The Water of Leith Half Marathon is not a normal race. Its kind of invitation only to keep numbers down to fit in the 70 seater coach that takes runners from the finish (Leith) to the start in Balerno where they follow the river-side paths to Sandport Bridge, usually about 13½ miles. This year the flood prevention work meant several detours along the way (as well as the landslip detour at the Dean Village.)

To avoid a mass start blocking the narrow paths runners are set off – handicap fashion – slowest first, speediest last, some 39 minutes later. The idea is (if everyone gave realistic approximations of their form) to approach the finish en masse at midday. Naturally this never happens.

After setting off the 64 runners in baltic conditions I jumped on my bike cycling the very muddy route taking rapid fire photos (around 1300) of competitors as I overtook, getting to the finish just before the winner. Some of the photos at the start and end are retro-ed up. Not for any other reason than I recently got software to tweak photos in an instagram fashion.

Music by Martyn Bennett (1971~2005)

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