Friends visited from the states to run the Edinburgh Half with me this year! A flat course and the promise of a day of recovering while drinking scotch convinced them it was a good idea to make the transatlantic flight. They spent a few days in Wales and visited our hometown in the Lake District (even managing to see the Queen on a day trip to Lancaster!)
Apologies for crappy iPhone pics, the weather was pretty rainy 😦
We headed up to Edinburgh on a Friday night and checked into our AirBnB place, my first Air BnB experience, and I must say it was a very good one. We had a two bedroom apartment on the royal mile, easily walk able to the start of the race and all sorts of attractions. We spent the day prior to the race at Edinburgh Castle enjoying the beautiful weather, and wandering the historic city. It was so much clearer and warmer than when we visited in November, which made for a much more pleasant outdoor experience. Race packets were picked up by the US residents, and an ominous email was recieved from the EMF race officials, saying everyone needed to bring a jacket as the rain was expected to be intense during the race. We freaked out a little, and I bought a hat to run in to keep the potential downpour off my face.
On Sunday morning we headed to the race start, and parted ways because there are actually two starts, certain bib colors start on one road, others begin 5 minutes later on another. This staggered start eased a lot of the congestion, although the course was always pretty packed. It was a constant drizzle with a bit of harder rain right when the race started, but then it cleared up pretty well and we were on our way. The course was downhill most of the way, a few city views before quickly heading out and then along some beach towns on the shore.
It finished up in a school sports yard, with a dramatic finish over some metal tiles put over the grass, which were less slippery but quite noisy. The medals were good and there was plenty of food and beer (to buy) at the end of the race. All three of us PR’d, I knocked 6 minutes of my best time that I ran at the Nike Women’s Half in DC last April, for a new best of 1:53!
We were then bussed (after a long walk and a long wait) back to Edinburgh with pre purchased tickets (that frustratingly were never checked!)
Would I run it again? Maybe, it was a flat course and a good excuse to get up to Edinburgh, but there wasn’t a whole lot of entertainment or on course support and no pace groups. My friends who came to visit and run were disappointed that there were no kilts or bagpipes to be seen, and the course didn’t feature much of the city.