FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Celebs Support Edinburgh Marathon Festival
Celebrity spotting will add to the fun for both participants and spectators
at this year's Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
Gregor Townsend, the former Scotland and British Lions international rugby
player who is now an assistant coach with the national side will be taking
part in the popular Hairy Haggis Team Relay Marathon.
Townsend, who won 82 caps for Scotland and was part of the last Lions team
to win a Test series in South Africa in 1997, has taken part in the event
before helping to raise money for one of the 298 charitable causes set to
benefit from the event.
He said, "I am running for Macmillan Cancer Support as they are a fantastic
organisation who do so much for those affected by cancer. I hope that our
celebrity relay team can give the charity a boost on marathon day. I really
enjoyed last year's event and it was amazing to see so many green t-shirt
wearers who were running in aid of Macmillan.
"Entering an endurance race gives you a goal to work on your fitness
leading up to the event, which is something I need to do since, having
retired as a professional rugby player, it is no longer my job to run
around every day. I'm looking forward to the sense of fun and achievement
that abounds during Edinburgh Marathon day."
His 'Celebrity Team' which includes BBC News and Sports Presenter Sue
Thearle will be up against 'Team Hamilton' in which his former Scotland
midfield partner Jamie Mayer is running along with wife Hannah and friend
Jo, as well as television presenter Amanda Hamilton.
Hamilton's relay leg will form part of her preparations for the Blenheim
Triathlon in which she is competing alongside former BBC 'Something for the
Weekend' co-host Tim Lovejoy.
Having given up presenting the popular Sunday morning London-based show to
spend more time with her young family, the nutritionist and health expert
is concentrating on developing her spa retreats business both in the UK and
abroad but will be back on the BBC in Autumn.
"Jamie and I have 5 year old daughters who are best friends so that is how
our team came about! We will have very cute cheerleaders encouraging us all
along," she said.
"It feels great to be fit again after having my son. I had planned on the
full marathon but a hamstring injury put paid to that idea - I think the
Hairy Haggis will be more fun anyway!"
Hamilton added that she is delighted to be able to be part of such a
popular event so close to home. "I'm not in the least bit surprised that
Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing marathons - what views we have! I
think we also have an "up for it" attitude up north."
Another whose participation should demonstrate the benefits of good living
is celebrity chef Alan Murchison who could be making a bid to become the
new Galloping Gourmet as he runs to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland.
Born in Inverness, Murchison is the only British chef outside London who
has two Michelin-starred restaurants, L'ortolan in Shinfield, Berkshire and
La Becasse in Ludlow, Shropshire. The Scottish Champion of the BBC's 2010
Great British Menu has just opened a third restaurant, Paris House in
Murchison said, "Running for me is a great escape from the pressures of a
busy kitchen. I am really looking forward to my marathon debut in my
favourite city, Edinburgh, whilst raising much needed funds for Alzheimer
For starters, Murchison will run legs one and two of Gregor Townsend's
relay team, but he will continue to complete the main course and run the
Fellow star of reality TV James McQuillan, who took part in series five of
The Apprentice is hoping to go the full distance in the 8th Edinburgh
The 33-year-old is running to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support in
memory of his mother who died last year aged only 53.
"She fought bravely against cervical cancer on and off for 20 years.
Unfortunately the disease showed its ugly head one time too many and,
sadly, its most recent appearance proved to be too strong," he explained.
"About six years ago mum was introduced to Macmillan and we were very
grateful for the warmth of care we received.
"The people that work for Macmillan are angels. For that reason, having
never run more than about 20 yards for a bus, I decided I wanted to raise
funds for them and that this would be a good challenge."