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Imerys Marathon and Half Marathon

By Paul Bullock

20th May 2012

An early morning rain shower (6.00a.m. for me, but the 2 Geoff’s had already been setting up for 2 hours!!) did little to dampen the enthusiasm for the first Imerys Marathon and Half Marathon.

Most of the work at the college had been done on the Saturday, so it was putting the final touches in place for the arrival of the runners.

St Austell Town Band had kindly agreed to play for a couple of hours and entertained the runners as they started to arrive a little later.

The rain had stopped and conditions were pretty perfect by the time the Fun Run started at 9.30a.m. and Shirley Cairney’s son Kaya had a cracking run, finishing 2nd to a much older boy. 64 entered the fun run.

The College registration area was soon filling and the entries for the half had reached 200 which was excellent, with 49 for the full. The numbers for the marathon were not expected to be high as we took this race on at short notice.

The runners set off with with the band playing the theme tune to the Rocky films, for a loop and a half around the college to thin them out before the narrow footpath to the road at Scredda.

The route took the runners via Scredda, along the Clay Trail to the Sky Tip, and on to Imerys Non-Operational Land to the road crossing at Carthew. They were then on active Imerys land, which members of the public are not allowed under normal conditions. The Imerys management had ensured us that there would be no heavy plant or 60 tonne lorries buzzing about as usual.

A gradual climb up the sand roads / motorways for the next couple of miles brought the runners to Littlejohns Pit, which is Imerys biggest working clay pit. The drink station was deliberately positioned next to the Viewing Platform so the runners could look down into the pit, with several apparently stopping for a photo pose on route.

Along the sand road to the highest point in the area at Carrancarrow Tip, which offers superb views from coast to coast and looking down on the local area and the huge redundant Blackpool Pit, now half full of the characteristic clay country turquoise water.

The descent to the lowest point now started, and through the riding stables at Boskell Farm with the kind permission of the owners, who have been really helpful throughout the planning stages.

The rough track down to the bridge has been partially covered by the Imerys Landscape Team with woodchip, to save the runners running through about 12 inches of thick, gooey mud. Not very hardcore, but never the less practical!

Over the road bridge and the climb back up the clay trails followed, with the half marathoners returning to the college and the finish. The marathoners crossed the trail and started their second loop around Penhale Mica Dam and the Pyramid Tip at Carluddon, before rejoining the original route at Carthew. They also put in a loop around Littlejohns Tip and skirted the tip at Carrancarrow Tip, before following the half marathon route back to the college.

The marathon was won by the classy Noel Kindon (C.A.C.) in 2.50.11 and he praised the course, despite it’s degree of difficulty, and said how the marshals were superb, as we come to expect from our races. He also praised and thanked the mountain bikers for guiding him around.

The first lady was Jo Meek from Tavistock A.C. in 3.17.14, using the run as training for her upcoming 69 mile ultra along Hadrian’s Wall.

Dan Rogers from Launceston Road Runners won the half marathon in 1.22.24, with our own Lucy Mancer winning the ladies in 1.37.08, a very creditable performance on a tough course.

The opinion of the runners after the race was that the course is tough and challenging, which we always knew, but just about everyone said they would come back another year.

Once again we have shown our expertise in organising really ambitious races and the potential for this event is huge for the future. The marshalling was first class and commented on by all the runners and the teamwork shone through, from the earlybird car parkers, to the marshal coordinators, drink station volunteers, van drivers, finish team, photographers, and you name whoever else is needed to put on an event of this scale.

Great work by all the mountain bikers either in the lead or sweeping.

A huge thanks to everyone who helped to make this a success, and what a great club we have.


STARC Performances


1st Male Team

Half Marathon

1st Ladies Team

2nd Male Team

Half Marathon debutants who all did really well on a toughie first half marathon : Theresa Dennett, Becky James, Hilary Nicholas, Mike Hawke and Neil Truscott.

Fun Run

Name School / Club Age Sex Time
Josh Nesbitt Penrice 14 M 5:55
Kaya Cairney Charlestown Primary 11 M 6:00
Thomas Randles Tywardreath 10 M 6:02
Holly Martin Bude Rats 11 F 6:03
Rebecca Couchman Tywardreath 11 F 6:10
Lieacha Cundy Newquay/Par 12 F 6:42