Runners at the Lakeland Trails in Coniston

Trail of cheers for Lakeland runners at a scenic and secure Coniston

Storm Alex & Covid restrictions fail to dampen spirits at the Lakeland Trails

There were smiles through Saturday’s extreme weather and Sunday’s drier conditions at the weekend’s Lakeland Trails in Coniston (3 and 4 October) as the organisers went the extra mile to deliver a friendly and enjoyable event despite the current situation. Marshals as well as runners toughed out the conditions and there was an upbeat atmosphere at what was a slick and safe operation from start to finish.

Saturday saw the 10K Coniston Trail Run, 10K Coniston Trail Challenge and the 15K Coniston Trail Race with staggered starts for groups of 6 and chip timing. They followed a well-marked and marshalled undulating course consisting of stony bridleways and hard-packed gravel and marshals cheered and encouraged them every step of the way, remaining cheerful in spite of the rain. The volunteers’ positivity and the solidarity between runners made the day (and the weekend) for everyone. Volunteers also helped to get cars off the field at the end.

What a difference a day made as Saturday’s rain made way for Sunday’s dry and bright weather that showed the Coniston trails at their best. This was Marathon day with a choice of a Trail Challenge or Trail Race and a Half Marathon Trail Challenge or Trail Race plus a Mini-Marathon 10K. The marathon runners started first followed by the 10K runners then the half marathoners. Safety was the priority throughout and strict cut-offs were implemented in the marathon based upon start times.

All runners finished underneath the new inov-8 gantry and picked up their Lakeland Trails T-shirts before making their way home. The choice of distances and the option of a challenge or race catered for everyone’s abilities and preferences and the attention to detail along with a warm welcome was proof that a Covid-secure event can be a successful one.

Image courtesy of Paul Hammond

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