Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 17:42

Pete Roper, 48, from Shaftesbury in Dorset won his third Eden Project Marathon today (Sunday October 20, 2013).

Pete, who runs with Dorset Doddlers Running Club, claimed victory amid thunder and rain showers with a time of two hours, 55 minutes and 53 seconds beating the second place runner by near 13 minutes.

He was returning to the Eden Marathon after winning in 2009 and 2011 (the last time the race was run). The only year he didn’t win the race was 2010, when he didn’t compete.

Pete, who plans to make this his last Eden Marathon, said: “It was good, the course was harder than previous years and it was really wet so the off-road sections were very tough. It took it out of me a bit but my aim was to win for a third time and I’m very pleased that I did.”

Marc Smerdon, 22, who lives in Cardiff and runs with Cardiff Athletics Club, placed second with a time of three hours, eight minutes and 42 seconds ahead of third-placed local favourite Stuart Nicholas, 24, from St. Austell who runs with St. Austell Running club. Stuart finished with a time of three hours, 13 minutes and 46 seconds.

The fastest woman in the Eden Marathon was Isobel Wykes, 35, from Probus who runs with Mud Crew Trail Runners. Isobel finished the race with a time of three hours, 24 minutes and 40 seconds.

Isobel said: “I’m over the moon to be the fastest female runner, it was a good race. My legs are a bit tired because I did a 50K race last weekend but it was a nice course and thunder and lighted added a nice element to it.”

The second fastest woman was Emma Murray, 47, from Penwithick who runs with St. Austell Running Club with a time of three hours, 40 minutes and 30 seconds. She finished ahead of third-placed woman Nichola Brierley, 30, who lives in Newquay and isn’t affiliated with a running club. Nicola’s time was three hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds.

In the Eden Project Half-Marathon, the winner was Peter Le Grice, 26, from Newlyn who runs with Mounts Bay Harriers. Peter’s time was one hour, 12 minutes and 56 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded at Eden’s Half-Marathon.

Peter said: “I’m thrilled to have won, this is probably my biggest win and even though I didn’t get a personal best I think I ran a good time for this course. I had a lot fun and, even though I got a stitch quite near the end, I loved the last downhill section with its amazing view of the Biomes.”

Peter finished ahead of Adam Miller, 37, who was the second-placed runner in the Half-Marathon. Adam is from Exmouth and runs for Exmouth Harriers and completed the race with a time of one hour, 21 minutes and eight seconds. In third place was Shaun Tozer, 43, from Truro who isn’t affiliated with a club and finished with a time of one hour, 24 minutes and 17 seconds.

In the half-marathon, the fastest woman was Heather Fisher, 24, from Sheffield who runs with Sheffield Running Club with a time of one hour, 29 minutes and 30 seconds.

Heather said: “I found the race a lot better than last time I ran it two years ago when I ran in one hour and 48 minutes. I wasn’t aiming to win but I’m happy I did.”

Heather finished ahead of Kathryn Burgess, 36, from Lostwithiel who runs with Cornwall Athletic Club and finished with a time of one hour, 33 minutes and 42 seconds. Third-placed woman was Joanna Herd, 38, from Newquay who runs with Newquay Road Runners. Joanna finished with a time of one hour and 34 minutes.

Tracey Smith, Eden’s Commercial Projects and Relationship Manager, said: “It’s great to see the Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon return to the running calendar, everyone’s had a fantastic day and we’ve seen amazing performances from everyone who competed.

“As ever, we would like to thank everyone who helped make the event such a special day, including our friends at St. Austell Running Club, all of our sponsors, everyone who came out to support the runners and, of course, all those people who took part in the races.”

The Eden Project’s Marathon and Half-Marathon started in 2009 but have been on hiatus since their third running in 2011. The races take a scenic and challenging route through the dramatic “clay country” landscape before finishing in the shadow of the iconic Biomes.

Ed Coode, the Cornish rower who won gold in the 2004 Olympics in Athens as part of the coxless four team including Matthew Pinsent, fired the starting pistol to start the races. More than 800 people signed up for this year’s races.

As in previous years, Eden organised the event in partnership with St. Austell Running Club.