Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 09:00

Pete Roper of Poole Athletics Club has won the Eden Project marathon today (October 9) and broken the course record he set in 2009 with a time of two hours 43 minutes and 12 seconds.

Pete, 46, came in ahead of Oliver Gibson, 32, of Newquay Road Runners, who is the course record-holder for the Eden half-marathon and was competing in his first ever marathon.

Pete, of Shaftesbury in Dorset, said: “Despite tricky conditions on the course I managed to best the course record that I set in 2009 by three minutes.

“I'm really thankful for the support of Ollie Gibson who helped me through the first half and pace myself and the brilliant course marshals who made all the difference to the race.”

The fastest woman in the marathon was Karmen Pardoe, 42, from Middlesex with a time of three hours 16 minutes and 14 seconds.

Karmen, who isn’t affiliated with a running club, said: “It was really hard, probably one of the toughest things I've ever done. It's a beautiful course, really stunning scenery and the weather was great today for running. But those hills are really tough, past mile 18 they really start getting to you!”

Running alongside the marathon was a half marathon, which was won by Andrew Moreton, 27, from London with a time of one hour 20 minutes and 29 seconds, with Jo Haley, 33, from Southampton the first woman to cross the line at one hour 30 minutes and 29 seconds, breaking the women’s course record by seven seconds.

Andrew, who runs with Kent Athletic Club, said: “I really enjoyed it, the marshals were awesome and I recommend more people come down to do the race. I will definitely be coming back next year, it’s a great course.”

Jo, who doesn’t run with a club, said: “I would definitely come back again, it's a good race.”

BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, 38, who was running to raise money for the Multiple Sclorosis Society UK, completed the half-marathon with a time of two hours 15 minutes and 40 seconds.

Scott said: “It was tough, I didn't realise there were going to be so many hills. I'm really pleased that I can run for such a good cause, it's something that's close to my heart.

“I haven't been to the Eden Project before but as I was running down the hill to the finish I thought 'wow, that's incredible'. It looks brilliant and it's definitely something I would come back to.

“I've never seen anything like it before in my life. Everyone in Cornwall is super-friendly and really encouraging and has been all weekend. It's something I'd definitely do again.”

Cornish Olympic runner Jemma Simpson fired the pistol to start both races, the third time they have been staged at Eden. Gaynor Coley, Eden’s Managing Director, presented medals to the race winners in each category.

This year’s race saw the biggest field yet with more than 1,700 people registered to run. The marathon is one of many events happening at Eden this year to mark the project’s tenth birthday.

Tracey Smith, Eden’s Commercial Manager and the organiser of the marathon and half-marathon, said: “It’s been a great day with some fantastic performances and we’re really proud of everyone who has run today. With two new course records and the biggest field we’ve ever seen, this is the best Eden marathon and half-marathon yet.”

As in previous years, the races were run in partnership with St Austell Running Club.

Both races took place simultaneously and began and ended at the Eden Project in overcast and drizzly conditions. The route runs through the changing landscape of the clay country, taking in clay pits and tips, beautiful woodland and coastal views.