For some runners, Kielder Marathon is a gruelling challenge…for one man, it′s just part of the training for his epic 4,200 mile challenge across the United States.
46-year-old Kevin Clarke, from Washington in Tyne and Wear, plans to run from the east coast of America to the west coast, starting in New York and finishing in Los Angeles, in September 2019.
He′s putting in the miles to raise money for Help for Heroes, after becoming inspired to raise funds for armed personnel in memory of his late parents who both served in the military, and is hoping to raise between £5,000 and £10,000.
Kevin′s epic journey, which he aims to complete in 100 days, will see him pass through 50 different states in America. He will also lay a wreath at Ground Zero in New York and at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in memory of the victims of both terror attacks.
Kevin has already clocked up nearly 4,000 miles as part of his training and the 26.2 mile Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon on Sunday October 7, 2018 will add to the total.
The runner also plans on taking part in the Kielder 10K the day before, as well as other different marathons across the country in the run up to his challenge.
He said: "Both of my parents′ served in the armed forces so you could say military is in my blood. I always wanted to follow in my dad′s footsteps but unfortunately a health condition meant that I couldn′t.
"This challenge is really poignant because I wanted to give something back to those serving our country, both past and present, as well as doing something in my parents memory, and an overseas challenge will definitely test me more.
"This will be the third time I′ve ran Kielder. Its hard work but it′s definitely one of the nicer marathons in the UK for its scenery. It′s less about the timing for me now, and more just about using it for training. I′m looking forward to it."
The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 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.
Race director, Steve Cram said: "The challenge of the Kielder Marathon alone is quite enough for most people so what Kevin is undertaking is extremely impressive. We are delighted Kevin will be taking part in one of our Kielder Marathon weekend doubles by doing the Kielder 10K and Kielder Marathon for such a brilliant cause.
"We wish Kevin every success in his challenge for Help for Heroes, and hope the beauty of Kielder will stand out in the many miles of his challenge."
The weekend′s events, which attract runners from all across the UK, are all based around Northumbrian Water′s picturesque Kielder Reservoir and waterside sites and include the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and the Run Bike Run.
Information on Kevin′s USA Challenge can be found on Facebook @runkevchallengeusa and on his website at runkevchallengusa.weebly.com.
For more information on the events taking place at Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 and to book your place visit www.kieldermarathon.com.