Ceri Rees secured a hat trick of victories at the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon on Sunday; the first runner to have set three consecutive top place finishes in the event’s five-year history. The weekend of activities at Kielder also included a 10k, the Kielder Run-Bike-Run, plus a junior run.
Now in its fifth year, the race saw runners start and finish at Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park. The off-road route circled northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water in Northumberland, and the world’s fourth largest Dark Sky Park thanks to minimal light pollution. The stunning course means the event is frequently referred to as the ‘most beautiful marathon in Britain.’
Poole Runners’ Rees improved on his time year to finish in 2:39:40, with Lee Muir almost five minutes behind in second (2:44:08) and Cees Van Der Land in third (2:46:42). Rees commented: “The atmosphere today was really good. Kielder marathon doesn’t get any easier but it’s not about winning – it’s more about getting round the course. “Kielder is beautiful and the course definitely helps the miles go faster. As far as trail running goes, its right up there as one of Britain’s most beautiful.”
In the women’s field, Myra Jones secured first place in 3:17:58, Sarah Burrell in second (3:22:21) and Ruth Jones third (3:25:55). Jones later said: “This is the first time I’ve ran Kielder Marathon and it was harder than I expected. The course just feels constant and it was really windy by the dam wall – I’m exhausted!” Billed as the most beautiful marathon in Britain, up to 1000 runners made their way around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water.
The 10k welcomed a new course record with Marc Fenwick winning in a time of 33:37, while Fiona Blackett led the women home in 40:44. Almost 800 competitors took part in the race, with a further 180 in the Run-Bike-Run event. All results are available at northernrunningguide.com