Staff news

Holyrood Park to play host to community run

Hundreds of staff and students will take part in Edinburgh’s Winter Run event this weekend

The University of Edinburgh has teamed up with Edinburgh Winter Run and Edinburgh Council to host three running events at Holyrood Park on Saturday 1 February.

The events are open to staff, students, friends, family, and the local community.

On the same day, Holyrood Park will also host the BUCS Cross Country Championships, after our Hare and Hounds Student Running Club won the bid to bring the event to Scotland for the first time in 20 years.

Event information

There are running events for all ages and experiences, including:

  • The Edinburgh Winter Run 5K: the headline race of the day, which will take the form of a road run around the iconic Arthur’s Seat. This run starts at 10:30am and is open to competitors of ages 13+
  • The Toddler Dash: a 100-metre dash for the finish line for those aged up to 5 years old when accompanied by an adult, starting at 12:00pm
  • The Family Mile: a flat 1-mile loop starting at 12:30pm and finishing on Queen’s Drive

Participants can make their way to the event from 08:30am when the event village and registration opens.

Following the headline race, Professor Colm Harmon, alongside members of the City of Edinburgh Council, will be presenting medals to participants.

If you have signed up as a University of Edinburgh student or staff member, you will be able to pick up your race pack from the Pleasance Gym on Friday 31 January from 12:00 to 6:00pm.

Bringing the community together

Nearly 750 people from our University community have signed up to do the Winter Run. Take a look at some of the staff and students who will be taking part.

Julia Stenhouse, Sports Union President

Julia Stenhouse

Running is something fairly new to me. Due to injuries, I sadly had to retire from hockey goalkeeping, and so I knew I needed something else to keep my fitness up.

It worked as perfect timing that I’m currently fundraising £2,000 as part of the Project Zambia programme where I’ll be supporting with the publicity and marketing of the project, whilst helping to upskill those in Zambia to ensure our work is of long-lasting impact. So I thought I’d do the main bit of my fundraising doing the Edinburgh Half Marathon, something that feels incredibly daunting right now, but I’m hoping the Winter Run will help me with my running!

Jamie Tait, Projects Officer & Policy Advisor to the University Secretary

Jamie Tait

I got into running through friends, and when I turned 30, I thought I’d challenge myself by signing up to my first ever marathon. That was over 10 years ago now and I’ve been running ever since, although nowadays I mainly do shorter distances.

I primarily run for general health and wellbeing, and because it’s such an easy (and inexpensive!) way to keep fit. Most Saturday mornings you’ll see me at one of the three parkruns in Edinburgh, so if you get the bug from the Edinburgh Winter Run, they’re a really easy way to keep the momentum going. I used to be a member of a running club and loved taking part in races in my club t-shirt, so I’m looking forward to running in a University t-shirt and being part of Team Edinburgh!

Dawn Lawson, 1st Year, Scottish Literature

Dawn Lawson

I didn’t start running until I was 48 and I followed the couch to 5k programme with my son (who’s now super fast) and doing the Edinburgh Winter Run too. I now run 5ks fairly regularly, taking part in the Park Run on a Saturday morning, but have also completed some 10ks over the last four years.

If you put your mind to it, you can achieve the couch to 5k in no problem and these events give you a goal! They just get you out to do it! 

Julie Wallace, Administrator, Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM)

Julie Wallace

I’ve never run before, but when I saw the email I thought I’d signed up to the run as a challenge to myself. I’ll be walking/jogging the route, having just started the ‘Couch to 5k’ with the help of my sons who’ve been out jogging and encouraging me to keep going, and the weekly walking as part of the CRM Wellbeing at Work initiatives.

 I’m feeling excited for the big day and still can’t believe I signed up and gave myself this challenge.

It’s wonderful to see so many of our University students, staff and their families get involved in the first Edinburgh Winter Run. Being active has so many benefits for our physical and mental health and events like these can only help us create sense of belonging, personal achievement and community.

Jim AitkenDirector of Sport and Exercise

Related links

Edinburgh Winter Run

BUCS 2019-20 Cross Country Championships