Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 17:15

Adam Holland, who became the youngest person in Europe to complete 100 marathons when he ran the Eden Marathon in 2010, returned to Eden today (October 16) to win the race for the first time.

Adam, 29, originally from Tavistock in Devon but now living in Newark, Nottinghamshire, has won more marathons than any other British person in history.

He competes for NOTFAST Running Club and won today’s race with a time of two hours, 54 minutes and 2 seconds.

This was the first time he had competed at Eden since his hundredth marathon, a race in which he came second.

Adam said: “It’s been six years since I’ve been here, that was my hundredth marathon and today is my 271st! Compared to last time, there seemed to be more road but it’s still very hilly. I just finished running 262 miles in five days last week so I wasn’t sure how I was going to be.”

Adam was just shy of 15 minutes ahead of second placed Oliver Jones, 42, from Liskeard, who runs for East Cornwall Harriers. Oliver finished with a time of three hours, nine minutes, only 17 seconds ahead of third placed Neil Everett, 37, from Bath.

Neil, who competes for Team Bath AC, came fourth in the Eden Marathon in 2015 and his aim was to make the podium this year.

St Austell Running Club, who organise the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon in partnership with Eden, had a great result in the women’s marathon with their only two competitors finishing first and second.

Emma Murray, 50, from Penwithick finished first with a time of three hours, 42 minutes and 19 seconds. Emma had finished second to three-time Eden Marathon winner Isobel Wykes twice previously – in 2013 and 2015 – but this was her debut Eden win.

Second was Jodie-May Gauld, 23, from St. Austell with a time of three hours, 49 minutes and 29 seconds. Completing the top three women was unaffiliated runner Harriet Ibbett, 26, from London with a time of three hours, 52 minutes and 42 seconds.

Emma said: “It feels great to have a St. Austell Running Club one-two. I’m not pleased with the time but it’s a win.”

Earlier in the day, the Half Marathon was won by Peter Le Grice, 29, of Penzance who runs with Mounts Bay Harriers with a time of one hour, 13 minutes, 11 seconds. Peter previously won Eden’s 13.1-mile race in 2013 with a course-record time. His 2016 time was just 15 seconds slower.

Peter said: “I’ve done about 15 halves but this is the hardest. It was brilliant out on the course. Ten out of ten. I’m now looking forward to a pasty and a pint.”

Peter finished ahead of Tom Carthey, 33, from Falmouth who competes for Falmouth Road Runners. Tom’s time was one hour, 20 minutes and 32 seconds, seven minutes faster than his last Eden time, set in 2014.

Third place in the Half Marathon went to Peter Sowerby, 50, from Devoran who runs for Truro Running Club. Peter’s time was one hour, 21 minutes and 56 seconds.

Lesley Locks, 39, from Fleet in Hampshire was the fastest woman in the Half Marathon for the second year running. Lesley, who competes for Hart Road Runners, won with a time of one hour, 27 minutes and 52 seconds.

Lesley said: “It’s a hard race, we have nothing like that at home!”

Rachel Bunting, 40, from Plymouth – an unaffiliated runner - was second with a time of one hour, 30 minutes and 42 seconds. She finished ahead of third-placed Alexandra Payton, 33, from St. Austell.

Alexandra was sporting the distinctive purple vest of St. Austell Running Club and repeated her placing from last year’s Eden Half Marathon. Her time was one hour, 31 minutes and 58 seconds.

The seventh annual Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon was run under clear, sunny skies. Around 1,300 runners entered the races, which take a scenic but challenging route through mid-Cornwall’s clay country. The races start and finish at the Eden Project and, unlike most athletic events, competitors each receive a pint and pasty at the finish.

Tracey Smith, who organises the races, said: “It’s been a fabulous year for the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon. We welcomed more entrants than ever before and have seen some fabulous performances from the competitors today.

“It’s brilliant to have the phenomenal Adam Holland back and see two former Half Marathon winners triumph once again. St. Austell Running Club should also feel proud of their performance, particularly the one-two finish in the women’s marathon.”