Edinburgh 2012

Manchester Harriers Senior Athletes once again attend and compete at the Edinburgh Festival Weekend

After having such a fabulous time last year, Rachel kindly volunteered (with a little gentle persuasion) to organise our trip again. This year we stayed at the Travel Lodge at Musselburgh as the Premier Inn had doubled in price so out of range.  Hotel was basic but ideal in location & good size rooms. Richard very kindly volunteered his school mini but with him & Andrew sharing the driving & what a bonus it was we could get around & kept costs down.  We travelled up Friday night & grabbed a bite to eat on route and got there just in time for a quick drink at the local Golf Club with Jenni & Helen who came up by train from London.  We travelled home after the Marathon had ended and all arrived safely back around 10pm so a long but very enjoyable weekend.

Many thanks RACHEL & RICHARD !!!!

The entrants were:

  • 5k– Andrew & Debbie Beresford, Lesley Loftus
  • 10k– Richard O’Regan
  • Half Marathon– Debbie Beresford, Jenni Cunniffe, Stacy Benson, Ros Miles, Andrea Williams, Lorraine Kelsey, Wendy Woodhead, Alyson Adams, Kathryn Holmes, Lorraine’s Sister Helen Kelsey & Caroline Baba
  • Marathon – Rachel Gorajala & Alan Finney

Below are a few personal accounts of a great weekend both competitive racing and a social outing.

As a club we would like to pass on our sincere thanks to the Festival organisers who did an amazing job & helped us greatly with a few entry problems we had and it was very much appreciated, they did us proud and we all thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and hope to come back next year!!.

~ Debbie


I do not like early starts but the walk through Edinburgh to the start line was lovely, with the sun up and a buzz about the place.  The race started at 9.00am by which time it was already warm.  The first 1.5 – 2.0 Km was uphill and difficult and at one point I thought I was actually going to have to walk!  Once past that point it was reasonably flat apart from another small uphill section halfway round.  The scenery was stunning and whilst the course was challenging, there was a real sense of achievement once you got to the last 1.5Km which was all downhill.   The amount of support from the crowd was tremendous and in particular from the Harriers who had all got up early to support me and the 5K runners instead of having a lie-in; thanks everyone!  A respectable time, but I much prefer flat courses.  A great weekend with a cracking bunch of people and having seen the half marathon the following day, it has given me fresh impetus to try it in the future (after wimping out of this one due to a lack of training).  Thanks to Rachel for organising the event and to Debbie for her continual support and encouragement.

~ Richard O’Regan

E – Edinburgh, our destination

D – Driving up with plenty of goodies to share – anyone for crisps, chocolate, pork pie or a Mojito! ?

I – Into the minibus at 7.15am on Sunday, ready for our day ahead

N – Nerves – in the starting pen, just jangling slightly

B – Bang, the gun fires and we’re off

U – Up and down, following the route and thousands of others, through Holyrod Park, past Arthurs Seat and onto the prom.

R – Running well now, feeling good, enjoying the atmosphere

G – Great crowds really spur me on near the end

H – Hurrah – the finish is here. What a great run!

What a great weekend. Thanks to all my Harrier pals who I shared it with and ‘Well Done’ to them all for their fantastic efforts and many PBs that were achieved over the course of the different races.

~ Kathryn & Alyson

Our return trip to the Edinburgh Marathon festival was even more enjoyable than the first despite some of us being stopped by the police within minutes of leaving the hotel and there being no Lucozade freebies to stock up on.  The hotels location walking distance from the beach was also very handy given the glorious weather and a few of us decided to take advantage of it and spent a few lazy hours resting up for our half marathon.

The temperature for the half marathon was warm but not too bad and the support on the course was great, especially at 8 miles where we spotted our fellow Manchester Harriers clapping and cheering. The out and back section at the end of the course also gave us the opportunity to cheer on our fellow harriers running who were in front and behind.  After a quick shower it was back to the finishing straight to cheer on the poor marathon runners who had set off in the full sunshine just as we had finished.

Looking forward to the next club excursion!

~ Caroline

I don’t know which terrified me more, the thought of the 26.2 mile first marathon ahead or the trip advisor comments on the Travel Lodge Musselburg (The Bates Motel has more kerb appeal!).  Despite being a marathon virgin as the day approached I started to think that my biggest problem may not be the mileage but the temperature. Heatstroke, dehydration and sun burn were a real prospect and a bit of a surprise – this was Scotland after all!

After carb loading on the Saturday and hydrating as much as possible the Sunday morning dawned quite dull and overcast, winner! Sadly by the time the 10.00 Am start came round, and the rest of the team were pressing for the half marathon finish the sun came back with a vengeance.  Waiting nervously at the start the upbeat tunes did nothing to calm my nerves and at the sound of the buzzer we set off at a reasonable pace. By the quarter marathon mark the weather was already taking it’s toll and runners were starting to flag. The fabulous folk of Musselburgh were out with drinks and hosepipes and we all appreciated their generosity and support.  At this point I was really feeling the heat and I can’t even think about how the guy in the squirrel costume got round! About half way through I decided that this was not the day to try and break a four hour and I eased up, a lot!  I took on as much water as possible and kept taking the gels and snacks and like the proverbial Forest Gump “I just ran”.

That final stretch with the faces of family and the Manchester Harriers cheering me on was great, legs felt really strong and maybe I could have been quicker but the most important thing for me was to finish, and I suppose you have to run the course according to the conditions.

Thanks for all the support Harriers and for a fantastic weekend away and thank you to the Travel Lodge Musselburg which is much nicer inside than out and has a great team who really looked after us.

~ Alan

Results as follows:


  • Debbie Beresford   26:48min 2nd vet 45  64th
  • Andrew Beresford  37:10min
  • Lesley Loftus            37:09min


  • Richard O’Regan    49:01min

Half Marathon

  • Jenni Cuniffee           1:46:18
  • Alyson Adams           1:56:21
  • Stacey Benson
  • Caroline Baba            1:57:44
  • Wendy Woodhead   1:59:03
  • Lorraine Kelsey         2:00:03
  • Kathryn Holmes        2:03:24
  • Andrea Williams       2:08:22
  • Debbie Beresford     2:12:30
  • Helen Kelsey             2:14:52
  • Ros Miles                    2:29:39


  • Rachel Gorajala         4:02:28
  • Alan Finney                5:06:04

Marvellous Effort from all and very well done!!!!!!!!!!