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Kielder Ultra Trail

07-Apr-2018 Hawkhirst Activity Centre, Kielder, Northumberland, UK (England)


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Trail Race Race Terrain
100KM / 62Miles
1 Day

Alternate Distances: 80KM/50M 50KM/31M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Entry From £35 GBP

The Kielder Ultra Trail was a brand new event in 2014 set in the vast expanse of Kielder Water and Forest Park.

The Park

The Park spans 600 square kilometres and is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. The area features mile upon mile of purpose-built trails including forest walks, woodland singletrack and heather clad moorland. Add to this a few little unique features & this will be an ultra trail run like no other.....the perfect way to explore this amazing area.

The routes

50km: This is a superb route whether you are looking to complete your first ultra or an experienced runner. The course is one loop encircling Kielder Water, incorporating the tranquil Lewisburn Valley, Kielder Observatory and Skyspace, Kielder Castle, Bakethin Reservoir nature reserve, Kielder Viaduct, Bellingburn Valley & sections of the Lakeside Way. The route also climbs onto open moorland on a number of occasions to offer stunning panoramic views over the whole of Kielder Water and across to the Scottish Border.

80km Course: In addition to the sections covered on the 50km route, the 80km will feature an additional 29km section to the English/Scottish Border. This will incorporate the summits of Peel Fell (at 602m the highest point in the area), Deadwater Fell (571m/1900') and Three Pikes. On a clear day these summits offer spectacular panoramic views from the Cheviot hill range in the east to the Solway Firth & Lake District Fells in the west. This is a tough section covering remote fell terrain. Expect plenty of superb climbing and moorland trails.

100km Course: This will be one full circuit exploring this vast area. In addition to the sections covered on the 50k & 80km routes, the 100km will feature an additional section to Sidwood in the beautiful Tarset valley and returning via Thorneyburn Fell & Falstone village.

The routes will be fully marked so no need for navigation. However, the 100/80k routes cover remote fell terrain. All participants must have the necessary skills to cope with any navigational problems which may occur.


Professionally run event, qualified and experienced personel at various checkpoints, qualified medical support, online registration, fully marked routes, route maps, commemorative race t-shirt and unique finishers medal, refreshments at finish, hydration and feed stations, on site catering, event photography, free event parking, toilets, showers.

Entry Fee

£35 - 50k

£50 -100k & 80k 

Read Simon Pryde's review of the 2014 edition HERE.



Event Organiser
ian mulvey



Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

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11:19 12-04-16

I've ran around Kielder probably 20 times, I've enjoyed spending hours exploring the endless trails and paths in every kind of weather, it truly is a magical place to run, so I looked forward to this event, in the back of mind I thought I could do ok and maybe sneak a placed finish....
So it started, leaving the house at 7:30am, dropped the dog at day-care and headed off, just over an hour away, the sun was shining an no traffic on the road, the day was off to a great start. As we headed over the County Durham border into Northumberland the cloud started to descend, my other half checked twitter and informed me that there had been a covering of snow overnight! Fine by me, I love all seasons. Upon arriving we met Ian, Paul and the team, registration was quick and easy, kit check and a swift change into race gear and it was time for the briefing. I kissed the good lady goodbye (she had to pull out due to injury) and I headed to the start line. I had planned to hang back and slowly pick off people once I'd settled into a pace, my best laid plans had gone out the window and when we started and I found myself firmly at the front with another guy.
We turner away from the start and there was already a small group leading off and gap appearing to the rest behind, quick glance at my watch and, 7.40m/m pace, oopps! Still "run as you feel" I kept telling myself.
Within the first mile or so the course deviated away from the normal lakeside path I knew so well and off into the forest. now with the overnight snow and previous week of biblical rain the course was a little damp. Some lovely forest trails, a quick scramble up a hill then into some boggy grassy pits of freezing mud and water. there were suddenly only myself and two others, Mark and Simon. We exchanged pleasantries, swapped a few stories, jumped over some felled trees, waded through more muddy bogs and put in a bit of a lead.
The first CP arrived around 9 miles, Kielder castle, we were greeted to cheers and a lovely spread. Quick water refill and we were off, this time only myself and Simon. We ran for a further half a mile and realised it was starting to warm up, quick change of layers and Mark re-joining us we were off.
The next 10 or so miles were tough, challenging terrain (Kielder with teeth I kept saying) the weather was starting to warm up which suited me but Mark and Simon had a lot more speed on the flatter (undulating) sections. Hats off to these guys, they kept checking back to make sure I was ok, it soon became clear we were working very well together as a team, which is strange in such an individual sport as running (this is what I believe sets ultra-running apart from other individual pursuits).
More swamps/bogs/claggy trails and we reached the top of a cragg, stunning views back across Kielder, this was a big turning point, I knew the next CP wasn't far and there was a fantastic downhill section.
We reached the CP, again great support from the organisers, quick refill and we were off.
We ran across the dam and kept checking back to see who was behind. We hadn't seen any other 50km runners since mile 2 and there were none insight. We pressed on along the very runnable sections of the Lakeland path, quick glances behind and still nobody. About 5 miles from the end, Simon thought he saw another runner, they would’ve been around a mile behind and it would’ve taken a ridiculous last few miles to catch us, nonetheless we pressed on, upped the pace until around 2 miles to go. We knew then that we couldn't be caught.
Such was the teamwork we'd had over the last 4 or so hours and the great conversations enjoyed we decided it would be fitting if we all crossed the line together.
The whole experience was one of the best days running I've ever had and reminded me why I love the sport of ultra-running. To get the win was amazing but the support and friendships made were beyond doubt the highlight of the day.
For our efforts were received some amazing prizes from Salomon, the best post-race soup I’ve ever encountered.
thanks to Ian and the team, fantastic and professional organisation and a route that will live long in the memory.

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11:04 04-05-15

Did the 50k!! Great event!! Really nice organisation/marshals/aid stations. Definitely coming back next year!

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09:04 04-05-15

I did the 50k this year as my first ultra. I would definitely recommend it - well marked, friendly & helpful organisers/marshalls and great grub at the food stops! The B&B the night before was a great idea - if that's offered in future years I would definitely do that as it made the early starts much easier.

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06:36 04-05-15

The 100km race includes a couple of extra loops to the 50km option. These extras make the 100km a brutal and beautiful experience. The first loop includes a fell section with some steep climbs and boggy marshland. Tough going but the views from the top are breathtaking and give you an appreciation of how stunning the area is. Whilst the path around the reservoir is good, fast going the extra loops are what make the 100km the challenge that it is. Not to be under-estimated this race is well worth the trip and the early start.

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05:58 04-05-15

Did the 50k this year, really enjoyed it. Mostly fast course with a couple of tricky bits, well marked and great support on the way around. Would definitely recommend as one to do.

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