Hillory Davis insists flying half-way around the world to defend her title in tomorrow’s Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run has been worth the upheaval for the sake of a trip down memory lane.
The Australian will go for a repeat win in the 10 mile Capital event in tandem with husband Dan Wallis who is also looking to match his victory of 12 months ago.
Back then, the pair – who met while at university in Colorado – were unwed but made up their mind to make it official during a whirlwind visit to Scotland’s capital.
But with Davis starting a nursing degree in her native Canberra and Wallis shuttling between London and the Netherlands to chase success on the European circuit this summer, the Edinburgh trip is a rare chance for both to coincide.
“It is a little hard,” she confirmed. “When it really came down to it, he almost didn’t go to Europe when I was going back to Australia. But you know it could all be gone the next day.
“You could step into a pothole, break your ankle and be out for months. He got an offer to come to Holland to race for some decent appearances fees but I almost had to convince him to it.
“We go with where our passion is and I kept telling him this wouldn’t be forever. Our plan is to be together for our whole lives so for me, I didn’t want him to give this cool opportunity up, even though he was feeling quite guilty because we just got married.”
With thousands of runners expected to descend on Holyrood Park where the annual event starts and finishes, Wallis will be clear favourite to repeat his triumph in the men’s race with the New Zealander a possible threat to Scotland’s stellar trio of Callum and Derek Hawkins and Tsegai Tewelde if he qualifies for next April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
“He wants to get another good marathon no matter what he does,” Davis confirmed. “I’m not sure if Commonwealth Games is going to happen because the New Zealand standards are really strange and their athletics team only has 19 spots. So he will aim for it and see what he can do.”
Tewelde will be among the Scots aiming for Commonwealth and World Championship spots in tomorrow’s London Marathon with Fife AC’s Andrew Lemoncello flying in from the USA to compete at the event for the first time since 2011.