Race report by Dave Phillips.
The Cornish Marathon, Bodmin Moor
The don’t call this “The Beast” for fun as the real reason is that it’s probably the UK’s toughest marathon-that’s why I go back every year and have done since the late ‘80s. It starts in Pensilva and this year it was fully booked up with 450 entrants many weeks ago. “Why” do I hear you say if it’s so tough? Well maybe it’s because of its hills, remoteness, wild scenic remote areas, historic places, toughness etc.
The 1st 5 miles are either uphill or downhill then it’s mainly climbing up hills and race walking upwards to 10 along the Draynes Valley through the “Poldark” country of Bodmin Moor to King Arthur’s legendary Dozmary Pool on the top of the moor at 12 miles. Up here there is hardly a tree in sight (they can’t survive up there), tough looking cattle stare at us saying “are you lot mad being here in late Nov?”, hardly any farmers around but just wild windswept moors to all horizons for 360 degrees.
Then the final upward plod to 15 at Daphne Du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn at Bolventor where there were good crowds to great and cheer us. The good news was that we were at the highest point but it had taken 15 miles to get there.
Then downhill and flat as we ran down and along the Fowey Valley following the river to the 20 mark-again not a person in site but lovely wild countryside.
Then the final 5 were the same as the 1st 5 so it was a bit down and a lot of up to the finish where we were greeted with a medal, goodie bag, hoodie, drinks, Cornish pasties, bananas, cakes etc. so I guess it was all worthwhile – well just maybe!
Well that was marathon number 490 and probably the hardest yet but we plod on regardless. No more ‘till next year.
Dave Phillips 6hrs 14 mins.