Home team representatives from Glasgow 2014 Andrew Lemoncello, Susan Partridge and Callum and Derek Hawkins will be joined by European Under 23 cross country champion Rhona Auckland in a strong Scottish challenge for honours in the Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run and trail-blazing Team Relay on Sunday.
Lemoncello, 12th in the Commonwealth 10,000m final at Hampden Park last August and the burgeoning Auckland, who followed her European Under 23 cross country success in Bulgaria in December with an excellent 19th place finish in the senior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in China a fortnight ago, will both be going the full distance in the individual ten mile race.
Partridge and the Hawkins brothers, who also wore the home vest with pride at Glasgow 2014, will be taking part in the innovative Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run Team Relay, which will involve teams of two athletes splitting the distance into sections of 4.75 miles and 5.25 miles.
For Lemoncello, it will be a first test back on Caledonian soil since the Commonwealth 10,000m final on 1 August last year. The 32-year-old, who was born in Tokyo, raised in St Andrews and now lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, had a three month break from training after a groin injury and returned to competition only last Sunday, finishing fifth in the BM 10k race in Brighton in 29 minutes 45 seconds.
“The extra distance and the hilly course should suit me well,” said Lemoncello, who won the Great Edinburgh Run in 2013 when it was in its final year as a 10km race. “I run on hills all the time in Flagstaff and I know Edinburgh really well. I know where all of the inclines on the course are.
“I love racing in Scotland and I'm really looking forward to running in one of my favourite cities. Training has been going really well but it will give me an idea of where I'm at fitness-wise.”
Lemoncello, who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games as a 3,000m steeplechaser but is planning to challenge for selection as a marathon man in Rio next year, will be joined in the individual ten mile race by Peter Huck, the Barrow and Furness athlete who finished four places and eleven seconds behind him in Brighton last Sunday.
Auckland will be stepping into unknown territory when she lines up for the individual women's race on Sunday.
As a final year student of medical sciences at the University of Edinburgh, the 21-year-old is not unfamiliar with the course, which starts and finishes in Holyrood Park, but she has never raced farther than 10km (6.2 miles) before.
“It's part of my preparation for the summer,” said Auckland, a member of the Banchory Stonehaven Athletics Club. “I'm hoping to focus on 5,000m and 10,000m on the track but I'm also working towards running a half marathon on the road.
“That's something I'd like to do at some stage, so ten miles will be a good stepping stone towards that.”
It will be intriguing to see how the in-form Auckland fares over the distance against Maria McCambridge, a seasoned marathon runner, now 39, who ran for Ireland in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Susan Partridge, who finished an excellent sixth for Scotland in the Commonwealth women's marathon last summer, will join forces with Helen Clitheroe, who ran for England in the 5,000m at Glasgow 2014, in the Team Relay.
Overseas opposition in the Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run Team Relay will be provided by 2006 Commonwealth 10,000m champion Boniface Kiprop from Uganda and Kenya's Loitarakwai Lengurisi.