Great Edinburgh Run Report 2017
The Great Edinburgh Run is one of my favourite races. It’s my fourth consecutive year completing the run. I may be a little biased, as I live in Edinburgh, but the route is a scenic hilly run through the heart of this wonderful city.
Sunday, I woke up feeling fresh after a good night’s sleep. I had my usual pre-race breakfast (porridge, blueberries and golden syrup / honey) and left the house. I’m fortunate to live close to the race and walked to the start line, meeting my friend Tiffany along the way. The sun was shining and I then realised I forgot my sunglasses. It was too late to go home to retrieve them, the same error I made last year!
We managed to get to the start line with a few minutes to spare and joined in the group warm up. We were in separate waves and parted ways. This year the run had a shorter five-mile route as well as the usual ten-miler. The short run had an earlier start at 9.30am and 10.10am for the longer route. We were penned in our waves on the grass and when the start was ready, moved onto the road. I found this difficult to work out how to get near to the front and ended up nearly at the back.
I had no plan or time in mind for this race… my training has been focused towards long distance, keeping heart rate low and slower pace for Celtman (think Duracell bunny). I decided I would just run how I felt on the day, practice pacing and try and get close to last years’ time.
My start wasn’t great, the first couple of miles I was running around other competitors. The roads and paths in this section are quite narrow and it was hard to pass. Once I got to the first hill up the royal mile from the Scottish Parliament building, many runners started to space out and slow pace so I was able to get pass and settle into my own race.
After the first hill, I was so relieved that I decided to wear shorts instead of tights, the sun was shining and I was already feeling hot. The course no longer goes along Princes Street up the mound. Instead you go up Market Street, a steep hill by the mound. To make up the extra distance, the race now has loop through the meadows. My friend Eilidh was cheering me on at this stage, it was great to see a friendly face.
The half way point mile five goes through Grassmarket, lots of supporters and bemused tourist were cheering and clapping everyone on. I felt really good at this point, I looked down at my watch and I was keeping 7min 15secs pace I decided to try and keep this pace. I knew the next hill would be tough, it’s a steep start followed by a long incline up The Pleasance to the Royal Commonwealth pool. I got to the mile six sign and looked at my watch 44minutes.
After the long incline of mile six, you are rewarded with couple of miles downhill along the railway path to Duddingston village. I kept my pace steady, ready for the last hill of the course. From Duddingston village, the hill commences with wonderful views across South Edinburgh. At this point a few fellow runners around me started flagging and I encouraged them to keep going.
The last mile is downhill with a short flat dash to the finish. I just let my legs go and ran my fastest mile on my Strava! I finished strong with a sprint finish to the line.
My time; 1 hour 12minutes 5seconds, a personal best, 1min 35secs quicker than last year. Not much difference but last year I really pushed it and felt it! This year I finished feeling fresh, comfortable and I felt I could have run further after the race. I was pleasantly surprised I was 11th Female overall and 8th in my female age group.
Tiffany also did really well, with a personal best. We celebrated after by having a roast dinner and a catch up!
The Great Edinburgh run again this year was well organised, with a good atmosphere and well supported along most of the course. This year I noticed they stopped the iconic bagpipers at each mile, I missed them and also the finisher’s bag didn’t have any solid food just water and a yoghurt breakfast drink. I need some sort of substance after a race. Overall I would definitely recommend this race, hopefully next year I can get below 1 hour 10mins.