This was the 13th year of the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon, which is jointly organised by the Eden Project and St Austell Running Club.
More than 1,400 runners signed up to take part in this year’s event – the highest number of entries since 2018 – with participants descending on Eden from across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Australia.
The event saw participants taking on the challenge of multi-terrain courses through spectacular landscapes before crossing the finish line in front of Eden’s world-famous biomes.
Second place in Sunday’s hilly 26.2 mile run that follows trails and paths and takes athletes up Helman Tor was St Austell Running Club’s Marc Smerdon.
Smerdon, 32 from Bodmin, clocked 3:01.37. He is one of the event’s most decorated runners, with this year marking his seventh top three position across the Eden Half and full Marathon.
Among the field of half marathon participants was Dan Fine from Truro, who was running his third half marathon since August, to raise money for his friend and much-loved surfing photographer, Ben Selway.
Ben has been battling brain cancer and Dan has been fundraising to support Ben and his family. Having smashed his initial target of £2,000, Dan has currently raised over £6,000 with donations still coming in.
After crossing the finish line, Dan said: “It was really exciting, particularly the finish of the course. You don’t see Eden until the end and it’s just amazing.
“It’s all downhill, you wind your way in and hear the noise of the crowds and see the Biomes and it’s brilliant. The support from everyone has been absolutely outstanding.”
Also taking part across both the marathon and half marathon were eight team members from the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
The group were running to raise funds for the Trust, with most of the money raised going towards the organisation’s Rewilding Helman Tor Appeal, which aims to return natural processes to the landscape. The location is the trust’s largest nature reserve.
Marte Martin-Upton, Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s community fundraising and events manager said: “What an incredible atmosphere at the finish line of the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon. Cornwall Wildlife Trust are absolutely thrilled to have a group of eight runners, who have raised over £3,000, taking part.
“The Marathon route goes over our largest nature reserve, Helman Tor, so this feels like a particularly special event to us. Well done to everyone – what a great achievement!”
Eden Project commercial manager Tracey Smith, who has organised the event since its inception, said: “Thirteen years in and I am still amazed by the spirit, comradery and heart shown at this fabulous event.
“It is a real joy to be a part of and it has been so inspiring to hear people sharing their stories of why they have taken part today.
“As always, we’d like to send our sincere gratitude to St Austell Running Club, Cornwall Search and Rescue, the volunteers and marshals and all our supporters, all of whom are imperative to the event and help make it the special occasion it is.”
Race director of the Eden Marathon and Half Marathon Doug Alsop said: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to every single person who has participated in this year’s event.
“Thanks to everyone who helps make this event the great day it is and we’ll see everyone again next year!”
The marathon and half marathon will return next year with booking details being announced soon.