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Race the Sun Coniston Lake District

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cyclists riding through grizedale forest

Race the Sun Coniston Lake District

16 July 2022

dawn to dusk triple challenge

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

Push your limits to complete the course of off-road riding, hiking and canoeing between dawn and dusk, racing the sun on this triathlon-style adventure charity fundraising challenge.

Key information

  • Date: 16 July 2022
  • Location: Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria
  • Team Registration Fee: £195
  • Team Fundraising Target: £1,800

bike - hike - canoe

Challenge Day! You will wake early for a pre-challenge breakfast before teams of four begin the adventure with the off-road riding section, which starts flat, following the lakeshore, before some punchy, technical climbs, offering spectacular views.

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 canoe loop on Coniston Water (no canoe 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

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

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+), the newly added best dressed team award, as well as 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 online safety briefing in advance of the event where you will receive a full briefing with our events partner on everything to expect on the day, as well as an opportunity to ask any burning questions. You will need to attend a registration the evening before (Friday 15 July), where you will register, and drop your bags and bike if you wish.

Race The Sun is a fundraising challenge involving participants raising £450 per person (£1800 per team) by six weeks after the event date. Your dedicated Events contact will be on hand with tips and support to help you reach your target in an achievable way. By taking part in Race The Sun, not only will you have an exhilarating day but you will also be raising money for an incredibly worthwhile cause joining our fight for little lives. 

Event Booklet

All you need to know about the event is here


Download your sponsorship form


Check out the Fundraising Guide

beatrice at the beach

race for a reason

Race the Sun for children like Beatrice

Aged just eight and previously healthy, Beatrice suffered the terrifying effects of autoimmune encephalitis, which caused her to lose the ability to walk or speak for several months. By taking part in Race the Sun and fundraising for Action, you are helping fund new research which studies how advanced brain scanning techniques can help children like Beatrice by predicting outcomes early on and personalise treatments.

Event Includes

  • Food and drink
  • Team awards
  • Safety briefing
  • GPX route files
  • Canoe equipment
  • BBQ, beer and bubbly
  • Finishers medal
  • Bike mechanics
  • Timing tracker
  • 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 will Action Medical Research help me fundraise?

You will have your own dedicated contact at Action Medical Research who will be on hand with telephone and email support to provide you with tips and guidance on how to fundraise for this challenge event, even during a pandemic!

Take a look at our fundraising guide here for loads of socially distant ideas to get you inspired. You can always get in touch if you need any extra fundraising help -

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?

The route is a mixture of terrain with approx three quarters off road on single and double track trails, and the other quarter on road. It has been designed with gravel bikes in mind but would equally be ridable on a cross country/hard tail/short travel mountain bike, although it would be slower on a mountain bike.

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 canoe experience?

Canoe experience is not necessary for this challenge. Your team of four will use two-seater open canoes. The canoes, paddles and buoyancy aids are provided and we also have qualified canoeing 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 pastries and fruit provided 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 BBQ and drink of bubbly or IPA waiting for you! There will also be water and snack stops along the route. 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 cook up different wonderful fundraising ideas! However please be aware that if you do not raise 50% of the fundraising target two months before the event then your team’s place may be at risk.  Although it’s a shame to lose any of our participants, unfortunately, we may not be able to confirm you on the event if we don’t feel confident that you will meet your team’s target which also covers the costs to us as a charity. Please do bear in mind you have until six weeks after the event to raise the remaining 50% and we feel the overall target is achievable in the timeframe. We will always do our best to support you with fundraising ideas so we’ll stay in touch to see if we can lend any help if needed.

What do we wear for the best dressed team award?

This is not compulsory but just a fun award for participants to get creative, no matter on your ability! You can dress up or simply co-ordinate themed accessories with your team. Please note that your outfit choices must be safety conscious and not hinder your ability on the challenge – no full body suits or inflatable costumes please!

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 canoe 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.


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