As 27,000 prepare to run the Edinburgh Marathon, one athlete is facing a mad dash – and that’s before he even gets to the starting line.
Kenny Heney, 37, who has already run 61 marathons, is to run both the five and 10km races on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday – followed immediately by the full marathon.
But to do so he will have to get from Pinkie St Peter’s Primary after the half marathon to the start of the full race at Regent Road with only around 20 minutes to spare.
Luckily for Kenny, the Harley-Davidson showroom in West Mains Road has come to the rescue by offering him the use of one of its bikes so he can make it in the nick of time.
Super-fit Kenny, who competed in the gruelling Ironman contest in Lanzarote only last weekend, said: “Last year I ran the 5K and the marathon and I realised that it would be possible to run all of the races if you were quick enough.
“I’m someone who likes a challenge and likes to make things a bit difficult.
“My friends and family already know I’m a bit mad when it comes to these things.”
The sub three-hour marathon runner, who studied at Edinburgh University and now lives in Dubai, said: “To do it I will need to run the half marathon in about one hour and 25 minutes, which gives me 25 minutes to get to the finish line.
“The ideal solution was a bike – now I just have to hope that the roads are kind to me.”
Second only to the London Marathon in size, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival weekend includes the full marathon as well as the half marathon, a 10K, a 5K, two junior races, an international breakfast run for visiting overseas runners, a mascot race and the team relay marathon – affectionately called the Hairy Haggis Team relay.
It is hoped participants will raise more than £4.5 million for charities including Macmillan Cancer Support.
Race director Neil Kilgour said: “Edinburgh Marathon Festival has it all – a great city that acts as a stunning backdrop to the event’s proceedings and a programme of races that means that everyone is catered for from children to marathon veterans.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming back the thousands of runners who have supported the event over the years, plus the thousands who will be joining us for the first time. Nothing beats the feeling of achieving a goal and you can achieve in Edinburgh.”
A number of roads around the Capital and East Lothian will be closed or have parking restrictions in place over the weekend.
Superintendent David Carradice, from Police Scotland, said: “It will be a particularly busy sporting day as the marathon always attracts a large number of spectators in addition to the athletes.”
Where to follow the action tomorrow
9.45am: Half marathon presentations at Pinkie St Peter’s Primary in Musselburgh
9.50am and 10am: Marathon starts at London Road and Regent Road
10am: Hairy Haggis relay starts at Regent Road
10.15am: Runners reach Meadowbank Stadium
11.30am: Runners leave Edinburgh
11.50am: First marathon runner expected to finish
Noon to 3pm: Mascots heats and final
1.15pm: Marathon presentations begin at Pinkie St Peter’s
5pm: Last runners are expected to finish