Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

Eden Project parkrun off to a flying start

The Eden Project’s first-ever weekly parkrun took place on Saturday.

Undeterred by high winds and drizzle, 265 runners turned up at the Eden coach park for the 9am start.

Among the participants were first-time runners, veterans of hundreds of parkruns, a mum with a pushchair and families with young children.

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Park Run, Eden Project.

A family of six travelled down from Chippenham in Wiltshire. They are regular parkrunners who have taken part in more than 20 different parkrun events since 2014.

Julia Maddocks, who is originally from St Austell, and Giles Archer ran with children Rohan (16), Daryl (14), Travis (13), and Selby (nine). The family came down especially for the first Eden run and are staying with Julia’s parents in St Austell.

Before the run Julia said: “We were over the moon to learn that Eden would be holding a parkrun and that we’d be able to run past the Biomes. It’s the perfect location.”

After the family completed the run, she added: “It was a bit hilly and challenging and great fun. All the runners are friendly. Eden should be really proud of its parkrun.”

One man who stood out from the crowd was building surveyor Colin Bell from Bodmin, who had a Shelterbox strapped to his back. Colin takes part in many runs to raise awareness of the disaster relief charity.

Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks
Park Run, Eden Project.

First three over the line were Simon Minting of Exmouth, second was Marc Smerdon of Liskeard and third was James Cutlan of St Austell.

Ben Foster, Eden’s media relations manager who took part in the parkrun, said: “It’s great that so many people turned out to support our first parkrun. Our course has been designed to be fun and accessible and we hope that runners from near and far will join us on Saturdays to come.

“We’re very thankful to the team of dedicated parkrun volunteers who have put so much work into making this a well-organised, fun and safe event.”

Eden is the latest venue to become part of the global parkrun community, joining hundreds of locations around the UK and in 14 other countries to host runs. The parkruns are always free and are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities, from beginners to Olympians.

Eden’s parkrun is designed to be easier than some others as it takes place entirely on tarmac, unlike those 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 will be 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 will be allowed free entry to Eden for the morning of each parkrun.

The parkrun is the latest addition to Eden’s growing portfolio of sporting events and activities. The ninth annual Eden Project Marathon and Half-Marathon happens on Sunday October 14, 2018 and the fourth annual Eden Classic cycle sportive will be taking place on Sunday May 13, 2018.

A video showcasing the course of the Eden parkrun is available at https://youtu.be/ZQxh3syK42E

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