Scotland’s biggest running event was at the heart of a spectacular sporting weekend with more than 30,000 people taking part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
The 12th Edinburgh Marathon which welcomed runners from more than 100 countries set off from the city centre on Sunday to take on the world’s fastest Marathon course.
The elite favourite David Toniok, 30, from Kenya raced to the finish line first to win the 2014 Edinburgh Marathon in 2 hours, 15.33 – only seven seconds off the course record.
Fellow Kenyan athlete Japhet Koech, star of the international best selling running book ‘Running with the Kenyans’, finished second in 2.16.29.
His participation in Edinburgh has been, in part, paid for by crowd funding from within the running community and the Edinburgh Marathon delivery team. Third place was Kenyan Elicky Kipchoge Mase in 2.17.29.
Toniok said: ‘I enjoyed running with the others. Running by the sea was lovely. Edinburgh is such a nice city. I’m happy with my finish time.’
Koech added:‘I felt this was a better run for me than last year. I felt really prepared.’
The fastest female finisher was a very happy Kateryna Stetsenko, 32, from the Ukraine who crossed the Marathon finish line in 2.36.7, finishing ahead of last year’s female winner Risper Kimaiyo from Kenya (2.39.52). Third female finisher was French athlete Adeline Roche (2.47.3)
Kerry Liam Wilson, 43, from Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers, was the first Scot to cross the finish line in 2.28.04.
‘I’ve been averaging about 93 miles a week so I’m happy with a 2:28 finish as I hit a low period in March/April so to come back and finish in this time is good.’
The 2014 Edinburgh Half Marathon was won by Ross Houston, 34, from Central AC who finished in 67.16.
‘A lead pack formed early and we pretty much stayed together most of the way. At the turn at 11 miles, and with the wind, I managed a stronger finish. I’m delighted with my result.’
Ross, who will be taking part in the Glasgow 2014 Marathon commented: ‘There are not many halfs as big as this in the UK ahead of Glasgow 2014 so this was a good choice to run in the lead up to it, especially as I live just outside Edinburgh.’
Antonio Silva, 27, from Queens Park Harriers came second only 27 seconds behind Ross with local lad Max McNeill, 20, from Lothian RC smashing his PB to finish in 68.02.
‘I’m really pleased that I set a new PB here in Edinburgh. I tried to hang in with the lead pack but they pushed an early pace. My legs began to ache so I dropped back a bit but got back in along the coast but Ross kicked in and I couldn’t stay with them. I’m over the moon!’
First female half marathon winner was Gladys Ganiel, 37, North Belfast Harriers in 77.26
Second placed female was Dr Shona Mcintosh, 31, Hunters Bog Trotters in 78.39.
‘Being a local lass I had to run it. I’m so pleased with my time considering the conditions.’
Shona finished just ahead of Scottish running star Hayley Haining, 42, who finished in 79.51.
Hayley took part in the Half Marathon as part of her preparation for the Marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Commenting on her place in the race, Hayley said: ‘The Edinburgh Half Marathon was an ideal race for my build up to the Glasgow 2014 Marathon. It had a fast field and was an ideal opportunity to race on home soil before Glasgow.’
Steven Bonthone, 43, from Perth won an ambitious race against time to complete all FOUR adult races, running a total of 48 miles during the two-day running festival to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Steve said: ‘I ran the 5k and 10k, Half and Full Marathon to honour my dad’s memory who lost his battle with oesophageal cancer in July 2013. He inspired me to take up running and took me along to my first run when I was young.’
The 43 year old who lives in Perth, ran the Half Marathon 93.58 then jumped on a motorbike back into the city centre to join the crowds in the nick of time and then run the Full Marathon. Steve, who on Saturday also completed the EMF 10K in 41.33 and the 5K in 20.39 was exhausted but elated when he finally crossed the finish of the Full Marathon after 4.26.15.
More than 1,500 runners from the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Official Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, took part and together with hundreds of other charities, the organiser of the 12th Marathon are hoping to raise more than £4.5 million.
Entries for the 2015 Edinburgh Marathon Festival which takes place on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 May 2015 opens on Monday 26th May with an early bird discount for everyone who registers before 8 June on the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Website.