In short: great race apart from cars at finish In full: well organised race , no goody bag just a coaster , cars allow down last 50 yard stretch meaning later runners having to jostle past them , an absolute joke Date of review: October 23, 2013
In short: Beautiful run, brilliant atmosphere In full: I was at the back so can give the perspective of a slow runner, it was brilliant. Great support at the beginning. Beautiful scenery and run. Undulating as you would expect from a Lake District run. Fantastic organisation. Lovely welcome when returning - I was really slow and filled up (with tears) when the pubs, jam packed with finshers, gave me a big cheer. Thanks! Finally arriving back to another lovely welcome and a brill momento (slate coaster). Lovely homemade cakes and sandwiches. Thanks to the villagers of Coniston for organisising. Top draw Date of review: October 18, 2013
In short: Hills, hills and more hills In full: A very tough course, no really big hills but endless smaller ones. I doubt if there was more than a mile in total that wasn't up or down. I still managed to beat 2 hours comfortably which is good for me. I didn't notice the cars too much but could have done without cyclists weaving around the runners. I would have thought they would have known better, I wouldn't run on the road during a cycling race. Nice to have hot showers and home made cakes at the finish. My only reason for not doing it again is that there are so many events I haven't done yet but I would recommend it. Just make sure to do lots of hill reps in training. Date of review: October 14, 2013
In short: A beautifully scenic friendly race. Shame about the traffic particularly at the finish. In full: As a Coniston 14 virgin I was very much looking forward to this non-standard distance (no PB to beat!) in spring, so I was disappointed when the snow got the better of it earlier in the year. But the organisers made the wise call with plenty of time for runners to change their plans, and it's to their great credit that they postponed, rather than cancelled, the race.
So on Saturday that decision was rewarded with some very welcome sun breaking through the clouds and providing beautiful views across the lake. I was sorely tempted to stop and take some photos as we flew down the aptly named Sunny Bank but of course my camera-phone would never have done the scenery justice.
Spirits were high and as well as some friendly local support I found myself swapping comments with a few other runners. Perhaps I should have been pushing harder but I do find a bit of banter helps make the miles fly by. :) I found the drinks stations fine - paper cups aren't ideal for drinking out of but it always seems crazy to cart plastic water bottles across the country to be thrown - almost full - in the ditch.
I was surprised to see quite a few cars (in both directions) on the west side of the lake, although they didn't really get in the way. But after reading last year's reviews I had expected the finish line problems to be sorted. Hence it was pretty frustrating to come round the final bend at the top of Lake Road, ready for my final sprint down the hill, and find a car a few metres away blocking the whole road. It was also heading down the hill towards the lake, and of course it had to move slowly due to runners in front of it. Hence I had to decide between walking behind it for the last 200 metres (after running almost 14 miles) or squeezing past it through the narrow gap which I did. I overheard a spectator saying "isn't that terrible" and I do think it's shame that in our car-dominated society we can't close a road like this to cars for just a couple of hours of the year and for an event of this size. Date of review: October 14, 2013
In short: A challenging but idyllic course In full: This is a great race - organisers clearly listen as last years problems with cars at finish was sorted - drinks stations next ?? The course is very challenging for those of us who train on the flat - hills are frequent and attritional rather than 1 or 2 long steep climbs - with proper training a good time is achievable and 1/2 marathon distance being marked out was a nice touch - having left about 5 mins out on the course due to under training I will definitely be back Date of review: October 13, 2013
In short: Magnificent scenery, great start time will be back. In full: Loved this race ran it thanks to Asics competition who were the sponsors. Started at the back due to the loo queue but after the first mile which was a squeeze with the cars on one side of the road stopped reducing the width available for running. Managed a pb for the half after a good winter of training. Great meal in the village afterwards. Dont like cups at the water stops but hey the money raised is for charity so wont grumble. Thanks to all concerned at Coniston for a great race. Date of review: April 10, 2012
In short: Great, tough 14 miler in the beautiful Lakes In full: First time doing this race this year. Pretty undulating, great run, nicely organised but traffic on the roads was a little annoying. Still, when you've got the most impressive scenery of any run I've done - and a real challenge with the hills - this race can be forgiven a lot. I hope to be back in 2013. Date of review: April 7, 2012
In short: This race gives me one more reason to want to live in the Lake District In full: I must say that I am very envious of all those runners who have run this event year after year! This was my first time on the Coniston 14 (or, more accurately, the Coniston 13.875!). I sincerely hope that it won't be my last. For one thing, I am pretty sure that there is nowhere else where I can try to break my brand new 13.875 mile PB of 1:40:50! Brilliant event from start to finish.
When we booked a week's walking in the Lake District for the week before Easter, my first thought was "Oh, that'll mean some careful programming of the latter stages of my London Marathon training". My second (quite soon afterwards!) was "I wonder ... ?" and I checked the RW and Fetch race databases. Up popped the Coniston 14 and, as we were staying in a cottage up at Coppermines, this was a no brainer. In went the entry form and back came the race number. Excellent!
Pre-race instructions were excellent and I decided to drive down to the village rather than risk an ankle on the miners' path. Plenty of parking at the John Ruskin School and a great little race village with stalls, running gear and refreshments. There was a super atmosphere and it was clear that this is a very popular event among northern running clubs (and there I was with my Westbury Harriers vest ... who?) and that the majority of participants had taken part before. A friendly crowd!
I hadn't studied the course profile and decided to take up a cautious position just over half way back in the field. I had read some comments about people burning out in previous years and didn't want to push too hard early on. I had in mind a sub-two hour time which would need 8:30 miles or better. The first mile was slow simply because of the congestion and I reached the first mile marker at about 8:30. So far, so good. The next couple of miles on the A-road out of Coniston were quite hilly, but already the field was beginning to spread out. By the end of mile 4, my average pace was down to 7:30, so I started to feel more bullish about the whole thing. I pushed on and hit the seven-mile mark in 52 minutes.
It really should go without saying that the scenery is utterly fantastic. The run down towards the foot of the lake was beautiful and then we turned to start the northward plod along the eastern shore. The views up to the southern Lakeland fells were superb. What a course! What a location! Before the race, I had been handed a flyer for the Brathay Windermere Marathon and am now more determined than ever to make the journey up for this in the not too distant future.
Some more undulations on the lovely shoreline road up past Brantwood and many runners were beginning to tire. I was fortunate to have started out conservatively and was able to push on quite hard. My Garmin tells me that mile 12 was about half a minute slower than the other closing miles, so I guess this is where one or two of the more energy-sapping little slopes were! I'll be positive and say that none of the climbs were particularly long. I hit the Half Marathon mark (that was a nice touch to have that marked) less than three minutes behind my current SB and ended with a good negative split.
It should be clear that I enjoyed this run. It was by no means solely because of the scenery and location, although they play a large part. The whole event - the organisation, the atmosphere, the support, the marshals, the drinks crews - I really don't think any of it can be faulted.
Several reviewers have commented on vehicles in the finishing straight. I will put my hands up and say that I was in one of these. I completely overlooked the "no vehicle movements between 11 and 2" rule for those parking in the School playing field and we drove out - very carefully and only after being held, then waved on, by a community police officer - about twenty minutes before the deadline. I feel guilty about this, but wonder whether the rule could be given slightly more prominence, for example on entry into the field or by the Race Director with his megaphone? My fault entirely, and it would of course be easy for me not to mention this at all, but I have owned up in the interests of improving the situation - perhaps giving this rule greater prominence could be looked at?
I am very pleased with the slate coaster, although I couldn't really see the point of the asics goody bag. I bought a souvenir T-shirt from a stallholder and proudly wore it over Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell, Swirl How and Wetherlam (not running, but walking!) on the following day!
In conclusion, a fantastic event. Many thanks to all the organisers. I certainly hope to be back to have a crack at my PB! Date of review: April 7, 2012
In short: A scenic route with afew short climbs In full: I also have done this 5 years on the trot now and love this race.The chip timing was great,giving more accurate times for those starting further back. It seemed much busier this year, as I didnt get a smooth pace till nearly at Torver. The views are stunning throughout the course and are a great distraction.. The finish line was abit chaotic but other than that I would certainly recommend this race
In short: My first time at Coniston 14 and my first half marathon+. Beautiful setting, great support, do-able hilly course. In full: This was my first time at Coniston and my first half marathon plus race. The support at the start and finish was great a little more sporadic around the course due to rural setting but walkers, cyclists, marshals,the lady at Brantwood giving out jelly babies (!) and the beautiful scenery keeps you going. Hills not to challenging as long as you have done some hill training. Only gripe is the traffic at the end coming back into the village as I was further down the field had to dodge on and off the pavement. Date of review: April 3, 2012