An autumnal mist hung heavily over Coniston Water as the 55 teams gathered for the inaugural Breca Coniston swimrun waited nervously on the start line. Ahead of them lay an untested network of trails and waterways, linked by eight swims and nine runs across Coniston, Windermere, Rydal Water and Grasmere.

It’s not an easy landscape to race in. There’s a reason why Ambleside and the nearby towns and villages are home to some of the UK’s best fell runners and multisport athletes. The area is host to some of the finest trails in the country, encompassing low-level lakeside paths to sharp hill climbs and fast, technical descents. It’s dotted with glittering lakes and tarns, all of which have served as a draw for adventurers, explorers and athletes for centuries. For now, all was obscured in the early-morning fog.

After the briefest of countdowns, the race began. Luke Moseley and Chris Goodfellow of team Real Endurance Coaching lead the field for the first four swims, swiftly followed by Daniel Hansson and Kristin Larsson of Team Addnature/Campz & Swedish Armed Forces. They held off the Swedish duo until they were overtaken on the challenging 15km inov-8 Fell Runners stage between Coniston Water and Windermere. In the Women’s category, Ali Rainey and Mirjam Allik put in a commanding performance to finish over an hour clear of their next rival and 6th overall.

Talking to the teams at the finish, it became clear that the final swim across Grasmere was seared most vividly into their memories. Wordsworth described Grasmere as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. Clearly, Wordsworth was not at Breca Coniston 2017. A strong wind, channelled off the surrounding fells, whipped up the surface of the lake into a churning mass. A difficult, but rewarding finish, and a fitting end to the race and our 2017 season.

Congratulations to everyone who raced: what an achievement. Even more impressive given that for half of the field this was their first swimrun.

I’d like to thank the brilliant Breca Coniston volunteer team, they provided fantastic support for the athletes throughout the course. I’d also like to thank the water safety team who performed their job exceptionally well. We’re very grateful for the support of our partners inov-8 and Orca, and the team at the National Trust and the Lake District National Park for helping make the event happen. Finally, thanks to the Dale Lodge Hotel for hosting the finish and post-race party.

All the best,

Ben

Breca Coniston Results

Download the full results and checkpoint splits.

OVERALL
1st - Team Addnature/Campz & Swedish Armed Forces, Daniel Hansson & Kristin Larsson, 5:00
2nd - Real Endurance Coaching, Luke Moseley & Chris Goodfellow, 5:08
3rd - Team Isoman - Nigel Edington & Steve Williams, 5:39

MEN’S
1st - Real Endurance Coaching, Luke Moseley & Chris Goodfellow, 5:08
2nd - Team Isoman - Nigel Edington & Steve Williams, 5:39
3rd - No Goubunku - Onoda Wilcock & Onoda Baynham-Hughes, 5:41

WOMEN’S
1st - Team Sconia, Ali Rainey & Mirjam Allik, 5:47
2nd - Tortoise & Hare, Becki Caotes & Lisa Baker, 7:00
3rd - Howgill Hippos, Sarah Holton & Sophie Lawson, 7:47

MIXED
1st - Team Addnature/Campz & Swedish Armed Forces, Daniel Hansson & Kristin Larsson, 5:00
2nd - Rick'n'Rice, Jenny Rice & Rick Stuart, 5:44
3rd - Axolotl, Robyn Hawksby & Tim Buckley, 5:59