Athletics: Houston eyes Edinburgh Marathon as 2014 marker

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Both Scottish 5k road race champions Ross Houston (Central) and Keira Murray (Lasswade) will move up to challenge in the Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon in the Capital on Sunday.

Houston, whose best marathon time is 2:21.05, wants to put down a marker for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, for which the standard is 2:19.0, even though the qualifying period has not started yet. He was delighted with his recent performance at Silverknowes, where he took the Scottish 5k title in 14:35.

He said: “I’m pleased with that victory as I’m just coming to the end of a long period of marathon training. The Glasgow 2014 marathon is something I’ve been thinking about and I want to use this year to see what’s achievable.”

“I haven’t run a marathon since Loch Ness last autumn but hopefully Edinburgh will be a decent marker. It’s a good course but a lot can depend on the wind.”

Murray, younger sister of multi Scottish distance champion Freya, is better known as an international triathlete but is rapidly developing an equally strong reputation as a distance runner and has already represented Scotland in a Home Nations event.

Her more than respectable winning time of 16:50 at Silverknowes was good enough to see off Freya’s formidable clubmate Jennifer MacLean and Sarah Inglis (Lothian).

“I was delighted to win as it was a good race and Jenny was pushing me really hard just behind – it was great preparation for the Edinburgh Half,” said the Scottish Government statistician.

Though this year’s marathon route is largely the same, spectators who want to watch the finish need to go to Pinkie Park, Musselburgh, rather than Musselburgh Racecourse. The half marathon starts at Regent Road at 8am and the full marathon at London Road (9.50am).