Never having been to Kielder before I was excited to see what it was like and experience the ‘dark sky’ I arrived the night before with Billy and our dog Skye. We drove up to one of the top carparks where you are allowed to park overnight for a tenner. The skies didn’t dissapoint and we were treated to a spectacular view of the stars amongst the high conifers. We settled down for a kip in the back of the van and after a bit of barking from Skye whenever there was a strange noise we were able to get some shuteye. It’s been a while since we have slept in the van and I had forgotten how cold it could be, after getting up and putting more clothes on I was able to drift into a sleep. We were disturbed quite early however as the 100k race registration opened at 5.30AM at the castle just down the road from us.
I headed down at 7.30 for my registration and after the usual faffing was ready to go at 9.30. I met Alan and Lynne who were doing the 20 mile race, I also bumped into Nicola Duncan who was the only other person I knew, she of course went on to win the ladies race.
The route is beautiful and rather hilly. It reminded me of Glentress marathon a bit which High terrain events also organise. There is alot of mountain biking at Kielder and much of the route was on these trails, There were also some nice sections by Kielder water. There were many people out walking or fishing and just enjoying the scenery.
We had planned to stay another night in the van but after the race I was eager to just get home for a hot shower, some homecooked food and a good nights sleep. I would like to go back and explore the area some more although I have been told the midges are vicious there so I will have to pick my timimg carefully.
Sadie Kemp Finish Time 05:16:09 Overall 36 / 143 Gender 5 / 51 Category 1 / 20
Alan Thornburrow Finish Time 03:58:14 Overall 40 / 78 Gender 27 / 41 Category 12 / 14
Lynne Stevely Finish Time 03:58:58 Overall 42 / 78 Gender 14 / 37 Category 4 / 12