I don't stay in Edinburgh, never have and probably never will but I love this city. For the casual weekender this really is a fantastic place to be. From the majesty of the Edinburgh Castle down the Royal Mile to the romance of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, both old towns and new and for three years now, a parkrun just for you! Spectacular views of the city and River Forth can be had 824 feet up from the top of Arthur's Seat. Situated in 650 acres of highland landscape, lochs, glens, ridges and cliffs there is other city centre in the world that can offer you all of this. A slow climb will take you thirty minutes but I implore you to do it. Whether culture, architecture or history, you will not be disappointed.
Edinburgh parkrun is a riverside event held on Cramond Foreshore to the north west of the city. Easily accessible by bus it'll be a ten minute walk to the start area from when you alight and five minutes or so if you bring the car. Plenty of free parking too.
The course is a very flat, single terrain, tarmac out and back course in the shape of a lollipop and wide for the largest part. The finish line is only thirty yards or so, pretty much the length of our finish funnel, from the start line and located in the same area. The start area has sufficient space where parkmates choose to leave their bikes and change kit. Although not secured we have never had any reports of belongings being misappropriated so feel safe about leaving your gear. Truth is that we end up collecting more that's left behind than ever having to search for missing kit.
Being as flat and open we do have our fair share of bad weather, not least of all wind and, unfortunately, it's usually always in your face for the return leg. That said, when it's fair then it can be glorious. Stunning views over the river Forth into Fife and beyond for the duration of the run and equally delightful scenes west through Dalmeny Estate and of both Forth Bridge (that's the cantilever rail fellow) and Forth Road Bridge on the back half.
Our overall average attendance is 212 however over the past while we regularly see 265ish with a record of 379. If you arrive early enough you'll find music to entertain you and a full noticeboard to bring you up to date with both generic and Edinburgh specific points. We also provide a weather board displaying wind speed, temperature and wind chill, just so you know how tough it'll be! We also conduct a full first timers brief for parkrun virgins and visitors ten minutes or so prior to the gun as well as the pre-event Run Director's brief.
The course is signed up with black on white kilometre markers and both yellow or pink directional route signs. You will find marshals dressed in hi-viz yellow tabards positioned throughout the course all of whom have two-way radio's in order to contact the start area if the need arises. We have a tailrunner, also with a radio, and they are dressed in orange vi-viz. With only one left turn and two right turns all in the same km this is not a difficult route to negotiate. Incidentally, this particular area has been named The Fiona Crawford Loop in memory of our late parkmate.
During the latter part of the last km you will be directed left through a tree line where you'll think the finish is near. It's not! You have another 300 metres or so to go and this is where the run gets interesting. The pace picks up, the run gets a little competitive and personal battles are won and lost in this stretch to the finish line. Under the finish gantry, make your way along the finish funnel and collect you finish position token (FTP). Head back on yourself along the prom to the Venga Van, you'll see the queue, where all the scanning takes place and your done.
If you're not in a hurry to leave and fancy cake and a coffee then follow the prom west along to the harbour, you can't miss it, just stay on the prom, where you'll find the Cramond Bistro. This is where we have our post run breakfast during which the results are processed. We've patronised it since our first event and can't recommend it highly enough.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and please make use of the under noted links for our official parkrun page, facebook timeline and google map for some fuller information.
Cheers and hope to see you soon.