On the morning of Sunday 26th May 2019, 12 nervous Morton Fraser runners arrived in a very 'dreich' Edinburgh City Centre, just a few months after signing up (some of us reluctantly…) for the EMF Edinburgh Marathon Festival Hairy Haggis Team Relay. This involved running the entire marathon route as a team of 4, with each team member running a leg of the course. Morton Fraser entered 3 teams, who were all running to raise money for Social Bite, our charity of the year.
Team Glasgow were stringent in their preparations from the word 'go'. As soon as the race was entered, there was instant uptake to the now well established Morton Fraser Glasgow Run Club (or 'MFun Club' as it is now aptly named). Within a matter of days, if we weren't spotted running by the Clyde, you would find us struggling through sprint repetitions on the steepest hills Glasgow has to offer.
Team Edinburgh were just as prepared. With pacey lunch-time runs around the Meadows becoming a regular fixture, it was clear that the teams were all eager to put in the work in order to represent Team MF in this event.
As the Leg 1 runner for my team, I had to part ways with my team mates at Potterrow as they made for their various changeover destinations along the marathon route. It was only then, standing in already-sodden trainers, I realised that I wouldn't see them again until we had completed the 26.2 mile course.
After finding my fellow Morton Fraser Leg 1 runners in the huge crowds, we huddled together in the shelter and waited for the race to start. The race itself has a great atmosphere; despite the dreary weather, there was a sense of anticipation and excitement in the air as the minutes on the clock began to tick away. When the start gun eventually went off we were helped along by some hardy MF supporters on the side lines, who braved the brutal conditions to cheer as we went on our way.
As we made our way past the Scott Monument, by the Parliament and looped around Arthur's seat, we spent the first couple of miles taking in the magnificent sights Edinburgh has to offer. A little further on as we hit the coast at Portobello, a strong wind took hold, making for some tricky running conditions. We didn't have far to go, though, until it was time to hand over to our Leg 2 runners.
The remainder of the run followed the coast, firstly running with our backs to the strong gusts, until our unfortunate Leg 3 runners were made to about turn and run against the blustery Edinburgh wind. Our Leg 4 runner, Ailsa, swore that although her legs were moving she was covering no distance whatsoever.
One person warranting a special mention is one of our Leg 2 runners, Nicole Moscardini, who was enjoying the run so much that she decided to carry on and complete Legs 3 and 4… for 'fun'.
Whilst the rest of the runners were still working hard, we headed to the finish line to cheer our team mates on, and it wasn't long before they were all making their way to that 26.2 mile marker.
A group of cold, exhausted and drenched team mates, we proudly received our medals and reflected on the race experience before heading home for food and warmth, which was a poignant reminder of our reason for running the race in the first place - the fact that we all had homes to go to and hot food to eat at the end of the day is easy to take for granted, and it can sometimes be forgotten that some people are not as fortunate. Social Bite do incredible work in their ultimate aim of ending homelessness, and we were proud to run for such a special cause.
We were absolutely delighted to have smashed our fundraising target for Social Bite, raising a total of £1,564.98 for the charity, and I think the whole team will admit that despite the brutal conditions, we actually managed to have some fun along the way…
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