There′s just one week to go before thousands of runners enjoy Britain′s ‘most beautiful′ marathon.
A record turnout of more than 3,500 competitors will arrive in Northumberland for events as part of the ninth Kielder Marathon weekend (October 6 and 7).
As well as the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon itself, the weekend, which is hosted at Northumbrian Water′s Kielder Waterside site, includes the Half Marathon, 10K and Run Bike Run races, junior races and a walking event on Friday evening.
It is delivered by Events of the North in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member at Northumberland County Council for culture, arts, leisure and tourism said: "This is set to be a great weekend and we′re delighted to welcome lots of visitors to Northumberland from far and wide, either taking part in one of the many races or spectating.
"This is a great opportunity to really make a weekend, explore Kielder Water and visit some of the other attractions that Northumberland has to offer. The atmosphere will be electric on the day, and I′d like to wish all participants the best of luck in their chosen event."
As the countdown to the weekend reaches its final days, below are some facts and figures about the event:
• The weekend will see more than 3,500 competitors take part across six events.
• Since the Half Marathon first started in 2015, entries have doubled to an expected field of 1,150 this year.
• More than 10 countries will be represented over the course of the weekend, with participants travelling from as far as Venezuela, Philippines and New Zealand.
• Double Olympic Decathlon champion, Daley Thompson CBE, will be guest of honour at the weekend and will also take part in a question and answer session on Saturday 6 October, as well as introducing his new range of DT10 Sports products to Kielder runners.
• More than 100 volunteers will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable weekend for runners and spectators.
• More than 25 soldiers from the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery will be volunteering at the weekend and will be getting the Half Marathon and Marathon off to a fantastic start by firing a light Artillery gun off the dam.
• The villages of Falstone and Kielder have had their very own Kielder Marathon Bake Off, producing enough cakes, savouries, teas and coffees to keep well over 7,000 people fed and hydrated over the weekend.
• The 2018 Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon welcomes back a total of 18 ever present runners who have taken part every year since the race′s inception. Organisers are looking forward to welcoming this special group back to Britain′s Most Beautiful, one year out from the tenth anniversary of the race.
• Last year′s marathon winner completed the course in 2 hours, 46 minutes and 16 seconds, and there was a phenomenal individual course record in the Run Bike Run event of 1 hour, 58 minutes and 6 seconds.
• Competitors can easily get to the starting line of Kielder races on both days by using a bus provided by the organisers. It leaves Newcastle Central Station at 10.00am on Saturday October 6 and 7.30am on Sunday October 7. Runners must book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• There are a number of car parks within a short walk or shuttle bus journey to Kielder Waterside. Parking and use of the shuttle bus is free for competitors presenting a race number, or £3.00 for spectators. Shuttle buses will operate from Kielder Waterside to all spectator points throughout the day.
For more information about the events taking place at Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018, visit www.kieldermarathon.com.