In short: This race makes my heart sing! In full: Fourth go at the marathon here, and loved it yet again. Really enjoyed the new route which was magnificently tough and demanding yet completely enjoyable (in a sadistic kind of way!) As everyone has said everywhere (here, facebook, etc), the marshals and volunteers were amazing and massive thanks to every individual out on the course and to the Eden Project and St Austell Running Club - this is a magnificent event. How to improve? Bring back the fun runs - my boys were very sad to miss out, and make the t-shirt technical so that I can wear it training. Date of review: October 24, 2013
In short: Hilly, boggy, but enjoyed every minute In full: This was my first ever marathon, and I loved it. However, after training for 4 months with 10 minute mile pace in mind, I quickly realised that finishing around 4 hours 30 minutes would be laughable, and this was due to the challenging nature of the course. In places, for someone who is injury prone like me, I didn't even attempt to run as I knew I would be on my arse in no time (at best), or suffering a marathon-ending injury (at worst). Finding the right balance was tough, and I finished in 5 hours, 30 minutes. I had planned to run from start to finish, but where parts of the course were "unrunable" (to me anyway!), it actually helped me because my legs were allowed to recover whilst walking to the next "runable" part, and I finished feeling fresher than expected. Not so much a marathon, but a series of shorter runs with walks in between.
Aside from the above, it was quick and easy to get to the runners gathering area, plenty of parking. The briefing at the start was good. Plenty of toilets, although the gents urinals didn't have doors so there was a lack of privacy there. The route, as above was tough with some steep hills, and some extremely boggy areas. The climb up the mountain (tor) was hard at the time, but once at the top I had to pause and take in the incredible scenery before setting off again. Heavy rain and strong winds at the time, I had to feel for the marshal who drew the short straw to be on top of the Tor. The finish to the run was quite spectacular going back in to the Eden Project.
Drinks stations were exactly where they were needed, and seemed to be more regular (I may have imagined it!) in the last few miles. Something I must mention is just how fantastic the marshals were, every single one was amazing with their encouragement, all of them going above and beyond what I would expect them to do. I spoke with most runners as they passed or as I passed them and all were friendly.
For a first marathon, it was tough, but as I said, I enjoyed all of it and I will remember the day fondly forever. I won't be running this again, but only as I won't be running any more marathons, I'd like to come back and do the half at some stage.
The medal was really nice and the t-shirt too. I didn't have the pasty or beer as I was late getting back and didn't want to hold up my family any further who had a long drive home. No showers available was a negative but not disastrous. I thoroughly recommend this to everyone who fancies doing a marathon, just prepare for the hills, and mud! Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Really tough - steep hills and miles of cross country In full: Just before you go thinking this is just a hilly road marathon – be warned it's brutal!!
About half of the full marathon is off road including deep mud, wet woodland trails, uneven footing. If it rains take it as a cross country trail run and don’t even think about a PB. Plus very hilly. There is virtually no flat and both the climbs and descents are very steep.
Difficult to get a pace going as as soon as you reach the top you are on the way back down before doing it all over again a mile or two later!) As for Helman's Tor, you almost need hiking poles - one point I had my hands out in front holding onto rocks in front!! Mind you, once the sun came out you get fantastic views from coast to coast of Cornwall.
If you like this sort of thing, this is the race for you. For everyone else, it's an amazing race to add to the bucket list. It was my 5th marathon and I wanted to have a go at a trail race. If you just want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and have no worries about a PB then it's a great one to do (add 25-50 mins to your normal road time to give you an idea!).
The marshals were amazing and kept me going - with the small field of runners many were very spread out and if you were near the back like myself they were the only people you might see for hours at a time. They gave out ups of water and at some stations sweets including jelly babies and chunks of Mars bars. They seemed to know just what runners needed and this is because many are runners themselves from the excellent St Austell running club. They asked me how I was getting on and were very encouraging. The marshal/runner at the back who was looking after the back of the pack runners was great (I was among the last for the first 7 or 8 miles before catching up some others!!) – good to talk to and got us going at a decent pace.
The only drawback was there was not much information given out beforehand. Unless you read last event’s reviews early on you may have not realised that the full marathon really is a trail race (more road/tarmac for the half). For example we received race packs several weeks prior and only then did they recommended wearing trail shoes (which are a must!) - however if you have not bought and worn in trail shoes you may have a problem! Also, they mentioned in the info pack about a cut off time for marathon runners (you had to reach the half marathon/full marathon spit point by 1 hrs 50, which is 7.5 miles). If you got injured and were unable to reach this point in time you were told you would have to take the half route and get a half marathon medal instead. HOWEVER when at mile 7 and about to reach the split (which we did, in time) I was told the full marathon ALSO had a total cut off time of 6 hours. I am sure this was not in the race pack. Re-reading it I see the following “We are enforcing a time limit on the marathon” but it only goes on to talk about the 7.5mile point/1 hr 50 min time limit. 6 hours might sound generous to many but such a tough course means that slower runners would struggle – my last road marathon was just over 5 hours but I was close to the limit here in 5.48 and one or two did go over 6 hours. I am not sure if they got their medal – I do hope so! – but they were included in the results so looks like they classed as official finishers. I just wish that 6 hour limit was stressed well before hand – i.e. when first signing up!! If you are a slower runner and not used to trail races you may wish to confirm this with them next year as it would take you considerably longer than a flat road marathon!
The Eden Project was a fantastic venue, easy to get to and park and they had dedicated one of the main buildings for changing, bags, first aid etc. No showers though so bring a whole pack of baby wipes as you are expected to change before entering the public areas.
Perks of the race included a big medal, tee-shirt (cotton, in various sizes), hot pasty in meat and veggie options, a pint and free entry to the Eden Project for runners and supporters.
I am not sure I will do this one again, purely because it is a long way for me to travel but I really recommend giving it a go at least once, it is tough but well worth it. It’s a great, friendly race where you can just go for the sake of running and just enjoying the Corning countryside rather than chasing a PB. Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Fantastic event! In full: have run all four Eden Project marathons now and the new course is the best and most challenging. Fantastically organised and friendly from start to finish, I will be back again and again. (The t-shirt, wonderful medal, pasty and a pint are just the icing on the cake!) Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Hard but totally worth it, glorious life affirming fun, see you next year! In full: Fantastic race-making marshalls, sweet, helpful, polite, helpful and standing out cheerfully in what can only be described as monsoon conditions. Gorgeous countryside, woods, old tram lines beautiful old bridges, autumnal paradise (even if I did fall on my bum in the slippery mud, it was hilarious and everybody was very nice helping me up). The landscape made me feel like a little kid running about in the woods having an adventure, never dull, always beautiful. You're not going to get a PB here unless you're at the front, its congested in places and there isn't an inch that is flat, but you'll be challenged and charmed. Thunder, lightening and torrential rain at the halfway mark just added to the fun and excitement. I did the half this year, definitely coming back for the full next year. Local beer and pasties in the goody bag are a stroke of genius, I can heartily recommend the St Austell Brewery Tribute beer as a recovery drink and the, fresh from the oven, hot Cornish pasties are a great lunch. Eden Project is fantastic, add this race to your bucket list - well done everybody, brilliant. Date of review: October 22, 2013
In short: Hard as nails but worth it. In full: Did the marathon and my god it was a tough one. Hills, bogs, trails and a tor but the nice T shirt, medal, pint and a pastie at the end made up for all the pain. Unfortunately i somehow lost my wallet which dampened my spirits a little but roll on next years. Date of review: October 21, 2013
In short: a hidden gem of a race! In full: Thoroughly enjoyable race in a lovely part of the world.race returned after a year off in 2012.great marshalling and organisation.mostly off road terrain around country lanes and wooded areas.lovely finish at eden project biomes.tasty hot pasty,pint of tribute,tshirt,lovely medal and free entry to eden project makes this race a bargain and a must-do race.hard and hilly but well worth it at the end.not even rain and thunder/lightening was guna stop me stuffing my face at the end! Date of review: October 20, 2013
In short: For my first race back to running, this was a tough one, but gave me the bug again. I booked again for the 2012 one which was unfortunately called off. Would deffo run again. Date of review: July 15, 2013
In short: A great all-terrain marathon with a super final 0.2 of a mile! In full: Well organised and marshalled - a marathon to remember, especially in this year's strong winds and the muddy tracks. As last year, I enjoyed the run down in to the finish line in the arena and the pasty. Not so good was not having the option of the beer IN A BOTTLE, to enjoy later. Date of review: November 19, 2011