Sun shines on triathletes as they take on The Northumbrian

The second edition of an iron distance triathlon event has been hailed as a big success after it was held in Northumberland last weekend. The Northumbrian returned to Kielder Waterside on Sunday 2 July and over 300 athletes signed up as individuals or in teams, more than at the inaugural event last year. The event was organised by Events of the North, in partnership with Northumbrian Water.

Starting early on Sunday, individuals and teams in The Northumbrian took part in races at both the full iron distance of 140.6 miles, and the half distance of 70.3 miles. Thanks to special permission given by Northumbrian Water, Kielder Water was the venue for the swim, while the roads of the Kielder Valley and the Borders hosted the bike section, and the run was along the trails of the iconic Kielder Marathon route in the forests around the reservoir.

The full iron distance triathlon at The Northumbrian was won by Alessandro Ventisei in 11 hours, 10 minutes and 29 seconds. Fraser Kelly was second in 12:22:36, with William Rogers third in 13:07:21. The women’s race was won by Anu Watson in 14:22:29. Matthew Chipping successfully defended his title in the half Iron distance, improving his time from last year and finishing in 04:21:51. Andy Shaw was second in 4:45:37 and Sam Green was third in 4:50:11. Elizabeth Richardson won the women’s race in 5:19:00, followed by Rosalind Davies-Jones (5:30:33) and Michelle Short (5:33:02).

Race founder Steve Cram comments: “It’s been a fantastic day of racing. The weather was great for us, making it possible to complete the full swimming distance in Kielder Water. That was a real and rare privilege, and we’re very grateful to Northumbrian Water for allowing it. Our amazing triathletes were able to swim, cycle and run in the glorious Northumberland setting and I hope that they were able to enjoy the landscape while they moved through it. Our thanks go to every individual and organisation who made The Northumbrian possible, including our brilliant volunteers. We’re delighted that the event grew this year and look forward to building on that success when we return on 30 June 2024.”

The Northumbrian was 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.

Along with Northumbrian Water, other sponsors and partners of The Northumbrian include nutrition brand Maurten, official merchandise partner Band of Climbers, Big Bobble Hats, and online coaching platform Runna.

Entries are now open for the 2024 edition of The Northumbrian, which will take place on Sunday 30 June, and will once again include full and half iron races. There is an ‘early bird’ offer for places at the event. For more information, visit

Header image: Matthew Chipping successfully defended his title in the half iron triathlon at the 2023 edition of The Northumbrian.

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