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It’s back! A marathon effort as ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful’ returns in style

Sunday, 03 October, 2021
It’s back! A marathon effort as ‘Britain’s Most Beautiful’ returns in style

Plans for the 11th Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon weekend began in earnest shortly after the 10th anniversary event drew to a close and, two years on, thousands of runners turned out in force to mark a triumphant return.

With more than 1,100 runners taking on the Kielder Marathon and Kielder Half Marathon, and a further 75 in the Junior races on Sunday, October 3, adding to those in the 10k and Run Bike Run on Saturday, a total of around 2,500 competitors took part across the weekend.

The event took place at Northumbrian Water’s Landal Kielder Waterside park, with the backdrop of the stunning Kielder Reservoir.

The Marathon winner was Russell Maddams from Keswick AC, who crossed the finish line in just 2 hours 54 minutes and 25 seconds for his third win in the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon. Fellow former winners Ian Twaddle and Cees Van Der Land came in second and third. Jo Ballantyne was the first female through, in 3 hours 35 minutes and 21 seconds.

David Holmes was the winner of the Half Marathon, finishing in 1 hour 16 minutes and 39 seconds, while the first female was Anna McClean. She crossed the line in 1 hour, 38 minutes and 32 seconds.

Marcus Cram, race coordinator at Events of the North, said: “When we packed away the bunting and barriers in 2019, we didn’t expect to be waiting two years to be back for the 11th Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon.

“It’s been a tough couple of years, and the importance of exercise to people’s wellbeing has never been more evident. So to be able to bring people together to celebrate the joys of running and cycling has resonated more strongly than ever this weekend.

“It’s been amazing to see people turn out to take part or to cheer others on and we hope it’s a reflection of brighter days to come and we look forward to being back again in 2022.”

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon weekend is delivered by Events of the North in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, with Bright being the main charity partner.

Claire Riley, the Trust’s director of communications and corporate affairs, said: “It has been another fantastic year for the events here at Kielder, it’s great to see so many participants getting involved.

“I would just like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank-you to all of our partners and especially to the volunteers who make the whole thing possible. We are incredibly grateful for all of the money raised for our Bright charity which will go on to benefit our staff and our patients.”

Mark Warnes, chief executive of Active Northumberland, added: “It has been heartening to see all ages getting involved, from children as young as six years of age taking part in short junior runs, to well-seasoned runners who are taking part in the full marathon. On Friday, Active Northumberland also held a walking event so those who are unable to run, could also take part and enjoy the stunning setting.

“I think that is the great appeal of this weekend – it has something for everyone.  I’m so pleased to see Kielder Marathon weekend is back to its spectacular best.”