Bands on the run star in a rock’n’roll race

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CRANKING up the volume of favourite tunes during a workout is a tried and tested way to get the blood pumping.

But 13 live bands playing on a running route is sure to add a bit of extra buzz for those after a rock and run challenge.

Edinburgh is set to become the first UK city to stage a “Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon”, boosting the local economy by up to £10 million as thousands of runners from all over the world descend on the capital.

Next April, runners are invited to don wigs, sequins and guitars as they tackle the 13.1-mile party throughout the city.

Runners are free to stop for a bop and some water at every mile point, before taking on the next step in the race.

The set list, which has not yet been decided, promises to include local bands, plus a top national act at the finish line.

The marathon will be brought to the UK for the first time by the US-based Competitor Group, which came up with the unique concept in San Diego in 1998.

Similar events throughout America attract more than 350,000 runners a year and participants have raised more than £161 million for charity over the years. Runners don’t have to dress up, but a rebellious sense of style is welcome.

More than 10,000 people are expected to travel from all over the globe to take part.

The event is set to replace the existing ADT Edinburgh Half Marathon that has taken place in the city each April. It will be officially re-branded as the Rock’n’Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion, said: “The Rock’n’Roll Marathon series is very well established in the USA and it’s a real honour for Edinburgh to have been selected as the first UK city to host it.

“The fact that it has come to Edinburgh first is a fantastic indication of our sterling reputation as a world-leading events destination – our ‘can-do’ attitude and spectacular backdrop are the ideal ingredients for a highly successful event.”

Scott Dickey, President of The Competitor Group, said: “We are pleased to announce our newest destination of the Rock’n’Roll Marathon Series in Edinburgh.

“Under the grand backdrop of the city’s momentous castles and iconic history, we will create an event weekend experience unlike any other. This partnership will provide new opportunities for partners to reach the United Kingdom’s vast number of affluent participants in the running sector.”

Lucy Bird, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, added: “This is a coup for Edinburgh as the half marathon attracts profile and economic return. It also sounds as if it’s going to be a huge amount of fun.”

vraimes@edinburghnews.com