Going great Gun-nells!


left to right - Scott Kippin (15), Luke Dennis from Northumbrian Water, Sally Gunnell, Mike Rewcastle from Northumbrian Water, Steve Cram, Daniel Coulson (8), Jocelyn LaFace from Northumbrian Water and Katie Blackett (14).

Former British Olympic champion, Sally Gunnell OBE, will team up with Steve Cram to launch exciting new family and team events to be held on the weekend of the first ever Kielder Marathon (16/17 October 2010).

In addition to the main marathon event, visitors will now have the chance to take part in a running and cycling relay event and there are also separate races for children aged seven to 15.

Sally Gunnell, the former ‘golden girl’ of British athletics, remains the only woman to have held the European, World, Commonwealth and Olympic 400m hurdles titles at the same time. She said: “I’ve heard Kielder Water & Forest Park is an amazing part of Northumberland and an ideal setting for a marathon. For people like me with children it’s superb to see events being organised that can involve everyone in the family and allow you to really make a weekend of it.”

Those disappointed not to secure a place in the main marathon can join forces with colleagues, family members or friends and enter the Kielder Run-Bike-Run event taking place the Saturday before the day of the marathon. Teams of three (over 16s) will complete an 11km run, 26km bike ride and a 5km run.

A team from Northumbrian Water is aiming to be one of the first to enter and will be raising funds for the company’s adopted international charity, WaterAid. Mike Rewcastle, who hopes to complete the cycling section of the team challenge, will also run the main marathon event the following day.

He has teamed up with colleagues Luke Dennis and Jocelyn LaFace who will all be at the launch with Sally Gunnell. Mike said: “The Kielder Run-Bike-Run gives people either a corporate challenge, a fundraising opportunity or simply a fun event to take part in that is less demanding than the full marathon. It’ll be a great team building weekend for us too!”

And four youngsters under 15 from Framwellgate School in Durham will join Sally Gunnell to launch the children’s races, as will keen runner, Daniel Coulson (8), from Oakfield Junior School in Gateshead. Daniel said: “I’ve been watching videos of Sally on the internet and I think she was great. I can’t wait to meet her.”

The children’s events are in three separate age categories and will be held while the marathon is underway on the Sunday. The Osprey is an 800m run for under 10’s (minimum age seven), The Roman Mile will see under 13’s compete over 1.48km and The Centurion is a 2.5km race for under 16’s.

For booking information to secure a place on any of the new Kielder events and activities go to www.kieldermarathon.com (available from Wednesday 30 June 2010).

Charity places are still available for the Kielder Marathon itself*.

Regional development agency, One North East, and Northumbrian Water have provided the necessary funding to turn the Kielder Marathon dream into reality and it will be jointly organised by Steve Cram’s Extra Mile Media and Events company and Roberts and Partners. Dave Roberts, who heads up Roberts and Partners, was a co-founder of the Great North Run.

For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park) on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or philippa.clark@nwl.co.uk or Alistair Baker, communications and PR manager, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6851, 07711 793493 or alistair.baker@nwl.co.uk.

* For availability of Kielder Marathon charity places contact Hazel Munro for Calvert Trust Kielder -
01434 250 232, Julie Wilson for Water Aid - 0191 301 6713, Kelly Railton for Carers Northumberland - 07825 952609 or Jane Crow / Viv Williamson for St. Oswald’s Hospice - 0191 285 0063.

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.

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