Roadhoggs Leicester AC

Roadhogg runners


Reports by Kim Richardson, Cross Country Captain

Derby Runner League Race 7 - Foremark 13/3/16

It was a warm and sunny morning as we assembled by the reservoir at Foremark, the one which was over-chlorinated which resulted in some water supply to the local area being stopped for a few days this week. It may not be safe to drink but it certainly looked very pretty and provided a scenic backdrop to the club tents going up on the shoreline. Foremark replaced Holly Hayes Woodlands at short notice as the woodland managers did not want any damage caused to the early bluebells. As John Davies had carried our tent more than a mile from the car park to the race start (and back) at the Allestree event in January, I thought it was only fair that I carry it this time so I parked about 20 yards away from the start and carried it all the way there. Our runners came along in their groups. Young Laurie Gibson came to run for us again; he did the first and last races of this season so all we need to do now is to get Laurie to run all the races in between. And we welcomed back Ian ‘Turbo’ Bass after a long break from cross-country racing, during which he has been doing Wolf Runs and working on his strength and stamina.  

The Foremark course is 5.5 miles around 2 laps, starting by the lakeside and including 2 steep climbs in each lap before the run back along a mile of gravel path. Ben was first home for the men, with Dale not far behind, then Fabio and then Baz who had his best XC run in ages and was our fourth scorer. Laurie’s injured knee was hurting but he made it round. For the girls Clare had another terrific run, with Amy coming home next, both in the same positions as the last race! John, Marcus and Keith were in the points. Brian, Ian and Trudy all found the going tough but just hung on in there and never gave up.  

Overall we improved our team positions in the last event of the season. We finished a full men’s team but still down on the numbers we have been achieving in this league, and sadly the girls team lost points again as there were only 3 of them. But it’s the end of the season now so we have to work on getting more runners out next season and get Roadhoggs back to the top where we belong.

Trudy and Clare bought plenty of home-made cakes along which we all enjoyed like a picnic on the grass and in the sunshine. Fabio was the winner here with a score of 5 cakes. We also presented Trudy with a token of appreciation for the fabulous cakes she brings to every race. Thanks to all of you who ran in the cross-country league for Roadhoggs this season, you are a hardy bunch.  

RESULTS (5.5m):
MEN: 90th Ben Milsom 41.33, 100th Dale Jenkins (V50) 42.29, 131st Fabio Caraffini 44.49, 151st Baz Barrett (V50) 46.20, 166th John Davies (V50) 48.16, 193rd Laurie Gibson (U20) 52.25, 197th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 52.50, 203rd Keith Dakin (V60) 53.35, 215th Brain Feldman (V60) 58.22, 219th Ian Bass (V50) 66.47, 219 finished.
LADIES: 36th Clare Mendes 46.44, 79th Amy Gasper 53.10, 120th 123rd Trudy Sharpe (V40) 61.20, 134 finished.
TEAMS (all division 2): men 6th, ladies unplaced, combined 7th.
TEAMS AFTER 7 RACES (FINAL POSITIONS): men 7th, ladies 11th, combined 7th.

Derby Runner League Race 6 - Ullesthorpe 21/2/16

We gathered together in the field just beyond the pig-shed at Manor Farm. You could hear the grunting, shoving and squealing which could have been coming from the pigs or could have been the runners as they crowded around the tent village. The day was quite sunny and not too cold but there was a strong wind and, as we were in an exposed location at the top of a hill, and as Birstall’s tent pole had just snapped as their tent took the force of the wind, I decided not to put our tent up and instead pegged down the club tarp so our team had somewhere for their kit. This turned out to be a good decision as, during the race, 3 other club tents collapsed and were damaged in the wind. We welcomed 3 debut runners; Jeanette Franklin, Jacqui Dean and Raj Pandya, son of Hitesh. And a few older faces came back to us as Roadhoggs answered the call for more runners; it was good to see Ludo & Valerie, Clare, Hitesh and Steve Wheeler again. Not forgetting of course that it’s always good to see our regular muddy runners who have been carrying us through the season. Clare, Jeanette and Steve all proudly wore nice new shoes, whilst Dave Lod’s were still WET and muddy from his last cross-country but he said that does make them easier to get on.  

You could see a lot of the race from the hill, so it was a good base for the clubs and officials. The men set of at 1055 with the ladies giving chase 10 minutes later. The start was downhill but immediately followed by a challenging climb as the runners disappeared into the distance towards the beautiful countryside view that is Magna Park. Then there are a couple of streams to splash through for good measure on the way back, and a nice long downhill and across the lower field before the final climb up to the finish. In the low field, some sheep were mixing it with the race, running in and out of gaps between the runners and generally getting in the way. It’s a good job they didn’t let the pigs out.  

Ludo was first in for the men’s team but cannot count for us as he is second claim, still a good run though. Next in was Ben, still improving with each race. Then Dale who, like Ludo, is concentrating more on distance than speed as they are both preparing to take on the Kenyans at the London Marathon. Raj ran a fine debut race; he started off with Dad Hitesh but then the younger legs got ahead. Dave Lod and Baz both had much better than usual runs. Clare led home the ladies, followed by captain Amy and then Barbara who also had a much better run and broke into the top 100. Debutants Jacqui and Jeanette ran together and helped each other round; both said that they enjoyed their first cross-country race and will be back for more, that’s what we like to hear.  

RESULTS (5.8m):
MEN: 24th Ludovic Renou (V40) 42.12, 113th Ben Milsom 49.52, 135th Dale Jenkins (V50) 51.14, 147th Fabio Caraffini 52.13, 150th Dave Lodwick (V50) 52.26, 155th Raj Pandya 52.58, 169th Steve Robinson (V40) 55.13, 171st Baz Barrett (V50) 55.20, 191st Hitesh Pandya (V50) 57.22, 198th Steve Wheeler (V40) 58.16, 235th Brian Feldman (V60) 70.51, 239 finished.
LADIES: 36th Clare Mendes 56.39, 79th Amy Gasper 64.51, 98th Barbara Hermann 69.37, 118th Valerie Spezi 74.54, 123rd Trudy Sharpe (V40) 76.29, 125th Jacqui Dean (V40) 77.47, 126th Jeanette Franklin (V50) 77.47, 140 finished.
TEAMS (all division 2): men 9th, ladies 9th, combined 10th.
TEAMS AFTER 6 RACES: men 8th, ladies 11th, combined 9th. 

Derby Runner League Race 5 - Grace Dieu 31/1/16

It was cold, wet and windy on the fields on Grace Dieu Manor Prep School. It was hard to set up our mobile hospitality unit (tent) in the wind and rain but we managed it and so our runners came along and were able to stay a little warmer and a little dryer. The race was back to the old 2-lap course, without the long and rocky climb in the middle, but that did mean that you had to run the first mile twice, which is a long and gradual climb to the top field. After that, the route becomes quite pleasant, through woods and streams, though still muddy in places including a deep boggy section across a football pitch. And where was the famous ‘travelator’ finish? The charge up the steep bank to the finish line has always been a feature of the Grace Dieu races since ancient times, but this time the finish was in the lower field which I’m sure will have disappointed some runners and certainly was less fun for the spectators to watch.  

Dale was poorly with a man-cold and elected not to run, We welcomed a debut runner in Tim Parry, and it was good to see Keith back for his annual outing in the countryside. But overall we were a depleted team again, with just 10 guys and only 3 girls; the ladies team requires 4 runners so once again we were a runner short. The men set off  few minutes before the ladies. The course was very wet and boggy, which made the second lap quite challenging as everyone has already run through once and churned up even more mud. Dale and I watched them all come through at halfway, with one or two of the quicker ladies already passing the back markers in the men's race. Then the Wreake Runners tent blew away in a gust of wind … it was stopped only by it crashing into another tent or it would have crossed the course and some Wreake Runners in the race would have been overtaken by their own tent (!). By the time the tail enders were coming through in the ladies race, the leaders in the men's race were finishing, so there was never a dull moment watching the race.  

Nick led in the men’s team and Amy led the girls home. Ben ran another good race to get the better of Steve and Fabio this time … keep working Ben and soon you will be right up there. Colin ran a better race, but Dave Lod just couldn’t get going this time and hauled himself round. Baz nearly ran him down at the end. For the first time, Keith ‘mountain goat’ Dakin ran all the way round a cross-country race without falling over. I must mention our other runners – Baz, Tim, Brian, Barbara and Trudy – as they work just as hard and we are all a team and everyone counts. In the ladies results, a runner in 29th did not take a disc, so that was adjusted afterwards and all positions after that are one further back. We’ve lost a bit more ground in the division and I think we will see out the 2015/16 league in mid-table, but I still hope to see many more of you at the last 2 races on 21st February (probably Ullesthorpe) and 13th March (Holly Hayes) because we could do better than that.  

MEN: 70th Nick Cobley 39.51, 115th Ben Milson 43.10, 130th Steve Robinson (V40) 43.58, 138th Fabio Caraffini 44.32, 193rd Colin Bowpitt (V40) 47.14, 217th Dave Lodwick (V50) 48.47, 220th Baz Barrett V50) 49.17, 264th Keith Dakin (V60) 54.42, 275th Tim Parry (V50) 56.28, 294th Brian Feldman (V60) 62.30, 300 finished.
LADIES: 107th Amy Gasper 53.59, 125th Barbara Hermann 57.43, 160th Trudy Sharpe (V40) 64.46, 176 finished.
TEAMS (all division 2): men 11th, ladies 12th, combined 11th.
TEAMS AFTER 4 RACES: men 10th, ladies 11th, combined 10th.

Derby Runner League Race 4 - Allestree 10/1/16

This is the one race league this season, in the league for Derbyshire and Leicestershire clubs, that takes place in Derbyshire. But the numbers were less than we have seen at the previous races in Leicestershire, where this league is generally better supported. Sadly, a Derby Runner team runner suffered a heart attack just a half mile into the race and was airlifted to hospital. Some runners stopped to help and many more were upset by seeing this all happen. He was reported as ‘ok’ later in the day but it did affect the race although that was not so important.  

Roadhoggs certainly had much fewer runners than usual, and we only just made a full mens team whilst only 2 ladies ran (4 are required) so the ladies did not score any points this time. We have been used to more than twice this number. The Allestree Park course was 2 laps of 3 miles, starting from the lowest point by the lake and running around the edge of the park, up to the highest point and back down the other side. So each lap was a tough first half and easier second half. It was a bright morning with no rain  but the ground was already very wet so the general view was that, with the cold, wet and muddy conditions, it felt like the toughest race so far. Nick was first in for our mens team, further back than usual in 61st but anyone else would be delighted with that! Then Dale, Steve and Ben, all running really well, followed by Fabio, John, Colin and Baz. For the girls, Barbara got ahead of Trudy but then felt bad after seeing the emergency taking place and was thinking about stepping out, but instead dropped back to Trudy and they ran together for a while until Barbara eased away again towards the end. It was good to see our Roadhoggs girls supporting each other.            

We enjoyed the usual post-race cake from Trudy … what would we do without you? Both teams scored less than in the other races; the ladies lost ground but in the men’s and overall results we held or improved our place so some of the other clubs must have had depleted teams as well! We have 3 races to go, all more local, and I hope we can get more runners out there because we are good enough move up the table.    

RESULTS (provisional):
MEN: 61st Nick Cobley 47.35, 119th Dale Jenkins (V50) 51.45, 128th Steve Robinson (V40) 52.33, 135th Ben Milsom 53.02, 141st Fabio Caraffini 53.31, 191st John Davies (V50) 57.52, 203rd Colin Bowpitt (V40) 59.33, 239th Baz  Barrett (V50) 63.61, 271 finished.  
LADIES: 131st Barbara Hermann 78.52, 133rd Trudy Sharpe (V40) 80.55, 151 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2): men 9th, ladies unplaced, combined 9th.
TEAMS AFTER 4 RACES: men 9th, ladies 11th, combined 7th.

Derby Runner League Race 3 - Bradgate 6/12/15

This is the race hosted by Roadhoggs, and we wanted to make it as successful for everyone as it was the last time at Bradgate in January. The omens were not good the day before, as the strong gales of Storm Desmond hit Leicestershire. Bradgate Park is quite exposed and so the runners and marshals would have to battle Desmond as well as the tough hills around the course. Also it would have been impossible to put up tents and signs in those strong winds. But by Sunday morning it had eased down a few points and it was ok providing you picked a sheltered spot to pitch the tent … we arrived early so we had the best spot just inside the woods for the Roadhoggs’ base camp. Some of our runners arrived early to help out with the car-parking. At base camp, Kim-Jong Dale asked for golden tent for himself, and his own cakes in a golden tin from Trudy, as befits the winner of our club athlete of the year just the previous weekend. But then he decided to stay with his team-mates in the common tent and allow his greatness to rub off on them. As a number of our runners were helping on the day instead of running, other Roadhoggs stepped up to make sure that we completed full teams; it was good to see Nick, Peter and Afra back again. And we welcomed Steve Barnes and Paul Barton who made their XC debuts for us.

Bradgate is such a great venue for cross-country running. The course designed by Dave was very scenic but very challenging. The men started ten minutes before the ladies and the 5.25 mile route was two different laps, which meant that you could see the races going on in several places at once. From the start/finish area, you could watch the runners come through for the second lap, and see the ladies setting off on into the distance as the lead men were coming over the hill from another direction and charging down to the finish. Mark Ramsden led our men’s team home, chased in by Nick Cobley and Dave Pearce although Dave does not count for the team as he is a second-claim runner for us. Dale and Fabio were next in, then behind them a group of Roadhoggs must have chased each other round as they finished close together. The girls were led in by Emma Raven and Afra Kelsall, followed by Amy and then Trudy and Janet bringing up the rear, Janet wearing her usual smiley face. The times were around ten minutes less than at the last race at Bagworth, which was a good mile longer, but Steve R, Marcus, Shaun, Emma, Amy and Trudy all were quicker than that so they had much better runs this time.

The men’s team gained slightly on the ladies, and overall we moved up a couple of places. Well done to all on what was a very tough course.  

Trudy provided her usual high-quality post-race carbohydrate recovery food, which was soon devoured back at base camp. The rain held off for the morning, but at home in the afternoon it poured down so we were lucky with the weather. Thanks once again to everyone from the club, and family and friends, who helped out on the day.  

MEN: 40th Mark Ramsden 35.02, 55th Nick Cobley 35.55, 66th Dave Pearce 36.22, 42.40, 163rd Dale Jenkins (V50) 40.39, 202nd Fabio Caraffini 42.09, 240th Steve Robinson (V40) 43.45, 243rd John Davies (V50) 43.53, 247th Peter Sloneczny (V50) 43.57, 249th Ben Milsom 43.59, 255th Colin Bowpitt (V40) 44.19, 262nd Terry Woodhouse (V40) 44.49, 290th Paul Barton 46.34, 307th Hitesh Pandya (V50) 47.30, 309th Steve Barnes (V50) 47.35, 316th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 48.08, 359th Shaun Heaphy (V50) 57.04, 369 finished.  
LADIES: 61st Emma Raven (V40) 46.11, 98th Afra Kelsall (V40) 50.06,  116th Amy Gasper 51.56, 178th Trudy Sharpe (V40) 59.56, 181st Janet Hall (V40) 60.44, 202 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2): men 9th, ladies 11th, combined 9th.  
TEAMS AFTER 3 RACES: men 11th, ladies 8th, combined 8th.

Derby Runner League Race 2 - Bagworth 22/11/15

It was an icy cold but still day as we assembled in our transportable race preparation and recovery module at Bagworth Heath. One or two hardy runners got ready to race in just the club vest and shorts, whilst others wore t-shirts and track pants, or hats and gloves. We welcomed Marcus and Shaun for their debuts in the XC league, and it was good to see John Davies starting back after a long-term back injury. I noticed the bright and shiny shoes that Marcus, Shaun, Emma, Vicky and Amy were wearing, compared to Baz’s and Drew’s which were still carrying some mud from the last race. It didn’t matter really because at the end of the race, all shoes will be the same muddy brown. Before the race, Dale was posing inside the tent like a male model, Emma was worrying about just how muddy it was going to be, and poor Trudy was recovering from a cold and coughing outside. Ben ‘Zatopek’ Milsom showed how fit he was by running the Parkrun on Saturday, then a leg for Roadhoggs in the University relays, and then was there for the cross-country race on Sunday!  

The course was a bit longer than usual; 6.5 miles over 2 laps with a long slow climb at the start of each lap and that steep hill up to the ridge later on. Bagworth is a nice course through open heathland, but there are no easy sections and you just hang in there and try to maintain your pace. You can see runners on top of the ridge from where we stood at the start. Much of the track was narrow and muddy which meant that you had to pick your moment to overtake anyone, or just hang on to the runner in front. The sun did try to come out and warm the air up as the morning went on, and some hats and gloves were thrown at me at the lap change as our runners warmed up in the race. Mark was back to lead in the men’s team, but then there was a wait before Dale and Fabio led in the rest. After that we packed pretty well but, and with respect to the older guys on the day who always give 110% for the team, we still need more of you younger and quicker runners to back up Mark, Fabio, Ben etc and get the Roadhoggs men’s team back up to where we should be. The girls again did better; Emma and Vicky had a good race with each other and finished close together, and were well supported by our new brides Amy and Barbara and our slightly older bride Trudy. Our most recent newlyweds Barbara and Steve both had better runs at Bagworth than at the first race in Markfield, proving that love makes you run faster.   

I must add that the Roadhoggs cross-country team at the moment includes some big guys, who are not natural cross-country runners and have to work even harder to drag themselves through the mud and up the hills … such great effort from John, Marcus and Shaun. Both teams improved on the first race, but the girls are outscoring the boys and beginning to move ahead in the league. Come on you guys, there is still time to fight back, don’t let the girls rule!  

MEN: 35th Mark Ramsden 42.40, 150th Dale Jenkins (V50) 49.55, 196th Fabio Caraffini 52.50, 210th Ben Milsom 53.27, 211th Dave Lodwick (V50) 53.30, 234th Steve Robinson (V40) 55.22, 251st John Davies (V50) 56.15, 279th Drew Simpson 58.41, 291st Baz Barrett (V50) 59.32, 296th Dan Bannatyne 60.09, 320th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 64.29, 341st Shaun Heaphy (V50) 72.32, 342nd Brian Feldman (V60) 74.22, 348 finished.  
LADIES: 62nd Emma Raven (V40) 60.48, 64th Victoria Sutton 60.53, 83rd Amy Gasper 63.56, 121st Barbara Hermann 71.56, 136th Trudy Sharpe (V40) 74.58, 167 finished.    
TEAMS (all division 2): men 11th, ladies 7th, combined 9th.  
TEAMS AFTER 2 RACES: men 12th, ladies 8th, combined 10th.

Derby Runner League Race 1 - Thornton 11/10/15

It was a bright and sunny day at Markfield for the first race of this season’s cross-country league. The course is a scenic 5.5 mile route from South Charnwood High School down to Thornton reservoir and back. They started the men 10 minutes before the ladies and it was interesting to see how many of the faster ladies caught up with the slower men. We didn’t have so many Roadhoggs running as I had hoped, and we were lacking our faster men on the day. But we did have full teams in both races so that’s a decent start and something to build on in the next race at Bagworth next month. We welcomed debut runners Emma Raven and Janet Hall to the ladies team, and Steve Palmer and young Laurie Gibson into the men’s. Also Lorena Capell came back for another go at cross-country a year or two after she last ran for us.  

The going was mostly firm with a few muddy sections. The sun became warmer as the race went on, which made the runners work harder in the heat. There were fewer runners compared to last year, so the queues at the styles and crossing points were much shorter. Runners were warned at the start about cows in one of the fields you have to run across, about a mile into the race. The leaders ran through the herd, but the killer cows just stood back and waited for the Roadhoggs to come racing by so they could watch some real runners. After that there’s a nice section down through some woods and then alongside the reservoir before you start the route back up towards the school. Out first runner home for the men was Fabio, fresh from his marathon pb just a week before, with Terry and Dave Lod close behind and young Ben and young Laurie a little further back. Emma led home the girls in her first race for us, followed in by Vicky.  Our ladies team outscored the men and so, after just one race, they are sitting higher in the league … come on guys, you have some catching up to do. 

Mya Bromwich ran in the junior race. Mum Bec was there to support and is making good progress in her recovery and hopes to be back in a Roadhoggs vest before this season is done.  

MEN: 160th Fabio Caraffini 42.34, 167th Terry Woodhouse (V40) 42.48, 168th Dave Lodwick (V50) 42.49, 194th Ben Milsom 43.54, 215th Laurie Gibson 44.52, 233rd Hitesh Pandya (V50) 45.47, 246th Steve Robinson (V40) 46.33, 265th Jerry Wilkes (V50) 47.28, 276th Steve Palmer (V60) 48.06, 292nd Martin Capell (V50) 49.21, 339 finished.  
LADIES: 39th Emma Raven (V40) 45.14, 66th Victoria Sutton 48.06, 160th Lorena Capell 57.08, 162nd Trudy Sharpe (V40) 57.13, 176th Janet Hall (V40) 60.07, 178th Barbara Hermann 60.36, 202 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2) (provisional): men 13th, ladies 8th, combined 12th.


Reports from previous seasons: 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10, 2008-9, 2007-8, 2006-7