By the time the 2016 Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon comes to a close, an intrepid group of runners will have clocked up more than 4,218 miles on Britain’s most beautiful marathon route.
Picture: Keith Jackson (Coldstream), Bryan Thompson (North Shields), David Ailano (South Shields), Shaun Dunlop (Gateshead), Davina Lonsdale (Whitley Bay), Tony Allen (Sunderland), Adele Lonsdale (Whitley Bay), Louise Outterson (Sunderland), Steffen Haugk (Whitley Bay).
For the 23 intrepid stalwarts, after crossing the finish line in 2016 they will have each completed every one of the seven annual Kielder Marathons, set in the heart of rural Northumberland, circumnavigating the largest man made lake in Northern Europe.
As well as having completed more than 183 miles each, the runners will individually have climbed in excess of 4,800m around Kielder - the height of Mont Blanc in the Alps.
The event is run 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.
The 23 runners, who hail from across the North East and as far afield as Norwich, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Scotland, were among 27 who completed the marathon for an impressive sixth time in 2015.
Steve Cram, Race Director, said: "For many people, simply visiting Kielder is addictive, so, for a runner, the opportunity to compete in these stunning surroundings on an annual basis is fantastic.
"But, just because it is enjoyable, that doesn′t take away from the amazing achievement of having completed six Kielder Marathons and coming back for more. To have 23 people taking on their seventh Kielder Marathon in 2016 is a fantastic reflection of how great this event is and what an important part of competitors′ running calendars it has become."
David Hall, Head of Leisure Strategy at Northumbrian Water, said: "We are proud to once again be hosting the Kielder Marathon, the most beautiful marathon in the world. The weekend of events helps make the great outdoors accessible to a wide range of competitors across the weekend and showcases this stunning part of the country to the wider world. It′s no surprise that so many runners want to come back each year and run the route again and again."
County Councillor Val Tyler, Cabinet Member for the Arts, Leisure, and Culture, said: "To be able to complete any marathon once is an amazing achievement, but to return on a further seven occasions tells you how much people must really love running at Kielder. The magnificent surroundings make this arguably the most beautiful running location in the country and I would like to wish all of the competitors the best of luck as they tackle it again this year."
David Ailano, from South Shields, is one of those taking part for the seventh time and returns each year for the scenery.
He said: “If it’s cloudy, it’s spectacular, if it’s sunny, it’s spectacular. If you get there early in the morning it’s crisp and there is a bit of fog and mist on the water and then the sun comes out and warms you up. I love the course, it’s offroad, it’s just a bit of everything.”
The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 2nd, on day two of the Kielder Sporting Weekend. The weekend also includes the Kielder 10k, Kielder Run Bike Run, Kielder Half Marathon and Kielder Junior Runs.
More details of all of these events are available at www.kieldermarathon.com
For further media information, contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.