It was 2019 when I first booked my slot to do Race to the Stones. I never looked at running long distance before, but it was a chat with a club member that first brought this race to my attention a couple of years before. It nagged away in the back of my mind – could I do that? How long would that take? How far is 100km anyway?!
With many race cancellations across the country due to the impact of Storm Dennis, Bodmin Half Marathon in the Multi Terrain Series went ahead starting and finishing at Bodmin College whilst taking on the grounds of the National Trusts, Lanhydrock Estate.
A fantastic turnout for St Austell Running Club with superb results to go with it from everyone. Battling through the rain and mud on this brutal hilly course, David Tregonning lead the mens team to a third place finish alongside Steve Williams (pictured), Jamie Youlden and Andy Chase. Scooping age category prizes too for David and Steve who both finished third.
The ladies were not to be out done though. Debbie Starkey (pictured), the winning female overall leading the ladies team also to a third place finish with the help of Stacie Marks, Jane Moore and Izzy Irwin. Both Debbie and Stacie picking up age category prizes, first and third. A continued great start to the series for both the men and ladies. Huge thank goes to our hosts Bodmin Road Runners and the race marshals for taking on the elements themselves, guiding the runners around this beautiful course.
Congratulations to both Stacie and Debbie as well, as they have been added to the provisional selection for Cornwall in the Celtic Trail Championships taking part in France later this year.
From the coastline to the road
What a fantastic weekend for St Austell Running Club with a host of runners tackling the south west coast path at this years Mudcrew event, the Arc of Attrition and keeping to the roads of Newquay 10k
Two races, one at 100 miles and one at 50. Starting at 12:00pm from Coverack for the 100 miles, all the way to Porthtowan to the finish taking on what the coastline threw at them. The toughest sections coming up at Pendeen and Zennor to the delights of seeing St Ives, the final check point.
Paul Stevens (below) with a cracking debut effort at Sub28 in a time of 27:31:47. Running all of the distance with Mudcrew runner Sy Powell and having a helping hand from Alan Giles and Amy Bawden as their crew.
Back for his second time, Alan Wherry (below) bringing home the buckle in a superb time of 33:50:16. Dave Speake unfortunately not making the start. It was amazing to see the support out on route for everyone and of course for each checkpoints to have an array of volunteers to lend a helping hand.
In the other event, 50 miles starting at the famous Minack Theatre and again finishing at Porthtowan running over the already trodden ground of the 100 mile runners. A great set of numbers from the purple and gold with Jez Mancer coming in at 12:42:41 closely following by Leanne Smith in 12:49:14. Steve Gardiner (14:42:17), Karl Walker (14:43:02)
Nigel Marshall (below)(14:43:03) all dipping under 15 hours, with some making their debut at this distance. Could the 100 mile event be tempting for them next year?
Sadly Karina Bowers pulled out at Hayle in 10:24:28 alongside Jane Appleton at St Ives in 9:07:44, but still a remarkable effort in those conditions under foot.
On to the road now in the latest Cornish Grand Prix Series, Newquay 10k where James Cutlan (above) finishing 6th overall, lead the men’s team to a 6th place finish alongside David Tregonning, Jamie Daniel, Tim Adams, Paul Johnson and Mathew Henderson. Malcolm Roberts (below) once again picking up the rewards with a first in his age category to continue his fine start to the season. A great day out for many with some notable personal bests and club debuts in the purple and gold.
Next up for many in the series will be Looe 10 with the Bodmin Half Marathon coming up in the Multi Terrain Series too.
A crisp, frosty cold undulating 10 miles awaited the purple and gold with the Cornish Grand Prix season kicking off down at Camborne. This race is always hindered with poor weather but with a clear sunny sky it was alway going to be the temperature to play against.
As runners lined up on the start line with beaming smiles ready to go, it soon began. That famous first mile heading out towards Barripper is always a fast one as the loop towards Leedstown ticks off the miles and leads you back to that downhill section where now you climb back up towards the finish line at Camborne School. A top event as always hosted by Carn Runners, with a marvellous spread of food and hot drinks for finishes to indulge all for a charitable cause.
This year saw an impressive 561 runners take part with our very own Iain Walker picking up second in his age category, 60-64. (pictured)
Malcolm Roberts continues where he left off last season collecting first in his age category, 65-70. A great start to the new season for everyone. Some running this race for the first time and some with notable personal bests too..
The next race coming up in the series is on Sunday 2nd February, Newquay 10k.
First place again for Stu!
St Austell’s Stuart Nicholas followed up his win at the Imerys Cornish Trail Marathon to be the returning hero once more, as he won the Cornish Marathon in horrendous conditions in East Cornwall.
The race, which almost didn’t happen, has to be altered on the eve of the race with the route altered and runners forced to abandoned the long stretch of drains valley and do a hastily-designed out an back route.
This did not deter the runners and huge numbers of runners came out for what was the final race of the 2019 Cornish Grand Prix series.
Stuart, now living in Bournemouth, has had a great season, and followed up his win over Imerys and second at Eden to win the Cornish marathon, clocking a pace of 6.23 minute mile to come first in two hours, 47 minutes and 26 seconds.
Stuart led a very strong St Austell team to first place with Paul Stevens, fourth, in 3.02.12, Tim Adams, 10th, 3.08.29, and David Tregonning, on his marathon debut 15th in 3.14.29.
The strength in depth for St Austell was there for all to see and their ‘B’ team also picked up a prize, finishing in third with Alan Wherry, 36th, 3.30.59, Jez Mancer 43rd, 3.32.46, Dan Nicholls, 45th, 3.33.13, and Mike Greer, 48th, in 3.34.11.
Not to be outdone the ladies were also out in force and Carly Kendall once again showed her talent over the longer distance, putting last year’s injury woes behind her to finish second female in 3.34.02.
She was behind Joanne Robertson from Looe, who won in 3.18.50, but ahead of third-placed Kaye Patterson, 3.35.45.
Carly also led the ladies team to second place, along with Jo Collins (3.50.44), Stacie Marks (3.53.54) and Karina Bowers (4.17.49).
The testing elevation of the course, 2600ft did not disappoint and runners enjoyed a testing, if not gruelling, course.
There were also a number of age category prizes too, for Nicholas, Kendall, Stevens, Adams, Wherry and Doug Alsop.
Race report – Eden Marathon and Half Marathon
An elite Kenyan runner smashed the Eden Project half-marathon course record with a stunning performance as the event celebrated its tenth birthday.
Benard Rotich, 33, crossed the line in one hour, nine minutes and 24 seconds, beating the previous record – set by Peter Le Grice in 2013 – by more than three and a half minutes.
The Eden Project Marathon was the original brainchild of St Austell Running Club and run in conjunction with the Eden Project, the 2019 version saw over 1,000 runners take to the hills of the local area for the marathon and half marathon.
One of those who helped instigate the race, Doug Alsop, who is a previous race director of the race swapped his organising for his running shoes to tackle the marathon for the first time on race day, along with son Dan and daughter-in-law Helen.
It was a great day for the club with Dan Alsop finishing second in his age category, Stuart Nicholas second overall and Paul Stevens, first in his age cat in the half marathon.
Stevens, eighth, was also part of the first-placed males team with David Tregonning, sixth, (1.22.25), Matthew Boynton (1.29.09), 12th, and Jacob Howard-Endean (1.29.53), 16th.
While the men’s marathon team of Alsop, John Wisner (3.31.38), Lee Tambling (3.39.53) and Francis Denton (3.52.39) also claimed first place.
The Ladies team finished second in the marathon with Karina Bowers (4.37.25), Holly Payne (4.57.34), Debbie Marshall (5.05.02) and Kim Fell (5.49.18) all coming in the team placings.
The Ladies team finished first in the half marathon with Carly Kendall, Stacie Marks, Jo Collins and Katie Stean completing the team.
Benard, who also broke the course record at the Eden parkrun, finished 11 minutes ahead of Kyle Darragh, 20, from Barnstable who runs with North Devon Athletic Club. Kyle came second with a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 26 seconds.
Third place was Eden Marathon veteran Marc Smerdon, who claimed his fifth top- three place in the races. Marc, 28 from Liskeard, who runs with Tavistock Run Project, finished in a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 58 seconds.
The fastest woman in the half marathon was Rachael Malthouse, also of Tavistock Run Project, in one hour, 33 minutes and 21 seconds. The challenging conditions were familiar to physiotherapist Rachael as she is used to running on the Dartmoor hills.
Second place woman in the half-marathon was Ami Yetton, 38, from Plymouth who competes for Plymouth Harriers. Ami finished with a time of one hour, 34 minutes and three seconds.
Third-placed woman was Lorna Ni Cheallaigh, 22, from Truro, making the podium at her first ever half-marathon. Lorna, who is unaffiliated with a club, finished with a time of one hour, 34 minutes and 32 seconds.
The marathon was won by Jamie Stephenson, 32, from Chacewater near Truro. GP in training Jamie finished with a time of two hours, 53 minutes and 50 seconds, improving on his 2018 third place finish.
Jamie, who competes for Mile High AC, finished ahead of last year’s winner Stuart Nicholas, running second claim for St Austell Running Club.
Stuart, 30, originally from St Austell but now living in Bournemouth, completed the course in a time of two hours, 56 minutes and 41 seconds.
In third position was Oliver Jones, 45, from Liskeard. The East Cornwall Harriers athlete crossed the line in three hours, two minutes and 53 seconds and added to his Eden Marathon medal haul following his third place in 2017 and second place in 2016.
Anne Matthews, 46, from Crawley in West Sussex, was the first female marathon runner to cross the line, winning with a time of three hours, 36 minutes and 25 seconds. Anne, who runs for Crawley Athletic Club, came to Eden as part of a trip to Cornwall to visit relatives and competed in the race for the first time.
Crossing the line in second was last year’s winner Charlie Ramsdale, 38, from Dartmouth. Unaffiliated runner Charlie finished with a time of three hours, 37 minutes 40 seconds, ahead of the youngest top three finisher in any of the Eden races this year, Madelaine Trudgian.
Madelaine, 18, from Fowey finished with a time of three hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds. She achieved the podium finish in what was her first marathon.
With rain falling as the runners started the race, the weather cleared up later in the day and most finished their run under bright sunshine.
More than 1,500 runners registered for the 2019 Eden Project Marathon and Half Marathon, the tenth time the races have been run. These included runners from Malta, the Netherlands, Germany and Australia.
Eden stages the races in partnership with St Austell Running Club. Long-time Eden race director Doug Alsop stepped aside from his usual role to compete in the marathon for the first time this year. Andy Trudgian took up the role of race director in his stead.
Eden chief executive Gordon Seabright, who ran the full marathon, said: “This was an epic event to mark our 10th Eden Marathon. Cornwall threw every sort of weather it could at us – starting in pouring rain, buffeted by wind on the tors and finishing in glorious sunshine in front of the Biomes.
“There was an incredible spirit on the route, with runners supporting each other, villagers turning out to support us, and the amazing marshals and volunteers. It was even more special to be joined by our friends from Five Talents UK – a big group of runners getting their first experience of the Clay Country.
“And it was a very special thrill to welcome Benard, not only to today’s event but also the parkrun on Saturday. He has raised the bar for us all and has been incredibly generous in sharing his running expertise, taking us to a new level over this memorable weekend.”
Tracey Smith, Eden’s commercial director and the organiser of the Eden Marathon since the beginning, said: “What a journey we’ve been on during our first ten events. Benard’s incredible record-breaking win is the latest in a long line of great achievements Eden has seen over the years, whether it’s winning races, setting personal bests or just getting round our notoriously tough course.
“It’s been a great journey and one we couldn’t have done without the help and support of our friends at St Austell Running Club, the volunteers and marshals ensuring everyone is looked after on the course and, of course, all the runners who have competed over the years.”
It was once again another great day for St Austell Running Club and organisers have thanked all that have helped make the event a success.
For full results of the Marathon visit: https://www.edenproject.com/visit/whats-on/eden-marathon-half-marathon
Prizes galore at Cubert
For the first time the Cubert Five-mile race moved to a Sunday morning in September.
Conditions were different than the usual red-hot summer heat, but competitors still took to the streets of Cubert for the little five-mile dash around the village.
St Austell Running Club again drew a great entrant for this race, the penultimate race of the 2019 Cornish Glass and Glazing Grand Prix.
Both Men’s and Ladies teams picked up prizes, with the men coming third through James Cutlan, David Tregonning, Paul Stevens, Matt Boyton, Tim Adams, Dan Bray and Lee Tambling.
The Ladies also got their hands on wine, with Gennara Bray, Stacie Marks, Jo Collins, Danny Walker, Kate Stevens and Lisa Gower all coming in their six.
In the age categories, their first first for Cutlan in Under-35 with teammate Tregonning, second, while Paul Stevens also claimed second in his age cat.
There was also a high placing for new runner Steve Williams, who has recently joined the club as second claim.
For GP runners now they turn their attention to the final race of the 2019 GP season the Cornish Marathon, next month.
Race Report – Truro Half Marathon
Super Mario and Robin were both on show for St Austell Running Club as they had a storming weekend at the Truro Half Marathon.
The latest race in the Cornish GP series drew a great entrant of over 60 runners from St Austell Running Club as they performed brilliantly on a tough route in and around Truro.
There were team prizes for both men and women as the ladies came in second place with Carly Kendall, Stacie Marks, Jo Collins, Gennara Bray, Karina Bowers and Danny Walker completed a podium finish.
While the men, David Tregonning, Francis Denton, Dillan van Heerden, Mark Sweeney, John Hodgkin and Mike Greer finished in third.
There were also age category prizes with Carly coming in second, while Michele Lobb, Janet Wills and Mark Sweeney all came in third.
This latest result further enhances the St Austell club’s position at the top of the GP tables with several runners in line for overall age cat prizes as we move towards the end of the GP series with only two races, Cubert and the Cornish Marathon left to complete this series.