City of Edinburgh Running Festival

City of Edinburgh Running Festival

What? The fourth annual City of Edinburgh Running Festival.

Where? Meggetland Sports Complex

When? The date of the 2017 event will be announced soon. 

What? CERF is a one of a kind format of racing in Edinburgh. It is a night racing and athletics fans won’t want to miss.- Every race is handicapped so each participant has an equal chance of winning.

Who? CERF is a family event, whether participating or spectating, and receives fantastic support from the running clubs, volunteers and sponsors from across Scotland.

Friends, family and neighbours are all welcome for a great night of racing, cheering and lots of celebrating.

What’s in it for the athletes? Prize money ranges from £100 to £3000. Any other benefit?

What’s in it for the spectators? There will be 20 races throughout the evening, where male and female athletes, aged nine and up compete in various distances.

There will also be food and drink on the evening.

Events are for male and female athletes, competing in Youth, Junior and Open categories. These races include –

Open Events:

110 metres

Ladies Invitational 110m Race

110 meters Novice Race

200 metres

800 metres

1600 metres

Sandy Jardine Rugby/Football Memorial 300m Race

Junior and Youth Events:

90 metres

200 metres

800 metres (combined Junior & Youth)

1600 metres (combined Junior & Youth)

For more information on the timings of events, please refer to

How to prevent injury


Regardless of what sport you play every sportsperson will want to avoid any type of injury which could hamper your season. Funnily enough runners aren’t an exception to this! So what can you do to help prevent damaging injuries?


Dynamic stretching is an essential practice to do before and after training. These stretches help to warm your muscles, increase circulation and prepare the muscles to be ready for your race. It’s really key to warm up, with particular focus on the muscles that you’ll be using in your race. Runner’s World suggest these three steps –

Walk before you run – Walking or jogging helps to ease the transition from static to running.

Point massage – If there are any areas causing you issues then you should lightly massage the muscle area to relieve tension.

Be dynamic – You need to warm up the extension of your legs through exercises. Here are some exercises to take into account when stretching.

Pilates and Yoga

A lot of athletes these days are using Pilates and yoga as a means of strengthening muscles and preventing injury. Benefits of Pilates and yoga include:

  •        Increased muscle strength and tone
  •        Improved posture
  •        Enhanced muscular control
  •        Stress management and relaxation

Pilates and Yoga also aid rehabilitation and they help improve your balance and strengthen those muscles that you might have damaged previously.

Further help

Sometimes injuries are impossible to prevent and it’s essential that you rehabilitate the correct way. It’s important to support any strains or sprains to ensure further damage is prevented. Our headline sponsor OrthoLink has a line of injury management sports braces and supports (medical grade) which help treat joint instability, tendonitis, sprains and strains. Check out their online Amazon store for details.


Making your own smoothies and flapjacks

These days, runners and sprinters are always looking for new food inspirations which can assist with increasing their endurance and also satisfy their taste buds. The latest crazes include the likes of ‘super smoothies’ and delicious flapjacks. Lucky for you we have a guide to making some of the most delicious flavoured smoothies and flapjacks around.

The key to making these smoothies is simple – Place all the ingredients in a smoothie blender and blend it until it’s smooth. Here are some of the ingredients you need to create some of these delicious smoothies –

Avocado and Cacao Antioxidant Boost Avocado and Apple
• ½ avocado

• 250 ml coconut milk

• 150 to 200ml coconut water

• 1 tbsp flax seeds (linseeds)

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1 level tbsp cacao powder

• 2 dates

• handful frozen berries

• 1 small or half large raw beetroot

• large handful of cherries (fresh or frozen)

• 2cm piece of ginger (if organic don’t peel)

• ½ tsp turmeric or 2cm root chopped

• 2 dessertspoons shelled hemp seeds

• 200 – 250 ml coconut water  • water for desired consistency

• for post workout add ½ or small banana

• 1 apple, sliced

• ½ avocado

• 1 level tsp cinnamon

• 8 almonds

• large handful spinach

• 3 chunks frozen pineapple

• 15 g whey powder • 200- 250 ml coconut milk

• water for desired consistency


Banana Chocolate Shake Refreshing Restorative
• 1 banana (fresh or frozen in chunks)

• 250 ml coconut milk

• 1 heaped tsp raw cacao                                                                                                                                                                                   • Handful of kale/spinach leaves

• Handful frozen berries

• 15 g whey protein powder

• 1 tsp maca (optional)

• dollop natural yoghurt

• water for desired consistency

• handful spinach or kale

• ¼ cucumber

• 4 or 5 chunks frozen pineapple

• juice of one lime

• 6-8 mint leaves

• 2 heaped dessertspoons sunflower seeds

• mixture of coconut water and water

The coconut milk in these smoothies provides electrolytes which in turn provide effective hydration. It’s also full of medium chain fatty acids which provide efficient fuel for the body.

Flapjacks can also help give your body a boost and also act as a nutritious tasty treat. To make yourself some delicious apple flapjacks follow the instructions below –


3 dessert apples

• 400ml 100% pressed apple juice

• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or to taste

• 2cm piece fresh root ginger, grated

• 250g whole rolled oats

• 200g sunflower/pumpkin seeds

• 160g raisins

• a couple of dessertspoons dessicated coconut (optional)

Slice and core the apple, but leave the skin on for a good source of pectin. Place the apples in a pan with the juice and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Puree in a food processor or with a hand-held mixer.

Meanwhile heat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line the base of a 22cm cake tin with baking paper. Or use an unlined, ungreased, Pyrex or ceramic square casserole dish. They don’t stick and burn to this.

Stir the grated ginger, cinnamon, oats, sunflower seeds and raisins into the apple puree and mix well, then tip it into the tin and spread out evenly.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until firm and golden brown. Cool slightly, cut into wedges then leave the flapjacks to cool completely in the tin.

For more great recipes go to

The City of Edinburgh Running Festival is taking part on the 1st of July 2016. Entry is open until the 19th of June via

Make your own energy gels

Energy gels are becoming increasingly popular among athletes wanting to maximise their endurance during a race or training session. What benefits can you really gain from energy gels? For one, each 60ml you consume of gels contains 21g of carbohydrate. When you take into account that your body roughly processes 1g of carbohydrates a minute then this really is an effective way of topping up on your carbs from your pasta the night before.

It’s important to note that energy gels shouldn’t replace water as a means of rehydration. Be sure to take on lots of water at the time. Carrying an energy gel can be the equivelent of carrying a small bowl of pasta or a baked potato in terms of carbs intake, although gels are a lot more practical to carry!

In terms of making your own healthy energy gels it really is quite simple. Here are the ingredients you need for chocolate, apple and citrus flavoured gels.

Chocolate Apple Citrus
6 medjool dates, pitted 6 medjool dates, pitted 6 medjool dates, pitted
125ml agave nectar or honey 75ml agave nectar or hone 125ml agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp. chia seeds 75ml stewed apples 2 tbsp. chia seeds
1/4 tsp. sea salt 2 tbsp. chia seeds 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. cocoa powder 1/4 tsp. sea salt Zest of 1 lemon and lime
Sealable bags (preferably PBA free) Zest of 1 lemon Juice of 1 orange


They’re simple and easy to make. All you do is whizz all the ingredients in a food processor and then bag them. All in all you should get around 6 servings from each recipe.

The City of Edinburgh Running Festival is taking part on the 1st of July 2016. Entry is open until the 19th of June via



What should you eat and drink on race day?

What should you eat and drink on race day?

As the City of Edinburgh Running Festival event grows closer, athletes should start considering what they’ll be eating in the 24 hours before their race in the evening. Here’s some food for thought on what’s best to consume for energy.

Night Before

A light dinner is perfect the night before a big race. A small pasta dish with chicken and veg is an ideal option. If pasta isn’t your favourite then you can get your carb intake from brown rice. Other good food types to eat the night before include sweet and baked potatoes.



It’s important to involve carbs in all of your meals prior to a run and meals don’t come any more important than breakfast. Enjoy a bowel of porridge topped with a banana or blueberries or alternatively some wholegrain toast or a bagel with a glass of fruit juice. You must keep yourself hydrated in the run up to and on the day, but don’t make the mistake of drinking too much water or risk being too bloated before the race.


With the CERF races taking place in the early evening lunch is the last proper meal you’ll eat before your event. Firstly you should ensure this meal is eaten at least four hours before your race. The meal will take a while to digest so it’s important to give your body enough time to do that. An ideal lunch could be a baked potato with beans. Alternatively some small sandwiches could provide the carbs that you need.


In the run-up to the evening it’s important not to eat anything too large and avoid fatty foods. The likes of bananas, rice cakes and cereal bars would work as a light snack and should provide you with the energy you need for your race. As well as this electrolytes are important so it may be an idea to alternate your water intake with Gatorade in the run-up to the race. Another drink that can benefit your race preparation is blended beetroot. This drink can really help with boosting your V02 max which in turn can increase the amount of oxygen an athlete can utilise during exercise. It’s recommended to do this a couple of days before a race as opposed to a couple of hours before.