Kielder Marathon weekend day 1: thousands turn out for sporting festival


More than one thousand competitors took part in the first half of a leading North East sporting weekend today (1 October).

See full results detail at end. Additional photographs are available free to use from North News & Pictures. Film rushes of the day will be available to download later in the weekend.

More than one thousand competitors took part in the first half of a leading North East sporting weekend today (1 October).

Some 3,200 competitors are taking part across the weekend in six events.

The Kielder 10K, part of the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon weekend held at Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park in Kielder Water & Forest Park, drew in around 900 runners.

The weekend 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.

Winner David Beech, of the Blyth Running Club, was first through the finish line in 35 minutes and 2 seconds, leading the 760-strong field.

The 36-year-old said: "My tactics were to go out quite hard on that first hill, to see if I could get a bit of a lead, and then pretty much hang on for the last two kilometres, which I did. I came third two years ago, but I didn’t quite get my time again, I was a bit slow today but I’ve been injured, but it’s good to have won."

Olympian Aly Dixon was the first female home, finishing in 36 minutes and 22 seconds. She said: "There was a point where I knew what the record was and I was thinking it could be touch and go. Then coming past the last 400 metres I realised I was off, so I just kind of relaxed and enjoyed that last little bit. My last few races have been the Rio Olympics, Great North Run, Disneyland Half Marathon and then this, so they are quite good races. This race is just as good as any of them. It’s just a beautiful setting that we are in and I’m back in the North East and I love doing races in the North East, I get fantastic support and it’s pretty special."

Meanwhile the Kielder Run-Bike-Run saw more than 161 individuals and 35 teams tackle the marathon distance split into three parts.

Individuals or teams of three competed in an 11km run, a 26km bike ride and a 5km run. Spectators saw hundreds of bikes in use at the transition stations.

County Durham based Sedgefield Specials, comprising Sedgefield Harriers Chris Lines and Roger Whitehill, and Ferryhill Wheeler Ian Dunn, were the first team to finish the Run-Bike-Run in 2 hour, 5 minutes and 24 seconds.

Roger, who ran the final leg, said: "Chris put us in a good position. We were second by the time they handed over to me, but I didn’t think I would be able to catch the guy. The mile marker came up and I saw him there and I had anough left over to take him in the last mile.

Chris said "We are over the moon because Powered By Gas are a great team and they have been our nemesis every year we have done this."

Morpeth Harrier Chris Smith, 36, from Wallsend, was the first to finish in the 1 hour, 59 mins, 49 seconds.

He said: "I loved it. The first leg was great on the run, the second leg on the bike, absolutely atrocious. It was my first ever multi-event, with not enough bike training, evidently. Jon Moss caught me on the bike with about a mile and a half to go and I couldn’t get anywhere near him, but luckily I had the legs on him on the last leg."

Tomorrow (Sunday October 2), about two thousand runners are set to follow the off-road course around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water in either the main marathon itself or the new half marathon.

Billed as ‘Britain’s most beautiful’, the full weekend of events attracts runners and outdoor adventure enthusiasts from around the world to the dramatic setting and unique course.

Councillor Val Tyler, Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: "As a tourist event this weekend actually brings people from all over the country to come to run in this most magnificent setting that we have here. I think everybody I’ve spoken to today has had an amazing time."

Kielder 10K race results

First male: David Beach, from Blyth Running Club – 35 mins 02 secs
Second male: Michael Edwards, from Sunderland Harriers– 37 mins 29 secs
Third male: David Fuller, from Crystal Peak Runners – 38 mins 16 secs

First female: Aly Dixon, aged 38, from Sunderland Strollers – 36 mins 22 secs
Second: Jess Fox, from Sunderland Harriers – 40 mins 25 secs
Third: Fiona Belgian, from Jog On The Tyne – 42 mins 25 secs

Kielder Run-Bike-Run race results

First team: Sedgefield Specials, 2 hours, 5 mins, 24 secs
Second team: Powered By Gas, 2 hours, 6 mins, 22 secs
Third team: Graeme ‘N’ 2 Youngans, 2 hours, 17 mins, 20 secs

First male individual: Chris Smith, from Morpeth Harriers, 1 hour, 58 mins, 49 secs
Second male individual: Jon Moss, Team GBR – Age Group, 2 hours, 0 mins, 57 secs
Third male individual: Paul Cooper, Monifieth Tri Club M3, 2 hours, 2 hours, 8 minutes, 29 secs

First female individual: Samantha Dainty, from Newcastle, 2 hours, 29 mins, 01 secs
Second female individual: Philippa Graham, from Wylam, 2 hours, 30 mins, 28 secs
Third female individual: Sam Crooks, from Newcastle, 2 hours, 33 mins, 51 secs

For more information and for details of film footage availability, contact Paul White, PR Officer, on 0191 301 5325 or During the weekend, contact the PR team through Leaplish Waterside Park on 01434 251 000.

For further media information, contact Paul White on 0191 3015325.

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