*Please note that anything written below regarding family and spectating is subject to change, based on the government announcements in June.
There’s lots to do for your friends and family in Coniston and we very much encourage them to come along and enjoy the atmosphere, the start of the 100 and the children’s Lakeland 1 fun run. If you’re competing in the 50 miles event, we very much encourage you to arrive Friday afternoon, so you don’t miss out on the action and atmosphere.
Here’s some of the things you need to know beforehand:
1. Camping at Coniston School is available free of charge for competitors and their immediate family (you, your partner and children). Be sensible and be fair to everyone, don’t bring 45 relatives with 10 tents, it’s for you and your immediate family only, extended family will be turned away so need to source alternative accommodation. The camping is pretty simple and operates on a first come, first served basis and you do not need to book in advance. Those arriving early will be on the main field closer to the marquee and those who arrive later will be on the overflow field further from the marquee. the overflow field is only 300m away, so don’t be concerned if you arrive late Friday. Camper vans and caravans are allowed, but there is no electricity hook up.
TENT SIZE: We have to find space for a lot of people, so be reasonable with your tent space. You’ll get a spot for your car (you can park there all weekend) and your tent should be pitched next to it. The tent should be no bigger than a large car to sleep a family. If you’re in a camper van, that’s also fine. If you’re in a car towing a caravan, please don’t then attach a large awning to the side of the caravan. If you want / need more space for a huge tent and extended family, Coniston Hall Campsite is 10 minutes walk from our camping field.
Dogs are allowed on the school / camping field, but must be kept on a lead at all times. They are not allowed in the school at any time but are allowed in the marquee so long as they are on a lead. There are no fires allowed and camping is only available from Friday 9am through to Sunday 4pm. You cannot under any circumstances arrive Thursday and you cannot stay until Monday.
2. The cafe, bar and coffee shop are open throughout the weekend, closing at 11pm Friday. Your family will be able to greet you at the finish line and food / refreshments will be available right through Saturday evening to Sunday morning. We’ll have live music on Friday evening 7:00 – 10:00pm and everyone is welcome.
3. Your family and friends can track you using by using Open Tracking and details of how to do this will be sent out in advance. Open Tracking is a GPS system which operates live, so in theory, your family should be able to use Open Tracking to ‘dot watch’ and see exactly where you are at any time on the course. However, this is signal reliant and for that reason there are several ‘dead spots’ on the course, where it may appear that you have not moved for a lengthy period of time, due to no signal. This year, we will also (attempt) to bring you live video footage at the entrance to each checkpoint, so your friends and family can see you arrive!
WHERE CAN FAMILY SPECTATE ON THE COURSE? – IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
Every year we have lots of spectators asking us where to go to support runners. Spend a bit of time with your family planning where to meet them and your anticipated time of arrival. You should also plan the route between meeting points as the Lakeland roads can be tricky and navigating can be more stressful for your family than it is for you as a runner. If you don’t know the lakes, it can be extremely stressful for family members and children trying to navigate the roads to meet you at checkpoints. Whilst you are enjoying the race, ensure that your family are also enjoying the experience by planning ahead.
Here’s some things you need to know:
1. With the exception of the first 4 miles round Dalemain estate, supporters cannot run on the course with you, this is deemed outside assistance.
2. Supporters MUST NOT enter the checkpoint buildings, CP staff will ask them to leave as they generally ‘get in the way’ of other competitors and CP staff.
3. VERY IMPORTANT – There are specific points on the course where they can watch you. We have agreed with local councils, National Trust and National Park to avoid key areas. Permissions are very delicate and the future of the event is never guaranteed. If your supporters go to these areas to watch you, it may result in a disqualification. The specific areas where supporters can watch as as follows:
- Coniston (start and finish – please do not support in village centre after midnight as this can upset local residents)
- NO SPECTATING AT CP1 SEATHWAITE
- CP2 Boot
- CP3 Wasdale (specifically from Wasdale Inn)
- NO SPECTATING AT CP4 BUTERMERE
- NO SPECTATING AT CP5 BRAITHWAITE
- Keswick – back of Fitz park before climbing Latrigg and on A66 approaching this point
- NO SPECTATING AT CP6 BLENCATHRE
- NO SPECTATING AT CP7 DOCKRAY
50 & 100 Course
- CP8 Dalemain Estate (parking available and friends / family of 50 competitors may join you for the initial 4 miles loop)
- Pooley Bridge – main village (100 & 50 competitors)
- NO SPECTATING AT CP9/1 HOWTOWN
- NO SPECTATING AT CP10/2 MARDALE
- NO SPECTATING AT CP 11/3 KENTMERE
- CP12/4 Ambleside – main village (100 & 50 competitors) *can spectators please avoid entering the Parish Hall checkpoint. Ambleside is a key location for spectators.
- Skelwith Bridge Hotel
- Elterwater village – BE QUIET IF IT’S LATE
- NO SPECTATING AT CP 13/5 CHAPEL STILE
- NO SPECTATING AT CP 14/6 TILBERTHWAITE
What is our recommended plan?
If you are taking part in the 50, our recommended plan is that your family watch you at Dalemain then go directly to Ambleside. Driving to Howtown, Mardale and Kentmere is an awful trip, especially if you don’t know the roads and it’s also not allowed as a spectator point, don’t ruin their weekend by asking them to chase you round the course, most likely missing you at each point or being turned away by event staff. They should drive to Ambleside via A66 and turn left at St John’s in the vale, to avoid the Kirkstone Pass. If they leave Dalemain at 12:30pm, they will reach Ambleside at 1:30pm, runners arrive from mid/late afternoon onwards, most are arriving in the evening. There’s plenty for them to do in Ambleside and it is also the best atmosphere on the route! From there they could move quickly and drive to Skelwith Bridge Hotel to see you at the road crossing, before moving on to Coniston.
100 runners, there’s no spectating on the West (aside from Boot & Wasdale Inn) and it’s a hellishly dangerous drive if they attempt to go over Wrynose and Hardknott in the dark to see you. Keep your family safe, let them watch the start and then Saturday morning, arrange to meet them in Keswick as you pass through on your way to Blencathre CP. They can then head over to Dalemain and there’s plenty of opportunity to see you there. From Dalemain, the same applies as above for the 50 runners. Ambleside via the A66 and St John’s in the vale, quickly to Skelwith Bridge and then to Coniston.
It Is extremely difficult for us to police the above regulations so we are asking you as a competitor to take responsibility, help us to ensure the race runs as smooth as possible and also to ensure that the event continues to take place many years from now. Every year a small number of people think the rules don’t apply to them and send their friends to every checkpoint and every year we have someone being rude to checkpoint staff when they’re told they are not allowed in. We’re not trying to spoil your enjoyment, we’re trying to ensure that you get the best help at each checkpoint without someone else’s family getting in your way. More importantly we’re trying to keep residents and landowners happy to guarantee the future of the event. We also need to ensure that your family are safe and that they don’t attempt a perilous journey. Keep it simple and ensure they enjoy the weekend as much as you undoubtedly will.
It’s 7 weeks to go people…. crack on.
Montane Lakeland 50 & 100 Team