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Take your marks for three days of mass participation sport

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 06, 2012

  • St Michael's Mount and Mount's Bay provide the background for a weekend of sport including triathlons, cyclo-sportives, beach runs and open water swimming. Former internationals Lee Dixon, above, and Austin Healey are due to take part

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The final pieces of the organisational jigsaw are being put into place around Marazion's inaugural Festival of Sport – described by the organisers as "the Glastonbury of mass participation sport."

The Human Race, who have brought the festival – including triathlons, cycle races and a range of other sports – to Mount's Bay have a track record in putting on endurance races.

But this time they are incorporating a range of both elite and mass participation events, a food and drinks hub and a live music stage for one big festival of sport.

The event on September 14 to 16 will see the Folly Field in Marazion used as the centre of the festival and the main road through Marazion closed for some of the key races.

It is expected to bring tens of thousands of pounds into the town at the end of the holiday season and bring thousands of people into west Cornwall to participate.

Big names who have already committed themselves to participating include former England and Arsenal footballer Lee Dixon and former England rugby star Austin Healey. The three-day annual festival will be based on core sports including triathlons, cyclo-sportives, beach runs, and open water swimming.

One of the things Human Race say they bring is state of the art race management systems like electronic chip timing, well-stocked feed stations, finish line filming, photography, medals, mechanical support, and secure bike storage.

The Half Iron is the latest event added the festival's line-up and is the most challenging triathlon distance available, featuring a 1.9km open water swim, 90km bike ride and 20km run. While the four laps of the same stretch of Marazion road may drag a little for the running stage, the swim and cycle routes are spectacular. The 1.9km swim starts from the Marazion Beach and the course will take swimmers out towards St Michael's Mount before turning west towards Penzance across Mount's Bay and back. Participants will then take to their bikes to tackle the 90km ride, which explores the stunning scenery towards St Ives and across the St Just moors along the north coast.

The final 20km run finishes in front of St Michael's Mount. Festival of Sport ambassador James Golding, a cancer survivor and dedicated cycle racer, will be taking part in the event.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to the Festival of Sport. It is an event you can involve your family and friends in, whether you want to spend the weekend on the beach, or spend the whole weekend exercising to see how far your limits will take you."

Mr Golding is encouraging individuals to take part in the Wings for Life Triple Challenge, which requires participants to complete events in three of the festival's four core sports – the triathlon, sportives, open water swims, and beach runs.

He said: "If you're capable of doing one event you are capable doing two and if you're doing two events you might as well do three, in for a penny in for a pound.

"It gives you another angle to see where your boundaries are and how far you can go to with it.

"I would urge participants to take up the challenge because you're not going to get a better place, or event, or group of people to be in that position with."

Alongside the main sporting activities, the Festival of Sport includes live music and entertainment, including Cornish rock band Reef.

There will also be locally sourced food by Jamie Oliver Fabulous Feasts, a beer tent and bar by Cornwall's award-winning independent family brewers St Austell Brewery, a Sporting Expo and athlete seminars.

Anyone not participating in an event can still get in by purchasing a festival pass.

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