The Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run took place in the city today with around 5,000 participants pulling on their trainers for the iconic event.
With a brand new Team Relay option for 2015, allowing teams of two to split the full 10 mile route between them, the runners took in some of the capital's best sights including Holyrood Palace, Arthur's Seat, Greyfriars Bobby and Edinburgh Castle.
The day got off to a flying start at 0930 with the main 10 mile event while the Morrisons Mini Great Edinburgh Run (1.5k for ages 3 – 8) and the Morrisons Junior Great Edinburgh Run (2.5k for ages 9 – 15) took place in the afternoon with the INEOS' ‘Go Run for Fun' official mascot Dart on hand as the official starter for the Mini event and Andrew Lemoncello, former winner of the Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run, setting the Juniors on their way.
There was an impressive elite field out in force across the full ten mile route and the Team Relay event, as well as some familiar faces from the world of TV and radio.
Ethiopia's Tsedat Abeje Ayana was first over the finish line in the 10 miler, completing the route in 48:44, followed by Andrew Lemoncello in a time of 50:02 and Peter Huck in a time of 50:30.
USA-based Scot Lemoncello had reason to be happy with only his second competitive outing since taking a three month break at the end of last year because of a groin problem.
“It was a lot better than last week,” said the 32-year-old, who finished fifth in the BM 10km road race in Brighton seven days previously.
“Last week got my legs going a wee bit and I felt a lot stronger over the longer distance today.
“The wind and the course made it tough today. It was relentless. Every time I thought I was going to be really cruising, another hill came along or the wind was in your face.
“When Ayana pulled away up a really sharp hill I just couldn't do anything about it. But I'm happy with that. I was just about dead on 50 minutes. I was very pleased with that on this course – at this time of the season as well.
The first woman finisher was England's Jess Coulson who came in at 56:06, with Scot Rhona Auckland runner up in 56:12 and Ireland's Maria McCambridge third in 56:21.
Coulson showed the ten mile pedigree that earned her a runners-up spot behind Jo Pavey in the 2012 Great South Run.
“It was my 25th birthday yesterday, so it was a nice present,” said Coulson. “I got away a little bit on the big hill between miles four and five. I didn't really want to go that early but Rhona wasn't coming with me so I just kept going from there.”
The Team Relay male champions were Boniface Kiprop and Loitarakwai Lengurisi in a time of 48:28.
They were joined on the winners' podium by the female victors, Susan Partridge & Helen Clitheroe, who completed the ten miles between them in 56:07.
“It was fun,” said Partridge, who finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games marathon in Glasgow last summer. “I think it's a good idea to split the distance and run it as a relay. It's a tough course but I enjoyed it.”
A host of well-known faces joined the runners this year, including STV Edinburgh's Fountainbridge Show reporters Zara Janjua and George Ward and Des Clarke, comedian and Capital FM presenter, who also officially set off the first wave of runners before joining his colleague and Team Relay teammate, Steven Mill.
Des was on the starters' gantry alongside Emmerdale favourite Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard in the long running soap, while his co-presenter Jennie Cook was cheering runners on at the Team Relay handover point in the Grassmarket.
Husband and wife acting team Cal MacAninch (Mr Selfridge, Banished, Silent Witness) and Shauna MacDonald (Filth, The Descent, Spooks) came first in the mixed Team Relay in a time of 01:02:26
Andy Mitchelmore from event organisers The Great Run Company said: “It is always exciting to see so many runners take to the roads of Edinburgh, passing so many iconic buildings along the way.
“The Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run has been a key fixture in the Scottish running calendar since 2005 and the introduction of the ten mile course last year was a great success.
“For 2015 we decided to include a Team Relay option to provide allow runners who are more comfortable with a shorter distance to still be part of the day and it has gone down really well with our participants so we look forward to welcoming back that option next year.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "It was a spectacular sight to see thousands of runners snake around the city centre and Arthur's Seat for the Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run and it was fantastic that so many spectators came to show their support. Well done everyone who took part!”
The reminder service for the 2016 Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run and the Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run Team Relay is now open at www.greatrun.org/edinburgh