FORMER decathlete Daley Thompson has thrown his weight behind the Kielder Marathon and the weekend of events surrounding it.

The double gold Olympic medallist - a close friend of world champion Steve Cram who founded the event - said he would not be running himself.

But, he added: “I will be taking part in the Kielder Run-Bike-Run.

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“And I am going to get two really good runners to compensate for me being in the team.”

The Salomon Kielder Marathon, taking place on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6, has grown over the last three years to become a firm favourite in the racing calendar.

Its success has been put down to its spectacular location and almost entirely off-road course around northern Europe’s largest man-made lake, Kielder Water.

Speaking on a visit to Gateshead today (Wednesday, February 27) Thompson said: “Official NHS obesity statistics have dominated the media in recent weeks.

“To learn that one in ten children is obese is alarming to say the least.

“But thanks to last year’s Olympic fever, the nation is beginning to embrace more sporting activities and what better way to encourage and inspire our children to get fit, than to attend home-grown events?"

Cram said: “Kielder Marathon weekend has grown year on year and I’m delighted we already have some loyal participants who have competed in the marathon every single year since the event began in 2010.”

An early bird discount is available for anyone entering the marathon, 10K or Run-Bike-Run before midnight on Wednesday, March 13.”

For more details visit or contact 01434- 689 040.