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Kielder Marathon Weekend: Kielder goes the extra mile for sporting events

The launch of the Dark Skies Marathon is the latest in an impressive line up of physical challenges set against the breathtaking backdrop

Tom White/PA Wire Kielder Water in Northumberland
Kielder Water in Northumberland

Kielder Marathon Weekend, October 3 and 4

Record breaking athlete, Steve Cram, has today unveiled plans for an exciting new event to be added to Kielder Marathon weekend.

This year, the sporting extravaganza at Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland, will include a half marathon, as well as the usual favourites – the Kielder 10K, Run-Bike-Run, junior races and the main marathon itself.

Held alongside ‘Britain’s most beautiful marathon’ on Sunday October 4, 2015, the Half Marathon will start at Kielder Dam and finish at Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park.

It will take runners some of the way around the largest man-made lake in northern Europe, Kielder Water, and through Kielder Forest, England’s largest working forest.

Steve, the event’s director, says: “Kielder is a beautiful running and cycling destination but the marathon and 10K are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

“The half marathon is a very popular distance and we’re delighted that we can now offer it here, in an unmissable location, and together with Active Northumberland secure the future of this hugely popular event.”

David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics Ceri Rees on his way to winning the Kielder Marathon for the second year
Ceri Rees on his way to winning the Kielder Marathon for the second year

Kielder Marathon, which is now in its sixth year and welcomes more than 3,000 runners annually, has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar thanks to its spectacular setting and unique course. At approximately 26 miles long it is the ideal venue for the ultimate running challenge.

Entries for all events are now open and being accepted at www.kieldermarathon.com where you can also find details of the weekend programme.

Dark Skies Marathon, April 18

The inaugural ‘Dark Skies Run’ was launched in February - another welcome by-product of Kielder being awarded gold tier Dark Sky Park status by the International Dark Skies association in December 2013.

Organised by Trail Outlaws and supported by Northumbrian Water and the Forestry Commission, the 26.5 mile challenge will see 300 runner start at Hawkhirst Scout Activity Centre and follow the Lakeside Way trail around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake.

Ultra Marathon runner and organiser, Phill Turton said: “We’ve ran in events all over the north of England, but a late training run around Kielder Reservoir was something we’d never experienced before.

“The combination of the stunning Lakeside Way Trail and Kielder’s darkening skies made this something really special. It sounds crazy but it wasn’t just running, it was an almost spiritual experience and we knew we had to share it with other runners in an organised event.”

Lots of runners are expected to take to the start line for the Kielder Marathon
Lots of runners are expected to take to the start line for the Kielder Marathon

Kielder Triathlon, July 5

Kielder has rightly been identified as a pretty spectacular setting for a triathlon.

This unique event will consist of a 3.8km open water swim in Kielder Water; a 180km road cycle through the rugged border country; and a 42.2km trail run around the full circuit of the Lakeside Way.

Kielder Water Swim, September 19

Swimmers of a certain standard are being offered an incredible opportunity to swim and race on a grand scale this autumn.

There will be three distances on offer – the Classic Mile swim, a 3.8k Iron Distance and the ultimate test – a 10k Swimming Marathon.

Each finisher will receive a custom designed medal and ‘goody bag’ while there will be prizes for Male and Female overall winners in each category.

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