8 hardy souls from Long Eaton Running Club braved the elements to tackle The Roaches, a 15.8-mile course with 3,700 feet of climbs on Sunday 11th November 2007. The course was through very boggy fields, over stiles, along woodland paths and the occasional road, through a river (twice) and of course, up, across and down the roaches! The weather was perfect, some sunshine and the occasional drop of rain.
This was the final race in this yearís fell league and should have been the battlefield for the final showdown between Phil Abbott and Andrei Vais, competing for the senior menís title. However and unbelievably, Andrei managed to miss the start of the race, not by a few minutes but by a whopping 30 minutes. Phil Abbott was left to battle out the race with Phil Walters. Rich Wilkinson who was recovering from a recent injury completed the course in an impressive time of 2:25:47 finishing 13th in his category. Phil Abbott, who was carrying an ankle injury, was beaten by Phil Walters over the last mile. Phil Walters finished in 2:55:48 and 53rd in his category. Phil Abbott completed the course in 2:57:23 and 31st in his category. Colin Bostock was next home in 3:16:07 and 31st in his category. Andrei Vais made up great ground, passing Damien Cowlishaw and Vicky Yeomans at around the 10 mile mark. Andrei finished in 3:18:15 and 46th in his category. Damien and Vicky had decided to tackle the course together and everything was going fine. They were on course to complete the route in under 3:30 until Vicky fell at around 11.5 miles. Despite Vicky being proud that now surely she had attained true fell running status, suffering her first blood injury whilst running over technical ground, St Johnís Ambulance were not so impressed when they spotted her running through a checkpoint at around the 12.5 mile mark. Despite her protestations that it was only a graze, the first aider insisted on treating her. Realising this was going to take more than a couple of minutes; Damien agreed to carry on ahead without her. Damien managed to soldier on alone and complete the course in 3:32:41, finishing 80th in his category. Vicky finished in 3:40:27 and 7th in her category. Kev Holland completed the course in a time of 4:26:35 and 84th in his category.
The race signals the end of what has been a great first year of the clubís fell league and special thanks to Phil Walters for organising the league. Congratulations to all the winners. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the league next year please do not hesitate to speak to any of this yearís competitors, who have all thoroughly enjoyed competing in some of the most scenic races in the country.
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