CONISTON 14- A Sustainable, Community

CONISTON 14- A Sustainable, Community
CONISTON 14- A Sustainable, Community-Organised
Road Race.
The Coniston 14 Road Race was established in 1982 as a community
organised race with support from the Burlington Slate Company. It is a 14
mile road race around Conistonwater and is claimed to be one of the most
picturesque courses in Britain. It soon gained national recognition as a
popular race for both club and fun runners and is now the largest event in
Coniston’s calendar raising some £20,000 each year for local clubs,
charities and good causes. It is organised by a small, enthusiastic
committee and supported by about 100 local volunteers on the day of the
race. The committee are keen to encourage the economic, social, cultural
and environmental sustainability of the race and believe it presents a case
study of good practice:
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The race is planned for a Saturday in March, outside the main
holiday season.
The aim is not to maximise numbers but to run a successful
community event. The committee has agreed that the race should
not exceed 1800 runners, a comfortable carrying capacity for the
village.
The venue is John Ruskin School which has ample off-road parking
and has a member of staff on the Coniston 14 Committee.
The school, through their PTA, provide catering- sandwiches, cakes
and drinks for the race and the takings from this and the parking go
into school funds.
Many runners and their families stay in B&Bs, self-catering cottages
and hotels in the village for the weekend and buy goods and
services in local shops.
The race uses electronic timing and a website for information which
reduces the amount of paper and postage.
Each runner receives a slate coaster and there are slate prizes
made by a Coniston business.
There are several small, local sponsors for the event who provide
extra funds and prizes.
A local jazz band plays on site during the race.
The committee have dramatically reduced the use of plastic over
recent races. Tap water and recyclable paper cups are used at the
start and finish and as an alternative to plastic bottled water at the
water stations.
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Bins are available near each water station and runners encouraged
to use them. Cups and bottles are collected immediately after the
race and put into recycling bins provided by South Lakeland Council.
A Presentation Evening takes place in the Coniston Sports and
Social Centre each June when some 35 local organisations and
charities are given donations. Major donations are given to the
Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, First Responders, The Coniston
Care Scheme, the local hospice and to maintain the community
outdoor swimming pool. Some village organisations would not exist
without financial support.
The Committee has a review meeting after the race and receives
feedback from runners via the Runners’ World website.
Information on car sharing for the 2013 Race will be put on our new
website. Many club runners already share transport and other
runners come by car with their families who have a day out or
weekend in Coniston. Information on coach parking will also be
given to clubs and runners.
The Committee will also consider a donation to the “Fix the Fells”
project in 2013.
Geoff Cooper
Race co-ordinator.
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