THEY have trained tirelessly for months on end, spending hours running around their local parks and dedicating more time to the treadmill than they ever have before.
But now the time has come for thousands of runners all over the country to put their training to the test and participate in tomorrow’s Great Edinburgh Run.
Taking both experienced and non-experienced athletes on a scenic tour of the city, the ten-mile route winds round some of the Capital’s most iconic landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, Greyfriars Bobby and the Scott Monument.
The event, which will see more than 5000 people take to Edinburgh’s streets, is now in its third year and is the perfect stepping-stone distance between a 10k route and a half-marathon.
For the first time, the Family Mile and Toddler Dash will also get under way in Holyrood Park, where the main event will begin and end. A spokeswoman for the Great Run Company said: “There is an option to suit a huge range of ages and abilities at the Great Edinburgh Run.
“This is the only fully city centre ten-mile running event in Edinburgh so our participants will be treated to a fantastic tour of some historic and iconic sites within the Capital and we’re looking forward to welcoming all our runners.”
Some famous faces will be appearing at the event, including Dan Wallis, a New Zealander from the Commonwealth team, who will be participating in the race.
Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in ITV soap opera Emmerdale, will also be attending to act as the honorary starter.
In between events, the Great Run Company has said there is plenty to keep runners and spectators busy, warm and well-fed in the event village, with numerous exhibitor stands and local caterers offering everything from pre-run porridge to soup and risotto.
Alisdair Lawrie, 52, will be just one of the participants running in tomorrow’s race. The father-of-three, from Bathgate, lost his leg in a motorbike accident 16 years ago, and has since been gearing up to participate in his first long-distance event with a running blade.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to the event and I’m hoping to finish at a half-decent pace.
“I would always encourage anyone who might have been in an accident or had an experience similar to myself to never give up.
“I’d always been a keen runner and I’m so glad I’ve been able to get back into it again.”
Tomorrow, the Great Run Company has said runners will be motivated by breathtaking views, cheering crowds and bagpipers ticking off each mile.
A rock band, brass musicians and drummers are also among the line-up, as well as cheering points and a Capital FM disco underneath George IV Bridge.
For friends and family who are there to spectate, free wi-fi will be available to all at the start/finish area in Holyrood Park.
The aim of this is to allow runners to upload their finish-line selfies and tell their friends and family how well they did on the day.
Hannah Lithgow, 25, who lives in Slateford, is another participant.
She will be taking part to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.
Her father was diagnosed with the condition eight years ago and, ever since, she has been doing all she can to raise funds for the cause. To stand out at events, Hannah dresses herself up as an orange traffic cone and has said she is looking forward to putting her costume on tomorrow.
She said: “When I was deciding what kind of hat to get for my fundraising events, it was either a traffic cone hat or a Finding Nemo one because orange is the colour of the charity – but I went for the traffic cone.
“I’m really looking forward to the Great Edinburgh Run, it will be lovely to run round the city’s landmarks.
Yesterday, the city council revealed a slight, last-minute change to the event route, which will begin at 9.30am tomorrow morning.
Instead of participants running through Princes Street Gardens, they will now be diverted on to Market Street, due to city council staff installing new lighting in the Gardens.
• Run number
Make sure you have filled in the back of your number with your details.
• Safety pins
Bring spares just in case but the customer services team will have some available for emergencies on the day.
• A spare bottle of water to sip at the start
There will also be bottled water available in case you need more.
• Travel plans for the day
Allow plenty of time to get there.
• Download the Great Run app
It’s available on iTunes or Google Play Store.
• Pack your bag the night before
With spare clothes, attach your baggage label (attached to your run number) and any other essential items you need. Also, make sure that you don’t leave any valuables in your bags.
• Read through your downloadable Runner’s Guide
This contains maps, travel advice, baggage information and more.
• Sign up to receive your results via social media.
More information at greatrun.org/social
• Make arrangements to meet your family and friends.
The finish is a busy place so keep an eye out for the flying banners with letters of the alphabet on them.