Eden Marathon & Half Marathon
Cornwall’s biggest running event returns for its 10th year for 2019, with two challenging multi-terrain routes through spectacular countryside that give runners a taste of the journey that the landscape itself has been through. Highlights include the man-made spoil heaps known as the 'Cornish Alps', the Luxulyan granite works that have been reclaimed by nature and, possibly the highpoint, the former china clay pit that now entertains over a million visitors a year – the Eden Project.
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Amazing trail marathon!
The organisation of this event right from the parking at the start was like clockwork. There must have been several hundred competitors descending on the Eden Project that morning for the marathon and half marathon, but it was made really easy to park, get to bag drop and then to the start.
The Eden Project itself made for a very unique location to begin the event, it always feels like such a surreal place to visit. The biomes look like something out of a sci-fi movie.
The race started at 9:30 literally as the heavens opened. But the torrential downpour certainly didn't dampen the spirits of the runners as we set off to take on the hills. Yes, this marathon does contain a lot of hills so is perhaps not suited for the PB hunters out there who just want a quick time. There is a fair amount of congestion of runners, so if you are keen on getting a good time I would suggest starting upfront so you can get a clear run. I was happy to start slow at the back.
The trail is quite varied, there is a small portion along quiet roads and plenty of picturesque woodland and muddy bridleways. Yes it was very very muddy and there was a certain amount of calf-deep water to trot through, not that dissimilar to some of the better mud runs that I've done before. So trail shoes are recommended and some careful footing at times. With the many hills comes the inevitable downhill and on such slippery terrain, you needed to keep your wits about you.
The highest point of the race, at about 10 miles, takes you right up to the top of Helland Tor where the views are breathtaking. It's difficult to run up here, it's more of a clamber. But once at the top, it's worth just catching your breath and having a look around.
The support that you get as you run is great, I was surprised to see so many encouraging faces along the way and the marshals were all superb, considering how wet it was at the start.
The end of the race is a lovely descent back into the Eden Project. By this point, the sun had come out and the site of Eden was perfect, blue sky and a happy crown waiting for you to cross the line. Each runner received a really nice laser cut wooded medal, quite unique compared to the usual bling, also a nice t-shirt. To make things even better, each runner can then go and relax with a complimentary pasty and beer. Perfect :-)