Image demonstrating From couch to Kielder for man on ultramarathon quest

From couch to Kielder for man on ultramarathon quest

A council employee who started running last year and who has set himself a personal challenge to compete in an ultra marathon next year, is using the Active Northumberland Kielder half marathon as one of his training milestones.

On October 7, David Lathan, an Environmental Health Officer with Northumberland County Council is set to compete in the Kielder Half Marathon after winning a free entry in a  competition.

His inspirational story struck a chord with the competition judges who were impressed by his personal journey to  improve his health and push his physical fitness boundaries.

David’s first milestone was a couch to 5km run which he took part in last September. Now he is regularly running half marathons.

“ I took the running very gently at first. It was hard work but I persevered,  building up my fitness and stamina. Running only a few miles a day or a few times a week, you see how your body gets stronger and you also grow mentally stronger too.  It is amazing, if you stick at it, how quickly you improve and soon I started to enjoy running.

“ I started taking part in a Great Run Local event at Gibside every Sunday, an event similar to a Park Run where I bumped into friends who were also taking part. They encouraged me to join the local running club Red Kite Runners where they also run and things started to spiral from there.”

It hasn’t all been plain sailing. In June David had appendicitis which knocked his progress and fitness back by three months.

David said:  “Success doesn’t happen overnight but if every week you get a little better than the week before, it all adds up.  I am enjoying the challenge of testing myself. One of the greatest feelings is accomplishing something I once thought would have been impossible.

“I’ve  never taken part in this race but Kielder is such a fantastic setting so I thought it would be a valuable addition to my training toward the larger goal of ultra marathon training.”

David is aiming to run the 69 mile length of Hadrian’s Wall next summer - a run which starts at Carlisle Castle and ends at Newcastle Quayside. He also has his sights on the ultra tour of Arran which is the equivalent to two consecutive marathons.

“  My fitness now is better than it was when I was in my 20s. I run three or four times a week and there is now no greater feeling than putting on my trainers and going for a run. ”

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 is delivered by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Active Northumberland,  Northumberland County Council, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbrian Water.

The weekend’s events are all based around Northumbrian Water’s picturesque Kielder Reservoir and waterside sites and whether it’s the marathon, half marathon, 10k or the run bike run event, the views for athletes and spectators are spectacular.

Northumberland County Councillor Cath Homer, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

“  It is easy to see why the Kielder Marathon has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar with people just like David setting themselves new personal challenges and travelling far and wide to take part.
“A huge reason for its popularity is its spectacular setting; It really is the country’s most beautiful marathon and by offering  a range of events across the weekend from 10kms to the full marathon, this widens its appeal and makes taking part achievable to so many more people. ”
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