Close finish for St. Austell Running Club one-two at the Eden Project Marathon
The fifth annual Eden Project Marathon saw an exciting one-two finish from St Austell Running Club members today (Sunday October 19).
Winner Phil Montgomery-Smith, 43, pipped his friend and club-mate Tim Adams, 45, to the finish line by a margin of just 9 seconds.
Phil, from Sticker near St. Austell, finished with a time of three hours, nine minutes and 14 seconds in bright, sunny conditions which were a marked contrast to last year’s thunder storms.
Tim, from St. Austell, finished with a time of three hours, nine minutes and 23 seconds.
Phil said: “I’ve never won a race before and this was the first time I’ve run the Eden Marathon – I was marshalling last year. It was very tough but an absolutely brilliant course.”
Tim said: “It was really tough but I’ve knocked about 20 minutes off last year’s time so I was pleased with that and it was the first time I’ve got a podium place too.”
Andrew Vallance, 35, from Okehampton who runs with Okehampton Running Club finished third with a time of three hours, 13 minutes and 40 seconds.
Isobel Wykes, 36, from Probus who runs with Mud Crew Trail Runners was the fastest woman in the Eden Marathon for the second time with a time of three hours, 33 minutes and 56 seconds.
“I’m very pleased to be the fastest woman for the second year running. It was just as challenging as last year, it was hard but good fun.”
The second fastest woman was Charlotte Bennett, 41, from Helston who runs with Hayle Runners and finished with a time of three hours, 43 minutes and 59 seconds.
Third place was Bonny Collingborn, 59, from Plymouth who runs with the South West Veterans’ Athletics Club with a time of three hours, 48 minutes and 22 seconds.
Earlier in the day, the half-marathon was won by Dan Alsop, also of St. Austell Running Club and son of the Race Director Doug Alsop. Dan, 35, from Roche finished with a time of one hour, 19 minutes and 52 seconds.
Shortly behind Dan was second-placed George Prewett, 29, from Saltash. George runs with the Tamar Trotters and finished with a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 19 seconds.
Dan said: “It was really good, amazing weather for this time of year. It was tough but I knew it would be. George and I kept pushing each other the whole way – it was a good battle, good fun.”
Third place in the half-marathon went to Nick Loewendahl, 32, from Sweetshouse near Lostwithiel. Nick runs with St. Austell Running Club, completing an excellent result for the club with four of the six fastest men sporting their distinctive purple vests.
The fastest woman in the half-marathon was Kathryn Burgess, 37, from Lostwithiel who improved on her second-place finish in 2013. Kathryn, who runs for Cornwall Athletic Club, finished with a time of one hour, 32 minutes and 17 seconds - just under a minute and a half quicker than last year.
Kathryn said: “I’m really pleased to win, it was a good mix of road and off-road running, I enjoyed it.”
Debbie Starkey, 40, from Lanreath near Looe – another St. Austell Running Club member - finished second with a time of one hour, 34 minutes and three seconds. She was ahead of unaffiliated third-placed runner Jemma McNeill, 35, from Kirkcowan in Scotland who posted a time of one hour, 35 minutes and 37 seconds.
Nearly 1,200 people signed up for this year’s Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon.
Tracey Smith, Eden’s Commercial Manager, said: “We’ve had a fantastic day, the weather has been beautiful and everyone who has taken part has done incredibly well. Particular congratulations should go to our friends at St. Austell Running Club whose members put in such a strong performance in today’s races.
“Once again we would like to thank everyone who has helped make the day such a success, including everyone at St. Austell Running Club, the sponsors, the marshals and volunteers, everyone who came out to support the competitors and, of course, the runners themselves.”
Doug Alsop of St. Austell Running Club who was Race Director for the Eden Marathon and Half-Marathon, said: “I’m very pleased with how the day has gone, we have been blessed with great weather and everyone involved in the organisation of the day put in a fantastic effort.
“It’s an emotional day for me because my son Dan won the half-marathon and my training partners Phil and Tim came first and second in the marathon. Today has been a great result for St. Austell Running Club members and I’d like to congratulate everyone who took part in the races.”
The Eden Project has already announced that the next Marathon and Half-Marathon will take place on Sunday October 18, 2015. Runners will be able to register for next year’s race through the Eden website (www.edenproject.com) soon.
The Eden Project’s Marathon and Half-Marathon started in 2009 with a hiatus in 2012. The races take a scenic and challenging route through the dramatic “clay country” landscape before finishing in the shadow of the iconic Biomes.
As in previous years, Eden organised the event in partnership with St. Austell Running Club.