North Mids XC Heanor - Shipley Park!

In comparison to the wild, wet and windy conditions at Kettering, this Saturday at Heanor we were blessed with quite reasonable weather (just as well because we’ve still not got any decent pegs for the tent). This course is probably the hilliest of the league, not helped by being rather squelchy. The women's team turned out a very creditable 11 (although the boys beat them with 13 Athletes) Special mentions to newcomer Adam and congratulations to Stephen Headley for a creditable 12th place despite a fast start leading the field at the first bend! A couple of noticeable duels. The Durham girls (Amy and Abie). The ex-captain chasing the current captain (Alex and James F). A strong finish up the hill allowed James to place top 100, but they’d both better watch out for Callum who was within spitting distance. It will be good to see the competition develop between Andrew, Toby and Aric at the next race as they were only 40 secs apart, with James Gibbons close on their heels, followed up with a spectacular mud dive! It was good to see Peter and Will gradually improving and ex-ex-captain Steve Ellis back for his first race of the year. The ladies team was led home by Frances closely followed by a poorly Aiste (plucky run to keep going). Laura (nearly dumped in the mud by the ever loving Alex) completed the counters for the team. Applause to the rest of the ladies team Rachel, Holly, Harriet (back from injury), Celia, Anna and Tabby.

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BUCS Duathlon - Sunday 18th November 2018

On Sunday we headed to our first ever BUCS Duathlon with @uol_cycling The Athletes had an early start as we loaded up the mini bus with our bikes and equipment before heading 3 hours south to Castle Coombe Race Course. As the minibus arrived we got the bikes set up (a new phenomenon for us runners!), warmed up and ready for the 2 mile run, 10 mile cycle, 2 mile run. James Finnie, Andrew Holland, and cycling team member Matthew Clegg were first to race. All 3 got off to a fantastic start to the race before quick transitions to the bike. Matt did the cycling team proud by not being able to count to 5 and did an extra bike lap! However he still managed to post a great time of 57:01.2 . James Finnie and Andrew Holland posted competitive times of 54:47.0 & 51:31.7 respectively. Toby Austin and Amy Coulson went next in race 2 with Toby bagging the quickest run time of the day; running the first 2 miles in 10:52.1, and a total time of 52:42.0. Amy Coulson put in a stellar performance after a nervous start on a bike unfamiliar to her. She quickly took to the bike, getting a total time of 1:04:42.4. After strong effort from all, we left with finishing medals, and a strong sense of pride before making the long journey back north to the motherland (via maccies in true UOLRAC style, obvs).

Andrew Holland - XC Captain

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Sheffield Indoor Open - 17th November 2018

An early brisk winter’s morning saw UOLRAC’s track and field squad head north to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield for our first indoor meet of the season – side note: the EIS is tasty, if anyone wants to buy us one let us know! Despite half the team falling asleep on the bus we were riled up and ready to go when we got there, mainly courtesy of The Fratellis and Cascada! A lot of our athletes lost their competition virginity competing for the club, making it a special occasion for many pulling on the Team Leicester vest. The 60m races were up first with some excellent performances, notably from Ore winning his heat. Meanwhile the triple jump was taking place with Nicole and Sophie competing well in the first field competition for the club for 5 years, a proud moment for club improvement. Impressively Nicole managed to squeeze in a 60m race at the same time too! The 1000m was up next with Finnie and Aric competing against each other in the middle distance battle, both clocking very competitive times for this early season meet. The day concluded for the club with the 150m in which we had 5 competitors, all clocking excellent times in preparation for BUCS Indoors in February. After the races a few of the boys bagged some stash too to commemorate the success before we headed home, via Maccies, obviously. Overall an excellent day for the club, some great performances and great to see so many track and field athletes competing for the club! Highlights of the day: Coach Mary’s reaction to some of our eating habits and Oli and Ore not giving themselves enough warm up time Performances of the day: Nicole for an excellent triple jump and a 60m at the same time. Jacob for holding his own in his first track race despite a faller out the blocks and someone pulling up next to him. Dick of the day: Ore – for not having Facebook! (Dw, he has it now!)

James Price-Dewey - Track Vice

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North Mids XC Kettering - WET!

It's one o'clock on Saturday 10th Nov, a sunny and pleasant day at Wicksteed Park Kettering. Runners of all shapes and sizes scampering around. Tents are being erected - just as well because there's a dark cloud approaching. There's the UOLRAC flag flapping joyfully but the tent and gazebo are about to take off! Maroon and green tops hold on, Guy ropes hastily being pegged (bent pegs). Then it starts to rain, water dripping down necks.

Despite this smiling faces abound. The women's team have a turnout of 12. This is perhaps a record for UOLRAC at the North Mids X country league however the men's team equal it also with a dozen not that there's any competition.

Always good to welcome this year's newcomers,Toby, James, Callum, Drew, Maximillien, Will and Hannah, Amy, Rachel, Celia and Tabby some of whom have seen sense and moved from rugby.

Martin Knowles - Endurance Coach

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Warwick Relays - 3rd November 2018

“Great results and times from all UOLRAC athletes at Warwick Relays 2018. UOLRAC entered 22 athletes in 3 mixed teams, 2 Women’s team, and 1 Men’s team. The course around the University of Warwick playing fields was 3.3Km with a long hill up to the finish line. The results reflected the hard work all runners put in. 2 of the mixed teams received medal positions coming 1st , 3rd! The Men’s team finished in 26th, and the Women’s teams finished in 7th and 16th. Overall all athletes put in hard work and this showed on the day!”

Andrew Holland - XC Captain

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England Athletics National Volunteer Awards and Hall of Fame

On Saturday 13th October, last year’s and this year’s Club Captains of the Running and Athletics Club travelled to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for England Athletics’ National Volunteer Awards and Hall of Fame. We had recently been crowned East Midlands Club of the Year at the regional awards and were shortlisted alongside two other clubs for the national club of the year award. This was a great honour for the club and recognition for all the hard work of the previous year. We were recognised for our work in promoting inclusivity within the club by making all of our sessions open and accessible to all abilities and promoting LGBT equality through our annual Pride Colour Run!

                On the evening we unfortunately didn’t win the national award, but it was still a great honour to be recognised in the top 3 athletics clubs in the country and represent Leicester Uni on the national stage! We were inspired by all the nominees present that were up for awards and are planning on introducing some of these ideas into our club this year, for example introducing England Athletics Mental Health Ambassadors within the club to champion mental health and promote the wellbeing of our members. Through this scheme we plan to host several #RunAndTalk jogs throughout the year to provide a platform for students and staff of the university to talk about mental health and encourage people to get into running as a way of improving mental health and wellbeing – watch this space for dates!

                The evening also featured new inductees to the England Athletics Hall of Fame which included Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katharine Merry and many more, amazing to be at a ceremony alongside so many greats of the sport.

                Overall, an excellent and inspiring evening alongside some of the greats of the athletics world championing the University of Leicester and our Running and Athletics Club. If you are interested in any form of running or athletics it’s not too late to come along, more details on our website www.uolrac.com or just drop us a message on Facebook and come along to a session, all of our sessions our suitable for all abilities!

First North Mids XC - Derby!

The Cross-Country season in our local North Midlands league began with an unusually sunny race at Markeaton Park, Derby, a stark change from the typical mud and rain! We headed to the course in the minibus with a great early turn out of 15 people, including 3 new comers to the Cross-Country team. The race around the grassy scenic park was mostly flat apart from two large climbs per lap.

After a team warmup, the Women’s team headed to the start line to begin their 6.5km race. After a tiring 2 laps everybody put in a strong finish. Hannah Willis who finished 27th despite an ankle injury the week before, and Amy Coulson in her first race for UOLRAC finishing in 90th were some of the highlights of the race in a strong field of around 150 women. The Men’s team had 3 laps, totalling 10km. Everyone put in full effort with the pre-season training paying off. Stephen Headley after a great race finished in 16th position, and the rest of the team showing an excellent performance against a competitive field of over 200 athletes. Max Soviche and Peter Parkinson put in stellar performances in their first cross country league race for the University of Leicester.

The first race was an outstanding success for both teams boding well for the rest of the season. A great turnout, seconded by a great performance from everybody!

XC Captain - Andrew Holland

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