After battling their way to debut wins in the Edinburgh Marathon both the men's and women's champions expressed gratitude for the on course support that helped them to victory.
Marathon winner Phil Nicholls overcame a severe bout of cramp that briefly forced him to stop running a mile from home, while Sarah Harris also admitted to finding the going tough as they both emerged triumphant in their first competitive outings over the marathon distance.
Phil Nicholls said "I was feeling really strong until about 18 or 19 miles but I started suffering from cramp in the latter stages. I had to stop and walk at the 25-mile marker".
"A lady runner who was going the other way handed me an energy gel which I took and I managed to pick up my race again after that. Whoever she is please give her my thanks because I don't think I could have got going again without that help".
The women's event was won by Sarah Harris from Nottingham. "There was amazing support out on the course. Everyone says this about Edinburgh and that is why I chose this Marathon instead of London. I'm so happy."
The women's Half Marathon was won by Becky Penty with the men's Half Marathon won by Andrew Douglas from Inverclyde AC. "It was a good start to the season and we had a great family day," said Andrew Douglas.
With the Edinburgh Marathon Festival taking place over two days for the first time Saturday saw five races taking place around Royal Holyrood Park. The day started out with the international breakfast run followed by the 10k and 5k later in the morning. There were two junior races of 1.5k and 3k.
Race Director Neil Kilgour commented; "We provide races for runners of all abilities, resulting in a bumper entry and a wonderful atmosphere. Our thanks go to those who came out to support all the events and made it a special weekend for all of our runners".
Pre-register now for the 2012 Edinburgh Marathon Festival at www.edinburgh–marathon.com