Edinburgh ‘Virtual’ Marathon Festival: Who’s Taking Part and Who For?

At this time of the year many residents of Edinburgh would be lacing up their running shoes and heading towards Bristo Square, the starting line of the Edinburgh Marathon.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 6:50 pm

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This year is unlike any other as coronavirus has dashed many eager runners’ dreams of winding through the streets of Edinburgh with many other running fanatics and crossing the finishing line of the marathon at Gosford House.

As an alternative the EMF (Edinburgh Marathon Festival) have given runners the opportunity to choose their own route, where to do it and when to do it.

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Marathon man Simon Davies

Although this year’s marathon is virtual, this hasn’t stopped runners up and down the country from raising money for charities that benefit the community. I caught up with a few people who are taking part in the Edinburgh Virtual Marathon Festival this weekend.

Simon Davies – Marathon:

Simon will be running the full marathon and will be raising money for the Edinburgh based charity, Make Seconds Count. This is a charity that has patients across the United Kingdom which dedicates itself to focussing on families and giving hope to women and men living with secondary breast cancer.

Pre-run stretch for Beth Hadden

Simon took up running at the start of the coronavirus pandemic after he and his dance business ‘Simon Says Dance’ were put on Furlough. In no time at all Simon took part in the Couch to 5K, like many of us to keep fit, and from then on he was hooked on running.

Beth Hadden – Marathon:

Beth took up running for exercise to keep fit and which of course benefits her and so many other runners’ mental health. Like other running enthusiasts in Edinburgh who are taking part in the Marathon, Beth will be sticking to the Edinburgh area on her marathon run starting at South Queensferry, taking a turn at Musselburgh, and finishing at Arthur’s Seat. Beth will be raising money for the charity Rape Crisis Scotland.

Jessica Cleland – Half Marathon:

Half marathon - Jessica Cleland

Jessica took up running after a good friend of hers convinced her to take up walking marathons. This then led to Jessica to her love of running and then running marathons and also joining the Edinburgh Napier University Athletics team which she became captain of. Jessica will be running her half marathon for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Grant Robertson – Half Marathon:

Grant started running due to his mental health declining. Since realising he needed a change he started off with Couch to 5K, he then took part in the Movember challenge raking up 317km and 50 miles for Doddie Aid.

However, Grant will be raising money in this particular race for SAMH a charity dedicated to helping the people of Scotland’s mental health. Grant recently graduated from Edinburgh Napier University and will be running the half marathon in his home town of Glasgow and will be starting and finishing at the West of Scotland RFC.

Half a marathon for Grant Robertson

Clare Moceivei – Half Marathon:

Clare is an A&E nurse, she started running last January with We Run Edinburgh and took up running for her mental health.

Clare will be running her first half marathon and in the true spirit of a virtual race she will not be running it alone as in Tønsberg, over 500 miles in Norway, her auntie Eleanor shall be metaphorically running alongside her. They will both be raising money for the Edinburgh based charity Make Seconds Count. This charity is particularly close to Clare’s heart as she lost her mother to breast cancer in September of 2019.

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There's Norway that Clare Moceivei won't be finishing