More than 1,000 runners took part in the first half of a Northumberland sporting weekend today.
The Kielder 10K, part of the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon weekend held at Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park in Kielder Water & Forest Park, drew in around 900 runners.
Winner Lee Cuthbertson, of the Tyne Bridge Harriers running club, was first through the finish line in 35 minutes and 27 seconds, helping the Tyne Bridge Harriers maintain their title as champions of the 10K for the second year.
The 26-year-old said: “I was on my own a lot of the race so it was quite lonely, but it was good, I really enjoyed it. Without a doubt I would do it again.”
Meanwhile the Kielder Run-Bike-Run saw more than 200 people tackle the marathon distance split into three parts.
Individuals or teams of three competed in an 11km run, a 26km bike ride and a 5km run while spectators saw more than 200 bikes in use at the transition stations.
Northumberland team, Forest Fired, was the first team to finish the Run-Bike-Run in 1 hour, 57 minutes and 7 seconds.
Kevin Fairclough, from Otterburn, who completed the last running leg of the Run-Bike-Run, said: “We all work for the Forestry Commission so we thought it would be a good idea to pull together and take part in a local event as a team. We didn’t know what to expect but it was fantastic.”
Philippa Graham, 43, from Wylam, was the first female individual through the finish line having completed all three stages of the Run-Bike-Run in 2 hours 29 minutes and 44 seconds.
Philippa, who came in second last year, said: “It’s taken me four years to be number one! The Bike section was fantastic but the running was hard.”
Tomorrow, about 2,000 runners are set to follow the off-road course around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water, in either the main marathon itself or the new half-marathon.
Billed as Britain’s most beautiful, the full weekend of events attracts runners and outdoor adventure enthusiasts from around the world.
Graeme Lowdon, president and sporting director of the Manor Marussia Formula 1 team, took part in the 10K today with members of his team and friends.
Graeme, who is from Corbridge, said: “This is the first time I’ve taken part in the Kielder 10K. We’re all familiar with the formula one circuits and each turn, but here, every time you turned around the corner there was a new surprise, some other spectacular view, it’s just beautiful.”
Bruce Ledger, chief executive of Active Northumberland which sponsors the Kielder Marathon weekend, said: “Running, walking and cycling are excellent ways to keep fit and it is great to see how events like this are growing and inspiring more people to get active.”
Kielder 10K race results
1 Lee Cuthbertson, 26, runs for Tyne Bridge Harriers, 35m 27s; 2 Steven Duffy, 28, from Washington, 36m; 3 David Fuller, 38, from Sheffield, 37m 28s.
First female: Jessica Fox, 17, from Sunderland, 41m 02s; 2 Sarah Robson, 30, from Wallsend, 42m 10s; 3 Fiona Belgian, 38, from Corbridge, 42m 52s.
Kielder Run-Bike-Run race results
First team: Forest Fired, Kevin Fairclough, Paul Pickett, Nick Swinburn, 01:57:07; Second team: Team Ouseburn Athletics, Andy Graham, Stuart Anderson, 01:59:16; Third team: Powered by Gas, Sean Poulter, Andy Robinson and Dean Watson, 01:59:21.
First male individual: Jon Moss, 32, from Cumbria, 02:05:31; Second male individual: Tom Allen, 31, from Devon, 02:06:58; Third male individual: Darren McBain, 41, from Newcastle, 02:11:13.
First female individual: Philippa Graham, 43, from Wylam, 02:29:44; Second female individual: Christine Burns, 33, from Cramlington, 02:30:53; Third female individual: Sam Crooks, 30, from Newcastle, 02:33:23.