Thursday, January 14, 2010 - 14:31

Following a successful debut last year, the Eden Project Marathon will be returning on October 10 with the promise of more competitors than any other Cornish race.

Applications for the 2010 race, once again staged in collaboration with St. Austell Running Club, are now open.

The race day will see runners taking part in not only the full 26 mile distance, but also a half marathon and one-mile fun run.

The courses for the big races will follow a similar route to last year, both starting in front of the iconic Biomes before touring the landscape of the clay country and returning to finish at Eden.

Both full and half marathon courses are very challenging and are designed to give runners a taste of the evolving landscape. Plus, in true Cornish style, runners can enjoy a pint of Sharp’s ale and a pasty when they cross the finish line.

Eden is also holding a pasta party the night before, where participants can stock up on carbohydrates in the beautiful surroundings of the dramatically lit Biomes.

The fun run is staged entirely at Eden, taking a route through both Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes, giving runners the opportunity to see the world in a mile.

Tracey Smith, Eden Marathon Project Manager, said: ”The Eden Marathon takes place on a fantastically challenging course and one steeped in Cornish heritage. From the majesty of the clay country’s pits and peaks to the granite quarries of the Luxulyan valley, our marathon route is probably one of the most spectacular in the country.”

Around 1200 runners took part in the 2009 event, with some impressive results, given the difficult terrain.

The winner of the marathon was Pete Roper from Shaftesbury, Dorset who runs with Poole Athletics Club in a time of two hours 46 minutes 11 seconds.

The first woman across the line was Ann Singer from Portishead Running Club in Somerset with a time of three hours 38 minutes 32 seconds. Ann was running her first marathon.

The half marathon was won by another debutant - Chris Thompson from London who runs for the Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletic Club. His time was one hour 18 minutes 41 seconds. The fastest woman in the half Marathon was Kathryn Philpotts of Swaledale Road Runners with a time of one hour 37 minutes 12 seconds.

For more information, to get advice on training or to sign up to run, go to Places are limited and given out on a first come, first served basis.