About Us

At Long Eaton, we cater for all ages and abilities, from the 12 minute miler to the 12 miles an hour athlete. Club nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays, meeting at 6.30p.m. for a warm up session. Usually there are different ability groups for you to join but if you are a new starter there will initially be a LERC member to look after you. . Click here for location map for West Park Leisure Centre.

Both the warm-up and run activity varies from week to week (the activity/sessions are displayed on the LERC noticeboard, located near the Main Hall).

We start with an optional 25 minutes warm-up of stretching and exercises, followed by a run at 7.00p.m. On Tuesdays this may be steady, fast, fartlek, interval or hill work according to the schedule or your preference, and on Thursdays there is usually a longer route ideal for a tempo run.

Members also meet on weekends for a longer, steady run. Mileage is usually between 9 and 14, depending on what races are coming up. There are currently two slower groups, a Saturday one meeting at Sandiacre Lidl at 9.00, and a Sunday one. The weeks run will be posted on our forum in the Weekend and Striders runs section for the Saturday. The groups will enter races such as the Belvoir Challenge (16 miles) and Seagrave Wolds (14 miles). The pace is usually about 10 min miles on average, with the stops for drinks and stiles, and if you are interested just put a message on the thread. There is a faster group, The Striders, who run on Saturday morning at 7am from the leisure centre and do about 12 miles at an 8 to 8.30 min mile pace. Other groups also go out, if you ask around you can find someone of a similar pace.

We are affiliated to UK Athletics (England Athletics) and presently compete in the North Midlands, East Midlands and Booths Cross-Country Leagues during the winter. All year round, members participate in a variety of different distances and types of running, including fell-running, cross country and road running, and we are affiliated to the Notts AAA Road Race League and Booths Summer league. That is over 20 free races a year.

Membership is currently £25 a year, for which you get the free races, £2 off all other races and a great bunch of new friends. We put on 5 races a year, our famous Long Eaton 5 and fun run, two cross country league races and our new 50 mile ultra and relay. We have flourishing Ladies, Seniors and Veterans sections of the Club who win many individual and team prizes. Throughout the year we also enjoy lively social events including a running pub crawl, a cycling pub crawl, meals and a quiz night. With over 150 members they are always well attended.

So if you are interested, drop down on a Tuesday or Thursday, but try to let someone know so that we can look out for you.

Joining

LERC Membership runs from 1st April to 31st March and our fees are made up of a basic fee ( which is presently £15 ) and an England Athletics fee (presently £14). Total £29. Concessions £21.50 ( ie £7.50 LERC fee plus EA fee of £13) .

We offer FREE trial membership for 4 weeks. So for anyone wondering what we are like, and whether the Club is for you, just come along to any of our many activities and give us a try! No obligations, no commitments, no paperwork to fill in and certainly no Direct Debits to set up!! All we ask is that you let us know who you are and if you want to be included on the members weekly upate list – if so, then just email the Membership Secretary on johnhay1964@gmail.com with your email details.

Then , if you want to formally join us, you can do so for a one off payment which is as little as £15 (£7.50 Concessions )!

We now offer 3 types of Membership….

BASIC MEMBERSHIP (£15 , concessions £7.50)

This is membership without affiliation to England Athletics. If you are not bothered about entering lots of races, or the other benefits of affiliation mentioned below, and you simply want to come along to Club nights and our other club based activities to run or socialise in a safe, fun and welcoming environment then this may be the one for you.
Benefits include :

Twice weekly Club nights usually based at West Park Leisure Centre (Tuesdays and Thursdays, meeting 6.45pm ) for a choice of risk assessed group runs of different lengths, and Speed/ Hill work sessions.
Other ad hoc Speed, Hill, or group runs as advertised on the website by members, including track speed sessions at Rutland Leisure Centre most Wednesdays.
Sessions run by Qualified EA Run Leaders.
A friendly, welcoming atmosphere with lots of advice and encouragement from other members.
Access to website, including Forum.
All activities covered by EA Insurance.
A 10 % discount off products purchased at The Derby Runner.
Participation in internal League competitions, races and awards.
Associate Membership of Long Eaton Rugby Social Club and its facilities ( ie the Bar, where we go for a drink most Tuesdays after Club!)
Weekly news updates by email and/ or Facebook, so you are never out of the Loop!

AFFILIATED MEMBERSHIP (£29 , concessions £21.50)
This is Basic membership plus formal registration to LERC with England Athletics.

Benefits include :
£2 reduction on race entries for all EA governed races eg Robin Hood Half Marathon.
FREE entry to Club races (14 Cross Country in 3 different Leagues during Autumn/ Winter , 10 Road races in Spring/ Summer). Plenty to go at if you like racing!!
10% Discount on goods purchased at most Local and Nationwide running shops eg Derby Runner, Sweatshop, TFN etc.
Information, updates and offers from EA.
A Formal EA membership card/ Competition Licence with URN.

SECOND CLAIM MEMBERSHIP (£15)
This is for those who are currently a member of another club and wish to remain EA affiliated to that Club as First Claim. This will give you all the benefits of Basic membership, as well as access to the FREE Club races (where prior approval from League organisers is granted and provided your First Claim Club is not in the same League!).

JOINING AFTER OCTOBER 1st
For anyone joining in the second half of the year our fees are reduced to £7.50 ( concessions £5 )for basic / second claim membership. Unfortunately, EA do not operate any reduced fee for affiliation, so that anyone wishing to join as an affiliated member will still have to pay the extra £14 ie £21.50 ( concessions £19).

SOCIAL MEMBERSHIP
Anyone wishing to join the club as a non runner is welcome to join us a social member for£5 ( or £2.50 after October 1st)
To join;
Fill in the Application Form.
Cheque payable to Long Eaton Running Club or L.E.R.C.
Hand it to Membership Secretary for acceptance.
Long Eaton Running Club welcomes runners of all abilities to join them, whether to prepare for racing, improve their running or become fitter. We would encourage everyone to undertake some fitness training before joining the Club and recommend that new members should be able to run around 3 miles at a steady pace. Anyone with health problems or who has led a sedentary lifestyle are advised to consult their GP before embarking on any strenuous exercise.

Club Documents

Charity

The running club charity account started in April 1995 asking all members to raise funds towards chosen charities.

Each year the club organises events such as a quiz night, cake sales and raffles with members also encouraged to choose at least one race during the year as their sponsored run.

We try to support 2 / 3 main charities each year. The most popular suggestions made by members would be voted on at a committee meeting. All monies raised are paid into a central account and at the end of the year cheques presented to chosen charities. Charities that have benefited from the account have either been local charities or the local group of a National charity organisation. There have been some great donations over the years. Most recently, with the fantastic hard work and generosity of the club members in fundraising such as cake sales at our Long Eaton 5 mile race, and Quiz nights, we have donated to the following charities:

MS Society £200
Treetops Hospice £750
Edale Mountain Rescue £300
Parents Association for Seriously Ill Children £300
Macmillan Cancer £650
Treetops Hospice £450
Edale Mountain Rescue £400
Diabetes UK £400

2012 Donations

David Denton's IDEAS £200 and a further £214 raised Olympic Torch Night
Edale Mountain Rescue £200
Derby SANDS £200
Canaan Trust (Long Eaton homeless) £200


In 2004 the Lights and Pies run, another great Long Eaton Running Club event was promoted as a charity run with toys and money being donated to the "When you wish upon a Star" children's charity. Fancy dress became mandatory and over 60 toys were donated to the charity along with 2 cheques. The local representative for the charity gave a very moving talk about their work and just how much the Club's support meant to the children. This tradition continues annually, chance to dress up and be festive so watch out for the future Lights & Pies run events to help charities.
More recently we have collected items for animal shelters which have been greatly received.
For future fundraising events and ideas, please contact Rachel Argent

We would like to thank you all in advance for your continued support in our fundraising activities and we hope to continue this to make future years just as prosperous.

Kit

Here is the Long Eaton Running club kit that is available subject to stock and ordering.

Jane Hudson is our kit person and will be at club nights, pm janeattheback, facebook message or pop into the chemist in Draycott for purchasing requirements.
Payment to Jane - Cash or cheques payable to Long Eaton Running club.

We have our super existing club colours race vests available for £17 each in men's or ladies fits. New stock in for all your racing requirements!

Ronhill Hi Viz Bib One size - £8 each and on the back you can buy separately online a ronhill vizion LED light to insert into the bib to flash for safety when running in the dark.

Sizing for Tech t-shirts
Men's XS, S, M, L & XL and Ladies V Neck fitted shape size 8, 10,12 & 14.

Ronhill Navy Tech short sleeved T-shirt - £13
Ronhill Fluo Yellow Tech short sleeved T-shirt - £14 (logos and club name in hi viz)
Ronhill Fuo Yellow Tech long sleeved T-shirt - £15 (logos & club name in hi viz)

Fruit of the Loom Navy hoodies £18 unisex sizing XS, S, M, L & XL.

Ronhill Pursuit jacket blue Lightweight, breathable and wind resistant fabric, Water repellent treatment, Reflective pipe down front zip and additional reflective graphics, Two zipped security pockets, Single hand operated draw cord in the hem, Back vent for ventilation- s, m l - unisex fit so come up a bit bigger.

If you are more of an XS we can get the same jacket in black smaller sizing with club logos on - optional name can be printed on front

Ronhill black trousers , Lightweight, breathable, wind resistant fabric, Elasticated draw cord waist, 2 zipped hand pockets, Reflective graphics, Ankle zips. s, m l available.

The cost for these is based on a bulk order and we are taking pre orders before ordering due to the higher cost of the kit (rather thank buying in bulk upfront to have stock left) Jackets £35 With name £37
Trousers £22.

History

Long Eaton Running Club was founded in 1986, but it is interesting to look further back at the history of running in the town from both a historical perspective and to understand the factors that led towards the formation of the club.

BEFORE 1980: The 8th Midlands Cross Country Championships took place on 27 February 1886 at the newly built Recreation Ground on Station Road. The twelve-acre site had a cricket ground, football pitch and a banked cycle track of 2.5 laps to the mile said to be 'the second best in the kingdom'.

Most of the crowd walked from the nearby train station, filed through the turnstiles and took their places on the grandstands by the pavilion. A football match between the town's second team and Spondon had to be interrupted with the players being asked to stand aside for the start of the race. The course of about five miles started with a circuit of the ground, then the runners streamed through a narrow exit and there was a wild scramble over a gate before the first plough land. After two big loops across fields the first runner back was William Snook of Birchfield Harriers who won by 80 yards ahead of Hickman of Godiva. Many of the over-enthusiastic supporters started crowding round the finish so that the chasing runners had to fight to get over the line. Two months later Snook, the greatest English distance runner at the time, became the first ever athlete to receive a lifetime ban from amateur athletics...but that is another story!

The cross-country event must have been the inspiration to form an athletics club because Long Eaton Harriers was established a few months later; their first meet was on Tuesday 16 November 1886. Some of the members also ran for Long Eaton Rangers FC, such as Lawrence Plackett of Breaston who also played for Derby County and Nottingham Forest. The club gave out prizes for cross-country runs in the winter and took turns with other clubs to be 'hares'. In the summer they ran shorter races from 120 yards to a mile at athletics festivals, football and cricket club sports days, and even flower shows. Sometime around the turn of the century the club disappeared, as did many events at the Recreation Ground. However several years later in June 1909 athletic sports returned with the Long Eaton Cycle and Athletic Club competing in handicap and scratch races. This annual show attracted up to 5,000 spectators to the Recreation Ground. Later in the 20th Century the site was used for greyhound racing, stock car racing and speedway.

Long Eaton's greatest unsung sporting hero has to be Stan Fletcher who won the National Championships at Epsom Downs in 1937. He also came within 43 seconds of the world record at the 20-mile Coventry to Fort Dunlop race with a winning time of 2:44:21. Extraordinary...because he was race walking! Various athletic events took place at the West Park in Long Eaton such as the County Schools Championships. The annual carnival had athletics clubs from as far as Scarborough competing in races from 80 yards to a mile. In the 1960s the Notts AAA Championship 15 mile road race took place at the nearby Trent Vale Ground in Beeston (c/o Ericsson AC).

The first New York City Marathon sparked a US jogging craze that came to Europe during the 1970s with inaugural marathons in many capital cities. Within the UK there were only 13 marathons in 1977, but just five years later there would be over 130.

1980-1989: The Coe-Ovett-Cram era was an inspirational one for British athletics but the catalyst for many runners was the first London Marathon in 1981. Later that year Nottingham staged its first half marathon race and in 1982 half marathons started up in Mansfield, Newark, Sandiacre, Worksop and Heanor. The first Derby Marathon & Half Marathon took place in 1983, along with the first Belvoir Half, Chellaston Half and Keyworth Turkey Trot. New running clubs were being formed throughout the East Midlands and they started organising road races in their own area.

Nick Lees of Derby & County AC won the 1984 Erewash Half Marathon in 1:08:38. Local clubs represented that day included Sinfin Joggers, Holme Pierrepont, Ilkeston, Carlton Jogging Club, Plessey AC, Shelton Striders, Rolls Royce Harriers, Beeston Joggers, Arnold Harriers, Players AC and, of course, Erewash Valley. However most of the 600 runners were not attached to any club, including Martin Goodall and Don Pitman. Along with another Long Eaton lad (Dave Munt) they took part in the Nottingham Robin Hood Half Marathon a few weeks later and by the following year were starting to train regularly together, meeting at a bus shelter by the canal bridge on Tamworth Road. Before long they decided to form their own club and set about deciding the constitution, the design of the running kit, training sessions, etc. Peter Wilkinson of Derby AC (who represented England in the 1958 Commonwealth Games Marathon) helped with affiliation to the AAAs and Dave Munt, who passed away in 2011, was the first secretary.

The Long Eaton Running Club '86 (LERC) was officially affiliated to AAAs on 1 October 1986 - coincidentally, one hundred years after the formation of the Long Eaton Harriers. Initially there were only six members, but by the end of 1986 that number had doubled and the football changing rooms on West Park became the new meeting place every Tuesday and Thursday at 5.30pm.

The first LERC team effort took place in February at the Notts Relays at Wollaton Park - an event that was reportedly rather intimidating...but fun! Top athletes from around the country arrived in coaches with clubs fielding A, B and even C teams. Despite the competition, the lone Long Eaton team started off well with the first four runners (Martin, Don, Dave and Nigel Goodall) putting in sterling performances, but in the final leg 'Anchor Man' Dave Gascoigne went the wrong way so LERC ended up virtually last. One of his bemused team mates later made the quip: "What an 'anker!"

The swimming pool in Long Eaton was extended in 1988 and West Park Leisure Centre re-opened with a new sports hall, gym, changing rooms, upstairs rooms and a bar. LERC subsequently relocated to the new venue, meeting at the later time of 6.30pm. Club membership grew mainly by word of mouth to friends and workmates, but the new facilities at West Park helped. In those days rather than paying an annual subscription, the treasurer Ian Baxter would cheerfully collect 50p on Tuesdays and 60p on Thursdays from each member. Ian had an untimely death in 1994 and the club honours his memory with the IBAX Trophy handed out to a member who epitomises the spirit of the club.

The late 1980s saw even more races being added to the running calendar with the first Goose Fair Gallop, Rutland Mini Marathon, Sutton in Ashfield Half Marathon, Notfast 10K, Hinckley Half Marathon, Nottingham Heritage 10K, Leicester Marathon, Hardwick Hall 6, Barrow 6, Wreake 10K, Notts Wildlife 10K, Ashby 20, Cropwell 10, Stanley 5 and Loughborough Echo Half Marathon.

1990-1999: LERC has always had an active social side. Members have formed life-long friendships and some have even walked down the aisle together. The numerous social events throughout the year have often prompted the old adage: 'drinking club with a running problem' and this was most evident at the first Drunken Dash on April Fool's Day 1990. It started as a 12 mile Sunday run from West Park to the Carpenters Arms in Dale Abbey (for opening time) and then on to a further nine hostelries before returning to the leisure centre for a quick shower and a quencher in the bar upstairs. It faded away for a few years but was revived as a shorter, Friday evening run in June 1999. Despite this, some participants were found guilty of drinking halves so further training was deemed necessary...with an annual pub bike ride!

LERC men's team finished as runners-up in the 1990/91 cross-country season. Later that year, the first event to be staged by the club took place at Trent Meadows on Sunday 17 November 1991. Over 200 runners attended the first Long Eaton cross-country league race and the winner was Eamonn Hyland of Redhill RC. An internal LERC league was set up in 1992 with club members being awarded points for completing a league race depending on their position. The best ten performances counted towards the final place. All members contested the summer and winter league trophies, whatever the age group, up until 1997 when the M40 trophy was introduced. Today there are further distinctions, with additional prizes for the veteran M50, F35 and F45 age categories.

The Erewash Half Marathon was shortened to a 10-miler and by the 1990s it had become a high profile national road race. The prize money was attracting some of the best athletes in the world and for most local runners it was quite an experience going head-to-head with the Kenyans...even if it was only whilst standing on the start line! The 1992 Erewash 10 Mile Classic was memorable because Liz McColgan breezed in to take £550 prize money and the keys to a brand new Ford Escort for setting a new course record. However the sponsors took umbrage with her insistence that the car had to be delivered to her house...in Dundee!

By the end of 1992 LERC membership had increased to 49 and the club stepped up a gear with second claim recruits, such as the aforementioned Nick Lees who's running career includes a mind-boggling 28:18 for 10,000 metres. Nicky, Andy McNeill and Kev Gunn won the men's team prize for LERC at the 1993 Erewash 10 Mile Classic - a major achievement considering the calibre of the athletes that they were up against. Three weeks later Andy won a Notts Silver medal at the Robin Hood Marathon with a personal best (pb) time of 2:34:01 and Kev Gunn went on to set a new course record of 25:26 at the Weston on Trent 5 Mile race.

The LERC ladies first team success was winning all five races in the 1992/93 East Midlands Cross Country League led by Alex Holland, Nicola Swithenbank and Carol Holmes. LERC ladies A, B and C teams also picked up first team trophies in the 1993/94 season. Carol was selected for the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships in Luton and went on to win the Burton on Trent Half Marathon. She also won the Derby Half Marathon in a pb time of 1:17:10 before leaving for new (if not greener) pastures. The 1994/1995 East Midlands Cross Country League resulted in first place victories for LERC men's A, B, Vet A and Vet B teams. Along with the growing number of team prizes at local road races, it looked like LERC were going to need a bigger trophy cabinet!

For most of the 1990s the club had a Juniors section aged 8-15 competing in the local league races with some outstanding performances, but it was decided that certain athletic clubs would be better at catering for that age group. In recent years some of the member's children have joined the club and are competing in various races such as the timed 5K Parkruns.

The first Long Eaton Festival 5 Mile Race organised by LERC took place on 18 June 1995. Although the course through the town centre has had to be changed in recent years, the event continues to attract hundreds of club runners as well as local residents and there is a 2 Mile Fun Run for youngsters and novices. The charity account was also set up in 1995. Since then members have been raising funds for local and national charities through quiz nights, cake sales, raffles and race sponsorship. Several events dedicated to noble causes have been well supported by LERC over the years, such as the Sawley Quarter Marathon that raised thousands of pounds for the Notts Kidney Fund. This race became the Harrington Arms 10K Kidney Run and in 1997 attracted 37 members with 21 running under 40 minutes, 5 under 35 minutes and the winner (club captain Nicky Lees) setting a new course record of 31:29. However increasing regulatory and traffic management requirements put paid to this race and many others in the 1990s, such as the Newton Solney 10K, Chellaston Half and the Derby Ramathon. Also off the race calendar, the 10 Mile Mickleover Poppy Run once saw training partners (and LERC team mates) Nicky Lees and Jerry Hall cross the finish line in exactly the same time - 52:28. Nicky was later awarded first place having been judged to be a fraction ahead. At least Jerry could console himself with the fact that a fortnight earlier he had triumphed in the Merrill 10K with a new course record of 30:43.

LERC won the men's team prize at the Robin Hood Marathon over three consecutive years from 1996 to 1998 with Andy McNeill featuring in all three teams. Mikk Bradley led the winning 1997 team coming third overall and first vet in 2:34:30, having achieved second place in the 80-mile South Downs Marathon just a few weeks earlier. The turn of the millennium saw LERC's Mandy Spink winning the Robin Hood Marathon on three consecutive occasions.

2000-2009: Some members have taken running to another dimension with orienteering, triathlons, duathlons and long distance challenges like the 42 mile Four Inns Walk. The Long Eaton area is blessed with many miles of cross-country footpaths, bridleways and canal towpaths. There are some challenging hills but the Peak District is within relatively easy reach for those who want more. LERC members have participated in fell races from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Jura. A particular favourite among the hardy souls is the 17-mile Borrowdale Fell Race in the Lake District with 6500' (1981m) of ascents. For the first time in 2002 LERC fielded a team at the British Fell Relay Championships in the Langdales. Phil Walters (one of the team members) went on to complete the formidable 'Bob Graham Round' in under 24 hours.

LERC entered male and female teams, also for the first time, at the 2003 Midland Relay Championships at Sutton Park in Birmingham and both teams qualified for the Nationals three weeks later - competing against the best athletes in the country.

The club newsletter of the early 1990s was revived from 2002-2007 but now most members get up to date news, results and information from the website. There is also an active forum where members can post notices and discuss a whole range of running related issues. It is undoubtedly one of the best running club websites in the country. For many years there have been internal club competitions such as 'Pot Luck Pairs' and other time trials. Wollaton Park was the venue for a handicap race that was revived in 2002 as a multi-terrain course starting and finishing at the Navigation Inn in Breaston. Runners set off at different times based on their recent race results - the theory being that everyone crosses the finish line together. Another popular club event, the 'Bannister One' took place for the first time on 6 May 2004: a 1-mile race around West Park on the 50-year anniversary of the breaking of the 4-minute mile barrier.

Out of the hundreds of local and national races that LERC enter every year, the four-race Nottingham Heritage Grand Prix Series has to be the most popular as it attracts up to 60 members. Outside the UK, some Long Eaton runners have enjoyed the experience of competing in races around Europe and further afield - from New York to New Zealand.

In 2005 a 6-lane synthetic running track was opened in nearby Ilkeston and some members have been using the facilities to help improve their speed. Also in 2005, Neil Renault joined the club and went on to set new course records at the Folksworth 15 (1:19:57), Gloucester 20 (1:49:42) and Southwell 10K (30:04).

Over 30 members, past and present, have broken 3 hours for a marathon, but Rod Harris became the first in a LERC vest to run under 2:30 when he completed the 2006 London Marathon in a 2:27:26 pb. A month later Rod dominated the four-race Tour of the Derwent Valley Series - proving that he can win on hills as well. Another star performer, Sharon Orridge followed her first F40 place at the 2007 British Masters Cross Country Championships with wins at several races including a 1:20:34 pb at the Milton Keynes Half Marathon.

2010 AND THE FUTURE: Sarah Harris has notched up some brilliant results over the years. The year 2011 started with her 1:14:49 pb at the Helsby Half Marathon and continued with new course records at the Stamford 30K (1:53:57) and Jägermeister 10K (36:11). Sarah also won the Derby 10K, the Robin Hood Marathon and her 2:42:59 pb at the Edinburgh Marathon led to a call up to represent England in Toronto.

Throughout the club's history there have been some outstanding achievements and many are listed on the club's web site. However for the vast majority of members the great reward has been the delight of attaining a personal goal, or helping others to realise their dreams. Camaraderie, encouragement and many months of training in all weathers, has often resulted in runners exceeding their own expectations. Age should not be a barrier: Pete Thorburn was new to running and 58 years young when he first came down the club - he has now completed over 50 marathons. Another long-term member, octogenarian Jim Stevenson started his running career in 1948 and is still racing in a LERC vest. The World Association of Veteran Athletes 'WAVA' age grading calculator determines the performance level percentage and over the years a handful of LERC members (notably Geoff Jones) have achieved over 90% at some races, namely, World Class performances!

In 2011 the club celebrated its 25-year anniversary with various events including the inaugural Long Eaton 50 Mile race for individuals or relay teams. With a membership of about 200, LERC is one of the largest running clubs in England. Much of the success since 1986 has been due to the continuous hard work of some key members...You know who you are! Perhaps one person should be highlighted: honorary member and club stalwart Ash Patel joined in 1989 and after various committee positions became chairman - a role he has held for over 15 years. Every club night he conducts stretching and warm-up exercises, as well as looking after new recruits. By attracting new members each year and with a wide range of interests, abilities and ambitions, the club will continue to thrive.

Article produced by Richard Ford - thank you.