50/50 marathons

2. Eden Project Marathon

13th October 2019


Eden Project Marathon

The past week has generally been spent dusting myself down following the beating I got from the Isle of Wight Marathon. I was left with a few aches and pains. My left ankle being the most irritating, but also the right big toe nail was swelling and clearly wouldn’t be long before it said farewell to its host.

I’ve also had to go straight back into pre marathon carb loading to build up the fuel for the next race.

All in all the prospect of doing another marathon wasn’t a great feeling and I won’t lie, I was feeling nervous as I didn’t want to have another bad experience as I’m sure it would lead me to have to make a choice on whether to continue or not.

Myself, Caroline and Winnie went down to Cornwall a couple of days before and set up our camper van in a campsite near the Eden Project. It was our first time staying in the van for a period of time, but it’s a cheaper way of accommodation while I do these events, plus it’s a bit of an adventure. Sleeping was a bit on the sketchy side. A combination of nerves, lack of comfort and having to keep getting up for a wee as I was drinking so much water, meant that it was a broken nights sleep the night before the race.

The alarm woke me up with a crash at 6:30. A quick breakfast at the van and then it was time to go to Eden for race start. Race mornings are always a bit on the hectic side, doing last checks making sure you have everything you need for the day ahead, even though I’d packed everything the night before, still had to check a few more times. Once checked for the 10th time, off we went.

The forecast for the day was rain, but as we all waited for race start it was just a looming cloudy grey. The pre marathon nerves were seriously kicking in now. I really hate all the hanging around before an event, but the atmosphere was pretty jolly, lots of chatter and of course blaring music to inspire the runners.

As we got called to line up for the start, the heavens opened. We set off in a torrential downpour. There was a fair few hundred competitors so it meant a slow start, which was fine as I’d intended to start slow and then go slower, I wanted to ensure I got to the end and still be ok, without being a burden on Caroline like the previous week.

The race started fairly flat and went down into a valley, then proceeded to be very undulating. Initially we went along quiet roads but soon got onto some beautiful woodland trails. The rain was relentless, but strangely added to the experience.

At the 4 mile mark there was also a sign for the 17 mile mark, this is always a bit demoralising, knowing that I had to run 13 miles before I was back to the same point.

Inevitably the trails ahead were extremely boggy. In some places it was calf deep. Very slippery and made it difficult to negotiate without slipping up.

I’d heard that this marathon was very hilly and that proved very true. The highest point at about 10 miles took us up Helland Tor. No chance of running up that hill, more of a climb. Once at the top it was worth taking a moment to just admire the view. By then the rain had stopped and things were clearing up nicely so the view was incredible.

Eden Project Marathon

I was really monitoring my pace and how I was feeling by the half way point, this time the previous week I was starting to struggle. Luckily, for Eden, I felt strong. I was enjoying every moment at this point and even had time to chat with some of the marshals along the way. One notable sign put up at one of the marshal points made me chuckle, ‘never trust a fart at 13 miles!’ Never a truer word has been spoken.

The final mile of the race descends into the Eden Project site, an amazing, yet slightly weird finish location. It felt So good to cross the line, I actually felt ok. So different to the previous week. On completion of the race, each competitor is presented with a medal, but even better also a beer and a pasty. Last week I would have hurled at the thought of food, but this time I was hungry and it tasted great. Roll on Chelmsford Marathon next Sunday.

If you’d be interested in running the Eden Project Marathon in the future, and why wouldn’t you as it’s awesome! Take a look at The Eden Project.

Eden Project Marathon

4.22

Time taken

2,707ft

Elevation

3,189

Calories burned

I am running these marathons to raise money for Mind. If you like what I’m doing and would like to donate you can go to my Just Giving page below.