Leah and I decided to run Coniston 14 in the Lake District again after enjoying the race so much last year and for those of you who know Leah and I, it’s not just about the race…. We like to make a trip out of it!
So, that being said, we set off on Friday 19th March at lunch time in Alan’s car aiming to get to Ambleside late in the afternoon. But, things don’t always go to plan and with road closures down South, following the floods over Christmas, we made it to our hotel in after a hair raising diverted journey slightly frazzled!
However, After a refreshment in the relaxing surroundings we felt better about the race ahead!
Down to breakfast to fuel up for the run was first on the agenda then we left to get to Coniston where the run was to start at a very sociable 11am! Out of all the races we have ran, Coniston 14 is one of the most beautiful.
It started in 1982 and since then has become a popular Spring event. The hilly route follows the 13.8 miles that circles Coniston Water. The views that are on offer are simply stunning and there are many photo opportunities enroute!
Over 30 donations to local charities are made annually ranging from £100 to £5000 from funds made from the race, and in the past 8 years over £100,000 has been raised for local charities. It is well organised and very friendly race and well attended by runners from all over the country.
The run started at the John Ruskin School where there is plenty room for car parking. £2 parking fee which is very reasonable. Showers and toilet facilities are basic but all you need! There were 4 water stations and loads of supports from locals and tourists around the lake.
Leah and I felt stronger starting the race this year as we have been training hard ahead of running the Liverpool Marathon at the end of May. The first 5k was quick considering the huge hills at the beginning and the second 5k was similar. Winding through the beautiful countryside surrounding the lake with views that take your breath away is definitely the way to run a race. Good banter followed with fellow runners as we got to the other side of the lake and we were much more in the ‘body’ of the race instead of being stragglers at the end.
Chris Kinghorn, one of our Jog Scotland leaders always warns us about mile 11 as its all uphill until you hit mile 12. We must have blanked it from our memory from last year as it seemed so much steeper this year! However, as they say, once you go up, you must come down so the ‘wheeek’ (important running term) downhill quickly followed and we were on our way back to the village.
With the finish line almost in sight, Leah’s pace started to quicken and we were moving a bit too fast for my liking! Then I spotted the clock (Leah had seen it before me!) and realised that we were on a much better time so the pace was taken to the next level to get over that finish line under 2hrs 27.
Last year we came over the line under 2hrs 34, so we were delighted with the result. 7 minutes off! Our running training is paying off!
You receive a great slate coaster as your medal when you finish so we now have a matching set!
Leah and I run for fun, we chat, we take selfies, love a bit of banter with other runners and love seeing each other improve as each race is finished. It may not be for everyone, we may not be the fastest, but life is for living and making the memories is just as important.
HOKA highland fling is next as part of the running club relay team then into Liverpool for the Rock and Roll marathon. Our first run of that distance.