|Mike Russell||390||MV55 (19)||01:49:04|
The Lake District is becoming the place to be for ERNs on tour this year as, for the second time in two weeks, a club member ventured South to sample the geography and the hospitality of Cumbria. The Coniston 14 describes itself as ‘probably the most beautiful road race in Britain’, and with up to 1600 runners visiting every spring to run all the way round Coniston Water, there must be something in that claim. This year the race returned to its traditional route and distance, having been extended to almost 17 miles, and renamed the Coniston 14 Plus, for the previous two years as the result of a bridge on the route being closed for repairs. Mike Russell and friends made a weekend of it.
Mike said : “As a new member of the Edinburgh Running Network I thought you might be interested in brief report of the 2012 Coniston 14, in which I participated on 31 March.
Firstly, though, as a new member, thank you for the warm welcome that I have been afforded when I have joined the Thursday and Sunday runs. I have been away for much of the period between my first such run, in February, and early April. My wife and I moved up to Edinburgh from Hertfordshire in January and it is fun exploring new parts of the city with you all.
Back to the Coniston 14…
This is the second year I have completed the race. It starts and finishes in Coniston, with the race circumnavigating the lake itself. The scenery is beautiful, with The Old Man of Coniston keeping a beady eye on proceedings. The weather was perfect…dry and not too warm, the March heat wave having just dissipated by the day of the race. It was the 31st running of the Coniston 14, and 1600 people took part this year. The course is a little undulating with a particularly challenging series of climbs (“boo!”) between the 11 mile and 12 mile markers—-then it’s downhill pretty well all the way to the finish (“hurray”!)
We were there with fourteen friends, with six runners amongst us, and we had booked some cottages for the weekend, located very close to the race start/finish…it couldn’t have been more convenient accommodation. The attraction of this race is that it takes place on the Saturday at 11.00. So, one has Saturday afternoon and evening, and all of Sunday, to enjoy the Lakes, and particularly the local beer…Bluebird Bitter, brewed by the Coniston Brewing Company, and which goes down a treat.
The first man home crossed the line in 1.16.03; the first woman in 1.28.26. I finished in 394th position (19th Vet 55+) in a time of 1.49.47. I didn’t spot any other ERN shirts on the course so apologies if I missed you.
For those who fancy a race and an enjoyable weekend in glorious countryside, then this one is for you!