St Just, Cornwall
March 15, 2008
Mark De Boer 4:53:07
Kirsty Hewitson 5:02:57
No. of Finishers
Cornwall was battered by a huge storm in the run-up to this race, but thankfully come race day the weather calmed down, and runners were greeted by cool drizzle and light winds.
But the legacy of the storm was instead left in the form of mile after mile of thick mud that pushed competitors to their limits and made this the most difficult of the EnduranceLife Coastal Trail Series so far.
The first half of the marathon followed the coastal path east from the town of St Just. The already difficult terrain of large, irregular boulders was made almost impossible to run on by the ankle-deep mud that sent runners sliding around dangerously. But those who were brave enough to lift their eyes were rewarded with savagely beautiful views.
Turning inland, the mud got worse as the weather improved, and by the time the sun came out the route had passed through trails resembling World War One trenches, and across moorland where wellies should have been the footwear of choice.
Many runners had difficulty navigating this section, and one was even 'lapped' by a couple who had got lost along the way – the organisers could perhaps have done better here. There were also disparities with the times given by the race chips, but these have since been corrected. Otherwise, the race was brilliantly – if somewhat sadistically – organised, with an atmosphere of camaraderie among participants.
This is undoubtedly a contender for toughest marathon of the year, something the 50 finishers can be very proud about.