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FAQ's about your Edinburgh Race Day 🏁
FAQ's about your Edinburgh Race Day 🏁

25th - 26th May 2024

Cesca avatar
Written by Cesca
Updated over a week ago

It's race week! The hard work is done, you've banked your miles, smashed your intervals and (hopefully) nailed your nutrition strategy. Now it's time to partyyyyy! πŸ‘

πŸ’Ό What should I pack?

Methodological packing of your running shoes, clothing, charging leads and devices, and any nutrition you'll be taking is essential! If you're traveling on the day, staying overnight or longer, you may need more items. However, here are a few helpful options for race day itself:

  • Your running kit (worn, as there are minimal opportunities to change), race-day shoes, and safety pins for your bib number.

  • Any gels, chews or other sports nutrition that you've previously used
    ​(remember, nothing new on race day). Gels can fall out, so take a spare one just in case!

  • Chafing cream is always good to have on hand for last-minute protection!

  • A snack and some water for your morning travel to the start line.

  • A jumper and/or bin bag to stay warm. Old clothes discarded at the start are collected and donated to charity too. If you choose to wear old jogging bottoms, make sure that these are easy to remove over your shoes.

  • Your drop bag with anything you'll need for after the event. This may include a warm top, spare socks and blister plasters, a recovery snack (such as a protein flapjack) and as few valuables as possible!

  • Your phone, watch, headphones and Runna! Download any power playlists ahead of time, charge everything the night before and make sure you've tested your race day tracking.

  • The toilets can get quite busy beforehand, so just to be on the safe side, it might be best to bring some spare toilet roll.

πŸ€” Should I run the day before?

Sometimes, tapering or a few days away from running can leave your legs feeling like they've 'forgotten how to run'! Some runners swear by a very short, very easy run the day before a race - perhaps even just a mile or 1 km - to reassure themselves that they can still put one foot in front of the other.

Do what works for you. If an easy run the day before a 'Long Run' has worked well in training, why not stick to this pattern. Alternatively, skip the shakeout in place of some gentle foam rolling or mobility work.

If in doubt, stick to your plan and have a read of Coach Steph's guidance on shakeout runs here.

πŸ₯ͺ What should I eat the day before the race?

In the days leading up to your race, you should be aiming for Β½ of your meals to be made up of carbohydrates and swapping out usual snacks for carb-based replacements. This is to ensure that the glycogen stores in your muscles are fully topped up for race day! Make sure you're well hydrated with water, and possibly electrolyte drinks too.

The day before your race, stick to simple foods that you enjoy and avoid anything too spicy! Pasta, rice, potatoes, and other easily digestible carbs are perfect. You may find your appetite reduces a little towards the end of your taper, alongside the reduction in your running volume, so don't eat to discomfort, but be sure to fuel well!

For further nutrition advice please read our Ultimate Running Nutrition Guide.

πŸ’ͺ Final preparations & official start times

If not already considered, why not add a mobility session after your shakeout? Some gentle stretches will help to release 'travel muscles' and stimulate relaxation before a good sleep and the sound of that start gun! Once hydrated, fuelled, and organised for race day, try to get an early night. Sleeping can be difficult the day before a big race, but do your best to ensure you're well-rested and raring to go.

Start Times

The official start times for each race are listed below, but please check your race information pack for your specific start time.

Saturday πŸ“†

  • 10K - 09:00am

  • 5K - 11:00am

Sunday πŸ“†

  • Half Marathon - 08:00am

  • Full Marathon - 10:00am

  • Team Relay - 10:00am

🀳 Should I share my charity again?

For those of you running for a charity, congratulations on your amazing work! Enjoy the support and well-wishes both from your family and friends during those training miles, and then from the crowd on race day - you've earned it!

You may wish to upload a few last training updates and pictures and re-share your charity donation page in the week preceding your race. You could reach out to your charity for some top tips on this one too.

A picture with your medal at the finish is a great way to boost some bonus donations - you may well inspire someone else to tackle their first event too!

🎽 Where should I get my number?

You will receive an email from the organisers at least 10 days before your race, giving you access to your Event Information Pack.

If you have not received your number in the post, or are an Overseas/Late Entrant, you can pick up your number from the Event Number Station available at Dynamic Earth on the Saturday. You will need to show your ID and confirmation email.

If you have lost your number, you will be able to collect a replacement from the start line for a Β£5 fee. Be warned though, this station is expected to be very busy!

Event Number Station - Saturday

Location - Dynamic Earth (EH8 8AS)

Time - 07:30 - 18:00

Event Number Station - Sunday

Location - Potterrow Dome (EH8 9AL)

Time - 06:30 - 10:00

Runners are not permitted to move forwards into faster start pens but runners will not be prevented from moving back and starting in a timing pen further back from the start line so that they can be with friends or family. We do however strongly encourage all runners to start in their allocated start pen as each runner has been individually allocated based upon their predicted time and the number of runners allocated to each start pen has been capped to ensure enough space for all runners in the start area.

πŸš‹ How do I get to the start line?

The pre-race buzz makes for a busy commute! Due to the closure of roads around the festival routes, we'd urge you to plan your journey well in advance. You can find detailed information on these closures here.

For Saturday races, you can get to the start line via tram (short walk from St Andrew Square tram stop), bus (Lothian Services 6 and 35) or bike (there is no on-site bike storage for the 5/10k).

For Sunday races, the start at Potterow is a short walk from Princes Street. There will also be numerous bike parking facilities at the Pinkie Road finish area, but there is no car parking so please don't drive! East Coast and Lothian Bus Services will provide services into the city and between the start and finish lines.

EMF Event Buses will be operating between the start/finish line and spectator spots for the Team Relay, Half Marathon and Full Marathon events, but tickets will need to be bought in advance here.

The nearest train station to Potterow is Edinburgh Waverley (~ 1 mile walk). Musselburgh and Wallyford Train Stations are located a mile from the finish, so a great way to stretch your legs before a gentle ride back to Edinburgh Waverley.

πŸ—Ί Where will I be running?

Saturday Races

The 5k route starts and finishes near the EMF Hub at Dynamic Earth, within the bounds of Holyrood Park. Beginning on Queens Drive, you'll have early views of St. Margaret’s Loch and pass Dunsapie Loch at around the 2km mark. Having ascended the east side of Arthur's Seat, it's all downhill to the Finish Line on Holyrood Gait!

The 10k panoramic race follows the same route to Arthur's seat, before doubling back along Duddingston Low Road and heading through Duddingston Village. You'll join the Innocent Railway Road for kilometers 7&8, before running back up Queen's Drive. Your final kilometer is all downhill to set you up for a fantastic sprint finish on Holyrood Gait!

Sunday Races

The full marathon and team relay starts on Potterrow and finishes in Musselburgh. You'll head through the city's old town, winding through the Princes Street Gardens, before turning back up the Royal Mile and heading east towards the coast all the way along to the turnaround point at Gosford House. From here, it's a lovely flat stretch to the finish on the playing fields of Pinkie School!

The half distance follows an identical route along the coast, with an earlier turnaround point at Prestonpans village.

For more information regarding the route, including first aid stations, water stations and more please check the official route map here!

πŸƒ How should I pace myself on race day?

Pacing can be tricky, especially with the initial downhill from the start line! It can be easy to off too hard, so please be careful. Make sure to iron out the final details of how you're going to use Runna (ie. on your phone or with another device) before the start line, including audio cues and choice of target pace or RPE. Why not practise using your race-day workout during your shakeout and delete the recording?

Please download any playlists in advance and open your Runna app before you get to the start line! Be aware that with so many other runners around you, you may have some issues with signal quality and bluetooth connectivity. If you're using headphones, make sure these are suitable for safe running, and consider turning off your music for the first few miles/kilometres - things can be quite crowded on the roads! Equally, you may wish to soak in all the amazing support from the crowd and fellow runners - perhaps save a few power ballads or pump-up jams for those tough latter stages!

Here are a few more tips on race pacing for you too!

πŸ‘‹ How do I meet up with friends and family after?

One of the trickiest things is meeting up with any friends, family and support crew post-race. Leave them to plan their spectator spots, but suggest a meet-up point for post-race celebrations! Why not check out the Edinburgh Marathon Spectator Guide for some top tips.

After being presented with your medal, your finisher's t-shirt and keyring, a bottle of water and a snack, you'll find yourself either at the foot of the Royal Mile (10/5k) or on the playing fields of Pinkie School (half/full marathon).

πŸ›°οΈ How should I navigate GPS issues on the day?

You've certainly got plenty of experience recording your runs with Runna, so we'd advise using the same method as you've been training with. Please be aware that with the tall buildings and sheer volume of runners, you may experience a few issues with your GPS and your completed run may take a little longer to upload than normal.

However, please don't panic! Just make sure to save your activity and refresh your Runna app when you have a stronger signal or Wi-Fi connection. You can check out more tips on how to troubleshoot common GPS issues here too.

Feel free to reach out to our Customer Experience team if you have further issues. We have an inbox dedicated to our Edinburgh Marathon Runnas!

πŸ”œ What's next after the race?

You've done it! What a journeyπŸ…

Grab a drink, have a snack, loosen your shoelaces and try not to sit down immediately! Pop on that warm top, display your medal (you've earned it) and wander over to your support crew for a gentle stretch and some post-race celebrations!

Best of luck with your 2024 Edinburgh Race and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

If you're not smiling, you're doing it wrong ;)

Check out the video below for some more of our Coaches' top tips for race day!

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