Edinburgh Marathon Festival May 2016
The Edinburgh Marathon Festival is now established as one of the premium running festivals in the country and attracts tens of thousands of runners across the whole weekend in all events and age groups. Many Harriers had been targeting the weekend races for months and hopes were high with what could only be described as the most perfect running conditions of the year.
Saturday morning saw the junior events take place and there was healthy representation in both events. In the youngest race over 1.5km Harris McDonald and Kerr McConnell ran well through the Holyrood Park course. In the older course over 2km, Gregor Collins led the charge in a large field over a very fast course and was rewarded with a 5th place finish. Not too far behind were Evan McConnell, Jack McDonald and Andrew Lackie.
On Sunday, attentions were turned to the longer half and full marathon distances with Harriers interest in both races. In the half marathon, it was a clean sweep of personal bests for all four athletes in green and white. Darrell Hastie has been the man in form all season and he went off in a fast lead group of five runners. At 10 miles he was in third place and over the last two miles he reeled the lead runners (from Spain and Sunderland respectively) in and passed them to take a stunning victory and a new pb by almost 2 minutes in 1.10:37. Not to be outdone, Marcus D’Agrosa also sneeked into the top ten with an excellent pb of 1.13:20. Half Marathon debutant Jamie McGowan also ran strongly to secure a strong first showing in the event in 1.25:20. Representing the females was Dawn Grant who didn’t maybe have the best of preparations in the lead up but showed how well her early season training has been going by running a pb of 1.39:41.
In the main marathon event, which was dominated by east Africans, Dianne Lauder who had suffered with illness in the week leading up to the event still ran well to finish 6th lady in 2.50:30. Colin Brown was targeting the magic 3 hour mark and was on course for that until the last three miles where cramp slowed him up slightly, but not enough to stop an excellent pb of 3.08:45. Finishing just behind Colin was Mark Bryson who clocked 3.08:46.”