Kielder Marathon Weekend 2021
This year Kielder Marathon weekend is back and we’ve got nearly 100 staff taking part in the marathon, half marathon, 10k, as well as run bike run.
Kielder Marathon weekend is taking place on the 2 and 3 October delivered by Events of the North in conjunction with the trust, Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland and Northumberland County Council. Find out more about the event at www.kieldermarathon.com
What we are doing?
As an NHS employer we are keen to support staff, patients and visitors to make healthier choices and that’s why we are proud to be supporting the Kielder Marathon weekend.
We’re keen to inspire people who’ve never run a race to enter or simply find out more about what it involves.
We are delighted to have staff Kielder ambassadors for these events and you can follow their journey including their training plans here. We’ve also put together a series of ‘Ask the expert’ films from our lead dietitians and psychological services and Kielder ever present, Tony Allen who has ran every marathon since it started . We’re delighted Team GB athletes Steve Cram and Laura Weightman also got involved. The films include everything from what’s best to eat, fluid intake, using positive thinking to get the most out of training, overcoming race day nerves and top tips.
Linda – 10k Kielder Ambassador
Linda Irving, a gastro nurse practitioner, chose the Kielder 10k as her next challenge after recently completing the Couch to 5k with work.
She also hopes to raise money for our Bright Northumbria charity to help support their valuable initiatives to improve patient experience as well as staff wellbeing.
She says: I started running in 2021 by joining the Couch to 5k programme and this will be my first race and first time at Kielder. I’m looking forward to taking in the beautiful scenery and hopefully running a personal best.”
She suggests running ‘slow and steady’ during training and highly recommends entering Kielder adding: “If you build up your training regularly you’ll be surprised how well you’ll do.”
Emma – 10k Kielder Ambassador
Emma Davey is doing Kielder 10k to motivate her to get fit and lose 15 kilos .
She is rota lead co-ordinator in the surgical information team based at Wansbeck General and says: “I want to get into a wardrobe of clothes that are currently packed in suitcases and most of which are new. I have never been a ‘runner’ as such but I’m quick walker.”
Emma has two dogs so is exercising daily but wanted the chance to get into running regularly too. She has struggled with her mental health and is hoping running will help to improve her self-esteem as well as getting fitter.
Her training involves taking in nearby beauty spots. There is a lovely walk around a lake which is 1km in length so she’s planning on building up to running 10 laps.
She says: “My partner is helping me out by exercising the dogs when we go to the lake, allowing me to run and I have started to do runs around my village which is about 3 miles.”
This will be her first ever race at Kielder. She adds: “Im hoping to run as much as possible but I’m not afraid to walk if I need to.”
Ashleigh- 10k Kielder Ambassador
Ashleigh Kent joins Couch to 5k graduates in completing their first ever 10k.
Ashleigh, a MacMillan support coordinator based at North Tyneside General, started running by joining the trust’s Couch to 5k group at the beginning of the pandemic.
She wanted to get fit for a long time since having children but never found the right time juggling a busy family life and work. She decided due to the covid restrictions she had extra free time.
The trust’s Couch to 5K programme motivated her to continue her running. She loves the challenges set by the staff health and wellbeing team and finds these empowering.
She says: “At the start of the pandemic I began running as a way of self-care. I’ve recently completed the couch to 5k and Kielder will be my next challenge to prove I can do it! I’m looking forward to the beautiful scenery and also the cake at the finish line’
- Half Marathon
Ian – Half Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Ian Mason, supervisor, in our Child Health Information Department, says running helps him to reduce anxiety and loves the sense of community and achievement that taking part in races brings.
Ian has always enjoyed running from an early age and is looking forward to completing his first Kielder half marathon in 2021. When he was younger he ran cross country for his school, he’s also ran many half marathons and enjoyed running with his dad in several Great North runs over the years. He completed his first full marathon in 2012 and now regularly does 5k, 10k and half marathons.
He says: “ It gives me time to engage with my thoughts and keep anxiety to a minimum which will be carried through to the race and also highlights a sense of achievement.
I love the quiet and solitude of running on my own, but during races running is a social opportunity. Encouraging each other and finding a running buddy is a great way to develop a sense of community.”
His advice to anyone wanting to take up running is to prioritise warm ups and cool downs as well as starting your running training journey slowly and building up distances gradually until your body feels comfortable running the distance. He also finds foam rollers are great for getting rid of any niggles.
He adds: “Don’t be afraid to run and walk in your work out and always take your mobile phone and some money in case of an emergency.”
Reece- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Reece Calvert has always enjoyed running and is using Kielder as a personal challenge to see if he can do 10 marathons in 10 days in 2022!
He works as payroll officer and is running for Bright Northumbria Charity because he says: “I really value the work they do supporting those things the NHS can’t to ensure patients and their families are as comfortable as possible and staff are supported to provide the best care they can.”
Reece did his first ever race in 2018 and Kielder Marathon will be his first time doing a marathon and running at Kielder.
He says: “I’ve heard it’s an amazing and beautiful route as well as being a good challenge to aspire to.”
As part of his training Reece is also doing the Great North Run in 2021 and recommends using headphones to keep you motivated when running. Research shows listening to music while exercising can also reduce your feeling of effort and tiredness.
He adds: “When I run I try not to stop as it can break my rhythm, I also include hills and build up distances slowly”.
Chantelle- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Chantelle Steinbeck, macmillan acute oncology clinical nurse specialist at Northumbria Hospital, stopped running after having her first child in 2019 and hopes Kielder 2021 will be the focus she needs to get back to running long distances again.
Kielder Marathon was her first ever race and it was here her passion for running started. The race inspired her to train for a 120 mile ultramarathon; The Kerry Way in Ireland; where she was the third ever women to complete the course. Before having children she successfully completed other ultra marathons including West Highland Way and Devil of the Highlands.
She says: “ Kielder is a great race for every ability, well organised and lovely views. From my experience if you are running long distance try to follow a training plan to keep you focused. It’s also important to learn how to eat and drink on the move; keeping hydrated and fuelled is key!”
Alice- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Alice Townend, consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon, discovered running in 2018 and has transformed in her words from being ‘lazy, exercise hating and unfit to a long distance runner’ in less than three years.
The turning point was when she started noticing she couldn’t keep up with her two sons on family outings. She chose running as it’s one of the most efficient ways to burn calories in the least amount of time.
She says: “ I hated exercising but didn’t want to be an unfit overweight middle aged mum who couldn’t keep up with her family doing exercises they loved.”
She did her first 10k in 2018 and hasn’t looked back. Since then she’s completed 50k and 55k ultra marathons and Kielder Marathon will be her first official marathon.
She adds: “I’m most looking forward to taking on this tough challenge, and encouraging others to get to the finish line with me.”
Rachel- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Nurse, Rachel Joseph is looking forward to doing the Kielder Marathon as her next big running challenge and hopes her passion for running will encourage others to get active.
Rachel is a sister in the emergency department at Northumbria Hospital and started running in her early 20s when she moved to London and couldn’t afford a gym membership. She soon got the running bug and has gone on to do several marathons, ultra marathons, including the half marathon at Kielder five years ago, which inspired her to do Britain’s most beautiful marathon at Kielder in October 2021.
She’s always loved running at Kielder and uses it as a training route every year. She says:
“Running is important to me as it gives me ‘me time’, allows me to clear my head which improves my resilience to take on anything the emergency department throws at me. I also just love to be outside in wide open spaces amongst nature. I have a preference for trail running and off roading and love to do this in new places.
Kielder is such a beautiful place to run- fresh, clean air and so much natural beauty and it will be a great sense of achievement when I get to the finish line!”
Rachel’s training involves following a training plan. There are lots available online to suit all abilities and goals. She also advocates listening to your body and not to run on an injury in the hope it will go away. She loves to share her passion for running with others and completed the England Athletics Run Leader training through the Trust so she could support colleagues and leads Couch to 5k groups with the emergency department. During the pandemic she also did virtual running groups to help staff stay connected and find the motivation to train at home after busy shifts.
She adds “I love to share my love of running and getting people to be more active and achieve things they never thought they could. If you are thinking of entering a race like Kielder go for it! People always say to me ‘I could never run a marathon!’ but how do you know unless you give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen? You don’t finish? No one will care. You don’t enjoy it? Don’t do it again.”
Iain- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Iain Goff, consultant rheumatologist at Wansbeck Hospital, set himself the challenge to do the Kielder Marathon after 18 months of an extremely busy work schedule and little time to exercise due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like many of our services the pandemic drastically changed the way his team worked with the introduction of online and telephone appointments, in addition he also worked in ambulatory care and occupational health as well as supporting our covid vaccination programme.
This will be his first time running at Kielder but he has cycled there so he’s looking forward to running around the lake and taking in the beautiful scenery and amazing atmosphere.
Iain used to run competitively as a child but work and family came along and he started to do park runs and the occasional 10k instead.
He says; “I’m looking forward to building my fitness back up and trying to carry that through the winter so that I can do some races in 2022.
With life, work and family it can sometimes seem that there is never an ideal time to train but my advice to anyone doing a race like Kielder is run regularly. Even if you are tired, run slower or walk, but make sure you get out as much as you can as it builds the mental toughness to persevere through a marathon.”
Simon- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Simon Eaton, consultant in diabetes and general medicine at Northumbria’s hospitals, struggled to find the time for running after getting a promotion to business unit director. But this year he set himself the challenge to do the Kielder Marathon and he hasn’t looked back.
Having never previously been a runner, he started running with his children and discovered he really enjoyed it. His first half marathon was at Kielder in 2015, which he ran to raise money for a garden in our oncology unit in memory of a colleague’s wife who was treated there. He went onto do the full marathon a year later and completed 9 marathons before he became director in 2019.
This will be his first time back running at Kielder. He says:
“I started running again recently but soon realised I needed an incentive to keep going and building up my fitness levels again. It’s made such a difference; I’m losing weight; feeling fitter and it’s really made me push myself. I am really looking forward to the big day – Kielder is such a beautiful place to run and it’s hilly, so you can’t worry about times, which is great. It’s just about getting round.”
Alex- Marathon Kielder Ambassador
Alex Fiddes, lead clinical dietitian at Northumbria Hospital is doing Kielder Marathon.
She started running in 2018 after signing up for the Blaydon Race and joining a local running club shortly after to train for the Great North Run.
Alex is excited for Kielder Marathon which is best known for its great scenery and atmosphere saying:
“This will be my first time running Kielder. I love trails and beautiful scenery while I run so I’m certain that I’ll love it. I had my first marathon planned when the pandemic hit and although I’ve since ran an ultra-marathon I still feel like I want to tick a marathon off my bucket list!
- Run Bike Run
Emily – Run Bike Run Kielder Ambassador
Emily Sharratt, trainee nurse practitioner at our North Tyneside Urgent Care Centre, took up running initially to lose her baby weight but soon got the running bug.
She says: “I started running with a local running group called ‘ These Girls Can’ about 5 years ago. I find it a great escapism, and ideal for burning off any stresses from work and home life.”
She highly recommends running with a friend or a local running group to make training more enjoyable and less of a chore.
Emily has done the half marathon at Kielder before but wanted to try something new. This year’s she’s doing the Run Bike Run race and is looking forward to the challenge saying:
“It’s such a beautiful place. I’m looking forward to taking in the scenery as I run and bike along the reservoir. The miles fly by because of the stunning views. I have always found it a much more relaxed race than other events. So if you are thinking of doing Kielder next year – just do it!”
Ask the expert videos
Team GB athletes Laura Weightman and Steve Cram share their top tips for running events and staying motivated during training as well as what makes Kielder like no other marathon.
Here’s Alex Fiddes our clinical lead dietitian and Kielder Marathon Ambassador sharing her top tips and talking about the importance of hydration , refuelling and nutrition when training for running events.
Simon Pestell, one of clinical psychologists, shares here his top tips for staying motivated, recognising the signs of over training and overcoming race day nerves.
Tony Allen, a Kielder marathon ever present shares his running journey here starting with how he got into running, his top tips for running a marathon and he explains what’s different about running a marathon at Kielder.