MORE than 1,250 runners took part in the 38th Coniston 14-mile road race on Saturday.

Running conditions were described as "ideal" and Lewis Rodgers, of Loftus and Whitby AC, made the most of the "still" weather.

He completed the circuit of the lake in 1-13-32, almost five minutes ahead of second placed Martin Swensson (1-18-20), of Penny Lane Striders. It was not the course record, which stands at 1-09-25 and was set in 1989, but the fastest time in the last 25 years.

The first woman was Eleanor Fowler from Nuneaton Striders in 1 hour 31 minutes. The first South Lakes runner was Kendal AC's Richard Wilson (1-24-44) in 17th place while his team mate Matt Wilson was 21st in 1-25-13.

Callum Rowett (1-27-46) ,from Ulverston Tri Club, finished 28th and also performing well were Eden's Alex Davies (1-27-49), in 30th, Leven Valley's David McNally, 44th in 1-29-49, and Ambleside's Gary Thorpe (1-30-45), in 47th.

Many clubs from all over Britain competed in the race and the prizes were presented by Julie Flanaghan, who teaches at John Ruskin School, Coniston, and has run the race on several occasions.

Musicians from “BLAST Furness” gave the runners a lively send off and reception as they ran back to finish at the school.

The event is supported by Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, the First Responders, the Police and more than 80 volunteers. As usual, many runners praised the friendliness of the race and its organisation. The race has developed a reputation for its sustainable practice. Runners are encouraged to car share, water is provided in recyclable paper cups, food is prepared at the school, every runner receives a Coniston slate coaster and support is given to local conservation projects.

Each year the Coniston 14 Committee raises around £20,000 from the race and this is donated to about 30 local charities and clubs in the community.

A social evening is organised when cheques are presented to these organisations including £5,000 to St Mary's Hospice at Ulverston.