FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Edinburgh Marathon Results Information
An ecstatic Steve Littler exceeded his own expectations by winning the
eighth Edinburgh Marathon today after overhauling long-time leader Phil
Hinch in the closing stages of a gruelling race.
The 36-year-old joiner who runs out of the Wesham club admitted he felt his
chance had gone when he saw Hinch pulling away but upped his effort after
gaining encouragement from a spectator who told him his rival was suffering
badly in the heat.
"I thought the race was over when I could see him (Hinch) as I passed the
power station and reckoned there was a two minute gap. However I was then
told by one of the spectators that he had stopped and that there was only a
minute between us. At the 25 mile-ish mark I felt he he was coming back to
me but even then I thought the gap was too big. I knew he was struggling
but I thought I was running out of distance because I didn't know where the
finish line was," said Littler, who completed what was his first Edinburgh
Marathon in 2:26:31.
"I saw him stop at the corner just before the home straight and I knew it
was my race.
"Realistically ahead of the race it was my dream to be in the top three.
That would have been everything, but winning it I'm just over the moon."
An emotional Littler afterwards dedicated the victory to his late mother.
"I lost my mum five years ago. She always came with me to races, so this
win is for her," he said.
For Grimsby's Hinch it was an agonising defeat in every sense after he was
forced to stop twice in the latter part of the race.
"I'm disappointed," he said.
"I probably went a little too fast. I cramped up at the 23 mile mark and
stretched and seemed to be all right and thought I had it after that, but
the last mile was a problem. I felt a twitch in my right hamstring and
after that it was all about survival."
The women's event was won by Sarah Gee of Reading Roadrunners, who only
started running seriously six years ago at the age of 40.
She also came from behind in her race, overhauling Julie Briscoe of
Wakefield & District AC at the 20 mile mark.
"Julie went faster than I wanted to run but she slowed at 20 miles and I
overtook her. She had never been out of my view and at most I was just 30
seconds behind her, but I knew I was catching her at around 15 to 16
miles," said Gee.
Her performance, achieved with a personal best time of 2:38:16 was all the
more extraordinary considering the problems she encountered in the build-up
after she was subjected to an attack from a dog while training, then had to
deal with the trauma of her daughter suffering a broken ankle.
"I thought my hopes were dashed after the dog attacked me on Monday," she
said, the puncture wounds still visible on her calf.
"Then I spent four hours in casualty on Thursday night after my daughter
Eleanor fell off the beam at gymnastics training and broke her ankle, but
she wanted me to run."
Gee is hopeful that her time will catch the eye of the English Commonwealth
For 34-year-old Briscoe it was a tough learning experience as she stepped
up in distance.
"It was my first marathon and the first time I've run more than 20 miles
and in the last six miles my legs went," she admitted.
In the Scottish Half Marathon, which took place earlier in the day as part
of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, British internationalist David Webb of
Leeds AC lived up to his billing as pre-race favourite, winning in a time
"I'm very pleased with that result. This was part of my preparations for
the European Championships Marathon in Barcelona in August. That was a new
personal best, so it's a good way to start the heavy mileage for the
marathon over the next couple of months," he said.
Last year's Edinburgh Marathon winner Martin Williams (Tipton Harriers)
finished second in the half marathon in 1:06:24.
"David's in great shape right now, so I knew he'd be tough to beat and
after four and a half miles he ran away from me," he said.
On a day of highly competitive racing 33-year-old Diane Lauder of Gala
Harriers smashed her personal best by seven minutes to win the women's
Scottish Half Marathon in 1:16:59 but only claimed victory after passing
Edinburgh AC's Jennifer McLean in the last half mile.
"It was actually someone who was cheering on Jennifer who spurred me on in
the closing stages," she said.
"My training has gone really well, but I didn't expect to win, however from
10K onwards I just kept narrowing the gap."
McLean drew consolation from setting her own personal best over the
distance with a time of 1:17:09.
"It's slightly frustrating that she caught me just before the 13 mile mark,
but I went out and ran my own race," said the 36-year-old.
The Hairy Haggis Team Marathon Relay event was won by Perth Roadrunners in
a time of 2:37:59.