Coniston Community to the Rescue…..
The 8th International Lakeland Trails Festival in Coniston on Saturday 6th October, was a huge success, thanks to a massive “behind the scenes” community effort in the weeks leading up to the event.
Despite the appalling recent wet weather, making the John Ruskin School playing field venue waterlogged and unusable for car parking, organisers worked on contingency plans to enable the event to safely go ahead. John Ruskin School, Coniston Sports & Social Club, Coniston Primary School, Coniston Hall, Coniston Parish Council, Coniston Mountain Rescue and Community Police Officers all helped save the event from cancellation.
The first dry day in weeks greeted nearly 1300 competitors from all over the world, to the picturesque village of Coniston, in the heart of the English Lake District. Japan’s Yujiro Iida, who travelled to the UK especially for this event, won the blue riband 15km Coniston Trail Race in 60.16. Runner up was Steward Gregory, Holme Pierrepont RC in 60.55 and making the podium in third place was John French, Eden Runners in 61.06.
Former world mountain running champion, Vic Wilkinson, Bingley Harriers, was an easy winner of the women’s race, finishing an amazing 10th place overall in 66.28. Runner up was Clayton le Moors Harrier, Candice Heys in 69.43, with Riina Kuuselo, Knowle & Dorridge RC in 70.02
Oldest competitor in the race was 79 year old Malcolm Ball, from Norfolk, who won the Veteran 70 category. Some competitors were celebrating milestone birthdays at the event – a bottle of champagne was opened at the finish for a 50th birthday, and fancy dress competitors were celebrating a 30th birthday.
Representatives from 13 different nations took part in the event, including USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Belgium, France and Ireland.
In the morning’s new 10km Coniston Trail Run, Edward Evans, Wharfedale Harriers, won the men’s race in 34.59, and Carla Brown, Cambridge Harriers, made the long journey north worthwhile, winning the women’s race in 39.13
More than 100 children took part in the Fun Trails, all receiving a special finisher’s medal.
The event was supporting local charity Coniston Mountain Rescue, along with many national charities benefitting from runners raising funds through sponsorship. Over £250 000 of economic benefit will be generated from the event to Cumbria, a welcome boost for a quiet time of the year.
More information on Lakeland Trails at http://www.lakelandtrails.org/