Are you ′aaargh′d′ enough?!

02.03.2011

Pictures show: Karl Whittering who will run the 2011 Salomon Kielder Marathon dressed as a pirate and Dave Roberts, one of the event organisers.

BRITAIN’S MOST BEAUTIFUL MARATHON

A ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’ look-a-like is challenging runners across the nation to complete Britain’s most beautiful marathon in their most beautiful fancy dress costumes.

Karl Whittering (55) from Whitby completed last year’s inaugural Kielder Marathon dressed as a ‘Mary Poppins style’ chimney sweep. And, desperate to better last year’s effort year, Karl plans to complete this year’s race in a pirate’s costume to raise money for his chosen charity*.

Karl, a member of Whitby International Pirates Society, said: “Everyone noticed me last year as I was the only one in full fancy dress. The Kielder Marathon was the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced but all the supporters were cheering me on and shouting ‘Mary Poppins’ and they spurred me on the full 26 miles.

“This year I can’t wait to run the marathon again and I’m challenging the other runners to beat me in the fancy dress stakes!”

Last month former Olympic athlete and world record holder Steve Cram MBE unveiled his plans to repeat the hugely successful Kielder Marathon. Within the first few days of registration opening, over a thousand runners from across the country had signed up.

Places are still available on a first come, first served basis and anyone wishing to take up Karl’s fancy dress challenge is encouraged to log onto www.kieldermarathon.com and register a place then email their costume ideas to info@kieldermarathon.com.

Scheduled to take place on Sunday October 9, the Salomon Kielder Marathon will once again follow an almost entirely off-road course around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water, in Northumberland.

Billed as ‘Britain’s most beautiful marathon’, the event was a sell out in its first year and returns this year with addition places on offer and a headline sponsor – Salomon, the athletic outdoor sports company.

Dave Roberts, one of the event organisers, said: “The atmosphere of last year’s event was fantastic and we’re delighted to be back, this time with Salomon as our headline sponsor, with a bigger and better event this year. We’re encouraging people to register now to secure their places and ensure they don’t miss out.”

The marathon will follow the Lakeside Way, a trail that stretches right around the shoreline of Kielder Water. The organisers have more than doubled the field this year and expect to attract runners and outdoor adventure enthusiasts from around the world to the dramatic setting and unique course.

With the water’s shoreline being 26 miles long, Kielder Water in North East England is the ideal venue for the ultimate running challenge, the marathon. Most of the course is off-road and it offers a test for trail runners, adventure racers and marathon enthusiasts alike.

Once again this year there will be a small elite field including Salomon’s international trail team comprising of Ricky Lightfoot, Rob Hope and Northumberland’s very own trail champion, Nick Swimburn. Last year’s winner was Zak Kihara from Kenya with a winning time of 2:29:06. The first female to cross the finish line was Great Britain’s own Lizzy Hawker with a winning time of 2:58:22.

The Lakeside Way is a £3m project in Kielder Water & Forest Park that forms the marathon course. It is a multi-user trail suitable for walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair and pushchair users. The trail offers visitors new views and the opportunity to interact with even more of the park’s abundant wildlife and take in its scenic landscape.

Marathon places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis – there is no ballot this year. Cost of entry is £35. Runners who deferred their place last year will be contacted separately. To book a place log on to the event website at www.kieldermarathon.com. For enquiries telephone 0845 155 0236 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm). Fancy dress costumes are permitted provided that they do not involve the carrying of large objects and will not restrict the individuals’ ability to move around the race course. Runners are advised to seek prior approval of any costume they intend to wear whilst participating.

The Kielder Marathon team is delighted to announce this year’s sponsor as Salomon, the Mountain Sports Company. With years of experience developing mountain sports products, Salomon works alongside some of the world′s top trail running athletes to create the most technical range of trail running shoes, apparel and gear.

Northumbrian Water is once again hosting the event which will be jointly organised by Extra Mile Media and Events and Roberts and Partners. Dave Roberts, who heads up Roberts and Partners, was a co-founder of the Great North Run.

*Karl’s chosen charity is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Participants can run for any charity they choose – there isn’t an official charity associated with the race.

For more information contact Alistair Baker, communications and PR manager, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6851, 07711 793493 or alistair.baker@nwl.co.uk or Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park) on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897756 or philippa.clark@nwl.co.uk.

Notes to editor:

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com.

The Kielder Partnership is a public, voluntary and private sector collaboration working to develop Kielder Water & Forest Park as an inspirational place for leisure, exploration and fun.

Partners are Calvert Trust Kielder, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water plus representation from community groups.

Salomon’s goal is to provide the best products for trail running and support our athletes as they push the limits of mountain sports. By running the Salomon Trail Series, it enables Salomon to interact with the trail running community and be part of the movement towards a greater participation within trail running.

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