Amble’s Karl Taylor set a tough benchmark, roaring to victory in a fast time in the first Kielder Half-Marathon yesterday.
The 24-year-old Morpeth Harrier was the inaugural winner of the race in 1 hour 14 minutes and 35 seconds. He beat second-placed Steven McMahon, 36, from Sunderland, by almost five minutes.
Northumberland County Council worker Karl said: “I never expect to win, I just try my best and luckily enough I got the win today so I’m happy with that. The course was very hard, absulutely spectacular. I’ve never been to Kielder before, it was a great experience – the course is fantastic.
“If it wasn’t for the two lads in front of us on the bikes, I don’t think I would have got through that. I’ll be back next year.”
Karl ran in the English Road Running Association (ERRA) National 6-Stage Road Relays at Birmingham on Saturday, finishing the course, whhih was just under four miles, in 18 minutes 47 seconds, helping Morpeth Harriers to 37th place overall.
Alnwick Harrier Diana Weightman, 52, mother of Olympic 1500m runner Laura Weightman, from Lesbury, finished as 17th female in 1:49:33.
She said: “It was good, I enjoyed it but it was very undulating - it was tough, tougher obviously than a flat half-marathon but it was good.”
The race, part of the Kielder Marathon weekend, attracted nearly 700 runners, including BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth.
She said: “I have been to Kielder once, years and years ago, when I came to do a report about Kielder as the most tranquil part of the UK. I think we’re disturbing that peace a bit today! There are an awful lot of people here sounding fantastic and it’s just spectacular.”
Kielder Half-Marathon race results 2015
1st: Karl Taylor, 24, from Amble – 1hr 14min 35sec
2nd: Steven McMahon, 36, from Sunderland – 1hr 19min 18sec
3rd: Ben Wickham, 36, from London – 1hr 22min 07sec
1st female: Debra Crozier, 50, from Washington – 1hr 33min 14sec
2nd: Elaine Bisson, 37, from Durham – 1hr 35min 13sec
3rd: Susie Chan, 40, from London – 1hr 36min 12sec