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Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 12:30

The Eden Project parkrun, a weekly 5km-long walk, jog or run around Eden’s gardens, celebrated its first birthday today (Saturday November 10).

Runners braved the wet weather and turned out in fancy dress to mark the occasion. Haydn Webb crossed the line first with a time of 17 minutes 48 seconds, while Amy Sole was the first woman with a time of 19 minutes and 28 seconds.

Since it began on November 11, 2017, the Eden Project parkrun has seen nearly 200 runners a week cover a total distance of 45,065km in a total time of 185 days, four hours, 18 minutes and 13 seconds. The average time to complete the course is 29 minutes and 35 seconds.

The fastest male runner so far at the Eden parkrun is Dan Rodgers, who ran in 15 minutes and 29 seconds at the third event in November 2017.

The fastest woman is Annabel Gummow who finished with a time of 17 minutes and 21 seconds at the 38th event in August. Runners have totted up more than 1,700 parkrun personal best times at Eden.

On September 29, the event celebrated another big milestone as runners completed the cumulative distance around the equator – 40,075km. The runner that completed this feat was Tori Marks from St Austell.

Wendy Poole, Run Director of the Eden parkrun, said: ““We are so proud to be celebrating our first year milestone at the Eden Project. We have an amazing community of regular runners, joggers and walkers and always welcome and encourage first timers to come along and join us.

“We always have a variety of amazing volunteers to make parkrun happen at this free weekly event. We’d also like to thank Eden Project for all their support and look forward to seeing parkrun go from strength to strength here in the future.”

Gordon Seabright, Eden's chief executive and a regular parkrunner, said: "It's a great privilege for Eden to be part of the parkrun movement. It’s brilliant to see hundreds of people every week coming together to run and volunteer.

“Sport has the power to bring people together and have a positive impact our health and wellbeing. There is an exciting upsurge in sporting activity in Cornwall at the moment and we’re proud to be a part of that with our parkrun, marathon, half-marathon and cycle sportive."

Eden is one of hundreds of locations around the UK and in 14 other countries to host parkruns, including five other events in Cornwall – at Penrose Estate near Helston, Heartlands near Pool, Trelissick near Truro, Lanhydrock House near Bodmin and Mount Edgcumbe House near Torpoint.

The parkruns are always free and are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.

Eden’s parkrun takes place entirely on tarmac, unlike some which have off-road elements.

The course begins in the coach park at the top of the site before entering the main garden and taking a scenic route around the paths in front of the world-famous Biomes.

Like all parkrun events, the Eden Project parkrun is a personal challenge and not a race. Participants set their own targets and will receive their times by text, email and through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk).

It’s entirely organised by local volunteers with support from the Eden team. The events are inclusive and friendly, encouraging physical activity within a supportive community. After crossing the finish line, parkrunners, volunteers and supporters can gather in the Eden Kitchen where refreshments are available.

Eden’s parkrun is a free event that will take place every Saturday morning at 9am. Participants and volunteers are required to register through the parkrun website (www.parkrun.org.uk) and print a barcode in order to receive a time. Friends and family of runners are allowed free entry to Eden for the morning of each parkrun.

The parkrun is part of Eden’s growing portfolio of sporting events and activities, including the Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon and the Eden Classic cycle sportive.