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Beacon Beast Marathon – The Bodmin Way!

Updated: Apr 24

Sunday 16 April 2023 saw the town’s second marathon.

Starting line. Photo credit Mark Rowe.

Tracy Tonkin, donning number 1 on her bib, said: “I enjoyed it so much last year, I was the first to enter this year!”

Phillip Henwood, runner of 100 marathons, said: “This is the nicest one I’ve ever done. It’s my favourite!”

Running his 132nd marathon, Tony Rinaldi said: “It is one of the best.” He added: “It’s not often you get so many good marshals, in the right places, and with smiling faces.”

All three are talking about the Beacon Beast Marathon.

Runners were joined by a pasty at the start!

Just a few hours before, runners set off from Priory Park to take part in the challenging figure of eight course with the finish line outside St Petroc’s Church. The course incorporates Bodmin Way's 21 mile walking route between the historic churches in Bodmin.

Standing on the church banks, participants were heard saying words such as “fun”, “really enjoyed it”, "great route". Passion, commitment and determination were evident to all and these qualities mirror the team who created a marathon for Bodmin.

Cllr Phil Cooper, Bodmin's Mayor, Carolyn, Lady Mayoress and Revd Paul Holley stood ready to present a medal to runners as they crossed the line.

Megan Carrey and Krissy Scott

Champagne flowed when Krissy Scott and Megan Carrey crossed the finish line. Their run raised money for Air Ambulance. The young women chose this charity as we may all need it one day and the charity depends on public funding.

Marc Smerdon with daughter Eden and Sharon Hambley, Race Director

Marc Smerdon, who finished first in last year's Bodmin marathon, said: “It feels good to be first again.” He added: “It’s tougher than other Cornish routes due to its elevation. My personal best for a marathon is 2.42 and today my time is 3.08.”

Standing nearby was Marc's wife. When she was asked how Marc manages to run a marathon in three hours she said: “He does go out running every day.” She added: “He’s just become a father for the second time to Luen who is 11 days old. With sleepless nights he’s tired.”

Watching Eden, Marc’s 2-year-old daughter, running around the church, makes it highly likely that she will follow in her dad’s footsteps.

Jodie Gauld

Jodie Gauld, first women to cross the line, said: “It was a really fun run with the right amount of mud! I ran 15 miles yesterday. Next year I’ll be encouraging other speedy women to run on fresh legs with me.” She also said: “The GPX is spot on but if you do take a wrong turn, it’s good to have ‘bonus miles’!”