Monday, October 5, 2015 - 13:30

A New Zealand athlete is travelling nearly 12,000 miles to run the Eden Project half-marathon, which takes place alongside a full marathon on Sunday October 18.

Karen McCarthy, 38, is a nurse from Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. She is travelling to the UK for her friend Emma Stringer’s wedding and decided to run the Eden race while she was in the country. Emma will also be running the race with her new husband Scott Burns.

Karen is a keen runner, who has previously completed the Auckland half-marathon three times and ran a half-marathon in Saudi Arabia as well as running the Athens Marathon in 2012. She spent six years living in London and has visited Cornwall twice previously.

Karen said: “I wanted to run a half-marathon while I was in the UK as I haven't run one in a few years and needed a goal to aim for. The Eden race seemed like a perfect opportunity for me, as I have been to the project before and thought it was an amazing place. I love the countryside and diverse coastline of Cornwall, as well as the entire concept behind the Eden Project.”

This year will be the sixth Eden Project marathon and half-marathon. The races take a scenic and challenging route through the dramatic “clay country” landscape before finishing in the shadow of the iconic Biomes.

There are prizes for race winners and category winners and everyone who runs gets a medal, t-shirt and a well-deserved pasty after the race.

In last year’s marathon, St. Austell Running Club’s Phil Montgomery-Smith was the first-placed man with a time of three hours, nine minutes and 14 seconds. Isobel Wykes of Mud Crew Trail Runners was the fastest woman with a time of three hours, 33 minutes and 56 seconds.

In the half-marathon, Dan Alsop, another St. Austell Running Club member, won with a time of one hour, 19 minutes and 52 seconds. Fastest woman was Kathryn Burgess of Cornwall Athletic Club who finished in one hour, 32 minutes and 17 seconds.

Entrance to the half-marathon costs £23 for affiliated runners and £25 for unaffiliated runners. The marathon costs £30 for affiliated runners and £32 for unaffiliated runners. There is also an optional “pasta party” for runners on the day before the race, costing £7 per person.

The deadline to enter the Eden marathon and half-marathon has been extended until Friday October 9. Race and pasta party bookings can be made online at