Scenically and socially successful, the first Puma Edinburgh Marathon yesterday left some unaswered questions about its future, after Mexican Andres Espinosa won the race in two hours 14 min 33 second, fully two minutes clear of his nearest rival, Pole Wicslaw Perszke, with another Kenyan Elias Chelanga third ahead of a near-exhausted Paul Evans.

Espinosa, the tenth fastest man in marathon history at 2:07:19, was hoping to break 2:10:0 for the classic distance and the fact that he was so far outside his best time suggests the course was anything but the fast one predicted by the organisers.

The coaches of the leading three had agreed privately beforehand that 2:15:0 or even 2:16:0 might be good enough to win and Espinosa's effort was described as ''brilliant'' by the others.

The 36-year-old Mexican, who did admit to having stomach trouble at nine miles as he had previously in the Boston Marathon, necessitating a ''pit stop'', blamed the first half of the race, from its start in Dunfermline through the Dalmeny Estate to the Forth Road Bridge, as the main reason for the slow time: ''There were too many hills,'' he said.

''This is not a fast course,'' said Glasgow-born Paul Evans, who finished fourth and confessed to ''running on memory'' at the end, said his whole focus had been on ''winning''.

Running in a leading group of four with Espinosa, he was feeling so good at 16 miles that he tried to make a break and ''paid for it''.

That was good enough for the first Briton prize and more controversially the first Scot, for Evans is not considered Scottish for international or record purposes because he is deemed to have opted for his country of residence, England.

The man who might have benefitted from a different ruling was the first ''Home Scot'' home, Jamie Reid who lives in Cleland and runs for Law & District.

He was quite undaunted by the course and hacked a huge 24 minutes off his personal best to finish tenth in 2:25:42.

Sandra Branney was first Scot in the women's race, where the computer ''forgot'' the third placer Angelina Kanana of Kenya, despite the fact that at one stage she had built up a lead of thee minutes over compatriot Esther Kipragat. Results:

Puma Edinburgh Marathon Men: 1, A Espinosa (Mexico) 2hrs 14min 31sec; 2, W Perszke (Poland) 2-16.33; 3, E Chelanga (Kenya) 2-16.59; 4, P Evans (Belgrave) 2-17.35; 5, H Shimarishi (Japan) 2-18.03; 6, K Kanno (Japan) 2-19.13; 10, J Reid (Law & District) 2-25.39.

Women: 1, E Kiplagat (Kenya) 2-33.09; 2, V Kryza (Poland) 2-33.43; 3, A Kanana (Kenya) 2-34.45; 4, S Reinsford (England) 2-36.17; 5, A Wyeth (England) 2-38.27; 6, W Llewellyn (New Zealand) 2-39.10; 7, S Branney (City of Glasgow) 2-46.55.

Sandy Sutherland