Thousands of sports enthusiasts gather in Marazion for Festival of Sport
1:00pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
This weekend thousands of sports enthusiasts gathered in Marazion to take part in The Human Race Festival of Sport.
The festival was a celebration of sport, based around cycling, running, open water swimming and triathlon. Also on the programme were touch rugby, beach volleyball and gig rowing.
Everything kicked off on Friday evening with festival pass holders flocking to athlete seminars to pick up tips ahead of their events. The crowds were then treated to a lively evening of live music from rock and alternative folk bands such as Patrick James Pearson Band and Dry the River.
With bellies full of wonderful, locally-sourced dishes from Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts and beers from St. Austell Brewery, participants made their way over to the Festival Campsite in preparation for Saturday's activities.
Waking up to beautifully clear skies and calm sea conditions, the cyclists were the first to start their events with the 40km Women-Only Cycletta, 100km Sportive and 150km Sportive all being set off before 9.30am.
Amongst the participants in the 150km Sportive was former England and Arsenal FC defender Lee Dixon.
Lee said: “Just completed the 150km distance and I’ve had an absolutely brilliant day. It was a fantastic route; I’ve cycled in Cornwall quite a lot, but that route took in pretty much every climb in Cornwall. It was great fun and I have to say a superbly organized event.”
The free beach sports area opened shortly after, inviting supporters, families and visitors to try their hand at beach volleyball, gig rowing and blow carting, amongst many other “have-a-go” activities.
At midday, those taking part in the 5km, 10km and children’s 800m Beach Runs were set off by none other than Olympic gold medal-winning rower and Penzance resident Helen Glover.
Helen said: “I grew up in this area and I’m really fortunate to have had this as the backdrop for my training for many years. It’s such a fantastic part of the UK and today it’s really brilliant to see so many people of all abilities and ages inspired to compete here. We’ve all been quite overwhelmed by the effect that we, as Olympians, have had on getting people out there’s every chance that someone competing here at The Festival could be one of our next medalist in Rio or beyond.”
Participants throughout the weekend were fundraising for the charity Wings for Life, which supports spinal cord injury research.