Kielder, with its stunning backdrop, was a highlight of the autumn season with close to 3000 competitors taking part across a quartet of events. The festivities kicked off on Saturday (7 October) with the Kielder 10K and Run Bike Run before drawing to a close on Sunday when runners embarked on an off-road course around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water, for the marathon and half marathon.
The marathon weekend is now in its eighth year and is organised by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, and Northumberland County Council.
On Saturday, Kielder 10K saw more than 1,000 people take on ‘the bull’, which is set around the stunning Bull Crag Peninsula of Kielder Water. Tyne Bridge Harrier’s Marc Fenwick claimed first in a strong winning time of 33:55, while Morpeth Harrier Gemma Floyd took top spot in the female field and ninth overall in 39:44.
The following day, 665 runners managed to complete Kielder Marathon. Keswick AC’s Russell Maddams took first in 2:46:16. In second and third were two police officers competing as part of the Police Sport UK (PSUK) Police Marathon Championships – West Yorkshire’s Simon Newton (2:46:53) and Devon and Cornwall’s Alex Daniels (2:52:40).Morpeth Harrier Lorna MacDonald secured first in the female competition in of 3:15:14, while Cheshire Police’s Lindsay Dixon (3:25:53) and Debbie Crozier (3:29:18) claimed second and third respectively.
The half, which started on Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Dam, saw 894 runners take on 13.1 miles around the south side of the reservoir. Sunderland Stroller Aly Dixon put in a strong showing to take the title in the female field, coming home in 1:24:38, a time that also placed her fifth overall. Gosforth Harriers’ Benedict Moore was a convincing champion in 1:20:17, almost three minutes quicker than his next opponent.
Race director Steve Cram said: “It’s been an amazing day and the perfect way to finish off what has been an incredible weekend here at Kielder. We’ve seen some amazing running and performances against what is surely Britain’s most beautiful backdrop for any running event.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took part, everyone who came to support their friends and family and all of our partners and staff who helped us put together Kielder Marathon Weekend. It’s thanks to everyone’s hard work and determination that it’s been such a huge success. Bring on next year!”