Athletes are making their final preparations for the first edition of a new ultra triathlon that will take place in Northumberland over the weekend. 300 competitors and 14 teams have signed up to tackle The Northumbrian, hosted by Kielder Waterside and taking in the spectacular, challenging terrain that surrounds it.

Being billed as the ‘ultimate triathlon’, The Northumbrian is being organised by Events of the North, the company run by athletics legend Steve Cram, with support from Northumbrian Water. The event starts at 6:15 am on Sunday 19 June, and will include individual and team races at both the full ultra triathlon distance of 140.6 miles, and half distance of 70.3 miles. Kielder Water will be the venue for the swim section, while the roads of the Kielder Valley and the Borders will host the bike route, and the run will follow the trails of the iconic Kielder Marathon in the forests around Kielder Water.

Among the leading competitors in the event will be professional triathletes India Lee and local star Dan Dixon, who are both tackling The Northumbrian as part of teams. Dan will lead a family team to race the full distance in a relay – 2.4 miles swim, followed by 112 miles on the bike, and then the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles.

Race founder Steve Cram comments: “The Northumbrian has been a dream of ours since we hosted the very fi­rst Kielder Marathon back in 2011. This event has been a long time in the making and we are delighted that we can fi­nally welcome athletes to what we hope will be one of Northumberland’s toughest, but most rewarding challenges.

“From that ­first break of the water on Sunday morning, to the fi­nal testing miles along the trails, our 300 athletes can look forward to an amazing experience in a spectacular setting. We’re very grateful to Northumbrian Water and other sponsors and partners for sharing our vision and helping to deliver this exciting new event for the region.”

Kielder Waterside already hosts the annual Kielder Marathon weekend, but the addition of an ultra triathlon is a major addition to the growing list of events held in the area.

Louise Hunter, corporate affairs director at Northumbrian Water, adds: “We’re absolutely delighted that our stunning Kielder reservoir will be taking centre stage at this new and exciting triathlon event – The Northumbrian.

“Surrounded by forest and off-road trails, it offers a beautiful setting just perfect for a swimming, cycling and running event like this. It’s bound to give participants a real boost in motivation as they tackle each of the challenging stages, but with the weather meant to be hot, we’d encourage everyone to make sure they stay hydrated throughout.”

The Northumbrian is a professionally managed event with stringent safety measures in place for each stage. In particular, the organising team is keen to emphasise that the public should not swim in the reservoir in normal circumstances.

For more information about The Nothumbrian, visit https://thenorthumbrian.com.