Couple Dan Wallis and Hillory Davis won the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run in 2016 and have shared reasons as to why they love running together

While some people might enjoy running alone as a chance for some ‘me time’, others see it as an opportunity to spend time with loved ones.

Dan Wallis and Hillory Davis made history at the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run after they became the first couple to finish as first male and first female at the event.

Having recently got married to Hillory, Dan reflects on his experience of running in Edinburgh and explains why they find running together so enjoyable.

“Most can agree that sharing an experience is what makes it truly memorable, which is why everything is not only easier in a pair, but also far more enjoyable.

“In April of 2016 I won the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run 10 mile. Edinburgh is a special place for me; it’s where I have friends as close as family and is also where my now wife and I finally saw each other after close to five months apart.

“I had been training and racing in a frozen American winter while she was enjoying summer with her family in Australia. I wanted her to love Edinburgh as much as I did, so I convinced her to enter the race as a way to see Scotland’s capital city like no other.

“Neither of us was particularly confident the night before. I had competed in the Great Ireland Run the week before having come down from altitude in Colorado.

“Given the timing, I was in a post-altitude slump, while Hillory had only recently arrived in Scotland from Australia with stopovers in China, Italy and London.

“With all of that in mind, we both decided to start conservatively – if we felt good we would both try and gradually pick up the pace.

“There is a lot about our running that separates us – I am a marathoner, while she is a former Australian Olympic trials qualifier in the 3000m steeplechase, so there is around 24 miles and a few hurdles between us.

“Still, there is also a lot that brings us together which is time we always prioritise and is something we have been doing now for almost four years across 13 countries.

“One of the best opportunities to run with each other is warming up together for a race, which we did in Edinburgh.

“Running can be brutal, but racing is the fun part – especially when you get to share it with the person most important to you.

“Fifteen minutes or so after I had crossed the finish line I heard the unforgettable voice of Bryan Burnett announce that the first woman was on her way down the home stretch, and that it was Hillory Davis.

“Given she entered the race at the last minute as a sight-seeing expedition, I was as surprised as I think she was. In the sport of running you can often surprise yourself, which we both did at the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run last year.

“As it so happens, I am in the midst of a European winter where I am training and racing, while my better and obviously smarter half is back in Australia enjoying her fourth consecutive summer.

“We are both hoping to be back in Edinburgh come Sunday April 23, only this time we’ll have the same last name.

“Happy running together!”

The Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run is the only run that takes participants through the heart of Scotland’s capital city.

The event now features a brand new 5 mile distance and the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run Family Mile and Toddler Dash.

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