WATCH: Karl flies to victory in inaugural Kielder Half-Marathon

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Amble’s Karl Taylor set a tough benchmark, roaring to victory in a fast time in the first Kielder Half-Marathon yesterday.

The 24-year-old Morpeth Harrier was the inaugural winner of the race in 1 hour 14 minutes and 35 seconds. He beat second-placed Steven McMahon, 36, from Sunderland, by almost five minutes.

Half-marathon winner Karl Taylor is presented with his prizes by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, who took part in the race, event founder Steve Cram, leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey and  Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Northumbrian Water.

Half-marathon winner Karl Taylor is presented with his prizes by BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth, who took part in the race, event founder Steve Cram, leader of Northumberland County Council Grant Davey and Heidi Mottram, chief executive of Northumbrian Water.

Northumberland County Council worker Karl said: “I never expect to win, I just try my best and luckily enough I got the win today so I’m happy with that. The course was very hard, absulutely spectacular. I’ve never been to Kielder before, it was a great experience – the course is fantastic.

“If it wasn’t for the two lads in front of us on the bikes, I don’t think I would have got through that. I’ll be back next year.”

Karl ran in the English Road Running Association (ERRA) National 6-Stage Road Relays at Birmingham on Saturday, finishing the course, whhih was just under four miles, in 18 minutes 47 seconds, helping Morpeth Harriers to 37th place overall.

Alnwick Harrier Diana Weightman, 52, mother of Olympic 1500m runner Laura Weightman, from Lesbury, finished as 17th female in 1:49:33.

Karl Taylor wins the men's Active Northumberland Kielder Half-Marathon. Picture by North News And Pictures

Karl Taylor wins the men's Active Northumberland Kielder Half-Marathon. Picture by North News And Pictures

She said: “It was good, I enjoyed it but it was very undulating - it was tough, tougher obviously than a flat half-marathon but it was good.”

The race, part of the Kielder Marathon weekend, attracted nearly 700 runners, including BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth.

She said: “I have been to Kielder once, years and years ago, when I came to do a report about Kielder as the most tranquil part of the UK. I think we’re disturbing that peace a bit today! There are an awful lot of people here sounding fantastic and it’s just spectacular.”

Kielder Half-Marathon race results 2015

Karl Taylor at the end of the Kielder Half-Marathon.

Karl Taylor at the end of the Kielder Half-Marathon.

1st: Karl Taylor, 24, from Amble – 1hr 14min 35sec

2nd: Steven McMahon, 36, from Sunderland – 1hr 19min 18sec

3rd: Ben Wickham, 36, from London – 1hr 22min 07sec

1st female: Debra Crozier, 50, from Washington – 1hr 33min 14sec

Karl with his winning certificate and bobble hat!

Karl with his winning certificate and bobble hat!

2nd: Elaine Bisson, 37, from Durham – 1hr 35min 13sec

3rd: Susie Chan, 40, from London – 1hr 36min 12sec