Lord Provost completes London Marathon

The Lord Provost after the marathon
The Lord Provost after the marathon
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HE may have only started running three years ago, but now the city’s Lord Provost is a marathon machine, after he smashed his record time in London.

Councillor Donald Wilson completed the 26-mile epic route through the city in just under five hours, as well as raising more than £4000 for charity.

He said it was a “tremendous experience” and hailed the Edinburgh Marathon Festival for getting him into running initially.

Minutes after crossing the finishing line, Cllr Wilson told the Evening News he was “running in London for Edinburgh”.

“If someone says running a marathon is easy they are lying, I’m exhausted and my legs are really sore,” he said.

“I’m very pleased that I beat the time it took me to complete it last year, but it was challenging. It’s absolutely fantastic, the crowds have just been amazing – they definitely help to spur you on.

“I had my name on my t-shirt and people I didn’t even know were shouting at me, telling me I could do it.”

All donations raised will be donated to his One City Trust Rapid Action Fund.

This charity helps fight inequality in Edinburgh and has provided emergency funds to local organisations such as Get2Gether and Bridge8, which provides a gateway to Edinburgh’s outdoors to support disadvantaged young people.

Wearing his trademark ‘chain’ of office running gear, he added: “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me every step of the way – literally. It has certainly been worth it.

Councillor Wilson was just one of hundreds who travelled from Edinburgh to take part in the historic event.

Edinburgh Leisure employee Heather Duff, 29, from Winchburgh, completed the run in four hours and 45 minutes.

She said: “I’m so overwhelmed I’ve managed to complete it, it’s been such an experience.”

Organisers of the event said more than 39,000 people were due at the start line for the 36th London marathon, which saw its one millionth competitor cross the finish line.

Among the celebrities taking part were double Olympic winner Dame Kelly Holmes, Top Gear host Chris Evans and Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer.

British astronaut Tim Peake may have in space but he claimed a new Guinness World Records title for the fastest marathon in orbit.

The spaceman, who ran the marathon while strapped to a treadmill 400km above earth on board the International Space Station, completed it in three hours and 35 minutes – just minutes behind Dame Kelly’s finish time of three hours and 11 minutes.

Major Peake had sent a good luck video message to racegoers as they set off on a chilly but bright day, with supporters lining London’s streets.

Councillor Wilson added: “One of my highlights of the day was hearing spectators cheering for all the different charities – it was really nice.”

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk