Bristol runner diagnosed with cancer three years ago wins Eden Project Marathon 2021

A runner from Bristol who was diagnosed with cancer three years ago has won the eleventh Eden Project Marathon.

Luke Grenfell-Shaw claimed his victory at this year’s event, as runners from far and wide traversed the trails and pounded the pavements under bright autumn sunshine this afternoon (October 10).

The 27-year-old, who finished with a time of 2.45.27, was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and is in the middle of a Bristol-to-Beijing tandem bike expedition to raise money for five charities that support young people living with cancer.

READ MORE: Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick runs the London Marathon

Luke, who is from Bristol and is unaffiliated with a running club, was running the Eden Marathon during a break in the expedition and will be returning to Pakistan to continue later this month.

He said: “What I’m trying to do with this ride is show what’s possible with a cancer diagnosis – it’s still possible to be active and still possible to achieve your dreams.

“It’s an amazing course, really beautiful but tough – up and down, up and down! I just tried to keep relaxed and recover on the way down. It’s a wonderful part of the world to run in and the weather was perfect, you couldn’t ask for a better October day.”

The second fastest man in the marathon was Martin Dawson, 46, from Chesterfield who runs with North Derbyshire Running Club and finished with time of 2.53.29. Third was Steve Reynolds, 35, from Truro who represents Truro Running Club and finished with a time of 3.03.00.

Pippa Ebel, 25, was the fastest woman in the Eden Marathon. An unaffiliated runner from London, Pippa finished with a time of 3.25.08.

She said: “It was amazing, it’s a beautiful course and the marshals were fantastic.

“There was a nice amount of up and down and the woodlands were amazing.

“This is the first time I’ve run at Eden and the first marathon I’ve run in eight years and it was just perfect.

“This was one of the best races I’ve had in terms of organization, everything was seamless.”

Runners praised the 'beautiful course'
Runners praised the ‘beautiful course’
(Image: Eden Project)

The female marathon podium was completed by second-placed Lucy Williams, 35, from Mount Hawke who competes for Truro Running Club.

Lucy finished with a time of 3.47.26. Third fastest woman was Emma Langstaff, 45, from Looe who runs for Looe Pioneers and finished with a time of 3.49.40.

More than 1,250 participants signed up to take part in this year’s races, which have been highly anticipated following the postponement of last year’s event due to the global pandemic.

The event, jointly organised by Eden and St Austell Running Club, has become a firm fixture in the running calendar and celebrated its tenth birthday in 2019.

As usual, this year saw participants taking on the challenge of multi-terrain courses through spectacular landscapes before crossing the finish line in front of Eden’s world-famous Biomes.

Eden Project Half-Marathon top three women (left to right) Rachel Parker (bib number 1437, 2nd), Ruby Orchard (1650, 1st), Jo Temple (1799, 3rd)
(Image: Eden Project)

Runners then soaked up the atmosphere with a well-earned beer and pasty.

Eden Project Commercial Manager Tracey Smith, who has organised the event since its inception, said: “The last few years have been a real challenge for all of us so today felt even more special than ever.

“To see everybody coming together, supporting and celebrating each other’s achievements is exactly what this event is all about.

“As always, we’d like to thank St Austell Running Club and all the volunteers and marshals, without whom, our eleventh event would not have been possible. Congratulations to everyone who took part today.

“We hope you all extremely proud of yourselves.”

The marathon and half-marathon will return next year with booking details being announced soon.

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