Coniston 2019 (On Her Majesty’s Service)

Lewis Rodgers (1:13:32). How do you run round Coniston at an average pace of 5:18 ? not a lot of people can answer that, but Lewis Rodgers can. After coming second again last year he made sure this time and won by a country mile in a time that was last seen when Lewis was still in the infants. Well done Lewis, you can add this superb victory to your growing list of running achievement  It would be nice to back this up with a solid team performance from the men, but the fact that I was next male runner home says it all.

Angharad Owen (1:41:58). Not Angharads best run by a long way. Like a lot of us, preparation for this years Coniston hadn’t been great, pretty sure she’ll be back into 1:30’s come next year.  Mike Clarke (1:51:29). Don’t think I’ve mentioned to anyone about the IT Band problem I had at around 10 miles. Without which of course I would have been way quicker.  Julia Jackson (1:53:16). Little Miss Consistent has done three Coniston’s now and all have been 1:53:something. Difference this year was at the end when she said “It felt easy”, 2 years ago, when she finally spoke, she said “Never again”. This tells us that there is a 1:52 on the horizon.  Sarah Price (1:54:12). Sarah’s first Coniston and a very respectable time, and considering that this was just a training run for the London Marathon then maybe there is better to come next year?  Paul Smith (1:55:02). Surprisingly Paul was another first timer, and at the finish line another “Never again”er, by Monday he was already talking about next year. So bring on 2020, we know and he knows he can run faster.  Gary Beard (2:00:00). Lewis may have had the quickest time of the day but Gary definitely had the best time. Bet you can’t do that again next year.  Jimmy O’Brien (2:04:57). Despite being hampered by injury ever since he tried to limbo dance in Ireland, Jimmy was there again giving it his best shot. Here’s hoping he has a better year from now and goes back to 1 hour something in 2020.  Robert Howard (2:23:42). Every year someone turns up who we weren’t expecting to be there, this year and with great joy it was Tecca. His time is immaterial, just finishing this course when you are seventy odd is some achievement, and one that would have won him a prize and no doubt a huge cheer from us had he stuck around after the race.  Phillipa Smith (2:30:08). Pippa’s first Coniston but I think she’d done her homework, she predicted 2½ hours. Just have to come back next year and find 8 seconds from somewhere.

So that’s it for the runners, but we also had the riders. Unless your name’s Neil, it’s a tough 120+ miles over to Ambleside, to be honest I find the drive quite tiring, so well done to Nic and Dave Kent and Neil Duffield for battling the hills and wind and making it over in one piece. Then to top it all, and mainly because no one would give him a lift, Dave decided to cycle back home on the Monday, which without having to wait for the others he did in super quick time.

Of course if you’ve been you’ll know that Coniston is much more than just running and riding, as I recall this year’s weekend also involved: Pies; Pasta; Anti-Pasta; Fish; Frogs; Flasks; Flapjacks; Sausages; Vegans; Kings; Queens; Knights; Dark nights; Lights nights; Early nights; Late nights; Spotlights; Tights; Trays; Ray’s; Bills; Mills; Hills; Pips; Slips; Nips; Chips; Cafés; Chafes; Laughs; Baths; Maths; Taff’s; Zeffs; Dodd’s; Dolly; Lily’s; Churchill’s; Wine; Winning; Gin; Grinning; Beers; Tears; Cheers; Ears; Elbows; Toes; Knees; Knackered knees; Giant Trees; Mountains; Lakes; Fields; Walks; Talks; Rams; Tans; Vans; Bans; Bars; Stars; Bags; Bitches; BFG; Midges; Dogs; Bogs; Clocks; Rocks; Chocs; Ducks; Pets; Jets; Cues; Queues; Booze; Snooze; Gels; Fells; Clarke; Kents; Country roads take me home to the place I belong; Sheep; Caves; Curtseys; Bows; Cows; Red cows; Red bush; Red chests; Red faces; Red heads; Red cards; Red balls; White balls; Coats; Jackets; Pastilles; Langoustines; Grass stained jeans; Hangovers; Fallovers; Leftovers; Puddings; Pool; Shots; Shorts; Shops; Grots; Gates; Slates; Ups; Downs; Arounds; Rugs; Bugs and Hugs.  The great thing about the weekend is that whether running riding or just spectating everyone who goes gets something out of it, here’s what we all got out of it this year.

Neil, Got…To watch again; A lift to Northallerton; The white ball 3 times around the table off 11 cushions and into the corner pocket, twice.  Adele, Got…A bruised elbow; Her chest out in Dodds.  Tom, Got…Out of running somehow; Into a crazy bike run challenge for next year.  Yvonne, Got…An injury and couldn’t run this year; Tom out of bed on Sunday morning.  Paul, Got…To 8 miles before making acquaintance with the Curse of Coniston.  Phillipa, (Phil, Pippa, Pip), Got…Her pacing out by ½ a second per mile; To eat some cakes that she didn’t have to bake herself.  Nicola, Got…To meet a field full of fellow redheads; No sympathy at all for breaking her remaining good knee.  Dave, Got…Tom into a crazy challenge; Some children’s clothes because he hates paying VAT.  Angharad, Got…The single room; A bath; To lie flat on her back in the car park and think of Orion.  Charlie, Got…The wrong tights; Another round of shots in (nightmare); A Fleece (Almost); To carry Julia’s bags.  Julia, (Her Royal Highness, Duchess of Fylinghall), Got…The best side of the bed; A nice flask of hot coffee; Some complimentary flapjacks; Charlie to carry her bags; Everything else she desired.  Mike, (Mick, Michael, Me), Got…Tupped; No sympathy for feeling a little tired on Sunday just because the clocks had gone forward. Sarah, Got…A nice little training run; A small insight into what we’re really like.  Lewis, (King Lewi), Got…To finally win; To be crowned King of Coniston. (King Lewi, I wanna be like you); To reluctantly be in the spotlight.  Jimmy, (Jimmy Nail), Got…His big toe out.  Gary, Got…To know everything there is to know about Jimmy’s big toe.  Tecca, (Like Mecca, but with a ‘T‘), Got…Knighted, arise Sir Robert.

Great Weekend. Can’t wait for next year.