Race Date: 3rd October 2019
Report by Dot Kesterton
The Lakeland Trails lakelandtrails.org is an annual series of nine running events from Cartmel in March through to the Dirty Double of Helvellyn and Ullswater races in November. Distances vary from 5K to marathon distance and there is one ultra of 100K in July.
Having sampled a number of the races over the years I joined my Smiley Paces pals for the Coniston 15K race following well marked and marshalled trails within sight of Coniston Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags on 5th October.
The dreadful weather, which had been piling in from the west kindly waited until evening to unleash its typical Lakeland torrents leaving us an overcast, still and unusually warm day to enjoy the delights of the area.
Fifty-two Sheffield Smileys invaded the peace of the lakeshore at Old Hall for the trail race. Fiona Jeffries, Caroline French and I being the only Strider doublers. At 2:00 pm sharp we were away, through pretty Coniston village with at least four pubs in view and up the lane towards the Coppermines, the residue of the workings still amply visible on the route. The route follows the path and stream up towards Coniston Old Man, past the miners cottages and ascending till a turn at Crowberry Hawes at 335m gives way to a stretch of narrow and stony path with stunning views over to Grizedale Forest across the lake. Much too beautiful to take in whilst trying not to pitch over the edge at any speed.
From Walna Scar Road we chased our way towards Well in Crag with its waterfall in full flow and eventually off the crags towards Torver and a more green and speedy descent to Scar Head. The shore path took us back to the event field at the Old Hall with a river crossing as a final challenge on what proved to be an exciting and scenic route.
First male was Chris Holdsworth of Team Innov-8 in 55.00 and first female was Stephanie Fauset of Smiley Paces in 1:11:28.
Full results of all races on the website www.lakelandtrails.org.uk