Big birthdays and global family reunions at the Eden Project marathon
The deadline to sign up for the Eden marathon and half-marathon is less than a month away and the races are attracting runners from across the globe.
One of the competitors on race day, October 9, will be John Pentecost, currently of Perth, Western Australia, but born and raised in St. Austell.
The 53-year-old moved to Australia in 1997 and is making the long trip home to mark his mother Betty’s 80th birthday and to run the 26-mile Eden marathon. Betty still lives in St. Austell and has annual membership to the Eden Project.
A runner for 29 years, John is already a race veteran with the London, Perth, Duchy and Cornwall marathons under his belt. Two months ago he warmed up at the Perth marathon and is now aiming to beat three-and-a-half hours for his Eden marathon.
John said: “Having followed the Eden marathon since it started, I’m glad to finally have the chance to run it. Coming home is always emotional, and more so on this occasion because of my mum’s birthday. The Eden course is very special to me because, before I left for Australia, I used to train on those same paths and trails.”
Another long-distance family reunion will take place at the Eden half-marathon this year. Emily Boedecker, 42, will be returning to the UK from Vermont, USA, to run the 13-mile race with her sisters Eleanor and Elizabeth and to mark Eleanor’s 40th birthday.
While Leicestershire-born Emily is a keen walker, this will be her first half-marathon.
Emily, who works for the Nature Conservancy which protects ecologically important lands and waters around the world, said: “I've tried to get into running before but I've never had the right motivation until now. It has taken this challenge from my little sister to inspire me to dust off the trainers.
“This race is a wonderful chance for the three of us to take part in something together and, even though we're training with 3,000 miles between us, we've been e-mailing each other with progress reports and tips.
“The race weekend will also be a rare occasion where the whole family comes together - our parents will be coming to Eden with us to look after their grandchildren.”
Also returning for the 2011 race is Pete Roper from Shaftesbury, Dorset, winner of the inaugural Eden marathon in 2009 and still the holder of the course record at two hours 46 minutes 11 seconds.
The Eden marathon and half-marathon are returning for their third year which is set to be the biggest yet. The event is one of many happening at Eden to mark the project’s tenth birthday.
As in previous years, the races will be run in partnership with St Austell Running Club.
Both races take place simultaneously and begin and end in the shadow of Eden’s Biomes. The route runs through the changing landscape of the clay country, an area of mid-Cornwall where the landscape is dominated by the china clay industry. It takes in clay pits and tips, beautiful woodland and even parts where both of Cornwall’s coasts can be seen on a clear day.
Entries for all races are now being accepted. Places cost £30 for the marathon and £23 for the half-marathon with a £2 discount for affiliated runners. To book see www.edenproject.com/marathon.
Participants can sign up to run for any charity they choose but one option is to race for Eden, raising money in support of its rainforest projects. Rainforests clean the air, make rain, and regulate climate. To join Eden's team and "run for the rainforest", please email firstname.lastname@example.org or download the fundraising pack from www.edenproject.com/support-us/run-for-the-rainforest.php