FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Elite Race For 2010 Edinburgh Marathon Wide Open
International athletes are among the leading contenders in both men's
events at Sunday's eighth Edinburgh Marathon Festival.
While English internationalist Mathew Pierson has the fastest personal best
among the challengers in the Marathon, his fellow Yorkshireman David Webb
will be the favourite in the Half Marathon.
In what is a near all-British elite field Holmfirth Harrier Pierson goes
into the race feeling he has a point to prove after failing to live up to
his own expectations at last month's London Marathon.
"After training in Kenya for three months ahead of London and having a
disappointing run there I hope to put things right here," said the
25-year-old, who is competing in Edinburgh for the first time.
His time of 2:31:31 was more than nine minutes slower than his personal
best set in the same event last year but the fastest marathon course in
Britain will give him the chance to show what he believes is his true form.
Even if he does he can expect a fierce challenge from yet another
Yorkshireman Jonathan Frost, the Kingston upon Hull runner having set a
personal best of 2:25:03 in London last year.
From a Scottish perspective perhaps the best chance of a home victory is
presented by Paul Raistrick who has considerable experience of mountain
running but is taking part in his first marathon after a tough winter's
"During March my best training was done on the firmer snow above 3000 feet
around the Northern Corries of the Cairngorm Plateau, rather than in the
knee deep snow of the forest tracks at low level. Three months of
continuous snow cover in Kincraig, where I live and train, has made
marathon preparations challenging. Cross country skiing and digging snow
were enforced cross training activities," he joked.
The only past champion taking part is Dr Ian Grime, the 2007 winner, who
returned to Marathon running just last month at the inaugural Brighton
event where he finished a creditable fifth.
"I am really looking forward to competing in Edinburgh again," he said.
"It is a fantastic marathon, on a quick course and the crowds are great."
Last year's champion Martin Williams echoed those sentiments as he prepares
to return, this time however, opting to take part in the Half Marathon
which launches the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, which also includes the
popular Hairy Haggis Team Relay.
The Tipton Harrier faces a huge task to pick up another winner's medal, as
he finds himself up against David Webb of Leeds City AC, who has been
selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in
Barcelona in August.
Another who has swapped events is local runner Jenny McLean, of Edinburgh
AC, who finished third in the women's Marathon last year but is taking part
in the Half Marathon this time around.
"Having had a fantastic cross country season and running a half marathon PB
on an undulating course the weekend after a cross country/Kilomathon
double, I'm looking forward to running a half on a fast, flat course with
some proper distance training in my legs," she said.
"The opportunity to do this on home turf adds to the excitement. I'm also
looking forward to enjoying the marathon atmosphere and hopefully seeing
some Edinburgh sunshine."
Gill Laithwaite of Wigan Phoenix, St Helens Sutton and Border, finished
third in the Marathon two years ago and is back to compete in that event
where she is again expected to be among the contenders along with local
runner Issy Menzies of Edinburgh AC and Sarah Gee of Reading Roadrunners.