Great Edinburgh Winter Run: The singing running team

Sing in the City choir ready for the Great Edinburgh Winter Run
Sing in the City choir have raised funds of more than £55,000

A group of runners from Edinburgh's Sing in the Cityexternal-link choir will take part in the Great Winter Runexternal-link on Saturday, 7 January in the Scottish capital.

The 10 members, who range from regular runners to first-timers, are part of a 500-strong group who raise money for charities while sharing their love of music and singing.

The runners will perform on the start line of the 5k run before joining the crowd to race around Holyrood Park.

There is a 2.5k run for 7-14 year olds.

And the two races precede the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country, which takes place in the afternoon.

To date the choir have raised funds of more than £55,000 but they are hoping they can beat their target of £60,000 with this latest venture.

The group is led by Kirsty Baird who started Sing in the City in 2010 with only 40 members. "We always hear from our members about how Sing in the City has changed their lives," she said.

"Their confidence grows and they gain a huge circle of friends. Our fundraising usually begins by one of our members suggesting an idea during our tea break, which is how the group for the Great Edinburgh Winter Run was formed.

"There are a lot of keen runners taking part and also some who are taking on their first running event. It doesn't matter about your ability; it's about coming together as a group and doing something fun."

Sing in the City choir ready to take on the Great Edinburgh Winter Run
Sing in the City choir was formed in 2010

One of the members running will be Lisa Ward. When she joined the group as a hobby she had no idea how much it would change her life.

"I joined Sing in the City as some midweek work stress relief. I never imagined I'd get so much more from it," she said.

"I honestly can't imagine my life now without it. I've had so many doors opened to me through the group and the friendships made with people I would have never had the chance to meet.

"It's through Sing in the City that I started running. I have never been a runner, in fact I couldn't even run the length of myself.

"Then a group from the choir started a weekend running group and I went along as something else to do, a bit like how I started Sing in the City in the first place.

"It soon grew arms and legs and we became a training team entering different events. I now proudly own a number of medals and although I'll never be the fastest, I'm proud that I started and finished in the first place and I couldn't ask for a more wonderful group of folks to run along with.

"Thanks to Sing in the City I'm now a singer and a runner!"

The group also hopes to inspire the mass of participants along the route by singing some of their favourite winter songs.

You can watch coverage of the Great Edinburgh International XCountry event on BBC One this Saturday from 13:15 GMT and follow the action here.