Edinburgh Marathon build-up - and road closures guide

WITH two days to go before the Edinburgh Marathon, the race to ensure everything goes without a hitch has already begun.

As the runners take their final stretches and friends, families and well wishers gear up for the event, a huge team of contractors, emergency services, organisers and performers are working away behind the scenes to ensure a clear run for everyone involved.

More than 130 streets will be affected, so those who are not taking part in the run or its various fringe events are advised to steer clear, with much of the city centre closed entirely and sections of Easter Road, the Royal Mile, the roads around Calton Hill, and further out into East Lothian closed off, narrowed or subject to diversions.

However, those who are taking part are promised a day of fine May weather with a host of trackside performances along the way to keep spectators entertained and hopefully take the pain out of runners' tired legs.

There will be performance from Prestonpans & District Pipes & Drums, who will pipe the runners off from Regent Road, the Portobello African Drum Ensemble, the Canongate Cadjers ceilidh band, Loretto School Highland dancers alongside Scottish piper Louise Marshall Millington, eastern European dance troupe Beyond The Pale, plus a host of local rock bands and a disco at the finishing line.

It takes a lot of planning to take 14,000 runners safely through streets over two council areas – but the plans are proceeding with military precision.

Lord Provost George Grubb will be on hand to start off the 26-mile race.

He said: "Edinburgh will be buzzing at the weekend with thousands of people involved, from top athletes and local enthusiasts to the organisers and volunteers who will help things go smoothly.

"We've proved time and again that our city is the ideal location for sports events and I'm sure the marathon will be a fantastic occasion for everyone involved.

"We have a formidable record of hosting major sporting events in Edinburgh and we are becoming more and more sought after as a venue. I can't wait to start the race and I wish everyone taking part the best of luck."

The event finishes at Musselburgh Racecourse and, as a result, East Lothian Council's roads department has also been involved.

All of this multi-agency preparation goes on in the run-up to the event to ensure all re-quirements for staging a public event are met.

Then, on the day, all of the stewarding and management of the event will be led by the marathon organisers, with support from the councils and police.

A city council spokesman said: "We will be scheduling our street cleansing patrols to take account of the Edinburgh Marathon and will be carrying out additional work to prepare the course route and to clean up around watering stations, for example at Regent Road, Kings Road and Lochend Road.

"The race organisers have accepted a quotation to cover this additional work."

The Met Office is predicting fine running weather, with scattered clouds and a light breeze with temperatures of around 13 degrees.

IRISH CONTINGENT LEAD CHASE FOR THE LINE

A POSSE of Irish runners should pep up Sunday's Edinburgh Marathon, though not a lot is known of their current form.

Robert Malseed from Castlebar, who recently ran a half-marathon in 64:28, seems the most likely to trouble race favourite Michael Green (Blackburn), especially as Malseed is rumoured to be chasing an Irish qualifying time for the Beijing Olympics.

James Lawler, who has a best of 2:24.4 set in 2006 and Paul McNamara, who ran 2:25.44 for the Dublin Marathon in 2006, both seem capable of giving last year's winner, heart-op hero Ian Grime (2:31.00) a run for his money.

But the favourite would appear to be Blackburn's Alabama-based runner Michael Green, who in successive years in the Flora London Marathon, ran just over 2:18, his best being 2:18.11 in 2004.

Grime is back again this time for an event which has seen a dramatic rise in entries, from 5770 to 10,230 for the individual race, and from 471 teams to 832 teams, making an impressive total of 13,558 runners on the course – the start of which is at Regent Terrace, with the finish at Musselburgh Racecourse.

Women's winner 47-year-old Falkirk Victoria veteran Fiona Matheson is back to defend her title against several English runners who have faster best times, while Portobello's Margaret Sandeman could win a podium place if she achieves her target of 2:50.00.

ROAD CLOSURES

Along the route

EDINBURGH

Waterloo Place, 5-10am. Regent Road, 5-11am. Montrose Terrace, Abbey Lane, Abbeyhill, Abbeymount, Horse Wynd, Queen's Drive, Duke's Walk, Meadowbank Terrace, Wishaw Terrace, 6-10.30am. Marionville Road Between London Road and Lochend Road South/Marionville Avenue, Lochend Road South Northbound only, Lochend Road Northbound only from Lochend Road South to Burns Street and from Burns Street to East Hermitage Place in its entirety, Vanburgh Place, East Hermitage Place, Gladstone Place westbound only, Claremont Park westbound only, Seafield Place southbound only, Seafield Road westbound between Seafield Place & Seafield Road East, Seafield Road East westbound between Fillyside Road and Seafield Road, King's Place, 6-11am.

EAST LOTHIAN

New Street between Edinburgh Road and Harbour Road and eastbound between Links View & Eskside West, Promenade, Links View, Goose Green Crescent, Balcarres Road northbound only, 6-11.30am.

Millhill westbound between Balcarres Road & Linkfield Road, 6am and midday. Linkfield Road eastbound only, Hope Place, Ravenshaugh Road, B1348 at Prestongange from Ravenshaugh Road to Prestonpans High Street, 6am-4pm. Prestonpans High Street, B1348 at Cockenzie Power Station From Prestonpans High Street to Edinburgh Road, Cockenzie. 6am-3.30pm. North Lorimer Place, Edinburgh Road, from North Lorimer Place to Gosford Road, Gosford Road eastbound, Cockenzie High Street, Elcho Place, Wemyss Place, Viewforth, Seton Place, 6am-3pm. Links Road (B1348) eastbound, between Seton Place and Seton Sands Holiday Park entrance, B1348 coast road from east of Seton Sands Holiday Park entrance to Lyars Road (A198), Lyars Road (A198) between Wemyss Road and the junction with B1348 coast road, A198 from the junction with B1348 to the entrance of Craigielaw Golf Club, 6am-2:30pm.

Additional Road Closures

EDINBURGH

Calton Hill at its junction with Waterloo Place, Kyle Place at its junction with Montrose Terrace, Lyne Street at its junction with Montrose Terrace, Abbey Street at its junction with Montrose Terrace, Easter Road between London Road & Montrose Terrace, Calton Terrace Brae at its junction with Regent Road, Croft-an-Righ, Spring Gardens at its junction with Abbeyhill/Abbey Lane, Abbeyhill Crescent, at its junction with Abbeyhill, Calton Road between Abbeyhill Crescent and Abbeyhill, Canongate at its junction with Abbeyhill, Abbey Strand, Royal Park Terrace at its junction with Meadowbank Terrace, Queen's Park Avenue at its junction with Meadowbank Terrace, Meadowbank Avenue at its junction with Meadowbank Terrace, Clockmill Lane at its junction with London Road, Dalgety Road at its junction with Marionville Road, Marionville Park at its junction with Marionville Road, Lochend Castle Barns at its junction with Lochend Road South, Lochend Park at its junction with Lochend Road, Hawkhill Avenue Between St Clair Street and Lochend Road, Somerset Place at its junction with East Hermitage Place, West entrance into Industrial Road/Rosevale Terrace at its junction with East Hermitage Place, East entrance into Industrial Road/Rosevale Terrace at its junction with East Hermitage Place, Restalrig Road at its junction with Gladstone Place (controlled by traffic wardens), Summerfield Place at its junction with East Hermitage Place, Summerfield Gardens at its junction with Gladstone Place, Claremont Road at its junction with Claremont Park, Pirniefield Place at its junction with Claremont Park/Seafield Place, Boothacre Cottages at its junction with Seafield Place, Seafield Street at its junction with Seafield Road, Craigentinny Avenue North At its junction with Seafield Road, King's Road at its junction with King's Place, 6-11am.

EAST LOTHIAN

Harbour Road at its junction with New Street, Bush Street at its junction with Promenade, Caird's Row at its junction with Promenade, Beach Lane at its junction with Promenade, Links Avenue at its junction with Links View, Mountjoy Terrace at its junction with New Street, Eskside East at its junction with Goose Green Crescent, Goose Green Road at its junction with Goose Green Crescent, Goose Green Avenue at its junction with Goose Green Crescent, Goose Green Place at its junction with Goose Green Crescent, 6-11:30am. Hope Place At its junction with Ravensheugh Road, Mayville Bank at its junction with Ravensheugh Road, Ravensheugh Crescent at its junction with Ravensheugh Road, Entrance to Drum-Mohr At its junction with Ravensheugh Road, Managers Brae at its entrance Ravensheugh Road, 6am-4pm. Prestongrange Road at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Inchview North at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, The Pottery at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Redburn Road North at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Cookies Wynd at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Ormiston Place at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, West Seaside at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, East Seaside at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, New Street, Prestonpans, at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Ayres Wynd at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Harlaw Hill at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Pypers Wynd at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Robertson Avenue at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Fowlers Court at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, Nethershot Road at its junction with Prestonpans High Street, 6am-3.30pm. Whin Park Industrial Estate at its junction with Edinburgh Road, West Lorimer Place at its junction with North Lorimer Place, West Harbour Road at its junction with North Lorimer Place, West Harbour Road at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, East Lorimer Place Lane (to rear of East Lorimer Place) at its junction with North Lorimer Place, East Lorimer Place at its junction with Edinburgh Road, Park Road at its junction with Gosford Road, Fishers Road at its junction with Links Road, Marshall Street at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, South Doors at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, School Lane at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, Hares Close at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, Gardiner's Close at its junction with Cockenzie High Street, Kay Gardens at its junction with Edinburgh Road, Manse Lane, Cope Lane, The Promenade At its junction with Links Road, 6am-3pm. Barracks Street at its junction with Gosford Road, Links Court at its junction with Links Road, Castle Terrace at its junction with Links Road, Long Craigs at its junction with Links Road, Dean Road at its junction with B1348 6am-2.30pm.