In short: The best one yet - despite the appalling weather conditions In full: Strange as it may seem, I find that trail races are usually not the best way to enjoy the scenery as you have to look where you're going! However, on this route there were places where the track was sufficiently smooth that you could look around and enjoy the fabulous views. The climb out of Coniston village did not seem as hard as some have suggested, and the effort was rewarded with spectacular views across coppermines valley. The ascent was followed by a flat(ish) section below Coniston Old Man and then a long downhill stretch towards Torver. The last couple of miles was a level run in through Torver woods and Coniston camp site. This is definately a race I will do again, but I hope that next year it is not as wet and windy! Date of review: October 5, 2009
In short: Challenging but very scenic In full: Top marks to Howgill Harriers for this one! A superbly organised little race that puts many of the bigger events to shame. There was ample parking, well signposted, and a very friendly atmosphere. The race began with a gradual climb for the first couple of miles, followed by an undulating section with splendid views, though some might consider it a bit bleak - up in the hills surrounded by miles of nothing! The long downhill stretch that followed came to an abrupt end at five miles where there was a sharp climb which was too steep (for most) to run. Once at the top, the course led down a narrow footpath which was very stony in places - care is needed here to avoid injury. The path ended at the main road and it was then just a few yards to the finish, where there was free food and drink for all the runners. A superb little race which I will definitely do again next year, but I will reserve some energy for that five mile hill!!
In short: If the hills don't take your breath away the scenery will! In full: I'm surprised more people didn't turn out for this race - they don't know what they're missing! Forget your stopwatch, you're not going to do a fast time on this course. Instead, take a camera and capture some of the magnificent views. The long gradual climb for the first three miles was rewarded with spectacular views across Ullswater. After that, the course is undulating with a short sharp climb at six miles. At eight miles the sharp climb onto Knipe Scar was too steep for most to run, and made even harder by having wet feet after wading across the river Lowther. Again, magnificent views from the top. After that the course was mainly downhill apart from a sharp climb to the finish. Not for wimps, but if you like hills and appreciate the stunning Lakeland scenery then this is the race for you! I will certainly be back next year. Date of review: August 9, 2009
In short: Challenging, but a superb course In full: Hard work in the heat, but the long climb for the first couple of miles was rewarded with some magnificent views along the ridge. The course was varied and interesting with lots of twists and turns but great scenery all the way. It was well marked and marshalled, though could have done with more than one drink station. A very well organised race with a friendly atmosphere, which I will definitely come back to next year.
In short: Fantastic scenery, but rather disappointing with short course and limited changing facilities. In full: Fantastic scenery, but the course was reduced to 18k due to severe weather (not the organisers fault) although in fact the weather on the summits was not as bad as we had been led to believe. Marshalls were very friendly and did an excellent job. Changing facilities were very limited with just one marquee for both men and ladies, and there were no showers. The 'meal' was very welcome but would be more accurately described as a 'snack' This has the potential to be a superb race but was rather disappointing, especially in view of the twenty-six pound entry fee. Date of review: June 7, 2009