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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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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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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 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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T2 Update

T2 Update

What a rush!

We were totally swept away in February by the media frenzy surrounding T2, and the fantastic interest in the running tours as a result. RTJ was lucky enough to get his magnificent moustache featured in the Edinburgh Evening News, along with an article explaining the concept (link below) and a few other newspapers picked up the story, and that had a huge impact on the number of tours going out. So much so, that we were busier in February, which is usually the quietest month for tourism in Scotland, than we were in August, which is supposed to be peak season!

Possibly the funniest moment was when RTJ got a bit over excited and scrawled “1690” on himself in permanent marker, only to discover that the runners booked on hadn’t actually seen the film, and just thought he was a bit mad as a result! There were quite a few runners joining us on tour who hadn’t actually seen the film, and it was really fun trying to take them to the locations and tell them the stories, all the while avoiding spoilers.

The tours, taking in the sights and stories around some of the filming locations, as well as recreating classic scenes from the film, were a great success, and as a result we’ll be keeping them going through the summer as well, so there’s still a chance to get on one if you haven’t made it up to Edinburgh yet!

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Niall’s Adventures Abroad: Part one

Niall’s Adventures Abroad: Part one

Following the end of high season, intrepid explorer RTJ wasn’t the only one of the EMF Guides to set a course for the four corners of the wide world. For the first part of eight months of life away from the UK I was destined for India.

I am half Indian but had never actually been to the country from which one whole side of my family originated. So working with the British council in an Indian school was an opportunity too good to be passed up. So off. I went for five months and in those five months I experienced things like none other and genuinely feel like I have been to another planet.

It is hard to put into words all the things I experienced and how wonderful they were, but to name a few: I went hiking in the Himalayas and watched the sun rise and set over those same stunning mountains, white water rafting on the Ganges, I told Scottish stories in Hampi, taught ten year old Indian children some Rabbie Burns and watched England play India at cricket in Mumbai. All of which may well have been topped by the day I met a wonderful elephant called Radah who is now my best friend.

India is a magical country, full of colour, vibrancy and diversity. Indeed, following my return to the UK I feel like I lived a dream for five months. Fortunately it wasn’t long before I got to set off into the world again and I currently write in a café in South Africa. I shall update you all on that very soon. But until then I bid you all adieu.

Niall

India
Taj Mahal
Cricket
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Tour Guides on Tour Part 3: Life and Death in the Desert

Tour Guides on Tour Part 3: Life and Death in the Desert

We last heard from RTJ after his running tour of Cape Town, so where did he end up next?

The day after the running tour of Cape Town, I loaded my bag into an old converted Mercedes truck and headed north to the Namib desert, with the intention of camping out under the stars, finding some wildlife, and surviving in conditions of up to 40 degrees.

I never thought I’d get to see a desert, and it was an experience I’m not going to forget in a hurry. Those who know me know that I’m built for winter. That guy who’s always in shorts, regardless of conditions? Yeah, that’s me. Cold, wet, I understand, these things I can deal with, but the brutal, cloudless skies of the desert? A mystery. To me, the heat, the dryness, the seemingly endless dirt, sand, and the sheer vastness meant death.

In amongst the dust and the sand dunes, however, there were still signs of life- specially adapted and accustomed to its environment, the creatures of the desert have made the most out of their harsh abode. By trees that had stood dead for almost a millennium, I found scurrying bugs, lizards, there were birds soaring above and signs of the roaming herds of animals.

I learnt about the Bushman, the humans who lived in this wasteland long before colonists arrived and all but wiped them out. I learnt about the techniques developed to live in this environment, about the special adaptations that the animals had evolved for gathering and storing water, about just how well life has adapted out there.

It’s a fascinating place, and if you haven’t been to the desert I highly recommend experiencing it.

I get the feeling I’ll be back someday, for now though, onwards….

Life and death in the desert
Life and death in the desert
Life and death in the desert
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