Money raised by runners who tackled a 26.5 mile trail race under the Dark Skies of Kielder will help support the efforts of mountain rescue volunteers in Northumberland National Park.
Around 300 runners took part in the second Dark Skies Run, a 26.5 mile trail race around the shoreline of Kielder Water, raising £1,400 for the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team.
The run, organised by the Trail Outlaws, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water and hosted by Hawkhirst Scout Activity Centre and licensed by the Kielder Water and Forest Park, saw a threefold increase in entrants, with runners coming from across the UK and Europe, and plans are being made to expand the event again for 2017.
Storm Katie arrived just before the 5pm start time, the event saw runners complete the race late into the night under the darkest skies in England.
A team of more than 40 volunteers helped to ensure the run was successful and safe, including a dozen from the Mountain Rescue Team, who supported the event.
The Mountain Rescue Team relies solely on donations to cover its running costs of approximately £25,000 per year, not including any future replacement of its two Land Rovers, currently valued in excess of £100k. The volunteers support outdoor events, such as the Dark Skies Run, providing preventative mountain rescue support that complement the team’s reactive operations.
Race Director Tim Bateson, of Trail Outlaws, said: “As an organisation that puts on a number of races throughout the National Park each year, we are strongly supported by the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and wanted to give something back.
“The run was an excellent event and we were very pleased to see 300 people take part, but there will be more to come as we look to expand the occasion in future runs.”
Pete Roberts of the Mountain Rescue Team, said: “We like to support outdoor activities across the National Park, because it is important that people enjoy this fantastic part of Northumberland in a wide range of ways. It also provides an opportunity to operate in a preventative way, ensuring people take part in such events in a safe and responsible manner.”
Anybody who would like to support the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team can find out more by visitingwww.nnpmrt.org.