The Eden Project in St. Austell, Cornwall, provides a unique venue for a tough marathon
Only two Harriers made the intredip voyage south into unknown territories across the border, i.e. Cornwall, for the annual Eden Porject Marathon and Half Marathon events, held on 9/10/11. However, it is most definitely quality and not quantity that matters here as Dave Stone and Adam Miller did the club proud, placing 3rd and 4th in the marathon and half marathon respectively.
For Dave, this is the second time that he has tackled the 26.2 mile hilly, multi-terrain course that starts and finishes against the dramatic back drop of the Eden Porject biomes in St. Austell. It is also the second time that he has placed 3rd at the event too! In 2009 he just managed to dip in under the 3 hour mark, running 2.59.55 to clench the 3rd spot. This year he improved his time to 2.53.44 to place 3rd overall and the top V/40. Dave will surely be pleased that two years on and he is churning out faster times and has not lost any of his fitness. It also shows that standards in running are generally improving across the board as his time from 2009 would have only been good enough for 6th place in this year's race.
If you are still not impressed enough by this performance, I should add that Dave had also taken part in the tough Royal Marine's Commando Challenge on Woodbury Common the day before and was even contemplating going on to run in round 1 of the Brook's Westward Cross Country league, held in Redruth, immediately after the marathon. There is only one word for this: NUTTER!
There were 314 finishers and the race was run by Peter Roper from Poole AC in a time of 2.43.12.
Meanwhile, at the same venue in the half marathon, Adam Miller put in a very strong performance on what is also, like the marathon, a tough, hilly multi-terrain course. Having lived in St. Austell for 25 years, I can confirm that the terrain around Eden is anything but flat, and the mud on some parts of the course will have further slowed the runners. Nevertheless, Adam ran an amazing race which was good enough to bag him 4th place out of 946 finishers! Adam posted a time of 1.23.33, just 3 minutes behind the winner, Andrew Moreton of Kent AC. Those Killerton 5k leg sharpeners have clearly paid off!
Both Harriers thoroughly enjoyed the course and the venue and they particularly praised the post-race pasty and pint that was included in the entry fee. With free entry to Eden after the race for runners and their supporters also included, this is a fun, friendly and good value for money family event. ...Harrier's mini-bus outing next year, anyone?!
A satisfied duo: Dave and Adam after the race, dining out on their satisfying results and even more satisfying post-race pasty and pint!