Roadhoggs Leicester AC

Roadhogg runners

Jackie  Valerie

Mark Chamberlain Mike Munday


Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: John Fraser 10  

The John Fraser 10 seems to divide opinion. For some it’s a highlight but for others I suspect it’s something to be endured or a reason to find a pressing alternative engagement. In truth, the 10 mile distance is unforgiving and our lowest turnout of the season can be put down to the continuing injury jinx. Having run this race in all sorts of weather, it was a relief to be greeted by gentle rain. At one point during the race the sun made a brief appearance and the humidity soared but fortunately this was short lived. The result was some fast times as reflected by a number of PBs.

For our ladies it was the end of a long hard campaign. Trudy ended the season with one of her highest finishes (64th) and a PB. Clare M (96th) completed her first 10-miler in good shape but Valerie (108th) had to battle with a stitch. Alison found a way to deal with the pain and we finished a team.  

Mike has had his best season for a while and his 12th place made him VM45 winner for the Summer League. Last year Nick (19th) was disappointed to miss out on breaking the hour by just 10 seconds. This time he finished on the right side of the mark, recording a 59.45 PB. Under normal circumstances, Mark would have expected to have joined him but with his current injury problems, 28th was a good result. The next four had a good battle from start to finish. First in was Rob M (77th) who is one of those who love this course. In fact he runs it so often he could probably do it blindfolded. Ceri (80th), Mark R (85th) and Neil (89th) obviously need more practice.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Joy Cann 5  

The build up to the race included very localised downpours with parts of the city experiencing flash floods and others staying completely dry. Regrettably, Huncote remained dry and humid so many people struggled.  

Clare O continued her magnificent form with another top 10 finish and a PB to go with it. It’s a shame that Emma has better things to do on a Sunday morning than race because she’s definitely got a talent for it, nicely illustrated by an excellent 18th place (7th vet). These two were backed up well by Bec (34th) and Ruth 67th. Amy (95th) and Valerie (96th) obviously held hands again but this time it was Amy who crossed the line first. Clare M was a little disappointed with her finish (125th) but she wasn’t alone in finding the high humidity a challenge. Alison (157th) ticked off another race before Janet (164th) recorded her first finish as a Roadhogg.  

With Mike absent and Mark still struggling with injury, it might have seemed like a forgone conclusion that Nick (18th) would be first home. He was, but that really doesn’t tell the story of a race in which he was challenged like never before. Ludo (21st) finished just 10 seconds behind, despite having to stop to re-tie an errant shoelace. Mark (59th) was next in but was swiftly followed by man of the moment, Miguel (70th), who scorched to another impressive PB. Ceri (96th), Rob M (114th) and Dale (124th) completed the veteran team and Simon (137th) just beat Colin (139th) for eighth counter.

As usual, Dave (166th) wilted in the heat but Lee (174th) put in a good run on his debut. Roger (186th) and Sam (189th) both had good solid runs. Baz (210th), Rob T (227th) and Hitesh (234th) all finished comfortably under 8-minute miles and David hit the mark exactly (247th). Ian (262nd) managed his quickest race of the season, finishing in front of Dave S (272nd) and Richard (286th). Next in was Mark J (290th), completing his first race for the club and then Barry (301st) with his eighth finish of the season.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Hungarton 7  

By kind permission of Severn Trent Water, who decided not to dig up the course this year, the Hungarton 7 returned to normal. Earth, however, was knocked slightly from its axis by the colour of the most popular vest in the race. Not Barrow red, Birstall blue or Huncote yellow, burgundy was the hip colour to be seen in with no less than 37 of them making it across the line. The usual suspects were joined by Clare Mendes, Lianne Underwood and Nick Beer making their debuts for the club. Nick is an elite triathlete who ran Glooston and has joined us second claim.

 Clare O has really recaptured her best form lately and made light of the difficulties of the course, breaking sevens and finishing 7th. Ruth couldn’t quite match her pace of the year before but was on the cusp of the top 50 nonetheless (51st). Clare M (79th) showed plenty of guts and was rewarded with an excellent time, finishing in front of Trudy (81st) and another improver, Lianne (82nd).  Valerie and Amy (92nd) were well matched again with Valerie (91st) just getting the verdict. That just left the walking wounded aka Alison (128th) to conquer those hills once again.  

Nick B produced a great performance to come home 3rd in the League (4th over all). He was joined in the top 10 by Mike (9th and 1st Vet). Nick C grabbed a top 20 finish (19th) but must have had Ludo (23rd) in his rear-view mirror all the way round. Mark continues to defy injury, finishing 42nd. Behind Mark there were some cracking battles; Ceri (87th) and Neil (88th) were separated by just 1 second, while Mark R (94th) and Rob M (95th) recorded the same time. That made 9 finishers in the top 100. Peter (109th) finished in splendid isolation but the following quartet Tom (118th), Simon (119th), Jerry (120th) and Dale (121st) were separated by just 13 seconds.

Behind these high achievers, Dave L (141st) managed to turn the tables on Sam (147th). Steve W (162nd) and Rob T (168th) both consolidated their recent improvements before our Marathon men, John (175th) and Jon (178th) completed their ‘recovery run’ after the weekend’s efforts (a double, no less). They were followed by another scrap - a three-way contest between the youth of Dan (180th) and the experience of Baz (182nd) and Roger (183rd). Hitesh (207th) and David (227th) both found the Hungarton hills a bit of a challenge, but Ian (243rd) had one of his better runs. Richard (252nd) has been working away from home and finding it difficult to train but did just enough to finish in front of Dave S (255th), with Barry, as smooth and steady as a Rolls in 264th.    

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Swithland 6

My memories of the old Swithland 6 are of hot summer days and kids with crisps and lemonade in the pub car park that doubled up as race HQ. A falling out with the landlord led to the race adopting a new distance (10K) and a new venue, a short distance from the original circuit. These changes must have upset the ancient Charnwood weather gods because ever since, we’ve had rain. The race has now returned to its traditional distance and includes a complete circuit of the original course. Whilst rain is actually quite good for racing in, it is not so easy for those recording at the finish. Two years of wet paper, sodden laptops and sundry other calamities convinced the organisers to go for chip timing (or chip and pin as Swanee insists on calling it). It conjures visions of runners being told they can’t cross the finish until they enter their secret number correctly – get it wrong three times and you’re classified behind Steve Hibben!

One benefit of the new HQ is that it is even closer to Mike’s house, so he was on hand to lead our men to some excellent finishes. Mike himself was 9th and Nick came in 15th, reducing his PB again. Ludo eased up on his pre-race run (a 12 mile training run instead of a competitive half Marathon) and was rewarded with 29th and a new PB (35.13). Mark is still in bits but was able to bank some useful points for the team (59th). Ceri (82nd) came in just in front of a titanic battle between Neil (84th and another PB) and Peter (85th). Miguel dipped in under a 100 (95th) and shaved a few seconds from his PB. That gave us all eight counters in the top 100 for the first time in a long while.

On any other day, Rob (104th)(who broke 40 minutes), Dale (118th), Jerry (121st) and Tom (123rd) (all under 41) would have expected to make the top eight – clearly ‘good’ is no longer enough! Dave (146th) continued to race himself back into some modest form and Roger (160th) took another step forward. The ‘middle order batting’ is looking stronger than ever; Steve W (179th) upped the pace still further after his recent improvements and came in ahead of Rob T (181st), Hitesh (188th) and David (198th). Trying desperately to crash this little party was Dan (202nd) who managed to knock a cool 5 minutes off his previous 6 mile time. John S (261st), having completed a hilly off-road Marathon the day before was pacing Trudy (I’d love to suggest that he was slowing her down, but unfortunately the clock suggests otherwise!). Dave S (264th) completed his first race of the year but had to give best to a fast finishing Richard (262nd) – another one making real progress with his running. Martin (268th) has been our ‘renaissance man’ recapturing form that must have been but a distant memory however today he felt like someone had put sugar in the petrol tank and ran like a mere mortal again. Our evergreen duo, Barry (282nd) and Colin S (288th) came in either side of the hour mark.

After one abortive comeback Bec could have been forgiven for taking it really steady. Whatever demons were in her mind she still found some good speed for 32nd. Trudy (81st) continued her good run of form (maybe this training lark is not so bad after all), finishing just in front of Ruth (83rd, who had done a long bike ride the day before). Amy (104th) completed the scoring 4, finishing just in front of Valerie (108th) and Alison (134th) continued her painful battle with sciatica.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Summer League: Desford QM

In days of yore (when Swanee was in short trousers) the Quarter Marathon was a recognised race distance. Now that we’re all modern and continental, we have the 10K which has the added bonus of being a touch shorter. The Desford QM was reintroduced a couple of years ago as a fundraiser for the village school. This year it was staged as a league race to mark the twentieth anniversary of Desford Striders.

While members of some clubs start to lose interest when we get to the Summer League, that doesn’t seem to apply to Roadhoggs. It’s not that our members aren’t tempted by the array of more exotic races on offer, they just do those as well. And so it was that Ludo, Valerie, Dale and Rob lined up less than 24 hours after setting PB’s in the White Peak Half (obviously no holding back there, then). We were strengthened by the return of Mark (from injury), Ruth (from devotion to the Marathon) and Fi (from having better things to do with her Sunday morning).

Over the years, Rachel has developed a reputation for getting to races barely 5 minutes before they start. Last year, Anita trumped this by arriving as the race started. Well clearly, both these two are amateurs – a closed road in Whetstone meant Ruth arrived several minutes after the field had departed. Undaunted, she set off, map in hand to chase the race, managing to overtake 11 runners before the finish. Among those who didn’t treat it as a handicap race, Clare was the first of the ladies to make it in, breaking the top ten (10th). There was a bit of a gap before Trudy (59th) crossed the line but this time it was in a vertical rather than a horizontal state (no fun for the paramedics this week). Fi (77th) was third home, followed by Hannah (89th), Valerie (90th) and Amy (93rd). Ruth (115th), still motoring on pure adrenaline, led in the final pair of Alison R (117th) and Alison L (120th).

Our men made an impact at the sharp end with Mike bagging 10th and Nick recording his best ever LRRL finish in 13th. Despite his injuries, Mark made the top 50 (49th) and Ludo was fresh enough to get 52nd. Ceri (66th) was well up and both Mark R (91st) and Colin (96th) made the top 100. Neil (102nd) and Simon (109th) were close behind this pair. Jerry (131st) was easing himself back after an injury niggle and Peter (139th) had one of those days when nothing works properly. The next pair, Martin (144th) and Sam (145th), had a right tear up. This time, the verdict went in favour of experience rather than youth. Roger (146th) had a fine run, finishing in front of Dave (154th) and Dale (155th) (who had a good battle thanks to the handicapping effect of those Derbyshire hills).

Steve W (161st) is really on form at the moment and put in a great run to finish in front of David (167th) and Hitesh (176th). Rob T (204th) was followed by the continually improving Dan (207th). Ian (239th) was next up, then Colin (260th) before former champion race walker Alan King (261st) completed the line up.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Kibworth 6

Last year’s edition of this little tester was lost when we woke up to find Gumley hill resembling the Cresta Run. This year we were presented with perfect conditions – dry, little breeze and just enough nip in the air to make it comfortable. I’m always conscious, when describing a race for those that haven’t done it before, that too much emphasis on the challenges might put people off but equally, ignoring them would mean not being trusted in future. I thought I was honest but whether it is an indication of the toughness of our recent intake or of the attractions of the promised scenery, I wasn’t expecting a record turnout. Thirty three Hoggs made it to the line. Sam made his debut and there were seasonal first starts for Bec (back from injury), Hannah and Steve W. Not content with a managerial record that will soon have Sir Alex looking over his shoulder, Roadhoggs' Cross Country supremo, Kim, came along to help us get to grips with this road running lark.  

Clare had a strong run, leading the team with a 14th place finish and Jackie’s consistency was rewarded when she broke the top 50 for the first time (49th). Bec set out intending to be sensible and not hinder her recovery from injury by being too competitive. By and large, she was the model of self restraint, finishing in 63rd and contributing valuable points to the team. Trudy (78th) continued her good form and along with Amy (86th) managed the difficult task of running Kibworth faster than their previous race. Hannah (101st) showed the benefit of all that cross country running when it comes to talking the hills. Valerie (127th) was tentatively feeling her way back after injury and Alison (133rd) still counted as walking (or running) wounded.

 With Mark still in bits, we were pleased to have Mike (11th) to lead the line. Nick (16th) showed that he was back to his best and Ludo (38th) continued his advance. Peter (47th) had a strong race, giving us four in the top fifty. Ceri (78th) and Rob M (91st) added a couple of top hundred finishes and we didn’t have long to wait to complete the team. Mark R (114th) earned the bragging rights in a three way tussle with Colin B (116th) and Jerry (117th).

Craig (131st) has been working his way up the pecking order but Tom (120th) managed to maintain a respectable advantage, for another race at least. Dale (147th) was suffering the post holiday blues and found it hard going. He did however, keep Dave L (153rd) in his place and in fact, Dave had more than enough on his hands keeping out of range of Martin’s (155th) killer sprint. Baz (172nd) was followed by Jon (178th) – marginally slower than usual, but completing the Rhyader 20 the day before probably had something to do with it! Paul (195th) made it home safely before Sam (200th), completed his first race – talk about ‘in at the deep end’! David (208th) showed Hitesh (221st) a clean pair of heels, then Steve W (243rd) eased in ahead of Dan (245th - his highest finish, so far). We finished up with three novices (not) in Steve (265th), Kim (273rd) and Barry (290th).

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Desford 10K

What with the distractions of half-term and enough injuries to keep MASH fully stretched, we were a little depleted at Desford. Fortunately we had our own 'Hawkeye' (Keith) to make sure spirits remained high. It was one of those cold and wet days that are fine for racing but not so good for the waiting around bit. The course at Desford has gone through a few refinements over the years and has now settled on a figure of eight with start and finish safely away from any traffic. There are some demanding slopes but somehow they seem easier than Markfield, something that is borne out by the quicker times run.

For the first time in a while, we failed to finish a full ladies’ team. Jackie was sufficiently recovered to post her best performance of the season, so far (56th). Trudy (110th) was also fully restored and carried on where she left off at Ashby. Alison L (150th), who was still hamstrung by sciatica, just concentrated on getting round without anything falling off.  

Nick managed to shrug off the after effects of two holidays (and the excellent Budapest beer) to finish 30th. He can’t rest on his laurels however, because Ludo is on his tail! Another superb PB performance propelled him to 43rd and a second successive top 50 finish. Peter was back from holiday and he edged further up the standings with 64th. Rob M (108th) is getting back to his best and narrowly missed dipping under 40 minutes. Another one threatening this psychological barrier was Neil (112th) who ran a 40.10 PB and it is now surely just a matter of finding the right course. Mark R (124th) put in another quality performance and then we had Tom (151st) who is quietly working his way back into form. Craig (164th) continued his rehabilitation, making the eight and putting Dave L (170th) back in his box.   

There was an all mighty scrap for the honour of being fourth vet between Jon (who was fitting the race into the middle of a Marathon training run) and the new ‘super improved’ Martin. Jon (179th) got the nod by a mere 2 seconds with Martin (181st) a second away from breaking a PB set when Nick was probably still in nappies (no wisecracks please!). Baz (194th), Roger (201st), Rob T (215th) and David (216th) should all have felt satisfied with their work but John (230th) probably felt he should have remained on his sickbed. Keith (256th) continued his race by race improvement but the man of the moment was definitely Richard (299th). After the nightmare of Markfield came the dream of Desford and an improvement of over 9 minutes. Steve (300th) and Barry (317th) both improved on Markfield and Colin (320th), who set off more in hope than in expectation, made it safely back in one piece.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Markfield 10K

It was a wet and windy morning on the slopes above Thornton Reservoir but spirits were high. We’d lost Nick to the bright lights of Budapest, Peter to the Lakes and Colin to sciatica but we had Craig and Roger back after injury and Ian making his debut. Twenty five Roadhogg men was a great turn out but sadly only five ladies were able to join them.  

Charlotte is still feeling her way back after a long injury lay off but still gave us a good start with 38th. She was followed by Jackie (battling with a ‘throat like barbed wire’, 60th) and Amy (maintaining her form on a tough course, 118th). The team was completed by a double A; Alison R (156th) just getting the better of Alison L (157th).  

For the second race in a row it was Mike who took the honours, with an excellent 21st. He was followed by Ludo with an unbelievable performance; breaking the top 50 for the first time (46th) and coming in under 38 minutes. Ceri (87th) broke 40 minutes for the second time and on an infinitely harder course than the first. Fortunately, unlike the ‘Manager of the Month’ award, being Roadhoggs’ ‘Most Improved Athlete’ doesn’t seem to be the kiss of death! We then had a bit of a convoy with Neil (109th), Colin (112th), Rob M (113th) and Miguel (116th) separated by only 15 seconds. Dale (137th) finally managed to make the counting eight but had to battle past Mark R (138th) to secure the honour.  

Tom (155th) put in a good steady run on his first outing of the year and Dave L (164th) managed to overhaul Craig (169th) in the closing stages, when his lack of training caught up with him. Martin (180th) is simply flying – his fastest 10K since 1989 – and pushed Jon (177th) all the way. Baz (214th) is starting to look like his old self again, just pipping Roger (215th), with Rob T (219th) not far behind. Hitesh (232nd) and David (233rd) must have gone across the line virtually holding hands because they were credited with the same time. Dan (265th) continues to reap the benefits of the hard work he is putting into training with a race to race improvement. Keith’s steady progress continued (283rd), leading in Ian (292nd) and Steve (304th). Richard found the early hills a bit of a challenge, but stuck with it to finish in 321st and Barry followed him in 322nd to complete the line up.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Ashby 5

Ashby was a test of our strength. After a promising start at Barrow the rival attraction of exotic Marrakech meant there were some key absentees. It was a great relief therefore, to see that man ‘Zorro’ emerge from the crowd. We also had former member Mark Ramsden making his comeback and Jerry, one of last year’s ‘form horses’ taking his seasonal bow, so things were starting to look up. There’s nothing in the terrain to cause much of a problem but the twists, turns and narrow sections mean good times take a little earning.  

What can you say about Mike? He turns up, knocks out a top twenty finish (18th) then disappears into the mist before most have us have even sighted the finishing line! Peter (73rd) is not quite hitting his top form but is going well, nonetheless. Ceri (89th) produced another good performance before the real battle developed. Miguel (106th), Jerry (108th), Colin B (109th) and Neil (115th) were separated by a mere 12 seconds as they surged to a quartet of personal best performances. That left us just one short but we didn’t have long to wait before Mark R finished the job in a fine 131st place.  

Dale (142nd) had an even better run than the week before but it still didn’t count. Dave made a very slow start, leaving it late to overhaul John S who showed that Marathons and fast 5-milers are not incompatible with a PB and a first time under 35 minutes. Jon (215th) continued his improving form and Rob T (228th) got the better of Paul (229th) who is using the races to top up his Marathon mileage. Hitesh (246th) was well up with his best of 2010, Keith (303rd) continued his rehabilitation, turning the tables on Steve M (306th). Barry (337th) had an excellent race, trying to keep up with Anita, and recorded his best time for a couple of years, while Colin (341st) struggled with his sciatica.  

Once again, we were short of ladies but those that made it didn’t let us down. Jackie got close to her PB, leading us home in 59th. Trudy (104th) started the season off in style, recording her best time since 2008 and Amy (118th) was not far behind, taking an impressive 40s per mile off her Barrow pace. Anita (151st) and Alison R (168th) both improved by 20s per mile. Alison L (172nd) took to the line with sciatica and was glad just to reach the finish.

Leicester Running Shop LRRL Winter League: Barrow 6

As ever, the first race of the season was a time for making new acquaintances and greeting old friends. Five runners; Alison R, Amy, Colin B, Dan and Richard made their debuts and Rob made his comeback after a year spent concentrating on the Marathon (that and painting the world magnolia). A good testing course and experienced organisation mean that Barrow is always a popular race and there were 30 Hoggs in a field of 533. The cool weather meant that many chose to sport the new long sleeve running tops, so we were a particularly smart bunch this time.

Mike was absent and Mark too injured to run, so it was left to the rest to step up and support Nick. The newly crowned ‘Athlete of the Year’ duly delivered with 25th (an improvement of 31s on 2010) against a strong field. Ludo produced one of the performances of the day, slashing more than 5 minutes off last year’s time and registering his best ever finish (63rd). Not a bad advertisement for the benefits of Mark’s speed sessions! It was great to see Peter (74th) enjoying his racing again and 2010’s ‘Most Improved Athlete’, Ceri (88th), simply carried on where he left off. Rob (115th) was straight back into the groove but he’ll have to watch out for Miguel (117th) who made another huge leap forward. Neil’s race performances have been a bit of an enigma but today he ran much more like the natural athlete we know from training (132nd and under 40 minutes). Right on his tail was Colin (136th) – making a big impact in his first ever race. Dale (152nd) put in his usual solid performance, comfortably good enough to see off Dave L (177th) but for once, not quite good enough for the counting 8. Jon (233rd) went well but then again he had to, because Martin (242nd) was having an absolute stormer. We knew he was in good shape after Ceri and I recently spent 3 miles vainly trying to catch him in training, but here was the proof – 3.5 minutes quicker than 2010 and his fastest race in well over a decade (16 years, to be precise). Next up were Rob T (249th), Hitesh (256th) and Paul (257th, on the back of 17 miles the day before). Dan (308th) showed how far he has come since he’s been with us, as did Richard (338th). Sandwiched in between these two were Steve (316th) and Keith (317th). Barry (346th) did us proud in his first outing as a V75 (the only one in the race) and Colin battled with his sciatica for 350th.

Clare (20th) got the season off to a great start with a fine display of sub 7-minute miling. Angela too, showed she’d retained her fine form of last autumn finishing 37th . Charlotte (52nd) started to rebuild a little confidence after a long injury lay-off and Jackie (69th) started the new season well. Valerie (133rd) showed that it is not just the quicker men who can benefit from track work, knocking a cool 4 minutes off her 2010 time. She was followed in by Amy (137th) in her first official race as a Roadhogg. Alison L (159th) led in Anita (161st), and Alison R (172nd) did well despite not having done much running recently.


Other years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010