Meadows marathon, Edinburgh, 4 March 2012

This afternoon saw the first running of a new addition to the Scottish marathon scene, the Meadows Marathon in Edinburgh. The idea of two Edinburgh students to raise funds for charitable causes, there has a been a fun run and a half marathon in previous years. However this year included the 26.2 miles for the first time.

Organised by students from the University, the course ran alongside the half marathon, 7 laps of the Meadows park & Bistro Square for the 13.1 milers & 15 laps of the same route for the marathoners.

Registration was held at the ‘Potterrow Dome’ in the southside of the city, & was well organised and efficient.

At 1225, after a pre-race gentle aerobic workout, the races commenced. My first Scottish marathon was underway. I ran this event as a long training run prior to the Madrid Marathon next month.

The 15 laps were easy to follow, with stewards from the Uni giving noisy encouragement to the participants as well as directing the runners. However there was a sting in the tail. The laps in the park were straightforward enough, but the cobblestones up to Bistro Square & back down again, 2 per lap, were a real shock to the system. And painful too.

Throughout the course, a real effort was made to add to the atmosphere, with live music in the square, and the Uni blasting out songs from their PA system. Also, loads of encouragement from the crowds of spectators. There was also live music in the park, though the performers did a runner during a hailstorm.

15 laps sounds rather repetitive, but I quite enjoyed it! There was no hidden surprises (apart from the cobblestones) and you knew what to expect in the latter stages.

The only other grumble was the distance of the race. 26.87 miles is the longest marathon I’ve ever ran. I was led to believe 26.2 miles was the norm. To be fair, the organisers did say this in an e-mail issued, due to the logistics of the course.

I ran the event in 3:34:55/8 minutes per mile, so in summary a good workout. No medal to the finishers. Just a cerificate and an awful ‘goodie bag’ full of leaflets.

I would recommend this event. It is excellent preparation for the London or Edinburgh marathons, and its good to run the distance psychologically prior to these events.

However, it is essential the organisers sort out the distance aspect. Why not put the finish line in the park? On a lighter note, why not tarmac over those cobblestones?

Report from Mark