Bumper weekend of athletics for Edinburgh AC runners in the Capital

A bumper weekend of athletics in the Capital saw the Scottish 5km championships held at the Cramond promenade last Friday evening, followed by the historic Edinburgh to North Berwick 20-mile race on Saturday morning, and then the Bluebell Trail Run at Dalkeith Country park on Sunday, in aid of youth support charity MYPAS.

Some 700 athletes from all over Scotland toed the start line at a breezy Cramond for the fast and furious national 5km championships. The out-and-back course saw some fast times, with Inverclyde’s Jonny Glen sprinting to victory in the men’s race in a time of 14:26. Fife’s Annabel Simpson took the ladies’ title in 16:29.

Edinburgh Athletic Club runners were prominent throughout the race, with Ewan Cameron the club’s top male athlete and second overall over-40 in 15:10. Sarah Brown led the club’s female athletes home in 17:30. Janet Dunbar was crowned Scottish over-50 champion, with a sub-20-minute clocking. She said: “It was a great race but brutal in that wind! It was good to run 19 minutes and I was even more pleased to finish on top of the podium in my age group.”

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A number of athletes were taking on the double challenge of the Scottish 5k and then a mere 14 hours later the Edinburgh to North Berwick race. Edinburgh AC’s Ewan Cameron was one of these, and he showed no signs of fatigue from the 5k as he overcame the headwinds and the rain showers en route to North Berwick, speeding to victory in a time of 1:53:41. Just 19 seconds back was clubmate Callum Reid, and back-up from John Morris helped Edinburgh AC secure the men’s team prize.

Ewan Cameron and Callum Reid in action in the 20-mile Edinburgh to North Berwick raceEwan Cameron and Callum Reid in action in the 20-mile Edinburgh to North Berwick race
Ewan Cameron and Callum Reid in action in the 20-mile Edinburgh to North Berwick race

New father Cameron said: “Conditions weren’t ideal for the 5k but I was happy enough given that I hadn’t done a 5k for a while and hadn’t had much sleep! Doubling up with the 20-miler the next day was a challenge and the last couple of miles were tough but I managed to finish the job.”

Victoria Campbell took the overall ladies’ win, with Deirdre Harrington the leading lady for Edinburgh AC. Club legends and previous Edinburgh to North Berwick champions Martin Ferguson and Brian Howie were also competing: Ferguson took the honours in 2003 while Howie was the 1991 winner.

On Sunday, 700 runners descended on Dalkeith Country Park for the popular Bluebell Trail Run. A junior race kicked off the proceedings. Around 100 children, some as young as 2, all completed a 1.2km loop in the sunshine. This was followed by a 5km and 10km trail race through the park’s bluebell dells and ancient woodlands. Edinburgh AC athlete Cath Ferry was a race-winner.

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Event organiser Seamus Kealey commented: “It’s a brilliant community event in a stunning location, completely organised by volunteers. There was a great atmosphere on the day as the runners tackled the courses, encouraged by friendly marshals. Best of all, we expect to raise up to £10,000 for MYPAS, a charity which promotes the positive mental health and wellbeing of young people in Mid and East Lothian.”

Many of the athletes will have used the weekend’s races as key training milestones before the Edinburgh Marathon, taking place on Sunday 29th May. This promises to be a spectacular event, with thousands of athletes taking to the Capital’s streets in a festival of running featuring junior races, a 5k, a 10k, a half-marathon, and a full marathon and marathon relay.