Edinburgh

#Blogmanay

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You might be wondering what on earth I mean by ‘blogmanay’….some of you may have heard of Hogmanay and put 2 and 2 together, for those of you that haven’t, let me set you straight. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the new year the way only Scots do! So Blogmanay was an initiative that started 2 years ago that connected ‘people’ with Edinburgh tourism in a way that inspired and amazed the world with blogs, tweets and photos having reached around 80 million people around the world at last count. Not only are selected bloggers invited to come along for the week long celebrations but we can all get involved by sharing our festive experiences via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #blogmanay , the more the merrier. Use the hashtag in your own searches to see what is happening around the city for unique and traditional takes on absolutely everything you can imagine.

Edinburgh Xmas Markets
Edinburgh Xmas Markets

I had the privilege of attending the Blogmanay workshop at Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace on Friday where we heard from renowned blogger Sebastian Canaves from Off The Path and Instagram legend & award winning mobile photographer, Oggsie. I also joined the pair of them on Saturday to spend a couple of hours wandering the festive streets of Edinburgh leading some mobile photography tricks. Here’s a few of mine, but check me out on Instagram (@runningdutchie or @edinruntours) for more shots and search #blogmanay on there for heaps more. It was such an eye opener to spend time really looking at my beautiful city instead of rushing through from a to b like normal and uncovering some great gems of photos, well at least I think so!

Reflections
Reflections

With so much to do over the whole of December right through to Hogmanay get involved yourself with #blogmanay and join me for a running tour to see Edinburgh lit up with all the festive lights.

Ice Skating St Andrews Square
Ice Skating St Andrews Square

For other ideas on what to do while you are in town check out:
15 wonderfully festive things to do http://www.wow247.co.uk/blog/2014/11/11/edinburgh-christmas-guide-festive-things-to-do/?utm_source=news-site-home&utm_medium=carousel&utm_content=festive-edinburgh&utm_campaign=een
And http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org for more details and I might see you in the freezing waters at the annual Loony Dook after all the festivities!

Beautiful day for a colourful wedding
Beautiful day for a colourful wedding
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20 great things to do in Edinburgh

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When you are not running with me on a running tour, perhaps you might want to try out a few other great things to do whilst in our beautiful city.

TimeOut have put together their list of the Top 20 for Edinburgh (though they seem to have missed off my running tours…..) of which I can vouch for about 15 of them already, I’m going to head to Bramble Bar myself for my birthday in December and going to stay in the lap of luxury at The Balmoral in January as a treat for my hubby who turns the big 40!

Take a look for yourself and pick some out for your next visit.

Timeout – 20 Great things to do in Edinburgh

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Run In The Dark

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As darkness swept across the globe on Wednesday 12th November at 8pm local time thousands pulled on their running shoes, flashing armbands and various guises of lights and neon colours and headed for the door. Joining over 30 cities worldwide Edinburgh was lit up with 149 runners joining a living light show flowing through the streets and Holyrood Park like lava.

Lit up like lava
Lit up like lava

The Lifestyle Sports Run in The Dark plays a vital role in funding the Mark Pollock Trusts’s mission to find and connect people around the world to fast track a cure for paralysis. Runners paid an entry fee of £15 which goes directly to the trust with the event being supported by volunteers. The super trio of Lucja Leonard (www.edinburghruntours.com), Iona MacArthur and Sue Finn put their hearts, minds and time together to organise the pop up event for Edinburgh utilising the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace as the race headquarters on the night. A special thanks goes out to the volunteers that assisted on the night with registrations and marshalling duties as well as local sponsors of the goody bags including Crowne Plaza Edinburgh -Royal Terrace, Nira Caledonia, Matthew Clark, Vivimoss sportswear and Lululemon.

Holyrood park looking back to the city
Holyrood park looking back to the city

The night wouldn’t have been complete without the support from C. Pendleton/W.Robb from Iconic Photo Tours Edinburgh (http://www.willrobbphotography.com/2012/09/iconic-edinburgh-photo-tours/) who sat in Holyrood Park to capture some stunning photos of the light streams created by the runners with the dramatic Edinburgh city line in the background.
Edinburgh weather played ball ensuring a fun, dry and safe night was had by all. With the event being such a great success along with the high level of interest from the Edinburgh running community all keen to support such a worthy cause, Run In The Dark is sure to become a fixture in the yearly running calendar. For more details visit www.runinthedark.org and sign up to the newsletter so you don’t miss out on next years event.

The amazing trio and a handful of the super marshals.
The amazing trio and a handful of the super marshals.

Run in the Dark

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As a keen runner and lover of my beautiful city of Edinburgh, I couldn’t resist getting involved in The Run in the Dark, taking place world wide on the 12th November in various cities at various times, in the dark (as the name would suggest).  As darkness descends around the world, thousands of runners will be heading out, all raising money for The Mark Pollock Trust and having a load of fun doing so.  There are 5 official locations in the UK, and Edinburgh will be a pop-up version run by yours truly, so join me and loads of other runners for a fun and interesting way to explore the city, at night.

run in the dark

The start and finish line will be located at the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, 18 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AQ, feel free to leave bags or warm clothing for afters with the reception team. The 5km run will take us down to Holyrood Park and through Hunters Bog underneath Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the pure dark and back up past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the New Calton Burial Ground back to the Crowne Plaza, while the stoic 10km runners will loop around once more.

For your own safety please bring along a head torch or hand held torch with you as certain parts of the route are not lit.

 After the race has finished all runners are encouraged to reunite at the hotels’ Terrace Bar for the ‘obligatory’ night cap. 

Whether you are completing the 5km run or 10km run, please aim to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the start time (8pm) so that we can ensure everyone will receive their flashing armband and have a group photo before we go running! Goody bags will be handed out to all participants after the race.

Edinburgh

 

Edinburgh Ultra Festival

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It will come as no surprise to you that I am involved in organising a great fun filled, adventure packed and informative ultra running day in Edinburgh.  I have hooked up with legendary Andy Mouncey and created a full day of excitement for the running community.

Whether you are already an accomplished ultra runner, or just dipping the toes in, then this day is for you.  We have got hill coaching sessions on Arthur’s Seat, with kit to try out on the session from Out-Run, free workshops during the day, kit from Vivimoss to check out, food galore at our host HQ Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, Pilates for Runners by Sam from Essential Wellbeing, and evening talks from yours truly, Andy Mouncey and Edinburgh’s own adventurist Dr Andrew Murray.

Check out all the details on our dedicated Facebook page by clicking here where you will find more details about all the sessions, the people coming and a full agenda.  Certain sessions require bookings so don’t leave it too late.

Edin ultra

Feeling inspired?

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It is nearly here!  The XX Commonwealth games will start on the 23rd July!

Who’s coming?  What tickets have you managed to get?  There are still opportunities to get tickets, so don’t miss out.

It’s events like these that seem to get us motivated.  The Tour de France is on at the moment and suddenly you see an influx of cyclists out and about, when Wimbledon was on the same happened for tennis, when it’s London Marathon, we all get out and go running.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, anything that gets people motivated to get off the couch and out doing something active is a good thing in my book.

So while you are up in Scotland, as I am sure you will have to visit Edinburgh, then why not make use of that motivation and join me on a running tour.  Edinburgh has it’s own venue for the games as well, the Royal Commonwealth pool is hosting the diving, we could incorporate a run past that into your tour as well.

Look forward to having you join me on a run and hearing about your experiences at The Games!

Combining two loves!

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I love running!

I love Edinburgh!

Why not combine both and share my love of running?  That is exactly what I have done, in two ways.  I have thought about doing the first venture or offering running tours for a number of years, and it was something I was really keen to get off the ground after I had done one myself on holidays; Rockin’ Running Tours in Memphis.  What I found great about taking part in a running tour in another city was to quickly take in a lot of the sites in one hit, get a locals perspective on the city including some insider tips for the best ribs as might be the case in Memphis and get my daily run in at the same time.  Win:Win!

Moving to Edinburgh was the perfect opportunity.  Not only do I have a great job managing a great hotel in such a great location, Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace; but all the main sites are all within a few mile radius with various options to extend out.

I have just started offering the tours and already getting some great feedback, so now it is just a matter of letting the word spread and start sharing the love.  Check out my tours at www.edinburghruntours.com and follow me at @edinruntours on twitter.  Share the idea with all your running friends, I’ll be so happy to show you or them around Edinburgh soon.

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Venture number two is another combination of my love of running with a higher aspiration to coach and develop other runners into ultra runners.  I want to develop training plans for runners for marathon, ultra or multi stage distances, whilst providing a sounding board with ongoing advice and encouragement along with tips on nutrition and kit all based on my experiences.  This is perfectly linked with the ultra babe Race to the Stones project (@RTTS100) with The North Face as our goal is to encourage women to step up to the ultra distance.   As a woman, with ultra and multi stage event experience, I feel that I can offer something to the running community out there and give some other women the confidence and encouragement to go out there and give it a go.  There are some fantastic examples of ultra coaches for the men out there such as Rory Coleman and Robbie Britton, to name a couple I have had the pleasure of meeting, but there is a need for more women coaches and advisors.  Seeing as though it is something I love and am truly passionate about, I wanted to give this a shot.  I have already got 2 lovely ladies that I am presently putting together plans for, Marina Ranger (@mranger90) and Rhianon West @rhianonruns, and have got an ultra weekend of running planned this weekend for Marina to set her up for her plan.  I will be sure to get some testimonials up once they have worked their way through their respective plans and achieved their goals.

What is my experience that ‘qualifies’ me to give this advice.  I have not been running for that long, only since 2008, starting off with 10km and half marathon races.   I completed my first marathon in 2011 with the Amsterdam Marathon, and subsequently have run Philadelphia and London marathons in 2012, Nice to Cannes and London Marathons in 2012, Manchester Marathon in 2013 and having completed my first ultra in May 2013, 34 miles in 7hrs (yes, rather slow) and then completed my first multi stage Ultra, Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in October 2013. 250km (160 miles) fully self sufficient race over 6 stages through the Kalahari desert in South Africa. Not only did I finish it, but I was 14th overall and 2nd lady! It’s amazing what your body will do when pushed. In 2014 I have completed the Pilgrims Ultra (66 miles on North Downs Way split into 2 days of 33) in February 2014, Endurance Life Northumberland Marathon 27miles in March, Marathon Des Sables in April 2014, and am about to complete my first ever 100miles in one hit at the Mohican 100 in June. After a few weeks to recover I will be taking on Race to the Stones in July, Berghaus Trail Chase in August, Clyde Stride 40 mile ultra in September and then heading back to the Kalahari in November to compete in the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon for the 2nd time.

Want to know more than check out my website www.runningdutchie.wordpress.com  and follow me @runningdutchie on twitter for more about me and what I can do for you.  I hope to see you at a running event soon!