Edinburgh ‘Virtual’ Marathon Festival: who is participating and for whom?


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This year is unlike any other as the coronavirus has shattered the dreams of many avid runners of weaving their way through the streets of Edinburgh with many other running fanatics and crossing the finish 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 and when to do it.

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Marathon man Simon Davies

Marathon man Simon Davies

While this year’s marathon is virtual, that hasn’t stopped runners across the country from raising money for charities that benefit the community. I met a few people who are participating in the Edinburgh Virtual Marathon Festival this weekend.

Simon Davies – Marathon:

Simon will run the entire marathon and raise funds for the Edinburgh-based charity Make Seconds Count. This is a patient charity across the UK dedicated to focusing on families and the hope of women and men with secondary breast cancer.

Pre-run course for Beth Hadden

Simon started running at the start of the coronavirus pandemic after he and his ‘Simon Says Dance’ dance shop were taken on vacation. In no time at all, Simon was taking the Couch to 5K, like many of us, to keep himself fit, and from then on he became addicted to running.

Beth Hadden Marathon:

Beth started running to keep herself fit, which of course benefits her and the mental health of many other runners. Like other Edinburgh marathon running enthusiasts, Beth will stick with her marathon in the Edinburgh area, which starts in South Queensferry, curves in Musselburgh and ends in Arthur’s Seat. Beth will raise money for the Rape Crisis Scotland charity.

Jessica Cleland – Half Marathon:

Half Marathon – Jessica Cleland

Jessica started running after a good friend convinced her to run marathons. This then led to Jessica, who loved running and running marathons and joined the Edinburgh Napier University athletics team, which she became the captain of. Jessica will run her half marathon for the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Grant Robertson Half Marathon:

Grant started running because his sanity was failing. Realizing he needed a change, he started Couch on 3 miles and then took part in the Movember Challenge where he earned 317km and 50 miles for Doddie Aid.

However, in this particular race, Grant will raise funds for SAMH, a charity dedicated to helping people in Scotland’s mental health. Grant recently graduated from Edinburgh Napier University and will run the half marathon in his hometown of Glasgow. It will start and finish 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 with We Run Edinburgh last January and started running for her sanity.

Clare will run her first half marathon and in the true spirit of a virtual race she will not run it alone, as in Tønsberg, over 500 miles in Norway, her aunt Eleanor will metaphorically run next to her. Both will raise funds for the Edinburgh-based charity Make Seconds Count. This charity is especially close to Clare’s heart when she lost her mother to breast cancer in September 2019.

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There is Norway that Clare Moceivei is not going to end

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