THOUSANDS of runners will be doing their final stretches today in preparation for the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run.
More than 8000 entrants are expected to take part tomorrow, in a range of events such as the traditional Bupa Great Edinburgh Run 10k, the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run 5k and the Bupa Junior and Mini Great Edinburgh Runs.
Among the runners will be Scotland and Team GB’s leading marathon runner, Freya Murray, who is aiming to become Scotland’s first winner of the event just a week after getting married.
Freya, 28, who offered tips and advice to a group of pupils from Merchiston Castle School yesterday, said: “I’m delighted to be returning to my home town to compete and I can’t wait to get out there. I’m aiming to give it my all and give what is always a fantastic home crowd their first local winner of the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run.”
Niamh Waldron, head of Merchiston Juniors, said: “It’s really inspiring to have an Olympic athlete visit the school to help the boys prepare for their run. It’s a great day out, fantastic atmosphere and a good way to raise money for charity.”
Freya will be joined by Scotland’s leading male marathon runner Andrew Lemoncello, who is flying home to Scotland from Flagstaff, Arizona, to compete in the 10k event.
Also on the start line will be Stuart Stokes, who wore a Team GB vest in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the London Games.
Other well-known faces taking part in the event are John Michie, who currently plays Karl Monro in Coronation Street; Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in Emmerdale; and Michelin-star chef Tom Kitchin and his team from The Kitchin. Mr Kitchin is also the honorary starter of the run.
The action starts with the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run 5k at 9.30am, followed by the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run 10k at 10.15am and the Bupa Junior and Mini Great Edinburgh Runs taking place in the afternoon from 1pm. All events start and finish in Holyrood Park.
Motorists are being warned to plan ahead as a key motorway junction on the outskirts of the Capital undergoes a major revamp as part of the Forth Replacement Crossing project. Several roads within the city will also be closed as a result of the event.
The £25 million overhaul at junction 1a of the M9 near Kirkliston will take place over the next six weekends, with airport-bound vehicles and those travelling into the city from the west affected.
Road chiefs expect average delays of 30 minutes, with motorists being held up by as much as an hour during the busiest periods.
5am-3.30pm: Duke’s Walk, Horse Wynd, Queen’s Drive between Holyrood Gait and Horse Wynd, Holyrood Gait at its junction with Queen’s Drive
8.30am-1.15pm: Canongate, New Street from East Market Street to Canongate, Abbeyhill From Canongate to Abbeymount, Abbey Mount, Regent Road, Carlton Terrace Brae, Waterloo Place from Regent Road to outside number 29, Abbey Strand, North Approach
9.45am-12.30pm: Dalkeith Road from East Preston Street to its junction with St Leonard’s Street, St Leonard’s Street, Pleasance, St Mary’s Street, Cowgate at its junction with St Mary’s Street/The Pleasance