You are here:

Race the Sun Coniston

Published on


mountain bikers at the start line

Race The Sun Coniston

2022 date coming soon

dawn to dusk triple challenge

Take on an incredible team challenge journeying through majestic mountains of the beautiful Lake District National Park in this brand-new event featuring an off-road mountain biking section.

Push your limits to complete the course of mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking between dawn and dusk, racing the sun on this triathlon-style adventure charity fundraising challenge.

rows of mountain bikes

Brilliant event, great route, well organised and a lot of fun and all for a hugely worthwhile charity. Many thanks for a day we will remember for very many years to come!

2019 Race the Sun Finisher

bike - hike - kayak

Challenge Day! You will wake early for a pre-challenge breakfast before teams of four begin the adventure with the bike section up the hill and into Grizedale Forest. The circuit in the forest is one of the Lake District's most famous mountain biking locations. Don't let the distance fool you into thinking it will be easy, as we guarantee you will be well tested on the forest tracks before descending back to Coniston.

Next up is the steep, thigh-bursting trek to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, a classic Lake District mountain looming over the surrounding countryside at 803 metres above sea level, and back again.

The final section puts your teamwork to the test on a circular kayak loop on Coniston Water (no kayak experience or equipment necessary) before you finish this incredible challenge and celebrate your achievements with your medal, a drink on us, and a well-deserved bite to eat!

The time it takes to complete the challenge is entirely dependent upon the ability level of your team, but it typically takes anywhere between 6 - 12 hours to complete.

Race the Sun serves up enough adventure to challenge those looking to lay down a fast time, as well as those who just want a great, fun day to reconnect with people after a year like no other! 

NB: All distances are subject to weather conditions on the day

With awards for first, second, and third fastest teams, as well as fastest all-female, mixed, and 'Golden Oldies' (teams with a combined age of 200+) and the all-important best team spirit, there's a reason for everyone to keep pushing right until the very end!

Please note that there will be an obligatory safety briefing the evening before (Friday 17 September), where you will register, be given your start time, a full briefing on everything to expect, as well as an opportunity to meet other teams and ask any burning questions.

Event Booklet

Read the event booklet to find out more


Download your sponsorship form


Check out the Fundraising Guide

jessica in hospital bed after heart surgery

race for a reason

Race the Sun for children like Jessica

Jessica had a heart problem called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) which affects one baby in 5,000. The left side of her heart was much smaller than usual, and could not pump enough blood to the body. Tragically, Jessica lost her life aged just six years old. Race the Sun for Action and help our fight for tiny lives.

male team of four canoeing

Key information

  • Date: Coming soon!
  • Location: Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria
  • Team Registration Fee: £195
  • Team Fundraising Target: £1,800

Event Includes

  • Food and drink
  • Celebration meal, beer and bubbly
  • Event t-shirt
  • Medal
  • Free parking
  • Safety briefing
  • Bike mechanics
  • GPX route files
  • Timing tracker
  • Kayak equipment
  • Marshals and signage

Frequently asked questions

What happens if COVID-19 restrictions affect this event?

We are planning full steam ahead for this event! But, as this is an uncertain time, we want to reassure you that if we cannot go ahead with the event due to COVID-19, we will offer you a number of options. We’ll either postpone your event to a later date, you can join another similar event, transfer your place to another person, or receive a full refund of the registration fee you’ve paid.

How can I fundraise in a safe way that complies with COVID-19 restrictions?

If you're wondering how to fundraise during these challenging times, take a look at our fundraising guide here. There are loads of socially distant ideas to get you inspired and you can always get in touch if you need any extra fundraising support -

How fit do I have to be?

Race the Sun Coniston is achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness who are prepared to put in plenty of training beforehand. The more you train, the more you’ll enjoy the challenge. It’s a great incentive to get fit and work a load of different muscles, whilst knowing you’re raising funds for an excellent cause at the same time.

Do I have to carry all of my stuff?

Due to the logistics of this challenge, you will return to the event HQ in Coniston where you will transition to the next activity. You will therefore be able to make any kit changes at the event HQ. We would advise that you keep any spare kit or bags in your cars at the event HQ.

What bike do I need and what mechanical support will there be?

We suggest the use of a mountain bike for this challenge as the route follows mountain-biking trails through Grizedale Forest. Either bring your own, or you can arrange a hire from one of the numerous local mountain bike hire providers. We would recommend hiring from Bike Treks, who are situated in nearby Grizedale forest. If you are bringing your own bike it must be well maintained and in good working order and we recommend a thorough service before the big day. You should carry a pump and spare inner tube.

There will be a bike mechanic on hand at the event briefing and on the day to deal with any urgent repairs.

Do I need kayak experience?

Kayak experience is not necessary for this challenge. Your team of four will use two-seater sit-on-top kayaks. The kayaks, paddles and buoyancy aids are provided and we also have qualified kayaking instructors to brief and help you out if needed.

Do I need special equipment?

This is a tough event and you really need to come prepared with the correct equipment for the challenge and know how to use it. We will provide you with a full kit list but this can give you an idea:

For cycling, you must wear a helmet and bring your own bike, fitted with front and rear lights, in case of fog or if you start or finish in the dark. For the trekking section, walking boots or fell-running trainers are advised. It’s a good idea to also carry a first aid kit just in case. All specialist equipment for the kayak section is provided.

What if I don't have a team of four yet?

Don’t worry if you haven’t confirmed your team of four yet; you can register now to secure your place anyway! When you manage to secure your other team mates you can then get them registered via the online booking system.

What about accommodation and parking?

Your parking is covered by us, so you can pull right up to the event base without having to worry about where to go. Coniston is a small village so accommodation is quite limited, but there are plenty of places to stay within the Lake District National Park. Visit the region's tourist board website to search for accommodation.

What food is included in the event?

There will be porridge, fruit and hot drinks in the morning. Lunch, snacks, and water will be available at a changeover station during your challenge and when you've crossed that finish line there will be a celebration meal and drink of bubbly waiting for you! This is all included in the event. 

Why is there a 50% sponsorship deadline?

We ask that you raise 50% of your fundraising target 2 months before the event (£900). Fundraising is something that is always done on a goodwill basis. The 50% deadline is there is to make sure everyone puts effort in to fundraise for their place on the event. It also reassures us that we can pay the practical event costs relating to the team’s place on the event, knowing that the charity will not be out of pocket.

What if we don’t raise 50% of our £1800 fundraising target by the deadline?

We rely on the conversations that we’ll have with Team Captains in the lead up to the deadline date to understand your team’s fundraising plans as you will all cook up different wonderful fundraising ideas! It might be that you’ve got a fundraising event that’s planned after the deadline, or even have a sponsor that won’t donate until you’ve completed the event, we’ve had these scenarios before, so we'll stay in touch to see if we can lend any help, but generally, we have to go on good faith knowing that you have activity planned.

Race the sun rules

  • Rule 1 Each team will carry a GPRS tracker. This will give the Event marshals your location on the route at any given time. The tracker must be carried by one of your team on all stages of the event.
  • Rule 2 Timings for the event will be recorded as follows:
  • a) Overall Event Time: is the total time taken to go from the start of the event to the end of the event, having completed all sections i.e. it is sum of the time taken to complete each section plus all intervening periods, changing time etc.
  • b) Section Time: is the time taken to complete each section. The time starts when all team members check in for the section and finishes when all team members report in at the end of the section.
  • c) Times are recorded when the last team member arrives at the section finish.
  • Rule 3 Teams must remain together in such a way that all team members can communicate with each other.
  • Rule 4 Marshals’ instructions must be followed. If teams or individual team members are asked to leave the event by a marshal, they must do so immediately. The Marshal’s decision is final.
  • Rule 5 If the event is stopped or suspended, and there is no prospect of a section being completed, teams will be awarded a time for each incomplete section equivalent to the average time for that section achieved by teams so far.
  • Rule 6 If you present yourself ready to start a leg, but you have to wait (eg. a kayak is not available, or the event has been temporarily suspended), the time you wait will be deducted from your team’s overall time.
  • Rule 7 The latest time anyone will be allowed to start the mountain stage is 15:00. If it is felt a team will not reach the summit by 18:00, they will not be able to continue, regardless of their position on the mountain.
  • Rule 8 If any team member retires from a section of the event, the remaining members may continue at the discretion of the Marshal. Only complete teams of four will be eligible for the awards.
  • Rule 9 Team members must use the same bikes for the entire route.
  • Rule 10 Teams must bring all items on the kit list. At the safety briefing the night before, you will be informed of the weather conditions for the challenge and any kit that you won’t need to take with you for the day.

you might also like...

RIDE Vyking

Rosedale Chimney Bank and Boltby Bank are just two of the top 100 climbs in the UK that you'll have to contend with before you conquer the Vyking charity cycling sportive.