Sunday 8th October was a marathon Super Sunday with JJ’s competing in 3 marathons across 2 continents.
In a weekend that saw Kelvin Kiptum shatter the men’s marathon record 7 JJ’s took the journey to Kielder for the marathon and half marathon races.The marathon course takes a clockwise circuit around the fringes of Kielder Reservoir. Starting at the Lakeside Park the route follows the lakeshore trail through the forest. Runners head first towards Kielder village then towards the dam and return to the start finish area. The trails are undulating with a stiff 650 metres of climbing. After a damp start the skies cleared and runners enjoyed unseasonably warm conditions on the race. Kielder looked its best with the forest taking on its autumn colours. The marathon has a nasty sting in its tail with most of the climbing in the last 10k. After that it was a relief to finally arrive back at the start/finish for a well earned medal and rest. The marathon claims to be “Britain’s most Beautiful” and some runners were stopping to photograph and enjoy the scenery others were simply struggling to keep moving. The first JJ to finish was Paul O’Connor in a great time of 4.20.07 followed by Cliff Veitch running his 10th and slowest Kielder marathon a week after having had covid in 4.27.39. Next across the line was Sophie Reynolds continuing her good form in 4.45.28 boosted by cheers on the course from her mum. Anthony Harland was close on her heels in 4.45.32 followed by Rachel Gee completing her first ever marathon in an amazing time of 4.55.50 The half marathon starts on the Kielder dam and after looping back on itself follows the marathon route along the lakeshore trails to the finish. It’s a tough hilly course and rather muddy. Not one for a half marathon PB although some runners were seen to be wearing Vaporflys. Jonny Greenwell burned off his Saturday night beers in an impressive 30th place with a time of 1.33.35. Anna Doherty ran strongly and finished in a great time 1.49.31. Kielder marathon: Paul O’Connor 4.20.07 position 188 Cliff Veitch 4.27.39 position 234 Sophie Reynolds 4.45.28 position 330 Anthony Harland 4.45.32 position 332 Rachel Gee 4.55.50 position 398 [621 finishers] Kielder half marathon Jonny Greenwell 1.33.35 position 30 Anna Doherty 1.49.31 position 143 [757 finishers]