Race Date: 6 August 2017
If you think that the industrial north has a monopoly on pollution and environmental despoilation then think again. If we pan out from Simon Bennett’s Strava track from the Indian Queens Half Marathon, the brilliant white areas to the south are China Clay pits. This mineral, scientifically known as Kaolin, was formed in the Eocene (about 50 million years ago) as still cooling granite was weathered in wet conditions when Cornwall was located in the tropics with a somewhat different climate to that of today. Kaolin is used in numerous products, including glossy paper, cosmetics, medicines as well as porcelain and other ceramics with over 1300 people are employed locally in the industry. Traditionally, high pressure water jets are used in its extraction with the turquoise blue lagoons that are visible are settling tanks used for the extraction of other by-products.
Back at the race, Simon was 28th in 84:33 (555 finishers). He went on holiday to Cornwall last year and raced here too, coming home second in his category – perhaps Old Father Time is catching up with him. Simon can claim however that the course, is not flat (300ft of climb) with a good slug of it on trails. The route, which straddles the busy A30 and passes by a gigantic electricity sub-station, takes in Goss Moor another area affected by mining activities but is in fact an SSSI with lots of rare flowers and creepy crawlies which do well on its emerging bogs and sterile soils. More information here for those interested protection-extended-for-mid-cornwalls-wildlife-rich-landscape. Nature will always win in the end when the human race has packed up and gone home.
|28 (6)||Simon Bennett||M40||84:33|
A perusal of the results Indian Queens Half Marathon Results will disclose a fair number of grockles but fortunately the winners were (relatively) local, Peter Le Grice (Bristol & West) 71:50 whilst first lady was Emma Stepto (Cornwall) 81:00. With apologies to the local tourist board as most of Cornwall is quite nice really.