Roadhoggs Leicester AC

Roadhogg runners

Jackie  Valerie

Mark Chamberlain Mike Munday


Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: John Fraser 10  

Traditionally, the turnout for this end of season 10-miler is low. Apart from the distance, the course has more proper hills than it has miles and the camber of the roads is uneven. Despite all this, and Dave S, Colin and Steve taking care of business at the "Big Fun Run", we still managed a magnificent 29 finishers. Coming into the race, the veteran men had the Division 2 title more or less sewn up but the ladies, timing their run to perfection, were in a promotion position by a solitary point. Added to this, we had four athletes vying for individual honours, so it was all to play for.

Unusually for this race, conditions were good for running. Mike led us home, breaking the hour, for 11th place. Behind him, it was the race of truth between Mark and Nick – could Nick make it 5:5 and hang on to his tenner? In the event, the contest never really got going – Mark’s injury niggles proving more of a handicap than Nick’s tight calves. The only disappointment for Nick (18th) was finishing 9 seconds over the hour. Mark had to make do with 50th. Ceri continued his superb form with a 66.51 PB for 68th and Jerry completed the veteran foursome with a handy 86th. Neil (94th) broke both the top hundred and the 70-minute barrier, which is no mean feat on this course. Dale (120th) was his usual steady self but Jon (124th) was positively on fire, finishing as eighth counter and just in front of an ailing Peter (125th).

John S (140th) led in Stef (143rd, and having a great race until the gas ran out), Dave Luyt (147th, his best race of the season) and Dave L (148th, less said…..). Steve W continued his steady improvement in 168th, getting the better of Hitesh (179th) and Rob T (194th). Baz was in safely in 207th and Keith, trying to convince himself that Marathon number 50 was still on, completed the line up. There should have been one more. Martin stood on the brink of a third successive 100% award but a diary malfunction in the Capell household meant he was on holiday instead!

Could the ladies do it? Clare had a bit of a bug but she wasn’t about to give in, leading from the front with an excellent 11th place. Angela capped a fine summer with 15th, cementing her place as 2nd V45. Charlotte is still easing her way back after injury but managed a creditable 20th. So that left us needing one to complete the scoring four. Jackie was feeling ropey but she dug deep to come home in 41st - would it be enough? In the event, only two Division 1 teams; the big guns of Charnwood and Barrow, managed to better our score.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Joy Cann 5  

The course is nothing special but this race always seems to be a firm favourite with runners. Perhaps it was no surprise then, in a season when we fielded greater numbers than ever before, that the club record should be broken here. Thirty two Roadhoggs made it across the line, the ranks of regulars supplemented by the League debuts of Isabella and Hannah. There are often glitches at the finish of this race but a look at the results shows how challenging things can be for the officials in such a short event. During the peak finishing period (31-40 minutes) runners were crossing the line, on average, every 2 seconds.  

Clare led from the front, grabbing 17th place in a strong field. She was well backed up by Angela (26th) and Rebecca (34th). Angela even picked up a prize for 3rd FV45 to add to her collection. Jackie (54th) put in her fastest run of the season to complete the scoring four. Isabella put down a marker with 90th and Sumina produced a season’s best for 101st. Valerie (120th), Hannah (121st) and Alison (125th, a season’s best) all had good runs and it was good to see Fiona (161st) back racing.    

Nick’s fight back continued but, such is the competition at this race, he had to settle for 26th place (with a PB for consolation). Mark (42nd) continued to struggle with niggling injuries but Ceri (74th) was flying – recording another PB. Peter (85th) led home another improver in Ludovic (89th) before Dale joined the PB party in 127th. Simon (153rd) was next up with the fast improving Miguel not far behind. Chasing these two was Renaissance man Jon (164th), with his first sub-7 clocking in over a year. Dave L (173rd) was somewhat off the pace and Stef (208th) couldn’t quite convert his training form into race result.    

Baz (219th) produced his best form of the summer, Hitesh (221st) and Steve W (230th) their fastest of the season. Hard on the heels of these three was David (232nd) with Rob (252nd) a little further back. Keith (259th) and Martin (260th) almost staged a dead heat, with Dave S (262nd) right on their tails. Steve M was on his own in 280th before our V70s rounded things off by battling it out to the line - Colin getting the judge’s verdict by a second in 306th to Barry’s 307th.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Hungarton 7  

There are many things to give race organisers sleepless nights but seldom do they wake up to find someone has dug up the course! Unlike the Oval, all those years ago, this was Severn Trent, rather than the friends of George Davis. Hasty modifications to the course ensued and the Hungarton 7 became the Hungarton 7.2. We needn’t have worried though - they managed to keep all the hills we love so much! For the Hoggs, there was a bumper turnout with Miguel, Emma and Rob T making their debuts and Adrian running his first race of the season.  

Clare led the ladies in with an excellent 15th and Angela was well up in 24th. Emma made an assured debut, finishing in 27th, and Ruth completed an impressive team showing with 32nd. Jackie (38th) ran another good race to ensure that we picked up plenty of points in the veteran league as well. Trudy (92nd) was the best of the rest but Valerie (95th) and Alison (105th) both ran well, too.    

Nick (20th) bagged a top twenty finish and bragging rights over Mark (25th). Peter banked some useful points with 72nd before Ceri and Jerry underlined their recent good form in 77th and 92nd, respectively. Ludo (111th) and Dale (119th) both had good runs. When Miguel was seeking advice on how best to approach the race, we all said “steady first half, then if you feel good, go for it”. He followed these instructions so well that he ended up as eighth counter, with a magnificent 138th place.    

Dave (143rd) had a reasonable race, but came under pressure from John S (150th) and a resurgent Jon, who announced his recovery from a debilitating illness with a strong run for 152nd. Paul (157th) coped well with the hills, leading in Stef (177th), Adrian (187th) and Hitesh (198th). Neil struggled in 222nd after suffering from stomach cramps halfway round. The next three finished in quick succession, Baz (226th), Keith 227th) and Rob, 231st, on his league debut. Dave S (248th) got the better of Martin (253rd) and Barry was tail-gunner in 286th.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Prestwold 10K

When you're thinking of appropriate punishments for over-paid, over-hyped and over-matched England footballers, running Prestwold on a hot summer day would be high on the list. While Fabio's boys were still dreaming of unrealistic World Cup glory, the brave runners of Leicestershire were flogging round an airfield trying to convince themselves that they do this for fun! Fortunately, everyone put survival ahead of glory and there were no Roadhogg casualties. In fact, things looked better than they did at Desford. Despite the conditions and the unpopularity of the race, we still managed 23 finishers and were pleased to welcome Celine in her first race for the club.

Mark's troubled hamstring gave Nick the opportunity to keep their bet alive, but he still had to pull out a PB performance to do it, finishing 18th (to Mark’s 25th) in a high quality field. Peter finished in 57th and Ceri produced an excellent 40.27 (a PB, I think) for 75th. Simon came in 93rd and John McD (107th) probably wished he’d been blessed with easier conditions for his first race of the season. Neil (124th) was the last of the finishers to break 7-minute miles and there was a bit of a gap before Dale (149th) struggled in to complete the eight. John S (157th) gained a rare (at the time, at least) victory over Dave L (159th), remembering Dale’s advice and making his move with a kilometre to go. Hitesh (196th) was another one to find the heat a challenge but Dave S (206th) seems to flourish when the mercury rises and produced his quickest race of the season. For Baz (218th), Martin (229th) and Keith (237th, carrying an injury) it was just a case of damage limitation.

For the ladies, Rebecca (22nd) took the honours, overtaking Clare (24th, who was feeling the heat) towards the end. These two were ably supported by Ruth (38th) and Jackie (44th). Celine took her bow in 58th and Trudy ran well for 99th. Valerie (107th) and Alison (113th) were the others to brave the conditions.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Swithland 10K  

The journey to the race brought back memories of last year's downpour but fortunately the race managed to dodge the showers. When the sun finally peeped through, the humidity soared but otherwise, conditions were good for racing. We had a massive turnout of 29, including Jackie (fresh from her excellent 3rd place at Arnesby) and Ruth making their league debuts. There were modifications to both the start and the finish of the race but the traditional loop, which makes up the bulk of the course, was unchanged.  

It was a fantastic day for the Hoggettes. Clare produced a magnificent PB performance to finish a heady 7th. Bec matched her PB for 18th and with Angela only two places behind, we had 3 in the top 20. We didn’t have to wait long for the final counter, with Charlotte bagging 26th despite a shortage of miles since recovering from injury. Next up were Ruth (36th) and Jackie (41st) and that made 6 in the top 50. Valerie (102nd), Trudy (103rd) and Alison (114) completed the team. The highest individual placing since Aussie Hannah, the lowest ever team score and a full veteran team. Not a bad morning’s work!  

The men weren’t too shabby either! Mike continued to lead the way with 11th but the fiercest battle was just a little further back. Mark and Nick have had a little side bet on who would win the majority of their personal battles over the course of the league season. The score stood at 5:0 to Mark with 5 races to go (dormy as they say in golf), so it was now or never for Nick. Perhaps the prospect of parting with a tenner was just the extra incentive needed, because when Mark stopped briefly to stretch his troublesome hamstring, Nick seized the advantage and held it to the end. It finished with Nick setting a new PB and breaking into the top 20 for the first time (17th). Mark had to settle for 21st.  

Peter was struggling with injury niggles but still bagged us some useful points with an 81st place finish. Behind Peter there was another battle going on. Simon (96th) has been on good form since he took up triathlon but he was pushed all the way by Neil (97th), and Tom (102nd) was only seconds from gate crashing the party. We needed one more for the eight and Dale (126th) duly delivered, even if he did have to watch Clare cruise past in the final mile.   Who ordered this weather?  

Dave (135th) struggled in the middle of the race but managed run down form horse John S (139th) in the final stages. Paul put in another solid performance before Keith (171st) and Hitesh (173rd) came through with their best performances of the season. In fact, Keith is now back to where he was before his long injury lay off. Steve W (201st) continued his race-by race progress with another good run but Baz (218th) was having a bit of a quiet one. Jon (234th) has been suffering from a mystery illness that has sapped his power and only his legendary toughness got him through this one.  

Dave S (237th) looked on fine form but Martin (249th) struggled a bit. Colin (263rd) and Barry (266th), flying the flag for the V70’s, completed the finishers.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Desford 10K  

There was some confusion over whether the race was a Winter League race or a Summer League race (it was a SL race run under WL rules). The weather gods however, decreed it to be summer (and no messing)!  We’ve run this race in snow and all sorts of weather, but never 26 degree heat before. There was an excellent turnout from the men but the ladies’ line-up was a little more select. We had no new runners but with Roger running his first race after a long injury lay off, we had the next best thing. When the mercury rises there are some things that you can rely on; queues on the M5, a hosepipe ban, a nationwide shortage of electric fans and Dave L, Dale and Baz running like donkeys.  

 First home, in a superb 12th place, was Mike. Mark (22nd) was less than 30s behind and Nick (24th) followed his ‘coach’ at a respectful distance. So quick, and untroubled, were these three that you wondered if the laws of physics work differently when you run that fast. Peter (57th) found it more of a struggle but he still managed to secure a good finish for the team. Ludovic made it five in the top hundred, finishing in 99th. The rest of the counting eight looked a little different from usual. John Stew (128th) is not a great fan of the heat but such is his terrific form at the moment (4 PB’s in a month) that he completed the veteran’s team and led in Paul (135th) and Roger (139th) for the seniors.  

Dave L (149th) and Dale (153rd) ran true to form, whereas Steve W continued his race by race improvement in 170th. He was followed by Keith (171st), Hitesh (172nd) and David (194th). Baz (200th; who hates the heat) just managed to finish in front of Dave S (202nd; who loves it). Steve M (221st) turned the tables on Martin (222nd) and Colin overcame his recent injury problems in 238th.  

Clare (another one who seems to thrive in these conditions) led the ladies in with a magnificent 14th place, ably supported by Sumina (65th). Trudy (95th), Valerie (102nd) and Alison (111th) all battled bravely in the heat. 

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Markfield 10K  

Markfield is a challenging course at the best of times, with four short sharp hills to keep you honest. Much of it is quite exposed, so add a strong wind and the challenge is magnified. Impending Marathons kept a few preoccupied elsewhere but we were strengthened by a second successive appearance from Mike and the return of Peter.  

Bec showed what she can do with a decent night’s sleep producing a brilliant run for 22nd and notching a PB in the process. Emma put her bug behind her with a PB performance and a season’s best finish of 35th. Rachel (57th) was another one to record her best run of the season and this week Anita (100th) arrived just in time to complete the scoring four. Valerie (102nd) and Alison (112th) completed the finishers.  

Mike moved on to another level, finishing a magnificent 11th. Mark (22nd) and Nick (31st), both suffering from bugs couldn’t quite match their performances from the week before, but still finished well. Peter (131st) had one of those days when the motor refuses to fire, so Ludovic (118th) was next in, conjuring up another 6 second/mile improvement. Tom (137th), Dale (139th) and Dave (140th) kept each other in sight for most of the race with Tom proving to have the edge in the final mile. John S (163rd), showing that all that Marathon running has left him in great shape, produced one of his fastest 10K times.  

The next two were slightly disappointed with their runs – Baz (189th) dipped from his recent consistent standard and Keith (240th), who had done a 12 miler the day before, handicapped himself further by doing a ‘Paula’ on the way round. There wasn’t too much separating Martin (243rd), Steve M (244th) and a fast improving Steve W (249th). Colin (264th) faired better than the previous week and Barry (269th) made a welcome return after injury.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Asfordby 7  

Asfordby hasn’t featured in the LRRL programme since 2004. My memories are of treks from the car park to the venue, to the start and back from the finish. I also remember the venue being a bit small and Steve Gale taking the mick when he saw me supping a ‘sports drink’ (no performance enhancing substances allowed in those days). So what of Asfordby 6 years on?  

Well the walks are still there and the venue is now definitely too small but fortunately the weather was kind to us and a lot of people spent time enjoying the sunshine. We were a bit short on numbers – Peter had flown to Spain to deal with a family medical emergency, Emma had a bug and the marathoners were either doing long runs, running actual Marathons or crocked. On the plus side, we did have Steve Wheeler making his debut and the very welcome return of Mike.  

Poor Swanee only managed one lap, before a recurrence of his injury stopped him in his tracks. He did have the consolation of seeing the final stages of the battle for Roadhogg honours, though. Mark and Mike came through together with Nick close enough to be able to watch the battle developing. Dave called it right, that Mike had a little more left in the tank and so it proved as he finished 18th to Mark’s 20th, with Nick bagging 26th. Three Hoggs in the top 30 – riches indeed.  

Jerry produced another excellent performance for 89th. Dale (112th) ran well but had to give best to Ludovic who broke the 7-minute/mile barrier to finish in 108th. Dave managed 127th and Baz completed the counting eight in 144th with another good run. Hitesh was next up, finishing a little in front of Keith, who is really starting to look like his old self again. Martin (214th) had one of those days when it feels like the downhill outnumbers the uphill, whereas for David (222nd) and Steve M (225th) the reverse must have been true. Steve W marked his debut with a steady 233rd and Colin, nursing a muscle pull completed the finishers in 247th.  

Four ladies made it to the start but five made it across the finish line. The discrepancy was down to Anita’s attempt to beat Rachel’s record of arriving with just 5 minutes to spare. The equivalent of a contestant in that old music quiz offering to ‘name that tune’ before the first note had been played! Bec has been running well this season but managed to surpass herself with a superb 26th place. Not bad for someone who should have been tucked up in bed after a hard nightshift on the ward! Rachel (65th) was next, followed by the fast improving Valerie (90th). Despite missing the start, Anita made up ground to finish 99th, leaving Alison to nurse a sore hamstring (and assorted other bits) round for 105th.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Barrow 6  

Barrow always seems to be the most popular race of the Winter League. Catching people before the early season enthusiasm is tempered by reality certainly helps but a good course and excellent organisation must also play their part. Whilst not quite equalling last year’s record, the field of 524 was nonetheless an impressive turn out and we were greeted with yet more perfect racing weather. For Roadhoggs it was another milestone – a whopping 30 runners – a Winter League record and equalling the all time best, set at Huncote in 2004. Not surprisingly, there were some new faces and it was a pleasure to welcome Fiona, Sumina, Ludovic and Valerie. The men’s teams are both in tough divisions, so it was great to have a flying visit from Craig and to have Mat back in the team.  

Charlotte celebrated her first race of the season with a superb 23rd place in a PB time of 42.41. It can’t be long before she breaks the 7min/mile barrier. Both Bec (46th) and Emma (48th) improved on their Ashby pace and another steady run from Rachel (101st) saw the ladies score well, despite the bigger field. Fi was next (109th) before we had the first of our debutants, Sumina (117th), powering to the line. The next two runners were both relieved to break the hour, Valerie because it was her first race and Alison because she was suffering with a virus. After Anita (169th) got home, our final debutant, Fiona (175th), finished with a smile on her face, well in front of the back markers.  

Mark produced another good performance to finish 27th with Nick 38th, both pushed back a few places by the quality of the field. Peter (88th) continued his rehabilitation before Barrow witnessed the return of Roadhogg stalwart Mat (108th). Simon (120th) was next up, with Craig showing us how well Bath is suiting him in 130th, as they both broke 40 minutes. Jerry (136th) missed that barrier by just a handful of seconds but it was a fine run nonetheless. Tom (166th) managed to turn the tables on Dave (169th) to grab the final counting spot, before Dale (174th) just managed to hold off a fast finishing Ludovic (175th). As this was Ludovic’s first race I’m sure there will be plenty more to come as he gains in experience and confidence. Baz (202nd) continued his renaissance with Paul (208th), another improver, and David (225th) not far behind.  

Hitesh came in 266th with Keith, looking happier than he’s been since pork pies were last on special, continuing to regain his form in 272nd. Martin (286th) produced a significant improvement to turn the tables on Steve (290th). Dave S suffered an injury, limping in 325th, not far in front of last man Colin (331st).

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Ashby 5  

For a long while it looked possible that lightning (or in this case snow) would strike twice. It normally takes something dramatic, like foot and mouth disease, to derail the Leicestershire Road Running League but last year the Ashby 5 fell victim to the snow. Perhaps opting for mid-January rather than late March was tempting fate but on the other hand given that the British weather’s only predictable feature is its unpredictability, we should have expected to be in the middle of a heat wave. As it was, the race was only declared on two days before and even then a question mark over the final half mile meant there was a danger of it becoming the Ashby 5.12.  

Ashby has a special place in Roadhogg history for it was here in 2004 that the club fielded a complete ladies team for the first time (that’s not to suggest that before that our ladies were lacking anything, just that there weren’t enough of them). Of the four responsible for this landmark, only Alison is still pounding the roads in a Roadhogg vest. Rebecca was the pick of the 2010 vintage, easing herself back into racing with 39th. Emma made it two in the top 50 with 49th before Rachel (80th) and Fi (87th) completed the scoring four. Alison (127th) and Trudy (131st) completed the team. Trudy had taken extreme measures to avoid grappling with any gorillas (see Huncote Hash) but must have got the concepts of blood doping and blood doning mixed up and was short of at least an arm’s worth of red cells.  

Mark continues to struggle with his hamstring but having had a wager with Nick over who’d finish first, he had to be on his mettle. He was equal to the occasion finishing 20th, his best result for 18 months. Nick started 2010 where he finished 2009, on the verge of the top 30 (31st). Peter was recovering from a virus, so a return of 73rd was a good solid result. After these three there was a bit of a wait before the burgundy vests started arriving in numbers. First of the bunch was Dave L (140th) with Neil (147th), Tom (152nd) and Dale (163rd) all breaking 35 minutes. For Neil, his 34.25 was a PB and we soon had another as John Stew (177th) crossed the line in 35.24, honouring his status as ‘most improved runner of 2009’. We had Baz back after a sizable absence from the roads and he celebrated with an excellent 189th.  

David Luyt (205th) was next in, getting the better of Paul (208th) who is starting to pick up speed again. Hitesh was on his own in 232nd but then we had Keith (254th), Steve (258th), Dave S (264th) and Martin (271st) in quick succession. Evergreen Colin kicked off another season with 298th and Barry had to battle round for 311th.


Other years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010