Ashleigh Runs Edinburgh exists to share the love of running in my beautiful adopted city of Edinburgh, and in the surrounding hills and coastline of the Lothians.
I am a runner, trail runner and canicrosser living and working in Edinburgh, Scotland.
I never expected to become a runner. I’m definitely not a natural athlete. Growing up, I always avoided organised sport and particularly loathed physical education classes. I was briefly school-famous when an article about ‘why I hate PE’ was published in 1990s teen-girl bible Just Seventeen. I was content to be a bookish nerd, never to be seen in lycra.
I have, however, always have a deep love for nature. I’ve always been drawn to the mountains, and while at university in Aberdeen joined the mountaineering club and spent many happy, soggy weekends in the hills of the Scottish Highlands. Even when the skies were grey and the rain was horizontal I found happiness in the outdoors. Which was just as well, living in Aberdeenshire where grey skies were not entirely uncommon.
One day my friend Jenny bought a copy of Sam Murphy’s ‘Run For Life’ and convinced me that we should start running together. We didn’t have Garmins, or Strava, or even proper trainers, but we stuck to the programme and slowly we both discovered a love for running.
I’ve now run four marathons (Brighton, Chicago, Loch Ness and London), seven half marathons and numerous 10kms, 5kms and other distances. I’m not fast, and I’m never going to win any races, but that’s not why I run. I run for the joy of moving my body and of exploring new places. I pack my trainers in my suitcase on every holiday, and love nothing more than exploring a new city or neighbourhood on foot, whether it’s the harbour-side in Reyjyavik or Central Park in New York.
After many years as a road runner, I’ve recently discovered the joy of trail running, especially with my furry running buddy Archie the cocker spaniel. Now I can happily combine my passion for nature with my love of running. Archie and I also regularly take part in club runs and races with our canicross club Cani-sports Edinburgh. I’m also learning to embrace running up hills, an unavoidable part of any Edinburgh runner’s routine.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog. You can also follow me on Instagram @ashleighrunsedinburgh and Archie @archietheedinburghdog. Please get in touch if you have any feedback or suggestions, and I hope to see you out running in Edinburgh soon!