WHEN Freya Murray was given a late call-up to compete in the London Olympics it was an offer she couldn’t turn down – even if it did mean organising her wedding plans around the event.
Now the Olympic hero has shown her commitment to the cause once again – after putting her honeymoon on hold in a bid to become the first Edinburgh athlete to win the Bupa Great Edinburgh run since its return in 2005.
The former pupil of Beeslack High in Penicuik, who married fiancé Michael Ross on Saturday, is hoping to repeat her success at the London Games, where she was the first British athlete across the women’s marathon finish line.
The 29-year-old, who grew up in Temple, Midlothian, finished the race with a time of two hours, 32 minutes and 14 seconds.
She told the Evening News: “The Olympics was absolutely brilliant, probably one of the best experiences of my life.
“It was an unbelievable atmosphere on the day of the race, and the support all the way round was overwhelming. I was really impressed by the number of people who turned out to watch, especially as the weather was rather rubbish that day.
“Crossing the finish line was just an amazing feeling. I didn’t realise it was possible to be so excited and so tired at the same time.”
Freya’s success was made all the sweeter by the fact she had not originally been picked to compete, having discovered while shopping in the supermarket that she would be replacing an injured Paula Radcliffe.
“Michael and I decided we would plan the wedding for the end of September just in case. It’s lucky that we did. It would have been rather frustrating to be getting married while all that was going on.
“Michael’s been fabulous about scheduling everything round the two events. He used to run himself, and thankfully he still enjoys watching races and has been a brilliant support to me.”
The couple, who married at The Hub, in Castlehill, after hearing it was “a great venue for a ceilidh” will be jetting off to California on Monday morning for a slightly belated honeymoon celebration.
Freya continued: “I can’t wait, it’s been a very busy couple of months and it’s been great to have this to focus on and look forward to.
“We’re flying into San Francisco, driving down the coast, and then flying back from San Diego. We’ve both always wanted to visit California. It looks so beautiful.”
But before all that, she still has the little matter of the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday.
“I’m actually really looking forward to it. I always like running in Edinburgh. It’s my hometown, though I now live in Newcastle. I used to run around Holyrood Park, so it’s so nice to get back to my old training ground.”
Husband Michael insists he doesn’t mind waiting a bit longer for his honeymoon.
“Freya and I actually met at the Heriot-Watt University athletics club, so I know how important running is to her and I enjoy going to the events. I certainly wasn’t bothered that we had to plan around certain things. When it comes to events like the Olympics you can make an exception.”
Freya added: “He can’t hate it that much or he wouldn’t have married me.”