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Race the Sun - Lake District Coniston Off-Road

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Two mountain bike riders cycling through a wild field
Race the Sun Lake District Coniston Off-Road logo

Race the Sun Lake District Coniston Off-Road

13 July 2024

dawn to dusk triple challenge

Race the Sun pits teams of two or four against the clock in an incredible triathlon-style team challenge that sees you bike, hike and paddle around a course between dawn and dusk, in a race against the setting sun.

Register today and tackle this unforgettable charity fundraising team challenge in and around the village of Coniston which sits at the foot of one of Cumbria’s most popular and stunning fells, the Old Man of Coniston.

This challenge features an exciting off-road riding section that takes in the Lake District's diverse landscape and terrain, so it's an event not to be missed! 

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Key Information

  • Date: Saturday 13 July 2024
  • Location: Coniston, Lake District, Cumbria
  • 2-person team: £99 registration fee + £950 fundraising
  • 4-person team: £198 registration fee + £1,900 fundraising
A biker riding down a steep gravel path


Challenge Day! You will wake early for a pre-challenge breakfast before teams begin this exciting adventure with the off-road riding section. 

The 23-mile gravel and mountain route starts in Coniston and heads into the stunning Tilberthwaite Valley to Stang End

After a feed station on the shores of Windermere, the route follows the flat cycle path along the west side of England’s largest lake before you take on Hawkshead Hill, a big climb but well worth the effort for the fantastic off-road descent through the woods back to Coniston.

Group of four hikers trekking to the summit of the Old Man of 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 803m it might not be the highest peak in the National Park, but you will ascend this height in under 2.5 miles of walking, so it’s a seriously steep test of your endurance!

From the summit you will have spectacular views over the lake to Grizedale Forest and beyond.


A group of four paddling around Coniston Water in a canoe


The final section puts your teamwork to the test on as you take to the water on one of the Lake District’s beautiful lakes.

Using canoes or kayaks, you will navigate around a 2-mile course on the water. All safety and canoe or kayak equipment is provided for you and you will be fully supported throughout by trained instructors, so no experience is needed.

Upon completing the water section, it is a short walk back to the finish line to celebrate your achievements with your medal, a drink on us, and a well-deserved bite to eat!

Why join #TeamAction?

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 fun, exhilarating day with friends and family.

It's truly a fundraising challenge not to be missed, and every pound raised will support life-changing research across the UK to help save and change the lives of sick and vulnerable children. 

We will be with you every step of the way, helping you with training and fundraising tips to make sure you have an unforgettable day before the celebrations begin!

From the quality of the course to the incredible volunteers and ambassadors for this great cause. The help, support and on the day encouragement was superb. Here’s to September 2023 when we’ll be taking part in the Keswick event.

Race the Sun Coniston finisher
Display table of Race the Sun Coniston awards and medals.


  • Safety briefing
  • Changeover stations with drinks and snacks
  • Team awards & finishers medal
  • Canoe or kayak equipment
  • Bike mechanics and first aiders
  • Marshals and signage
  • Timing tracker & GPX route files
  • BBQ and celebratory drink at the finish line
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.



What is Race the Sun?

Race the Sun is a team challenge fundraising event for teams of two or four people, with the aim of completing three disciplines (cycling, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking) in as fast a time as possible!

Where is Race the Sun?

The event HQ is the picturesque village of Coniston, nestled amongst some of the highest mountains in the Lake District National Park.

What is the route?

All activity phases will start and finish at the event's central hub in Coniston. The cycle phase will see you complete a circular route of Coniston with exciting ascent and descent across mixed terrains. From the event hub, you'll hike a short, but steep route to the summit of The Old Man of Coniston. You'll then hike back the same way before taking on the water stage at Coniston Water.

Please note that the route is subject to change at any time, and without prior notice, although we will do our very best to communicate any changes in plenty of time.


How fit do I have to be?

Race the Sun is achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness who are prepared to put in some 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.

Is it a relay?

No, all team members must compete in each discipline. It’s a team event so you’re only as fast as your slowest team member, you need to stick together!

How long does it take to complete?

Some teams will complete the challenge in as little as five hours and others will take the whole day. Some teams want to compete for the fastest time and others want to simply complete the course – it’s really up to you!

Is there a registration entry fee?

Yes, it’s £99 for teams of two, and £198 for teams of four, plus the minimum fundraising amount. That’s less than £50 per person for an amazing day that you won’t forget in a hurry!!

When do entries close?

Registration closes at 17:00 on Monday 13 May, or sooner if places sell-out first. The entire Race the Sun 2023 series sold out before the registration deadline, so be sure to secure your place early to avoid disappointment!

What if I don't have a team yet?

Don’t worry if you haven’t confirmed your whole team yet; you can register now to ensure that you don’t miss out, and then add teammates later via the online booking platform.

Is it possible to take part on my own?

No. Taking part as a team is what makes Race the Sun so special, and what sets it apart from other events. If you’re unable to make up a team then please contact us, and we may be able to match you with teams looking for members.

Is there a team fundraising target?

Yes. Race the Sun is a team fundraising event for children’s charity, Action Medical Research. Money raised will help fund groundbreaking medical research to save and change the lives of babies and children. Learn more about the work of Action Medical Research here.

The team fundraising target is £950 per team of two, and £1,900 per team of four. Teams need to raise 50% of the fundraising target two months before the event date to secure their place on the event. We ask teams to do this to ensure that the charity will not be out of pocket. The remaining fundraising needs to be with the charity 6 weeks after the event.

What if our team can’t reach the target?

Please get in touch with the Events Team if you have any concerns about reaching your target and we can talk through your options with you. We have lots of resources to help you reach your target and remember, the earlier you start the easier it is!

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, and you may not be able to take part.

Will Action help with fundraising?

Yes, it’s what we’re here for! Once you’ve signed up, we’ll be in regular contact with the team captain with fundraising ideas and advice, as well as materials and resources to get you started! You can also read through our comprehensive fundraising guide.

What bike do I need?

We recommend a gravel bike or mountain bike for this event.

As large sections of the route are off-road hybrid bikes are not recommended, however, if you have trained on it and are confident you can complete the course you are more than welcome to use it.  You can always walk your bike down some of the more technical sections if needed.

Road bikes will not be suitable for this event.

All participants must provide their own bike, which should be in good working condition. We recommend servicing your bike before the event. On-site bike mechanics will be available at registration on Friday evening, and throughout the event to help with mechanical issues encountered on the event.

Can I take part on an e-bike?

Yes, but please note in the interests of fairness that by using an e-bike the entire team will not be eligible for any of the ‘fastest team’ award categories.

Please also ensure to carry spare batteries, or other spares specific to e-bikes, as these may not be available from the bike mechanics.

Are canoes/kayaks provided?

Yes. We provide the canoe, or kayak, paddles, and buoyancy aids, you’ll just need to wear suitable clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Just in case!!

No previous experience is necessary, and fully qualified instructors will be on-hand to help and keep everyone safe.

What is included in the event?

  • Online safety briefing before the event
  • Breakfast, packed lunch, drinks and snacks available at Transition Stations/ Event Hub
  • Fully supported route with marshals and signage
  • Bike mechanics and first aiders
  • Timing tracker & GPX route files
  • Kayak / canoe equipment
  • Team awards & finishers medal
  • BBQ and celebratory drink at the finish line

What food and drink are included?

There will be pastries and fruit in the morning before the start for breakfast. Lunch, snacks and water refill points will be available at transition stations during your challenge and when you cross the finish line there will be a BBQ and drink waiting for you!

If you feel that you’ll need more than this, please bring it with you.

Will there be vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options?

Yes, please let us know your dietary requirements on your registration form.


Where can we stay?

Check out the tourist board website for a list of accommodation options.

Do I have to carry all my stuff?

In short, no. There will be transition points where you can leave your stuff for the next discipline, but finer details about what to pack will be communicated with teams closer to the event.

Can I take part in fancy dress?

Yes, absolutely! We have an award especially for teams who go the extra mile… the Best Dressed Team Award. Race the Sun is all about having fun and raising money for charity! All we ask is that costumes should not pose a danger or be perceived to be found offensive to other participants or spectators. Action Medical Research reserve the right to remove any participants who are deemed to be dressed indecently or offensively, or wearing costumes which pose a danger to others.

When will I receive my race number?

At registration on the Friday evening. You will be given race numbers for your bike and your bag. We will give you your tracker and timer just before you cross the start line. Full details of what to expect at registration will be in your Event Guide which will be sent out via closer to the event.

I have registered but no longer able to take part, what should I do?

Please contact the Events Team if you are no longer able to take part in your event and we can discuss the options with you, which may include transferring to another event or deferring to next year.

Can I transfer my entry to someone else?

Yes. Contact the Events Team for further information.

Can I get a refund, transfer or defer my entry?

Please see our Withdrawals, Refunds, Transfers and Deferrals policy here.

Event day

What are the event timings?

The following is an example of the typical event timings for guidance only. Full details with precise timings will be sent out in the Event Guide closer to the time.

Friday 12 July

18:00 - 21:00

Team registration – Teams will be allocated a time to attend the event HQ to sign in, pick up race numbers, drop off transition bags and have their bikes checked over to ensure that you’re all ship shape and race ready in the morning.

Saturday 13 July

07:00 – 08:00

Event start – Teams depart in waves. Teams will be allocated a start wave about closer to the event.

16:00 – 19:00

PARTY TIME!! – Grab a bevvie as you cross the line, then chill out with your teammates and supporters over a bite to eat! Food and drink is available for registered participants only, there will not be an option for supporters to purchase anything on site, but they are more than welcome to bring their own to join the fun.

19:00 – 20:00

Event closes.

Can friends and family watch?

Yes, and why not make a weekend of it! Supporters will be able to join you at the event HQ, then track your progress live online. We’ll share the tracking link with registered participants closer to the event.

Check out the tourist board for the area for inspiration of things to see and do before and after the event.

Does cycling take place on closed roads?

No. Please follow the highway code, and abide by the rules of the road, as well as being considerate to other road users. Take a look at this handy guide to cycling on the roads.


Where can I find photos from the event?

Participant photography is not included in the event, but we do often have photographers roving around the course, as well as members of our staff and marshals capturing pictures and videos throughout the event. All images will be uploaded to this album after the event.

When will I receive my official time?

All Race the Sun events have live tracking, so you’ll receive your team’s time immediately after crossing the line. We will also publish the results on a webpage which will be shared with participants after the event.

When do you need to receive my fundraising by?

Teams need to reach their fundraising target 6 weeks after the event.

race the sun series

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