Hundreds more for marathon


Picture shows: Steve Cram presenting Jodie Symington with race number 1700. From Everest to Kielder, Jodie is running marathons to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis

In a response to popular demand, organisers of the inaugural Kielder Marathon have been able to increase the number of places offered from 1,000 to 1,700 runners.

Runner number 1700, Jodie Symington (25) from South Tyneside, is not going to let Cystic Fibrosis (CF) put her off her stride. Having already raised over £115k for the CF Trust by completing the Everest Marathon, and recently graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Applied Biology, Jodie is looking forward to her next challenge.

“I saw the announcement for the Kielder Marathon and decided it would be fun and I had to do it so I signed up Dr Stephen Cronin, who was my pediatric consultant, and fellow fundraiser and Iron Man, Barry Wilkinson, who also completed the Everest Marathon with me. I’m delighted the three of us managed to get places.”

There are still charity places available by contacting Calvert Trust Kielder, Wateraid, Carers Northumberland and St. Oswald’s Hospice* (contact details below).

The event, officially described as ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful Marathon’, is fronted by former Olympic athlete and world record holder Steve Cram, MBE and will take place on 17 October 2010 around one, 26-mile shoreline lap of Northumbrian Water’s Kielder Water on the new Lakeside Way trail.

Steve Cram said: “It’s great that people like Jodie are running the Kielder Marathon to raise funds and awareness for charities close to their hearts. The number of people wanting to take part in this the first year has taken our breath away and we are delighted that it has proved so popular. We have done everything we can to make as many places as possible available.”

“Kielder Water & Forest Park is my favourite place to run in the world and with the water’s shoreline being 26 miles long it’s an ideal venue for the ultimate running challenge, the marathon. Most of the course is off-road and it offers a wonderful test for trail runners, adventure racers and marathon enthusiasts alike. Add to that the stunning setting, with a wonderful new view at every twist and turn, and I think that this is quickly going to establish a reputation as the most beautiful marathon in Britain.”

About half of those taking part live in the north of England and the rest come from across the UK. There are also representatives from Europe and as far away as Canada.

The Lakeside Way, a £3m project which forms the marathon course, is a multi-user trail suitable for walkers, runners, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair and pushchair users.

The Kielder Marathon will be over the official marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards and event organisers estimate that the best athletes will complete the race in less than two and a half hours.

It will start and finish at Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park and be part of a whole weekend of family focused activities for all ages and abilities. Further information about the Kielder Marathon and other activities will be promoted on its own website and on social media networks including Facebook and twitter -

John Cuthbert, chair of Kielder Partnership said: “The breathtaking scenery of the tranquil Park in Northumberland sets it apart from all other national marathons. We’re delighted to host such a special event and really put the region on the map.”

Stacy Hall, director of communications and tourism at One North East, added: "We′re delighted such a prestigious event is taking place in North East England and hope it grows to become bigger and even better in future years. It will boost the regional economy, aid local business and will attract runners and visitors, not just from across the UK but also internationally and we are looking forward to showcasing the region and all it has to offer.”

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 Alistair Baker, communications and PR manager, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6851, 07711 793493 or or Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park) on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or

* For 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.

** Cystic Fibrosis (also known as CF) is a common hereditary disease which affects the entire body, causing progressive disability. The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas, first recognized in the 1930s. Difficulty breathing is the most serious symptom and results from frequent lung infections that are treated, though not cured, by antibiotics and other medications. 

*** Cystic Fibrosis affects more than 8,500 people in the UK, each week 5 babies are born with CF and 3 lives are lost to CF, 1 in 25 people are carriers of the CF gene and that extrapolates to 1 in every 2,500 people have CF. The median life expectancy of someone with CF is just 38 years due to repeated chest infections and decreasing lung function. There is currently no cure for CF and the only way around exceeding the 38 yr life expectancy for many is by having a lung transplant. CF is the most common genetically inherited disease in the UK.

Jodie’s donations website is and images of the Everest trip are available on request.

Marathon facts:

1. The word ‘marathon’ comes from when the Olympic Games were first held in Greece in 1896 and runners started from Marathon Bridge.

2. During the 1908 Olympics the Royal Box lay 385 yards after the finish of 26 mile course and participants were required to finish the event in front of the Queen so the additional distance was added.

3. The current men’s world record, as set in official competition, is 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 seconds and ws set by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia on 28 September 08 in Germany.

4. The fastest recorded time for a woman is 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds and was set by Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain on 13 April 03 in the London Marathon.

5. More than 800 major marathons are contested throughout the world each year.

6. The region’s most famous half marathon is the Great North Run.

7. In the USA a popular goal is to run a marathon in each state – over 300 individuals have completed this circuit.

8. The world record for the slowest marathon time is six days, four hours, 30 minutes and 56 seconds – completed by Lloyd Scott who was wearing a deep sea diving suit.

9. Some marathons have more than 10,000 runners.

10. The oldest person to complete a marathon is Dimitrion Yordanidis (aged 98) who completed one in Athens in 1976 in seven hours 33 minutes.

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

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.

** Wikipedia ***

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