run in Edinburgh today I headed out yesterday. Edinburgh AC usually get 20+ athletes volunteering around the city for the Bupa races and a number of the usual Sunday run squad were also marshaling. 5 of us ended up going for a run yesterday to make sure we got our long run in. I ran from the flat at 8am to meet the rest of them at 9am outside "The Brig" at Cramond. 

The planned route was 16 miles and with my 8 miles to get to "The Brig" I was all set for a 24 mile run with company. 

Running through Dalmeny estate wasn't as flat as I had imagined, it made for some interesting sections where I just told the others I would see them at the top of the climbs but I surprisingly was taking on the climbs without too much of a problem. After the estate we dropped down in to South Queensferry and then climbed back up on to the Forth Road bridge. It was a bit breezy heading over to Fife but coming back towards Edinburgh wasn't too bad. 

The tough work started as we had to climb back out of South Queensferry up Hawes Brae at mile 21, it reminded me of running the Loch Ness marathon all over again! 

With only a couple of miles to go I could see the end was close and I just put one foot forward and tried to catch up with the others who had gradually pulled away from me on the climbs. 

Finishing at one of the guys homes, 24.20 miles clicked up on my watch and I was glad it was over but to be honest, I wasn't feeling too bad. I reckon if the last 2 miles had been ahead of me I would have managed to pull the pace back a bit and get the legs moving again but the aim for the run was simple, get out for approx 3 hours and take it easy. Both aims were achieved. Finished in 2:54.19 which would be a dream result for Edinburgh in 4 weeks time!

BUPA Great Edinburgh 10 mile run. 

A great day for a race today, but I wasn't up bright and early to race. I was on marshaling duties at West Port as part of the Edinburgh AC marshaling team down towards the Grassmarket. 

I like marshaling as a way of giving something back. I've ran numerous races over the years and I used to think all the marshals were staff brought in by the race organisers, I didn't realise that many of the folk standing on the sides of the roads with official jackets on are actually just fellow runners, volunteering their time in exchange for a packed lunch and a donation made to their running club. This year I've volunteering for both Bupa races, the first being the Great Winter 5k race and then today the 10 mile race. 

It always amazes me at the wide range of runners who take part in these events. You go from the elite who run the 10 miles in sub 50mins to those who take a number of hours to get around the roads of Edinburgh.

Clapping each and every one of them and getting high fives, a nod of thanks or an out of breath shout back from some makes it all worthwhile. 

Highlights of the day?

Got to meet Freya Ross, unfortunately she was injured and just needed to borrow my phone to call her husband. I wish her a speedy recovery! I got a "Thanks marshal!" from Byran Burnett (@bryanb1965) and I got told to stop clapping by a disgruntled - hung over - resident of West Port who I had supposedly woken up! She told me to move away from under her window and clap somewhere else because "It's a Sunday morning!". It did make me laugh!

I tried to cheer on those of you that I know and spotted but it's really difficult to spot faces in the masses. I hope you all had a fantastic day! I certainly enjoyed myself. 

If you get the chance, I highly recommend volunteering at these races or even your local weekly parkrun. These races, no matter what size, can't go ahead without the necessary number of marshals to insure the safe running of the event.

So, next time you run a race, no matter how tired you feel, please give a quick shout to the marshals who are standing at the sides supporting you. 


Owain Williams

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