Since my last posting the family and I had took a trip to Lancaster to see extended family over the Easter weekend. Of course this would be the perfect time to plan a quick trip to the Lake District to experience the wonders of the Fells given the fact that the Lakeland 50 race was some 3 1/2 months away. I had been meaning to arrange a trip for some time to do a recce for some of the course.
With running time limited as this meant to be a family holiday (2 hours max) I decided that Coniston would be the best place to experience the Fells as it was within 40 minutes of our base in Lancaster and it was the last stage of the L50 race. I left all the family by Coniston water itself with a picnic and I set off around the lake towards Coniston village.
I set off at a relatively comfortable pace of around 8:45 minute miles and as it was only a mile or so to the base of the Coniston Fells I was quickly there and looking for a way to start my way up into the valley. As I didn't have an Ordnance survey map this was going to be a run based on exploring things as I went along without knowing what was coming.
Sure enough I reached though I saw a sign for the Coppermine Valley so it was easy to decide where to go and shortly after I entered the valley I started to climb up the nearest Fell, it turned out later it was the Yew Pike. After climbing for a few hundred feet my legs really were feeling the strain as the gradient in some places was at least 15-20% easy if not more. After climbing for about 5-10 minutes I had a drink and scout around to see the view. Well I couldn't believe how quickly I had climbed and in front of me I could see in full glory Coniston Old man, a 2,500 ft mountain.
I continued to climb upwards and was fully intent on reaching the summit. This took about another 10 minutes or so but once I reached it I was somewhat apprehensive of looking out at the view as I am a little afraid of heights (yes this is true). Given I wouldn't have this moment again I took a look and was mesmorised by what I saw and took a picture of Coniston village and Coniston Water. The feeling I had on top of this hill was amazing, so peaceful, so calm, everything so clear.
After a brief stop I moved downwards back to the valley floor there was still much to explore, in fact there was so much that I wish I could of spent many hours there but that would have to be for another day. So instead of exploring farther afield I ran mostly around the surrounding valley with the exception of the eastern side where Coniston Old Man is situated and took as many pictures as I could so that I could savour this running experience forever.
I descended back down to Coniston Water through the village and met my family almost 2 hours after I left them by the waterside. I took advantage of the fact that although I couldn't get a nice cold shower for my legs I would walk into the water itself just as my kids had done moments earlier and boy was it refreshing.
As I left the water and was standing there on the bank I thought to myself that although I was leaving today I would be back here in July for a full 50 miles of running through this inspiring and amazing terrain. This had merely been the appetizer before the main course and I just cannot wait to come back for more.
If you want to see more pictures of the run please visit my Flick gallery here - http://www.flickr.com/photos/richard_s1/sets/72157623653327705/