Return of Kielder Marathon events offers autumn fitness target to the public
12 Jul 2021
Organisers of the Kielder Marathon are preparing for the return of the popular weekend of events in October.
After a COVID-enforced break last year, the 2021 races are set to be at the same scale as before the pandemic and present an ideal target for people who want to get active again over the summer and autumn. Organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Active Northumberland, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland County Council, the Kielder Marathon series will take place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 October, and will include a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, run-bike-run duathlon and junior races.
Founded in 2010, the Kielder Marathon has become a firm favourite for runners who want to challenge themselves with the classic distance. Labelled ‘Britain’s most beautiful’, the full marathon follows a route on Northumbrian Water land in Kielder Water and Forest Park, in the heart of Northumberland National Park. The event has grown over the years and now includes a full weekend of races at different distances for all ages and abilities, attracting thousands of runners and spectators.
Steve Cram, event founder and race director, comments: “The last 18 months have been really tough for everyone and it’s very exciting that we’re finally able to put on a weekend of events at full capacity again. This is a big moment for so many, from event organisers like us and destinations such as Kielder, to members of the public whose physical and mental health has suffered, and charities and local good causes that have been unable to raise funds in the usual way.
“We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the spectacular setting of Kielder Water and Forest Park. I think that this year’s event will feel even more special than in the past, if that is possible! In the build-up we will continue to work closely with Active Northumberland, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland County Council and Northumbrian Water, to ensure that whatever the circumstances are in October, we have all necessary measures in place so that everyone involved feels safe and can enjoy the complete Kielder Marathon experience. Our message now is – places are going fast, so sign up before we fill up!”
Northumberland County Councillor, Jeff Watson, cabinet member for healthy lives, comments: “It’s easy to see why the marathon has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar, with people setting themselves new personal challenges and travelling far and wide to take part.
“This event helps us to showcase the beauty of Northumberland and the stunning scenery around Kielder and is fantastic for the county, the surrounding rural businesses and for the many charities that benefit through fundraising.”
Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland, comments: “You don’t have to be a marathon runner to take part in the weekend of activities. There is a range of events from the 10K, to shorter junior runs, and a team run-bike-run event, as well as the half and full marathon - so taking part is achievable for so many more people.”
Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, adds: “We’re delighted to once again be a partner of this special event, which allows runners to explore some of Northumberland’s most beautiful scenery, and it is fantastic for a weekend like this to be going ahead after everyone’s sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The importance of exercise in supporting people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing has become even more clear over the past 15 months and the Kielder Marathon is part of the wider infrastructure of events and activities which all play a role in helping our communities to live happier, healthier and longer lives, while also supporting the local economy and attracting visitors to the area.
“It supports charities too, not least our own Bright Northumbria, and thanks to the efforts of those taking part and the generosity of those making donations, the event will ensure we can continue funding valuable initiatives to improve the experience of our patients as well as the wellbeing of our own staff.”
For more information about the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon races and to book a place, visit www.kieldermarathon.com. Follow @kieldermarathon on Twitter for the latest updates from the event.