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
In short: Lovely run. well marshalled, well supported. Vans a nightmare In full: We have done this race every year since 2007. Brilliant weather for running this year (was blazing hot last year) and we were delighted to see the return of the little bridge at Water Yeat and not to have to do the psychological killer of the 17 miler. Would be even lovelier if cars could avoid the Torver road. They were trying to pass each other and squeezing runners into the ditch. Date of review: April 2, 2012
In short: My all time favourite race In full: My 11th time this year I love it. We have made it a family day out for years.i would agree with other runners about the run in when you're tired dodging other people and vehicles can be difficult. But I defy anyone not to enjoy it enough to want to go back Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: An uplifting race, one to lift the spirits. In full: I hadn't done this since 2007, and I was pleased to say that it hadn't lost its attractions - the scenery, the atmosphere, the limited numbers, and the Saturday morning timing. It is hard to get a PB other than versus a previous time on this course, as it is a non- standard distance and a mildly hilly course. I echo the concerns of others about the traffic on the home straight - at one point the Royal Mail van tried to drive up the road as a 4-wheel drive tank tried to come down, effectively blocking the whole road. 3 other cars then tried to follow the Mail van. Crazy - the instructions specifically tell people not to leave the School car park until after 2pm. This needs to be enforced, and a total road closure from 11 to 2 would really help. Still, amazing run, why did I stay away so long? Thanks Coniston. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: Lovely scenic race. In full: Super race with great views all the way around the lake and not as hilly as you'd expect for a Lake district race.My only small critisism would be the traffic on the course,I can fully appreciate that it's costly to have roads closed but the final run into the villiage was a tad tricky and I had to swiftly dodge around a car just before i made the final turn to a sprint finish.Apart from that little gripe the organisation was good,the marshalls friendly and helpful and a great all round atmosphere,would definitely run this one again. Date of review: April 1, 2012
In short: 6th time and still my favourite race, but the cars on the final run in seemed to be a problem this year. In full: Run this race it is wonderful. The atmosphere is all whats good in running, lovely people competing and marshalling. The views are simply breathtaking. There was more cars pushing through the final straight this year than ever before which the organisers need to sort. Date of review: March 31, 2012