Roadhoggs Leicester AC

Roadhogg runners


Reports by Kim Richardson, Cross Country Captain

Derby Runner League Race 7 - Bosworth 5/3/17

We came to the last league race this season at the Battlefield Centre on a cold, wet and windy morning. Luckily Helen arrived early with me and was able to hold on to the tent until I could get it pegged down. At least the rain stopped during the race itself so conditions for the runners were not quite so unpleasant, but it returned later so everyone was jostling for space inside the tent both before and after the race. Roadhoggs’ girls arrived earlier than the guys; about an hour before the start we already had 6 ladies ready to run, but only a couple of men. The rest of our team soon rolled up though and we started the race with 9 men and 7 ladies and kept our record of full teams all through this season. Trudy arrived with a black eye from a training run fall, but confirmed that her legs and hands were still working ok so she was still quite capable of running and baking for the team.  

The Battlefield course is another multi-lap course which returns past the start/finish area a couple of times so you can see your team runners at different parts of the race. The constant rain made the ground which was already very muddy into a very, VERY muddy 5.8 miles; just about everyone came in with their lower halves completely covered with the cold and wet and brown stuff. Additional hazards kindly provided on the day by the host club (Hinckley) included a mud pit, more than knee deep, and a deep gully with steep sides where the best option was to grab tree branches as you went down to help keep your balance. Both were difficult enough for the front runners but even more difficult for the runners further back as the runners ahead of them made the mud pit deeper and broke off most of the branches!

Once again Big Sam led the men home, chased all the way by Ben who was gaining ground but then fell and hurt a rib at the mud pit. Dave Pearce was next in but unfortunately did not score points for us as he was a guest runner. Then James Thurman with another great run and then Dave Lod, capping his best cross-country season for a few years. Next in was young Max Barratt who clearly has inherited his Dad’s running genes and continues to improve with each race. Our men packed well again and achieved 6th place in the division. Rachel had another terrific run for the girls, supported by Jackie and Bec who are both less than 100% fit right now but still gave it their best. Trudy, Jeanette, Helen and Barbara all dragged each other round, with Barbara struggling after giving blood only two days earlier. The ladies also finished 6th and the combined team 6th, another good result for us. The cakes and coffee were welcomed as always (thanks Trudy and Ben) and helped our runners to recover from the cold and wet weather.

I would like to thank all of the Roadhoggs team for their hard efforts at every race through what was a very tough cross-country league season. All of the courses were challenging and the hills and mud sections were truly energy-sapping, but our guys and girls always rise to the challenge and run for each other as well as for Roadhoggs. We started lower down in division two after the first race (men 11th, ladies 13th, combined 11th) but improved race by race and finished the season in much better positions (men 5th, ladies 7th, combined 6th) and well placed to mount a promotion challenge next season. Extra thanks to our bake-off champions Trudy and Ben for providing the post-race rewards which are so enjoyed by everyone. Bring on next season!

MEN: 62nd Sam Jolly 44.15, 74th Ben Milsom 44.59, 85th Dave Pearce (V50 2nd claim) 45.44, 107th James Thurman 47.23, 111th Dave Lodwick (V55) 47.44, 113th Max Barratt (U20) 47.57, 138th Marc Draycott (V45) 50.13, 145th Lee Hubbard 50.57, 181st Marcus Shaikh (V40) 55.59, 251 finished.
LADIES: 24th Rachel Dearden 51.15, 44th Jackie Brown (V50) 54.28, 55th Rebecca Bromwich 56.47, 133rd Trudy Sharpe (V45) 75.02, 135th Jeanette Franklin (V55) 75.23, 136th Helen Arthur (V45) 76.04, 140th Barbara Hermann 77.25, 160 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 6th, Ladies 6th, Combined 6th.
FINAL TEAMS AFTER 7 RACES: Men 5th, Ladies 7th, Combined 6th.

Derby Runner League Race 6 - Allestree 19/2/17

It was bright and sunny as we assembled on the edge of Allestree Park, just off the A6 north of Derby. This was the penultimate event of this season’s Leicestershire and Derbyshire league. Roadhoggs are sitting quite well in Division two, having slowly climbed a few places over the previous 5 races, and with a good result here and at the last event at Bosworth Battlefield in 2 weeks’ time, we should finish near the top and ready to make a bigger push for promotion next season. So I was hoping that our runners would answer the call today and they did not disappoint; a dozen guys and half a dozen of our girls made the trip up to Derbyshire and we gathered together in the sunshine around the club’s mobile hospitality and recovery centre for some jolly chat and to talk about the course. It was good to welcome back Bec Bromwich, after a long absence through injury.

Young Mya Bromwich ran the junior race to maintain her 100% record, and even managed to finish this time wearing both shoes! Meantime our senior girls were enjoying that rare luxury at a cross-country race … a real toilet. There was one for the guys too but I saw many doing the usual man-thing and making use of the natural facilities in the nearby woods. Then it started to cloud over, but it didn’t rain and the weather stayed dry and calm as the Roadhoggs team stripped off their outer layers and made the short walk to the start in a nearby field, along with 500 other runners. The Allestree course is 6 miles over 2 laps around the perimeter of the park, which includes some very muddy sections but also some grassland and gravel paths. There are some tough climbs around each lap (I think I always say this about league cross-country courses!) but at least the end of the lap involves a good downhill and then a flat run around the lake before the run to the line. From our standpoint at the lap change, you could see runners coming around the lake at the end of the first lap, and setting off around the field at the start of the second.

In the men’s race, it was good to see our young bucks leading the way; Sam, Gurmit, Ben and James took the first team places. Sam is having a really good cross-country season for Roadhoggs. Dave Lod was in next, and then young Max Barratt, aged just 16, who is getting better and moving up the team with each race … watch out you guys up front! Dale and Lee completed the team scores, with Lee having a much better run that last time at Bagworth Heath. The men’s team packed well and came in 6th. For the girls, Bec was our first home in her first cross country race for a long time; we hope you can stay injury-free and start enjoying your running again Bec. Barbara, Natasha and Trudy completed the team in 9th.  I would like to especially mention Liz; she would be the first to admit that she is a slower runner and she finds running really hard work. We all work hard at our running but, if you are slower, then you are working hard for longer. But Liz does not quit, she just keeps going until she reaches the finish, and we made sure that we were there to cheer her in.

Afterwards we enjoyed the usual yummy post-race carbo replacement treats provided by Trudy and Ben. The overall team improved another place to 6th. Now we have one more race to gain another place or two in the division, so I look forward to seeing you all at the final race this season at Bosworth Battlefield on 5th March.  

MEN: 74th Sam Jolly 48.14, 93rd Gurmit Singh 49.48, 103rd Ben Milsom 50.22, 118th James Thurman 51.15, 123rd Dave Lodwick (V55) 51.26, 126th Max Barratt (U20) 51.47, 139th Dale Jenkins (V55) 52.24, 169th Lee Hubbard 55.43, 183rd Steve Robinson (V40) 57.29, 204th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 59.28, 207th Hitesh Pandya (V50) 59.46, 271st Shaun Heaphy (V55) 73.39, 277 finished.
LADIES: 56th Rebecca Bromwich 60.16, 123rd Barbara Hermann 70.52, 125th Natasha Eastwood 71.10, 148th Trudy Sharpe (V45) 77.04, 150th Jeanette Franklin (V55) 78.50, 166th Liz Butler 89.14, 166 finished.   
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 6th, Ladies 9th, Combined 7th.
TEAMS AFTER 6 RACES: Men 5th, Ladies 7th, Combined 6th.

Derby Runner League Race 5 - Bagworth 29/1/17

The day started bright at Bagworth Heath as we assembled at our mobile hospitality unit. The girls arrived first, they are so keen to get out there in the countryside, and then the men came along in their groups until we had more than enough to fill up our teams. Sam, with Dale and Lee on board, took a wrong turn somewhere and they only made it with minutes to spare and with a quick dash from where they parked the car, not the best preparation. Young Max Barratt made his debut for us, watched by proud dad Baz, and it was good to welcome back Lee and Janet who we have not seen at cross-country for a while. In the junior race, Mya Bromwich, another Roadhoggs’ offspring, managed to lose her shoe and ran most of the race carrying it … she did well to finish.  

The Bagworth course was 6.5 miles around 2 laps, each with a long uphill drag at the start and a steep climb in the second half. The course is known for being muddy and we had plenty of rain during the week so there was plenty of the brown stuff underfoot. There are some narrow sections where you cannot overtake so you sit behind and wait for the wider sections, either hanging on to the runner in front or getting a breather. Big Sam had one of his better runs of late and was our first runner home again. Dave Lod is still on top form and was next in, ahead of James T and Ben. To be fair to Ben, our own Forrest Gump, he ran a parkrun and a Midlands cross-country event the day before, not to mention that the Midlands event was 2 miles over distance! Max made a very promising debut and we will see more from him for sure. Steve W somehow managed exactly the same position as the previous race at Sinai, although there were more runners here … does he count the runners in front of him? Lee ran in nice clean road shoes and worked hard to stay on his feet, whereas both Shaun and Dale ran in their trusted off-road shoes and both fell over, twice in Dale’s case. For the girls Leah was our first home, and then Janet who surprised us all with a terrific run. Amy and Barbara completed the team, followed by Trudy as rock-steady as ever.

Our team positions have improved race by race, from 11th (Men), 13th (ladies) and 11th (combined) in division 2 after the first race at Holly Hayes to 5th (men), 8th (ladies) and 7th (combined) after this 5th race. If we can continue this push in the 2 remaining races in this league season, we will be set up nicely for a promotion push next year so let’s keep this up guys!

After the race, we enjoyed a selection of cakes from our master bakers Trudy and Ben, as always a real treat after a hard run. Then it clouded over and started to rain before I could get the tent packed away, but dear Roadhoggs, it will be dry and ready to shelter you at the next race at Allestree Park.    

MEN: 68th Sam Jolly 49.39, 111th Dave Lodwick (V55) 52.28, 114th James Thurman 52.41, 128th Ben Milsom 53.34, 137th Dale Jenkins (V55) 54.39, 138th Max Barratt (U20) 54.40, 205th Steve Robinson (V40) 61.16, 208th Steve Wheeler (V45) 61.25, 212th Hitesh Pandya (V50) 61.53, 217th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 62.11, 241st Lee Hubbard 65.35, 286th Shaun Heaphy (V55) 76.19, 292 finished.
LADIES: 62nd Leah Boatman 64.15, 95th Janet Hall (V40) 70.07, 106th Amy Gasper 72.03, 116th Barbara Hermann 73.56, 132nd Trudy Sharpe (V45) 77.37, 163 finished.   
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 6th, Ladies 7th, Combined 7th.
TEAMS AFTER 5 RACES: Men 5th, Ladies 8th, Combined 7th.

Derby Runner League Race 4 - Sinai 15/1/17

After the long trek out to Burton-On-Trent, past all those speed cameras on the A50, we assembled on the hill at Sinai. The weather was cold and cloudy, and with rain showers all morning, so the whole occasion was, in a word, wet. But the Roadhoggs were there in our mobile hospitality unit, including xc league debutants James Boyd, Leah and Liz. For both James and Leah this was the first cross-country run since schooldays, although Liz did run the Hash at the end of the year.  

The Sinai course is tough: A steep uphill start and more ups and downs most of the way round the 5 miles. In the second half there are 2 very steep climbs and most runners, even those who ran up the first hill, had to walk the second, pushing the thighs down with the hands like a mountain runner. The last mile is the easiest part of the course, quite flat and with a run to the finish down the same steep hill as they ran up at the start. But after 5 miles of running, with the rain making the conditions muddier and muddier, the runners had to concentrate on staying upright as they ran down towards the line.

Our young bucks James B, Sam, and James T were first home, James taking to cross-country again like he had never left it. Then came our Chairman Dave Lodwick who is enjoying a real purple patch at the moment. I don’t know what he is on, most probably the result of some hard training rather than anything else, but it’s good to see him getting back to his previous form again. Ben was close behind, with Dale, Steve and Hitesh completing the team score. For the girls Rachel ran a stormer coming in 16th, and supported by Leah and Amy. Further back, Marcus, Shaun, Brian and Liz gave their 100% and just about everyone said how hard it was today, once they had recovered and could talk. Marcus in particular was covered all over in wet mud, as if he had not just fallen but rolled around in it – he must really enjoy the countryside.

Back in the tent, there was no carbo selection (cakes) from Trudy this time but Ben stepped up with a selection of his own which the team devoured. Amy and Leah asked for a photo showing how muddy they were; you might see it on the website soon.   The ladies team were missing the vet required to complete the team results, but anyway all 3 Roadhoggs teams improved their position in the division and in the combined men and ladies team we moved up a couple of places – let’s keep this up guys!  

RESULTS (provisional):
MEN: 65th  James Boyd 38.07, 91st Sam Jolly 39.45, 107th James Thurman 40.26, 108th Dave Lodwick (V55) 40.28, 111th Ben Milsom 40.42, 134th Dale Jenkins (V55) 42.18, 208th Steve Wheeler (V45) 48.58, 223td Hitesh Pandya (V50) 50.33, 231st Marcus Shaikh (V40) 51.06, 266th Shaun Heaphy (V55) 61.14, 267th Brian Feldman (V65) 61.20, 274 finished.
LADIES: 16th Rachel Dearden 43.06. 75th Leah Boatman 52.32, 94th Amy Gasper 55.47, 148th Liz Butler 71.36, 154 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 4th, Ladies 7th, Combined 3rd.
TEAMS AFTER 4 RACES: Men 6th, Ladies 8th, Combined 7th.

Derby Runner League Race 3 - Bradgate 11/12/16

After all the rain the day before, the sun came out for us at Bradgate Park as Roadhoggs hosted the 4th event of this season’s league. We clashed with the Turkey Trot half-marathon at Keyworth, but the excellent venue and spectacular scenery at Bradgate still pulled in over 500 runners. Roadhoggs answered the call and our members and their families and friends came along to be marshals, car parkers, course setters, funnel checkers and all the other jobs needed on the day to enable the race to happen, not to mention helping to clear up afterwards … a big thank you to all of you for giving up your time.   

To say the course is tough is something of an understatement; it’s very scenic but there are long and steep climbs all over the 5.25 miles, ending with the brutal ‘monument hill’ just before the downhill charge to the finish. Dave and team have cleverly designed a route of 2 different laps over the same ground, so that it varies for the runners and, from the vantage point at the start, you can see the race going on in different places at the same time. There were 532 runners in the men’s and ladies’ races, plus another 50 or more in the junior races. The men set off 10 minutes before the ladies, but it was amazing how quickly the leading ladies caught up with the men and, by the time they were passing the start & finish area at around halfway, these fast girls were already weaving their way through the back half of the men’s race. Although quite a few of our number were helping rather than running, we did manage to get full teams out including a stronger than usual ladies team.   

Liam Phelan contacted me the week before, saying he was not a member of a local club but would like to run at Bradgate, so he guested for us and was first guy home! Liam said he will checkout our website, and I hope we get him back sometime soon. We also welcomed back Natasha Eastwood after a long break from cross-country, but sadly this was Wei Han’s last race for us as her visa has expired and she must return to China. I really hope we see you again Wei. Next in for the men was James, already much improved since the beginning of the season, then Dale still keeping up with the boys, and then Ben. Sam W led the girls home with Jackie and Emma close behind. I have to say that everyone gave 110% and several of our guys and girls were on their knees at the end. We missed some of our quicker men today but the girls came in an excellent 5th in the team race, go girls! Apart from James, our other big improvers so far this season are Steve W, Brian, Helen, and Jeanette, demonstrating that you can still improve your running at any age.

Afterwards, back at the club’s mobile hospitality unit, we enjoyed some delicious post-race carbo-loaded refreshment from our master runner-bakers Trudy and Ben.  

RESULTS (provisional):
MEN: 114th Liam Phelan 39.17, 127th James Thurman 40.05, 153rd Dale Jenkins (V55) 41.16, 160th Ben Milsom 41.32, 190th Marc Draycott (V45) 43.14, 197th Terry Woodhouse (V40) 43.42, 251st Steve Wheeler (V45) 46.45, 257th Lee Hubbard 47.17, 274th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 48.48, 322nd Shaun Heaphy (V55) 55.56, 327th Brian Feldman (V65) 59.59, 329 finished.
LADIES: 33rd Sam Winters (V45) 43.24, 47th Jackie Brown (V50) 44.10, 50th Emma Raven (V45) 45.12, 140th Natasha Eastwood 54.06, 165th Helen Arthur (V45) 56.32, 169th Trudy Sharpe (V45) 56.47, 180th Jeanette Franklin (V55) 60.22, 196th Wei Han 67.53, 203 finished.  
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 9th, Ladies 5th, Combined 9th.
TEAMS AFTER 3 RACES: Men 9th, Ladies 10th, Combined 9th.

Derby Runner League Race 2 - Markfield 13/11/16

After a thoroughly wet and miserable Saturday it was a relief to wake up to a dry, sunny morning. The woods below South Charnwood School and running down to the Thornton Reservoir were resplendent in their autumn finery. Conditions underfoot were ideal for cross country and a large field assembled for the usual split start. Someone must have had their calculator out because, once we’d had 2 minutes of Remembrance Day reflection, we were informed that the ladies would be starting exactly 6 minutes after the men. This, we were told, would minimise the delays where the inward and outward courses converged.

Ludo (alas not a team counter) was first back in 8th place, followed by Sam, who is running really well. Ben used his previous experience of the course to get the drop on James T at the finish. Our middle order continued to pack well with Marc, Dale, Dave, Terry and John D completing the scorers. Graham made light of only having road shoes and did well to finish in front of Hitesh and Steve W. Marcus produced his usual strong finish and then we had the pleasure of welcoming Lee Hubbard back to the XC fold, before Dan, Shaun and Brian completed an impressive line-up.

Rachel marked her first race for the club with an impressive 46th place finish (with thanks to ‘Uncle Steve R’ for babysitting Tom during the race). Captain Amy ran strongly, with Trudy and Barbara finishing close behind. These three were followed by Helen, Jeannette, Valerie (who coped well with a close encounter of the livestock kind) and Wei.  

RESULTS (5.3 miles):
MEN: 8th Ludo Renou (V40) 32.32, 89th Sam Jolly 37.11, 163rd Ben Milsom 40.22, 164th James Thurman 40.25, 170th Marc Draycott (V45) 40.43, 172nd Dale Jenkins (V55) 40.58, 192nd Dave Lodwick (V55) 41.53, 210th Terry Woodhouse (V40) 42.36, 230th John Davies (V50) 43.29, 245th Graham Walker (V50) 44.12, 262nd Hitesh Pandya (V50) 45.34, 285th Steve Wheeler (V45) 46.42, 301st Marcus Shaikh (V40) 47.54, 317th Lee Hubbard 49.50, 341st Dan Bannatyne 52.48, 360th Shaun Heaphy (V55) 56.48, 369th Brian Feldman (V65) 59.34, 370 finished.
LADIES: 46th Rachel Dearden 43.07, 148th Amy Barnes 52.06, 155th Trudy Sharpe (V45) 52.39, 157th Barbara Hermann 52.47, 194th Helen Arthur (V45) 56.34, 208th Jeannette Franklin (V55) 58.32, 210th Valerie Spezi (V40) 59.24, 217th Wei Han 60.53, 240 finished.
TEAMS (all Division 2): Men 8th, Ladies 14th, Combined 9th.
TEAMS AFTER 2 RACES: Men 9th, Ladies 14th, Combined 10th.

Derby Runner League Race 1 - Holly Hayes 30/10/16

What a great start to the new season; 25 Roadhoggs stood on the line at the start of the first Derby Runner League race at Holly Hayes woods. In fact it was a league record field all round as 620 finished the race!  Gurmit, James, Marc and Tim (Ruth’s partner) made their debuts for the guys and Helen, Wei and Sam had their first xc runs for the girls. In Helen’s case, it was not exactly her debut as she previously ran for Roadhoggs more than 20 years ago so it’s taken a long time for her to come back to us, but she does intend to do more races for us now. Speaking of comebacks, none other than Mike ‘Zorro’ Munday appeared out of the mist at the start, was first Roadhogg to finish (at 50 years of age!), and then disappeared into the mist again. I guess he had to go and rescue a maiden somewhere.  

The weather on the day was a little damp but not cold. The tent zone and finish area were in a different place and there were some changes to the course, but the start was the same and I watched the runners make the short uphill to the first corner and set off around the woods. The route was 6 miles around a short lap, long lap and short lap again. The finish area was a good location to see your team go by, but it was narrow and quite crowded! Holly Hayes is a course with plenty of tree roots and rocky paths around the woods, so the runners needed to be careful.  

Gurmit was next Roadhogg in after Mike, but did not enjoy the difficult underfoot conditions … other courses will be softer and more giving Gurmit so don’t give up on us yet. Sam Jolly had a great run and was next Roadhogg in, followed by Ben who was blocked at the start and spent most of his race fighting his way through the field to make up some places. John and Terry were next, followed by James and Marc scoring team points for us in their first races – keep it up guys! For the girls, our debutante Sam was in the top 20 at halfway but then a previous calf injury flared up and she stepped out of the race rather than risk making it worse on this course. So Clare was our first girl home, and then Ruth and Barbara with Helen completing the team on her return to the club. 

Marcus said he enjoyed the race. Barbara and Steve celebrated their first wedding anniversary by running the race, holding hands every now and then I should think. Clare and Rob also ran together to help each other round. Wei did not enjoy the water crossings, also she found that she still had the small lap to do when she thought she had finished, but kept going until the end and now understands cross-country running. Tim was another who did not find it easy but did not give up and made it round. Afterwards we enjoyed a chocolate cake made for the team by Ben, who was standing in for our usual team baker Trudy who was unable to make it. Ben did a good job at both baking and running, showing that men can multi-task too. Wei having a paddle    

MEN: 24th Mike Munday (V50) 38.30, 88th Gurmit Singh 41.57, 91st Sam Jolly 42.10, 180th Ben Milsom 47.53, 200th John Davies (V50) 49.09, 229th Terry Woodhouse (V40) 50.49, 238th James Thurman 51.41, 240th Marc Draycott (V45) 51.43, 251st Steve Robinson (V40) 52.43, 266th Hitesh Pandya (V50) 54.33, 286th Steve Wheeler (V45) 56.44, 298th Marcus Shaikh (V40) 57.34, 301st Rob Meynell 57.56, 319th Dan Bannatyne 60.12, 343rd Shaun Heaphy 64.39, 366th Brian Feldman (V65) 72.18, 368th Tim Lishman (V50) 80.28, 368 finished.
LADIES: 98th Clare Mendes 57.55, 165th Ruth Stevely (V45) 65.58, 172nd Barbara Hermann 67.03, 211th Helen Arthur (V45) 70.30, 219th Jacqui Dean (V45) 72.01, 220th Jeanette Franklin (V55) 72.04, 239th Wei Han 76.40, dnf Sam Winters (V45), 252 finished.   
TEAMS (all division 2):  Men 11th, Ladies 13th, Combined 11th.

Reports from previous seasons: 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2015-16, 2014-15, 2013-14, 2012-13, 2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10, 2008-9, 2007-8, 2006-7