Today was the Duchy marathon at Redruth. As someone who is running a marathon myself later this year I was delighted to be asked along to watch the finish and help with the presentation of prizes.
This morning I went for my own training run on Hayle beach. Just before 10.30, when the Duchy marathon was about to start and I was about to start my training run, we had an icy shower of rain. As I waited in the car for the shower to clear, I spared a thought for those who were about to get on the start line for a full 26 miles.
When the shower passed I made a start and was about two thirds of the way through, on the open beach, when we had one of Cornwall's finest hail storms. Those who know Hayle beach will also know that it is not the best place to be in a hail storm. The marathon runners too, by this point, were half an hour into their marathon and just starting the leg of the race along the north cliffs so it would have been hard work for them too!
The Duchy marathon is one of the oldest marathons in the country. Today they had a very strong turnout with some 450 runners. Despite the inclement weather, two new world records were set - both by students at Exeter University's officer training corps. The first was a student who, in his first ever marathon, smashed more than an hour of the world record for running a marathon in full army gear - crossing the line in 4.04. The second was the record for the largest number of runners to complete a marathon while attached together. 28 runners, all tied together as a single block crossed the line in just under 4.29 - that takes some team work.