This Sunday, off-road fans will have the rare opportunity of running over the ‘moonscape’ that is the clay workings near St Austell, as St Austell Running Club (along with Cornwall College and Imerys) host the third Imerys Trail Marathon (and Half). Over winding (and steep) trails that are closed to the public for most of the year, runners will have a chance to test themselves over a route that doesn’t give home advantage to the hosting club!
Race HQ is at Cornwall College (PL25 4DJ), with both races combined in a mass start at 10:00am. A one mile fun run in the grounds of the college is available at 10:30 for those not fancying the harder stuff.
The 2012 mass start.
Please note that although advance entries are now closed, entries will be accepted on the day. For a full pre-race briefing, head over to the dedicated site for the race, here.
With the cancellation of the Five Tors race in April, the half marathon will be the first chance for muddies to score some points toward the Cornwall Multi Terrain Series in its abbreviated format (the series will finish ‘early’ this year, allowing the trail running season to run from July to July in future years). We haven’t seen a start list, so it’s difficult to make predictions. However, last year’s runner-up Mike Robinson (Tamar Trotters) is having a cracking season, with wins in The Dark and Exe to Axe already under his belt this year, along with a second at the tough Falmouth Half and a sub-3:00 marathon at Taunton. He will be difficult to beat if he makes an appearance, although look out for Noel Kindon (CAC) and last year’s Classic Quarter winner and Trail Series runner-up Gary Richards (Mounts Bay) if they decide to use the race as a tune-up for their attempt on the Classic Quarter duo in a few weeks time. Similarly in the ladies race, last year’s runner-up Kathryn Burgess (CAC) is having a very solid season, and currently sits on top of the Grand Prix leader board.
A relatively small field fought it out over a tough course last year, with only two runners, Daniel Alsop (St Austell) and Noel Kindon dipping under three hours. With the Endurancelife Classic Quarter coming up soon, soloists may find the Imerys Marathon a testing training run as they complete their peak training phase.