Runners from all over the world are preparing to take part in the second Rock ’n’ Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon, with organisers revealing a huge jump in entries.
Race numbers are up by 10 per cent on last year, and organisers of the US running craze say the event – which will see 5000 runners take to the streets of the Capital against a live soundtrack from some of Scotland’s best up-and-coming bands – will bring a welcome boost to the city’s economy.
Bands including headline act Franco will perform at each mile point along the charity race route, culminating in an explosive festival finish-line party for race runners and supporters.
Around 700 runners – 15 per cent – are from abroad, coming from as far afield as Australia, Argentina, Singapore, and Ecuador.
Event director Shannon Davis said: “We’re really excited to be back in Edinburgh.
“Everyone had such a great experience last year and this year it’s become even more popular through word of mouth.
“We listened to the feedback and changed the race format so that all the race numbers will be mailed, meaning you don’t have to come and pick them up anymore, I think people really appreciate that change.
“Our medals are really popular items and when people started taking photographs of them and sharing them the race just went viral.”
The Rock ’n’ Roll half marathon originated in San Diego in 1998 and is the world’s largest running series, attracting over 500,000 runners each year with its “rock meets running” concept.
Since then Competitor Group has rolled out the race across Madrid, Lisbon, and Nice with the first Rock ’n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon set to follow on August 5, 2013.
The event will start and finish in Holyrood Park, making a loop around the city centre through the Meadows, the Mound, the Queen’s Palace at Holyrood, and the Scottish Parliament building, then on to the final stretch which leads down the Royal Mile.
Shannon said: “Edinburgh is the perfect backdrop for the race.
“Because the race takes you right through the city centre anyone entering from overseas has a great opportunity to see the city in its entirety.
“We have had great support from the community with independents such as Run 4 It and Red Dog Music really getting behind the race along with our hotel partners at Apex Hotels and Macdonald Holyrood.
“It really is a unique atmosphere and people coming from far and wide are really excited to be there.”
Cancer Research UK is the official charity for the Rock ’n’ Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon, which will also support Scottish charities including the Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, the Anthony Mundell Memorial Foundation and Children 1st.
Rock ’n’ Roll’s US based charity partner Team in Training will also have 45 Canadian runners flying in to take part in the race while raising money for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society.