Barnoldswick charity team complete Coniston Challenge

Coniston triathlon
Coniston triathlon

A group of friends from Barnoldswick formed part of a six-strong team which raised more than £2,500 for Guide Dogs for the Blind by completing the gruelling Coniston Challenge triathlon.

Caroline Irvine, Sarah Draschenberg and Karen Lonsdale joined a trio from Gisburn – Sharon Fenton, who works in Barnoldswick, Tracey Harper and Lindsay McGlynn – to take part in a 10 kilometre hike up Coniston Old Man, a 12 kilometre cycle ride in Grisedale Forest and a one-mile kayak race on Lake Coniston.

And in spite of appalling weather conditions, the team managed to finish third out of the 26 teams that took part, taking just over three hours for the hike, one hour 51 minutes for the cycle ride – delayed by Sharon having a problem with a trapped guard causing her bike to jam – and 56 minutes for a tough kayaking race where they encountered waves as high as 2ft.

Sharon said: “The hike was done in very poor visibility. We could only see 10ft ahead in places.

“We then did the bike ride and were doing really well until my bike jammed, delaying us by 20 minutes.

“The kayaking was tough but we knew we had to do it, so we just got in and paddled as hard as we could.

“Some of our family and friends came along to cheer us which was great encouragement and very good of them considering the weather.

“When I started arranging the team and the training in March, I never thought we’d enjoy it so much. I think the whole team have got the ‘bug’ now.

“We’d like to thank all those who helped make the day so successful.”