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1 Prospect Court
The Broadway
Farnham Common
Bucks SL2 3QQ
01753 647339
Unit 1, Prospect Court, The Broadway, Farnham Common, Bucks SL2 3QQ - Telephone: 01753 647339

Lakeland Marathon

Lakeland Trail Marathon - Coniston

I entered this race in January having seen the glorious pictures of the event in 2011 warm, dry not weather you'd associate much with a Lake District marathon! This year, sadly, normality resumed - a mild day but with lashings of rain on already soggy ground.

This, however, did not detract from the enjoyment of the event.Looking in the results afterwards there were approximately 150 non-starters of the marathon, possibly due to the weather and possibly realising its not an easy marathon!

The race starts in Coniston and follows some (wet this year!) trail paths, quite a few stony pathways, muddy pathways! Some undulations along these paths bring you to Tarn Hows, a relatively easy path to run round the Tarn 1 times before heading towards Grizedale Forest, but not before a little more ascending to the most spectacular views across Coniston Water and surrounding fells in the Lake District; a second reason to take your breath away! Makes the Ups seem somehow worthwhile!

Relative respite along a dirt road through the attractive Grizedale Forest before turning at the bottom of Coniston Water at 30k to head back towards Coniston and the finish. But not before a section of boggy land! Fairly difficult to get momentum, but once through here the lake shore is reached with a much more pleasant trail to run on for a while and it's a run in to the finish.  Overall, a few tough ascents with some equally tough descents (including some tricky footing) thrown in, but naturally very scenic which makes up for a lot!

With this year's weather the advice was to be safe as things got quite exposed high up and advised to pull out around 18k if you felt unable to remain warm. A lot of runners were wearing jackets, gloves, etc  Quite a few wearing trail shoes but those in road shoes managed as well, so trail shoes not an absolute necessity but possibly desirable.

A very well marshalled, well-marked event with sufficient aid stations some with Nuun electrolyte drink and Kendal mint cake! A finishers t-shirt as well as a medal rounded off a superb event for me. Little over 300 completed the marathon with times from just under 3 hours to little over 6 hours.

The marathon has a start time of 7am for those taking up to 8 hours (Challenge start) and 9am start for those expecting an under 6 hour finish (Race start). The Half Marathon followed the first 17k or so of the marathon before heading back to Coniston. My wife ran/walked this event.  As a self-professed non-trail runner she managed to complete the event not last(!), just disappointed to receive a t-shirt and no medal as she found the event worthy of some bling!

A something different marathon to do with easy justification for a slower time than your road marathon, but arguably higher on the achievement scale!
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