Ben Shephard Returns to Run One of the Smallest Marathons on Earth
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, April 26th 2009 will see GMTV presenter and CF Trust patron Ben Shephard, return to run the Tresco marathon. Ben will be helping 125 other runners finally complete the full distance of one lap around the world, covering over a staggering 25,000 miles in ten years.
Helping to raise money for people with Cystic Fibrosis, the UK’s most common life-threatening, inherited disease, Ben has chosen to run one of the world’s smallest marathons for the second year running. Cheering them on to the finish line will be fellow CF Trust patron author Bill Bryson.
The Tresco Marathon takes place on Tresco, one of the Isles of Scilly. In the ten years since the marathon began, the Tresco community along with over 1,000 runners have helped to raise a whopping £500,000, seen the circumference of the earth covered as well as 8,400 energy drinks consumed. This tiny island of 150 inhabitants has also seen 84kg of jelly babies, 6,200 mars bars, 2,100 pasties and 210kg of pasta consumed, whilst 36,000 plastic cups have been used to quench thirst.
The Tresco marathon began in 2000 when Pete Hingston, island chef and father of 11 year old Jade who has CF, was unable to get to London to take part in the famous marathon. He was so keen to run to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust that he decided to do a marathon on the same day around the island instead. The whole island has since embraced the idea and the marathon has now become an amazing tradition which has gone from strength to strength, and grown year on year. All the money raised will help fund research into finding an effective treatment for Cystic Fibrosis.
The 26.2 mile course is made up of seven and a half laps run in a figure of eight around a three and a half mile circuit. The runners, many of whom come back year after year, say that although the harsh inclines en route are a gruelling test of stamina, the breath-taking landscapes and silver sanded beaches sloping into crystal clear water make it an idyllic setting for such a demanding pursuit.
Ben Shephard said: “The Tresco marathon is a completely unique experience and a weekend of great memories. The course is the same length as the London marathon but with the constant changing terrain, is incredibly tough to complete and such an achievement for everyone who takes part, including myself. This will be my second year at Tresco and I find it truly amazing how a tiny island could make such a big difference to the lives of thousands of people living with CF.”
Rosie Barnes, Chief Executive of Cystic Fibrosis Trust, comments: “We are very proud to have achieved such a milestone with the Tresco marathon and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The money raised over the last ten years has contributed to research into treating and curing CF and given hope to thousands of families living with this life-threatening illness. We are very grateful to Ben Shephard for running, to our patrons for attending and to all who have taken part in this very special marathon over the years.”
For further information on the Tresco marathon please contact Maddy Durrant at IncrediBull on 020 7940 3800 / ma***********@in*********.com or Gemma Foy at the CF Trust on 0208 290 7912 / gf**@cf*****.uk
Notes to Picture Desk
The Ten Year Anniversary Cystic Fibrosis Trust Ceremony of Lanterns will be held at 8pm on Saturday night to commemorate Tresco’s 10 year milestone. Photography will be issued on Sunday.
Notes to Editors
The Cystic Fibrosis Trust is the UK’s only national charity dealing with all aspects of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It funds research to treat and cure CF and aims to ensure appropriate clinical care and support for people with Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a single defective gene. As a result, the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, become clogged with thick sticky mucus resulting in chronic infections and inflammation in the lungs and difficulty digesting food.
Each week five babies are born with Cystic Fibrosis and three young people die – 90% from lung damage. Average life expectancy is just 31, although improvements in treatments mean a baby born today is expected to live longer.
For more information on the Tresco Marathon visit
For more information about Cystic Fibrosis and the work of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust visit