Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon (14 April 2013)
Step out onto any street in Britain and you'll notice most runners have headphones on. Listening to music is a welcome distraction for some and inspiration for others. Many say they couldn't run without their mp3 player. Some use music to help them run at their desired tempo (180 strides per minute is seen as ideal).
Yet many road races ban the use of personal music players, citing safety concerns. One race series has come up with a solution by embracing music and making it part of the race.
The idea is simple: at the Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon they stage live bands at every mile along the course. These aren't buskers, either: they're quality live bands on stages with proper PA systems. It's a lot of fun and it noticably lifts participant's spirits. The bands often interact with the runners, too; there aren't many races where you might have to dodge someone playing a guitar solo at you.
It's been a winning formula. The Rock 'n' Roll marathon series has thrived in the US since it began in 1998, and it's now the world's biggest race series. Edinburgh became the first in Europe in 2012 and it's back in 2013. The route takes competitors past famous landmarks including the Queen's Palace at Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament building, Edinburgh Castle, Portobello Promenade, the Firth of Forth and Arthur's Seat.
Bands will be announced as the event approaches, but last year indie band Kassidy and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers both kept the crowd and the runners psyched up.
The finish area at Holyrood Park also has a lively festival atmosphere, with a big stage hosting an eclectic line-up of bands, plenty of food and drink as well as family entertainment. Last year, runners and spectators lingered in the park long after the race; on a sunny day, this is one of the most spectacular and serene parts of Edinburgh.
As an accommodation partner for the race, Apex Hotels in Edinburgh are well placed to look after you during your visit. Find out more about our Edinburgh hotels
Win a VIP trip with race entry
Check out the Rock 'n' Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon competition with race sponsors Brooks in Athletics Weekly! You could win Brooks kit, dinner and one night's accommodation for two at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel and two VIP race entries.
Enter at www.athleticsweekly.com/competitions/brooks-edinburgh-trip - good luck!