schoolgirl Caitlyn Vanbeck is gearing up for the “biggest gig of my life” as she prepares to kick off the Capital’s first ever Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.
Last year’s 14-year-old Edinburgh’s Got Talent winner will perform Flower of Scotland in front of more than 5000 competitors before they head out on a 13-mile city centre course featuring a live band or DJ at every mile along the way.
The Ross High School pupil, who lives in Tranent, said: “I’m really excited and can’t wait to perform. I’ve been practising the song non-stop so I’m not too nervous about the performance.
“The organisers approached me and I was only too happy to say yes, it’s easily the biggest gig of my life.
“I’ve always liked Flower of Scotland but never sung it live before. I’m looking forward to belting it out and hopefully the competitors will join in.”
Asked whether she’d considered taking to the course herself, she said: “No, I can’t run but I can sing alright.”
The race proper will begin when city council festivals champion Steve Cardownie fires the starting pistol.
He said: “The Edinburgh Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon promises to be a very exciting new fixture in the Capital’s events calendar.”
Also taking part in the event are Edinburgh-born BBC weather girl Cat Cubie and Miss Scotland Jennifer Reoch and organisers are urging competitors to embrace the rock ‘n’ roll spirit by dressing up as musical icons.
Shannon Davies, marketing manager for the event, said: “We’re so excited that race day is almost here and we can’t wait to rock Edinburgh this weekend. We’re delighted to have Caitlyn on board.
“We’ve got an amazing line-up of bands and I think the atmosphere will be electric.”
A free Fitness Festival offering competitors the chance to pick up any last-minute running essentials and stragglers a chance to sign up will be held in Holyrood Park this Saturday from 10am to 7pm.
There will also be seminars with running enthusiast and BBC presenter Bryan Burnett while Athlete’s Angels will be on hand offering massages.
Organisers believe the event bring in £4 million for the city.
A number of road closures will be in place on Sunday, with severe delays expected in London Road at Meadowbank between 8.30am and 9.30am; Seafield Road East between 9am and 10.45am; Portobello High Street between 9am and 11am and Milton Road West between 9am and 11.30am.