Falmouth Half Marathon
SUNDAY saw the second running of the Falmouth Half Marathon, which this year was a "guest" event in the Cornwall Glass and Glazing Grand Prix Series, writes Jules Evans.
Some 442 runners completed the testing 13 mile course and as a bonus raised lots of money for race organisers, Cornwall Hospice Care. The event is one of the toughest on the Cornish circuit with the course starting and finishing on the Moor in the centre of Falmouth.
Runners then travel along the main street and out around Pendennis Castle and then along the seafront.
It progresses out to Swanpool and over the hill to Maenporth, where the famous and steep Maenporth hill really bites.
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Once over this mini-mountain its rather pleasant all the way into Mawnan then onwards to Budock. There are a couple of nasty climbs on the country lanes to Budock, but then the beast of Budock raises its head.
This is 10 miles in, so there are some very tired legs hammering up the giant hill.
With Budock behind you it is a fast last three miles into Falmouth via a brief trip into Penryn down Hillhead.
Passing the 12 mile mark, Sainsbury's roundabout, it's a mad dash along the flat North Parade into the town. Turning up Webber Street and to the finish line on the Moor.
The crowds and support were fantastic, with the marshals and organisation being absolutely brilliant. Without them these races just would not happen.
The first athlete to finish was Michael Birchmore from Newquay Road Runners posting a super time of 1h18m06s, averaging five minutes 57 seconds per mile.
In second 52 seconds behind was Mike High's Richard Pascoe (1.18.58) with Jez Mancer (ST Austell RC) third in 1.20.33. Jordan Morrant (Hayle Runners) was fourth in 1.21.12.
Falmouth Road Runners' first athlete home was Rich Dalton in seventh place, coming home in 1.22.13, which was a great performance on his home circuit.
The first female athlete home was Zelah Morral of Cornwall AC with a time of 1h28m38s, coming in 28th overall.
Morrall really was out on her own, with the next female Eleanor Davis (Newquay Road Runners) coming in almost three minutes later in 1.31.36.
Beth Popperwell (Mile High) was the third woman home in 1.35.51.
There were some local victories for the town's running club with Martin Lawless and Paul Gwynne getting second place in their respective age groups.
Falmouth Road Runners were able to take third in the men's team event behind winners St Austell and runners-up Hayle.
Rose Wiltshire, from Cornwall Hospice Care, was in charge of the event and said she was delighted with how many people had taken part.
''It was lovely to see this event grow, with more than 100 more runners than last years race."
She added that the charity had raised £7,000 from Run Falmouth through registration fees alone, with sponsorship money still to come in.
"We would really like to thank everyone who supported the race, the Falmouth Road Runners and Falmouth BID & Town Council for allowing it to happen, all of the volunteers and everyone who came out to cheer the runners on," she said.
Full results from are online at www.cornwallhospicecare.co.uk in the events and challenges section.