11 Aug

Vicki Looking For Fringe Benefits

Vicki on The Royal Mile.

If you're a runner in the Scottish capital, August is usually a time to steer clear of the city centre with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival meaning the streets are crowded with tourists, festival-goers and performers. But one runner, Vicki Weitz, has decided to use the occasion to attempt to run 26 marathons in 26 days as part of an ongoing art project.

Vicki, who started the challenge on 1 August, said: "I am interested in the idea of 'domestic performance', taking something quite day-to-day and using repetition, magnification and isolation to transform it into something else. How does our external/internal world affect our performance? How do we motivate ourselves?

"I'm not looking for anything new, but I am looking for that which we have hidden, either from ourselves or from others. What aren't we admitting/questioning? What have we cloaked in daily ritual? What are we running from?"

Vicki wasn't always such a keen runner, actively avoiding PE in school by rubbing grass into her eyes to induce hay fever. Now she is interested in discovering where sport and art meets and how the common element of preparation, anxiety, movement and performance affect each discipline. She is also working with The Human Performance Unit at Essex University to investigate the effect of diet, psychology and training on performance. She'd like to discover how the support of a crowd drives an athlete through a challenge of such a scale.

Vicki has four rules she must follow for the challenge;
1. She must start at 7am each day;
2. She must find someone to say 'GO' at the start of each marathon;
3. She must run between Holyrood Palace (at the bottom) up to the Castle (at the the top) until she has covered 26.2 miles;
4. She must repeat this for 26 days.

The current world record for the most marathons run on consecutive days by a female is 13 by Cristina Borra in Turin, Italy, from 16-28 February 2010. These were run in the comparative calm of Ruffini Park.

Vicki from Chelmsford, Essex, has been joined by various runners throughout the challenge and encourages others do likewise. She also encourages people to come along and cheer her on. For more information, visit Vicki's website or go to her Twitter page where she is updating followers daily on her progress.