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EMF Running tour - Burns Night
Feel the Burns Night!
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”

And why not add a wee run in beforehand? 

On the 25th of January, why not join us on a running tour to find out a bit more about the bards’ influence on and exploits in our fair city. 

We’ll be jogging for around 90 minutes, with frequent stops for stories, taking in the hidden sights that the city has to offer, and learning about the famous bard, his contemporaries, and other intriguing characters from the worlds’ first UNESCO City of Literature.

Come join us on January 25th at 6pm, get your ticket at emfrunningtours.com/book.

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New Year, New You, New Motivation
Aah, New Year. The time when we all decide that “THIS year, is the year that I’m going to…[detox, go hangliding, ride a bike, START RUNNING]” with our new years resolutions!

Well, why not let us help? I know that a lot of us decide that running is on the list, from personal experience as well, and how hard it can be to keep that motivation going. 

If you need a kick start, or an extra boost to get you outside during the dreich winter months, we can definitely help you. Our award winning guides are all also trained JogScotland leaders, accustomed to taking groups of all levels. We’ve taken everyone from olympians to first time joggers, and with frequent breaks for stories, the time will race by 😉

Come join us in 2018, just head to the Book a Tour page and find a time which suits you! 

RTJ

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Festive Fun Tour
Festive Fun Tour
HO HO HO!

It’s Christmas time here again in Edinburgh, and what better way to celebrate than with a Yule Jog! Jog…. Log… Get it?

Come join our guides on a gentle jog through the city on Thursday December 21st at 8pm, seeing it all lit up from high up, and finishing up in the Christmas Markets with a cup of hot mulled wine!

We’ll be jogging for around 60 minutes, stopping for plenty of yuletide stories along the way! The the distance will depend on group ability level, but it’ll be somewhere between 5-7km, with frequent stops for stories, so no need to worry about not being able to catch your breath! There will be plenty of stories about the history of Edinburgh, and the history of Christmas itself- from the old pagan Yuletide to the origins of SinterKlaas himself 😉

And what festive feast would be complete without a cup of mulled wine? Our tour will finish in the Christmas markets for a cup of spiced, hot wine, surrounded by all the excitement of the market atmosphere.

To book tickets, head over to our BOOKING page and select the 8pm tour on Thursday the 21st of December, and we’ll see you then!

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Ancient Stories

Edinburgh, the “Festival City” of Scotland, is home to some of the most impressive and well known festivals in Britain, but there’s not just the famous ones in August to see…

The Celts, some of the earliest settlers in what is now Scotland, had a series of festivals throughout their calendar, and 30 years ago, we started celebrating them again here in the city.

Partly to revive old traditions, and partly to protest Margaret Thatcher, a group of performers snuck up Calton Hill and put on a show. They had such a good time that they did it again, and again, and again, and now, Beltane Fire Festival, is one of the biggest fire festivals in the whole world. Every year, around 300 performers gather on Calton Hill, in all manner of fantastic costumes that they’ve made for themselves (or sometimes just body paint and their pants) to celebrate the new life that summer brings to the earth, the May Queen reviving the Green Man, his elaborate dance to entice her, to bring about the new season.

Two of our guides have been involved in the Beltane community since almost the day they arrived in Edinburgh, and this year was a very special one for RTJ. In April, for Beltane, he was part of Photopoint, the official event photography team: 

“It was really wonderful to be asked to be part of PhotoPoint [the photography group] on the 30th anniversary, having previously lead drum crews, acrobatic groups, and performed with the fire group, it was great to be on the other side of the lens for a change!”

Then, as the seasons started to change into winter, again the city is set alight; for the past 15 years every halloween night the city has been host to Samhuinn Fire Festival.

What started as a fundraiser for the Beltane Fire Festival in April eventually grew and grew into a huge spectacular, with hundreds of performers winding their way down the royal mile to a huge stage setup. This year saw around 9000 people come to witness the biggest Samhuinn ever, with fire everywhere, acrobatics, and enough drums to blast out even the hardiest of ear drums! Some of the drums were on fire as well… Because… Well, why not.

RTJ, who has been involved with the Beltane Fire Society for over 7 years now, was one of the Blue’s for this years festival.

“The Blues are the keepers of the ritual; the guardians of the story, if you like. Anyone who knows me, or has ever been on a tour with me, will know how importnat stories are to me, so being one of the group in charge of making sure that the festival has a coherent story was a very exciting prospect for me! It’s also a huge honour, no one gets to apply to be Blue, you are chosen, and it’s a real mark of respect and indicative of how highly you are regarded within the community to be chosen as a Blue. It’s sort of like tribal elder meets artistic director, really!

The story of Samhuinn follows the Cailleach, the mother goddess, who witnesses the Summer and Winter Kings as they battle for supremacy over the seasons. The inevitability of the winter victory, the sadness at the loss of summer, and the celebration of family, closeness, and the ensuing party as winter revels in its victory, are all part of the massive event we wove together for the thousands of people who came to witness a truly amazing event.”

If you’d like to learn more about the festival, check out the Beltane Fire Society website, or feel free to email RTJ to get a bit more info about the Blue perspective [email protected] and check out some of the photos and the ace video that the clever photopoint guys put together at the Beltane FaceBook page!

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Group Tours Now Available
Group tours are here!

Looking for something a bit different to do with your day? Or maybe you are on the hunt for something unique for your stag/hen weekend? Corporate challenge? Birthday? You name it, we can do a tour to fit the theme! 😀

Get in touch via the website here to talk to us about your group requirements. We can cater for groups of up to 45, but will never send out a group with more than 15:1 with the guides, as we firmly believe that for the whole group to enjoy themselves, you need to kepe the group small and intimate.

Looking forward to welcoming you to our fair city!

RTJ

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Gunpowder, Treason, and Hill reps….
Ooooh, it was a chilly evening on the 5th of November, when a few intrepid runners braved the winds to come out and watch the fireworks with us on our very special Bonfire Night Tour.

The route was a pretty hilly 7k throught the old town, heading up the royal mile, ducking in and out of the closes and graveyards en route, with stories of 17th century Edinburgh, and the events leading up to Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators being captured and executed… With a headful of stories, and a handful of sparklers, we watched the fireworks form the top of Calton Hill, and it was lovely to see such a big final hurrah from Meadowbank Stadium, which is closing for renovations at the beginning of next month…

There was a great documentary about what might have happened if Guy Fawkes had succeded HERE which is well worth watching if you’re curious!

RTJ

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Queensferry Crossing Experience
The fabulous, world record breaking Queensferry Crossing opened this month, spanning almost two miles over the Firth of Forth, to the north of our glorious city, and RTJ was there to be a part of the once in a lifetime opporunity that 50,000 lucky people had, of walking over the bridge ahead of its official opening ceremony.

“Over the first weekend of September, I was lucky enough to be a part of the team delivering the Queensferry Crossing Experience to some 50,000 people who were successful in the ballot. Hearing that over 250,000 people applied to cross the bridge was no surprise, as it has no public footpath and this was going to be the one chance people were going to have to get to walk on it.

One of the utterly delightful things about the whole weekend was hearing people’s stories – why they were there, and what it meant to them. I spoke to all manner of people, from retired world leaders, to excited children, and everyone had a story to tell. I spoke to one of the volunteers who was a retired engineer that had worked on the original road bridge; I helped three generations of the same family make their way over in honour of their recently deceased patriarch, I escorted a very special visitor who’s ill health very nearly prevented her making it to the event, and I shuffled about a hundred hungry volunteers to their lunch breaks!

It truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been a part of it. 50,000 people can say that they were part of something tremendously special, and will have a memory to cherish for the rest of their lives. Well done to all involved, and huge well done to the organisers for putting on such a beautiful event!”

More of RTJ’s pictures from the day will be popping up on his Facebook page at Armandary Photography in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out there to see his perspective of the event!

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EMF Running Tours - Festival Time
Festival time!
As the madness finally descends upon Edinburgh, our guides are taking a moment to collect and calm themselves, before racing into the full scale visual assault that is Festival Season.

For the whole month of August, Edinburgh is a bustling hive of activity, as every single pub, club, people’s living rooms, transform into venues, and there’s something happening ALL DAY, every day, and all night every night. For the next 4 weeks, Edinburgh will be the biggest arts venue in the entire world, as artists, comedians, street performers, circuses, drummers, dancers, writers, you name it, congregate in Edinburgh.

Whilst the most well known festival these days is (somehwat ironically) the Fringe festival, there’s also the book festival, the international festival, the military tattoo, and others as well, the list goes on! For more information on all the happenings in the city this month, check out this handy Edinburgh Festival List for each of the festivals!

It’s a difficult time for most of the tour companies, as the population of Edinburgh more than doubles, but not for us here at EMF Running Tours in fact, if anything, it serves to highlight something very special about our 5 star experience!

If you’ve been on one of our tours, or spoken to one of our guides, you’ll know that one of the aims of the running tours is to show people the hidden side of the city, the quiet spots that no one else goes to, and as a result, during the festival, we’ll spend about 2 minutes on the Royal Mile to show people exactly what we mean! When you’re doing a 7am tour in February, this is irrelevant, as there’s NO ONE AROUND anyway, but in the middle of August, with almost 2 million visitors in town, the quiet spots are a real relief…. Come along and see for yourself 😉

RTJ

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EMF 2017
EMF 2017

What a fantastic weekend we had; 30,000 runners descended upon the city for the events, and many of them came along for a tour to get a feel of the place they were visiting. We had guest from all over the world come out with us, from Uraguay to Australia, Hong Kong to Toronto, and between the three guides we put in around 50 miles over the weekend!

We saw a lot of new faces, with around 50 keen explorers joining us, and as a nice surprise, we actually had a lovely couple come along who had joined us last year, and had had such a lovely time that they wanted to go again!

With Nick on board to help, I managed to get away with not doing another accidental marathon this year! I did, however, end up running 18 miles on the hottest day of the year… I drank enough water to rehydrate a dying camel, and still felt really, REALLY weird that evening… We’re no built for the heat up here, and having inherited my grandad’s wonderfully pasty Lanarkshire skin, I’m not in the sun more than 5 seconds before I burn to a crisp!

Huge congratulations to everyone who took part in the EMF weekend events, it was a scorcher of a weekend, and everyone did a fantastic job- runners, race crew, and guides alike 😉

RTJ

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Singles Night!
Oh what a night!

14 brave souls came out to play on our very first SINGLES NIGHT, in association with Joseph Pearce’s Bar on Elm Row, and what a night we had! A fantastic mix of runners, ages, ability levels, and interests! Everything from iron man competitors in training to gentle joggers, classics teachers and museum staff to army cadets, 6k of chat and jogging, engaging with like-minded singles!

RTJ, as the dedicated cupid for the evening, did his best to take the pressure off everyone else by making a prat out of himself. Silly warm up games outside JP’s, daft stories and nonsense chat on the way around, proved enough of a distraction so that everyone forgot all about the stress of meeting new people and just enjoyed themselves.

What better finishing point than JP’s, where we all clambered into afterwards for a chat and a “recovery pint” as RTJ called it… Having had such a lovely night, we’re absolutely going to do it again, so why not come join us on the 26th of May, 8pm at Joseph Pearce’s for round two?

See you there 😉

Tickets to the event are limited, and available at https://www.emfrunningtours.com/tours/singles/

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