Kielder Forest Half Marathon (Carol Cooke)
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be able to run a half marathon, but after joining the Harriers on their 5-10k initiative in January here I am standing at the edge of Kielder water overlooking the spectacular Dam with Steve Cram counting us down to the start of the inaugural Kielder half marathon. The excitement was unbelievable not to mention the nerves.
The first km was over the Dam so nice and flat but this was probably the only flat part on the whole course, as once over the Dam the route heads gradually up hill and into the forest coming back out at 3 miles to return over the Dam before heading back on the forest track for the next 9 or so miles on an undulating course following the edge of the lake and dipping in and out of the forest, I could see why it was called Britain’s most beautiful race. It was challenging, and there were some steep hills which a lot of people including myself walked up but it was well worth the effort and I was quite pleased with my finish time of 2.32.09. I was the first and only East Hull Harrier to finish the race and would have loved to have worn my red vest but as I was running for Yorkshire Brain Tumour Research, felt I really should wear theirs on this occasion.
I would really recommend anyone who isn’t looking for a PB but wants a really lovely trail race to give this one a go it’s fantastic. The Marathon and Half Marathon are on the same day and if you really want to stretch those legs there is a 10k and a Run Bike Run held the day before. After the race I was speaking to Karl the 24 year old winner of the half marathon and he was over the moon with his time of 1.14.33 and prize of £100, framed picture, hat and berghaus bag. The Marathon was won by 43 year old Mathew Jones in 2.43.02
The race was very well organised with plenty of marshals and drink stations along the way. The marathon and the half marathon both started at the same time but in different locations so everyone completed the last 13.1 miles and came through the same finish line. A number of buses were running from the event car park to the various start positions which then ferried the spectators from the start to the finish line and took everyone back to the car park after the event.
Stiff legs for me today but I’m searching the Internet for my next trail half ….. I’m hooked.