HISTORY AND TRADITION
The 10k Bupa Great Edinburgh Run returned to the Scottish capital in 2005 after a six-year absence during which time it had been staged at Balmoral as the Bupa Great Caledonian Run. Prior to the Balmoral races the Great Caledonian Run had been based in Edinburgh from its launch in 1991.
On its return to Edinburgh the event started and finished on The Meadows and continued to attract world class athletes. In 2005 Juan Carlos de la Ossa powered to the fastest 10k time in Great Britain that year, scoring a thrilling victory ahead of his African rivals.
The Spaniard's unexpected success quickly followed that of Jelena Prokopcuka, winner of the women's race a few minutes earlier, to complete a rare double for European athletes at the Edinburgh meeting. de la Ossa, twice European cross country runner-up - he had claimed the first silver medal in the Scottish capital 17 months previously - produced a superb long sprint 600m from home to win in a time of 28min 22sec. It wasn't an easy victory, both pre-race favourite Boniface Kiprop of Uganda and Tanzania's John Yuda, were hot on his heels; indeed, their neck-and-neck duel saw them both finish just two seconds behind the winner.
Prokopcuka really savoured her success against two-time Olympic 10000m champion Derartu Tulu after the Ethiopian had established an early lead. The Latvian winner of the Osaka and New York marathons that year, quickly reeled in Tulu and with 2km to go had established a six seconds lead, which gradually got longer and she went on to finish with a 12-second winning margin in 32:42. Kenny Herriot, a week after breaking the UK wheelchair marathon record in Italy, stepped down in distance for a home soil victory in a time of 30:01.
Prokopcuka, easily defended her Bupa Great Edinburgh Run title in 2006, using her renowned strength on the steep hills to pull away from Aniko Kalovics, Catherine Mutwa and Jolene Byrne and win in a time of 32:25. Twenty-year-old Tanzanian Fabiano Joseph, the reigning world half marathon champion, was part of a three-man unit that pulled away from the field in the early stages of the men’s race – along with defending champion de la Ossa and Kenya’s Simon Arusei. But it was Jospeh who had the greater strength and he stormed away to record a winning time of 28:38, six seconds quicker than Arusei with de la Ossa third.
Prokopcuka claimed a hat-trick of victories in 2007, just edging out British rival Jo Pavey by four seconds in 32:53, with Kalovics third in 33:15. With defending champion Joseph sidelined early in the race with a tight hamstring, the men’s event came down to a head-to-head battle between Kiprop and Hosea Macharinyang. The result wasn't decided until the final 10 metres when Macharinyang got ahead to win by a second in 29:14.
In 2008, Australia's Benita Johnson (now Willis), on the comeback trail, couldn't hide her delight after storming to a convincing victory over a strong field including Kenya's Rose Cheruiyot and Kalovics to win in 32:20. Johnson waited until the halfway point before making a decisive break on a very steep hill, which saw her eventually pull a healthy distance clear of her rivals. Commonwealth 10000m gold medallist Kiprop, in his third Edinburgh appearance, was robbed of victory again in a sprint for the line by Bernard Kipyego.
The Ugandan, a two-time runner-up in 2005 and 2007, made a strong break just 200m from the finishing line but Kipyego followed hot on his tail to just edge home by three seconds in 28:59.
Deena Kastor, after her Olympic disaster the previous year when she broke a foot three miles into the marathon, bounced back with a world class victory in 2009. The 36-year-old American took charge of the race after 2km and raced away from the field to win in 32:38 ahead of Prokopcuka and Sally Barsosio. Micah Kogo, five weeks after smashing Haile Gebrselassie’s world record for the distance, was also in dominant form in the men’s race to scorch to victory in 28:13. Kipyego didn’t give up his crown easily though and was just 14 seconds adrift.
There were fine conditions for the 2010 event with sunshine and gentle winds - and Kenyans made the most of things by taking the top three places in both the men's and women's races.
The men's winner was 19-year-old Titus Mbishei, who crossed the line in 28:46, some 14 seconds ahead of Edwin Soi - bronze medalist in the 5000m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - and 24 seconds beyond third-placed Vincent Yator.
Florence Kiplagat just edged Grace Momanyi - winner of the 2008 Bupa Great Yorkshire Run - by ten seconds in a time of 32:10 in the women's event, with Doris Changeywo third three seconds further back.
Scotland's Freya Murray couldn't repeat the heroic win she had earned at the SPAR Great Ireland Run a few weeks earlier, recording a time of 33:35 for seventh place on home soil.
In 2011, Kenyan's Martin Mathathi with a new course record and Lucy Kabuu scored convincing victories to win the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run titles in very wet conditions on Sunday morning. The pair, after their solid victories at the Bupa Great North Run a fortnight earlier returned to British soil to add to those laurels with winning times of 28 minutes 03 seconds and 32min 28sec, exceptional in the unhelpful weather.
ROLL OF HONOURMen
2011 Martin Mathathi (KEN) 28:03
2010 Titus Mbishe (KEN) 28:46
2009 Micah Kogo (KEN) 28:13
2008 Bernard Kipyego (KEN) 28:59
2007 Hosea Macharinyang (KEN) 29:14
2006 Fabiano Joseph (TANZ) 28:38
2005 Juan Carlos de la Ossa (ESP) 28:22
2011 Lucy Kabuu (KEN) 32:28
2010 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) 32:10
2009 Deena Kastor (USA) 32:38
2008 Benita Johnson (AUS) 32:20
2007 Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 32:53
2006 Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 32:25
2005 Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 32:42