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Photo Credit: High Terrain Events

The 2014 Kielder Ultra Trail


Last updated: 20-Aug-18

By Ian Mulvey

2014 saw many new and experienced ultra runners toe the start line in the inaugural Kielder Ultra Trail, what is set to be ‘a must do’ event in the future for many runners. 

The routes

The 50k Course was one loop encircling the whole of Kielder Water, incorporating the tranquil Lewisburn Valley, Bakethin Reservoir nature reserve and sections of the Lakeside Way. The route also climbed 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. 

The 80km Course: in addition to the sections covered on the 50km route, the 80km featured a tough section to the English/Scottish Border. This incorporated Peel Fell (highest point in the area), Deadwater Fell and Three Pikes. Runners had plenty of superb climbing and moorland (boggy) trails to run along.  

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

All routes were fully marked so no need for navigation. This made it an attraction for runners who just wanted to enjoy the stunning area of Kielder without having to look down at a map every two minutes.

Location and aftermath

The event was based from Hawkhirst Activity Centre, situated on the shores of Kielder Water in 70 acres of coniferous forest. For anyone entering in 2015 the centre will be offering full board accommodation and camping on-site.

On completing the 100km course runners gained 2 hard earned points towards their UTMB Qualifying tally.  

Judging by the elation on the runners faces as they crossed the finish line in 2014 and the feedback afterwards, the inaugural Kielder Ultra Trail certainly proved to be a resounding success on all fronts. 

The Kielder ultra will also form the first counting event in the newly created Ultra Trail Series organised by High Terrain Events, alongside the Scafell Pike Trail Marathon, Lakeland 3X3000 80k and Ennerdale 50k.     

Some feedback from participants:

"Well after completing the Kielder ultra 100k yesterday I have been thinking about trying to sum it up in just one word, OUTSTANDING!!!! This event in its first year was organised to perfection! The hard work that went into planning and marking out the 3 routes was epic and because of this it was a dream to run. No messing with maps, just follow the tape and enjoy the stunning scenery! The checkpoints were fantastic with a great selection of food and drinks, great Marshall's that stood freezing at key points along the way normally on top of a hill somewhere and their enthusiasm gave me a boost! This was without doubt my favourite ultra even though it was so tough. So I will finish by saying well-done High Terrain Events and everybody else involved! 10 out of 10 from me!" - Billy Stott  

"Thanks for making my first ultra an amazing experience. Please thank everyone involved in helping to organise such a brilliant day" - John Golding 

"Still buzzing after a fantastic weekends event, can't praise or thank you enough: superb" - Howard Seal 

"I just want to say thank you very much to all involved in the Kielder Ultra Marathon. What a course!!!!" - Ozzie Komurcu

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