Derby Runner Cross Country League – Race 4 – Bradgate Park

The 4th race of the XC season took place last Sunday (11th December) within the picturesque grounds of Bradgate Park. The event was brilliantly hosted by Roadhoggs Leicester AC, which included a 5.25-mile course for the adults, a junior event consisting of a 1-mile route for pre-school to Year 6 and a 2-mile route (2 laps) for Year 7 pupils to 17 years of age.

The Men’s team had 11 representatives: Mark Cox, Richard Guest, Ben Harding, Matthew Knight, Harry Langham, Joe Langham, Nick Moore, John Padbury, Will Pither, Jonathan Richardson and Jonathan Strong.

The Ladies’ team had 10 representatives: Megan Cox, Michelle Fowler, Céline Guéry, Sally Henderson, Amanda Knight, Bethan Padbury, Kate Perkins, Emma Thompson, Jane Wheeler and Helen Wilebore.

The Pre-School – Year 6 Juniors were represented by: Isabella Wrightam, Matthew Cooper, Josh Cooling, Sophia Wrightam and Matthew Cooling.

The Year 7 – 17 years of age Juniors were represented by: Fabien Faria, James Le-Grice, Elise Cook-Sutton, Alex Wilebore, Chloe Burgess, Isobelle Wilebore and Luke Burgess.


The men’s race got underway at 10:55 with the ladies setting off at 11:05, to save a hectic start. The course was very challenging, with plenty of mud, tough downhill descents, lung-busting uphill ascents with rocks and tree roots thrown into the mix too. The first mile was a quick, flat and downhill charge, followed by a mile back up a long drag of a hill towards the start area. The next 2 miles were relatively flat and down, with a tricky section of mud which had to be negotiated. Mile 4-5 was brutal to say the least; an uphill section, with the last bit going up the rocks towards the war memorial. By this point the hamstrings, quads and lungs were in need of the finish line and from the top of the hill, it appeared. A fast downhill home was all that separated participant and finisher.

The Men’s Draft Results – Ben Harding – 31.47, Joe Langham – 37.17, Matthew Knight – 37.47, Nick Moore – 38.03, Harry Langham – 38.58, John Padbury – 40.49, Jonathan Strong – 41.58, Mark Cox – 43.25, Will Pither – 47.26, Richard Guest – 47.53 and Jonathan Richardson – 56.11

The Ladies’ Draft Results – Bethan Padbury – 40.14, Kate Perkins – 41.06, Michelle Fowler – 45.58, Céline Guéry – 46.28, Jane Wheeler – 48.14, Helen Wilebore – 48.16, Sally Henderson – 49.47, Emma Thompson – 59.19 and Amanda Knight – 61.13

The juniors set off at 10:30, negotiating a tough, hilly 1-mile loop. The Year 7 – 17 year olds ran the loop twice, totalling 2 miles, with the younger age category running a single loop. The course started off relatively flat, going downhill, then finishing with a challenging hill back up to the start area, where they were cheered in by the awaiting adults.

Juniors results (Pre-School – Year 6) – Isobella Wrightam – 6.25, Matthew Cooper – 6.57, Josh Cooling – 7.16, Sophia Wrigham – 8.49 and Matthew Cooling – 10.30

Juniors results (Year 7 to 17 years of age) – Fabien Faria – 13.17, James Le-Grice – 13.36, Elise Cook-Sutton – 14.13, Alex Wilebore – 14.56, Chloe Burgess – 17.15, Isobelle Wilebore – 17.25 and Luke Burgess – 18.01

Pictures courtesy of Stephen Lee.

There is now a 5 week break from XC action, with the next event on January 15th – Sinai Park. It would be great to see as many of you there as possible.


Update: Additional race added to calendar on 29th January at Bagworth Heath. This replaces the 27th Nov date which was cancelled.