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12 Days of Christmas

Welcome to the Redhill Road Runners Twelve Days of Christmas! Over the lead-up to Christmas, we'll be having a look back at the club highlights from 2022. 

Day One - Couch to 5k

We started the year off with our 2022 C25k programme in January. With over twenty athletes joining the programme (led by the wonderful Wendy Lawson) we saw some incredible #c25kstories unfold, culminating in our April graduation at Sherwood Pines Parkrun. 


After getting the running bug and joining Redhill Road Runners, several members also went on in 2022 to participate in Summer League and 10k races! Our c25k course is a success because of a combination of the support and passion of our run leaders, and the determination and spirit that our runners bring with them on a Monday. 


We'll be running another c25k programme in January - you can find more information on our Facebook page and our website.


A very special thanks to Wendy Lawson for her unwavering support and all those homework runs. 

Day Two - Fell Running

2022 saw the long-awaited return of the RRR Fell Running series. As in previous years, we kicked it off with David Denton's Bluebell 1 at Farnah Green, Belper. Our Fell Running Secretary, Peter Henley, shares his thoughts on 2022. 


"As much as I love Fell Running, my main passion with the fells continues to be about the people and the environment in which we run. There's something almost spiritual about running in a more natural environment with others. Be it their first encounter at Fell Running, or their thousandth, runners seem to love it... although that may have something to do with the coffee & cake afterwards (or the beer!). 


For many (myself included), Fell Running is a massive boost for their mental health. It's like double therapy as you're getting both exercise and nature, both of which are great for anyone suffering. I know for many at the club, there is a little bit of anticipation about Fell Running and a little fear of the unknown, perhaps. But you have all overcome that when you first stepped foot in the club so ask some of those who have attended an intro session how they found it. 


Looking forward, the 2023 series will have some of our favourite races once again. It will also feature another Ultra distance race in which all finishers will gain 10 points. I'm always happy to talk to you about all things Fell, Trail and Ultra." 


Why not add Fell Running to your list of things to try in 2023? Thanks from the club go to Hairy Pete (aka Peter Henley) for your enthusiasm and for bringing Fell Running to life for the club.

Day Three - Summer League

The highlight of the Redhill Road Runners year is the Notts AAA Summer League. The five races took us to Hexgreave Hall, Holme Pierrepont, Wollaton Park, Worksop, finishing the series in August at Teversal.


We had a great turnout from our club members a few we hope you had as much fun at these events as we did, with fabulous locations and glorious sunny weather (more of that sunshine for 2023 please!)


We celebrated some wonderful achievements this year with:

  • The RRR ladies vets team smashed it, winning gold

  • Our male vets team placed silver, having just been pipped at the post in the final race of the series

  • Carolyn Hay and Rosemary Horn won gold in their age categories

  • It was silver in their age categories for Simon Nash and Clive Haywood 

  • For Ashley Illingsworth and Michael Horn, they took bronze in their age categories

Our special mentions for the year go out to  Susie Hennessey and Gary Manson for their hard work and effort in the Summer League season.

Day Four - Cross Country

From the heat of Summer League, we headed into autumn and the Cross Country season. Our first North Midlands Cross Country race of 2022 took us to Markeaton Park in October, which saw a great turnout from Redhill Road Runners... maybe because it's the least muddy of the courses! However, the prospect of a soggy race didn't put anyone off at subsequent races at West Glebe and Shipley. Let's make it another cracker (gettit 🎅😁) at the final North Midlands XC in January at Berry Hill Park. 


Elsewhere in Cross Country, we've participated in BAMF Relays. Not only did our men's V65 take the British Masters bronze medal, but they also clinched silver in the Midlands Masters. And for our women's V45-54 team, they took the Midlans Masters gold place. A very well done to all runners. 


We've also had great fun at the National XC Relays and the Midland Counties 5/7 Mile Championships. And it's not the end as the Cross Country season runs into January and February. Check out our events page on Facebook for details on how you can get involved. If you've ever wondered about Cross Country and what to expect, visit our Cross Country page for more information.

A shout-out to our Cross Country Secretaries, Peter McNally and Paul Newton for their hard work at these events and for supporting our runners. 

Day Five - Newstead Abbey Dash

In July, our annual favourite event made a return as the club hosted the Newstead Abbey Dash. With nearly 350 runners - 24 of our own from Redhill Road Runners - we enjoyed a sunny Friday evening running around the beautiful grounds and lake of this historic house. 


Setting the pace of this 5k race, Ryan Haw from our friends at Long Eaton Running Club, finished first with a fantastic time of 15m 32s. In the women's category, Rebecca Gallop of Newark AC brought it home in 17m 45s. 


We're already looking ahead to next year and have provisionally set a date of Friday 28th July 2023. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for more information in the coming months about the race and how you can sign up.


Our thanks go to all the runners who make this run what it is, the volunteers who supported the event on the day and our Race Director, Leigh Stubbs for making all the arrangements for the race.

Day Six - London Marathon

Taking place in October this year, Redhill Road Runners went away for the weekend to participate in the TCS London Marathon. The 26.2-mile course played out on a beautifully sunny day, taking us from Blackheath in Greenwich, all the way through the sites of London to finish on The Mall.


Representing Redhill Road Runners on the day (and doing us very proud indeed!) were Amber Williamson, Helen Lovett-Swarbrooke, Nick Dixon, Catriona Sibert, Jon Beaumont and Sam Brown.


Whilst we're talking about marathons, we should also give special mention to Josh Davies a round of applause for participating in his first marathon, Chester, also back in October. Josh ran on behalf of Claire House Children's Hospice, a great effort for a great cause.


Well done to those of you who took part in marathons during 2022 and best of luck to those of you who are in training for an event in 2023. Back to its more familiar date in April of 2023, we've recently announced Steve Lawson and Phil James as our club entries for the London Marathon next year... go #teamredhill

Day Seven - Dovedale Dash

Now to a race that shows the lighter side of the club and is one of our favourite annual events to attend.


The Dovedale Dash is a (nearly) 5-mile cross-country run that starts and finishes in Thorpe, taking you through the picturesque village in the Peak District. The highlight of the race is undoubtedly the river crossing at Dovedale. Using the stepping stones is totally optional - I get the feeling from runners that it just slows you down!


Each year, we have a fancy dress theme and this was no different for 2022. The theme was Pac-Man (or other 80s video game characters and our members did not disappoint with their costumes! Much fun had on the day... maybe too much on the bus on the way home! 


Look out for details of this event in 2023 on our Facebook page. Why not get in early and head over to our social media pages to post your suggestions for our fancy dress theme next year?

Day Eight - Parkrun

Everybody's favourite way to spend a Saturday morning... it's time for Parkrun!


We're very blessed to have the local parks and scenery that we have and the Parkrun courses are fantastic. We've been to a LOT of Parkruns throughout the year, from our C25k graduation at Sherwood Pines to the most recent Ladies Parkrun & Breakfast club at Wollaton Park. 


We've done Christmas dress, fancy dress and Hawaiian shirts so we've certainly stood out in the crowds. We've also ventured further afield and our members have popped up as tourists in some wonderful places.

• In June, Wez Anniston donned her fairy wings for a run out at Mount Edgecumbe Parkrun in Cornwall 

• Wendy Lawson travelled to Derry in October. Not content with just running the Derry City Parkrun, she managed 10 miles in total running there and back too!

• Our furthest travelled Parkrunner was Mark Davis who braved 39-degree heat to run at Jamaica Ponds in Boston, USA. 


Parkruns only happen with the support of volunteers to help run these events. Why not volunteer in 2023 at a race near you? Visit the Parkrun website to first find your nearest race, and subsequent details about how you can volunteer to help with it.

Day Nine - Pint & Pork Scratchings 5 

The Pint & Pork Scratchings 5 took place, starting and finishing at the Cross Keys in Epperstone. The five-mile race was set up by Jason Randall as a fun run to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity. 


Along with prizes for winning (well done to the first place finishers, Thomas Trotter and Lisa Marshall) the race, last place finishers and dressing like the Run Director, there was also a prize for the Running Club that brought the most runners with them on the day. There’s nothing quite like the community spirit of this club and co-ordinated by Charlotte Sykes, Redhill Road Runners accounted for a quarter of the runners participating on the day and taking that prize. 


I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that Jason is bringing the race back in summer 2023 with a provisional date of Tuesday 18th July. He’s also introducing a new (unofficial!) competition for the occasion, especially for the Redhill Road Runners and Holme Pierrepoint Running Club so get that date in your diary. 


Following the event, we had this lovely feedback from Jason about our engagement in the race: “I just want to say a huge thank you to RRR for their amazing support with the Pint & Pork Scratchings fun run last night. Charlotte did an amazing job of gathering numbers and amassing 1/4 of the total entries to the event! The running community is an amazing bunch of people, and the support that RRR gave to last night’s event is a testament that you are all a bunch of truly amazing runners.” 


Thank you to all of you who enter and support these races, all raising money for some wonderful causes. A special thanks to Charlotte Sykes for managing to talk so many of you into running it and delivering an epic club turnout on the day. We hope you all had as much fun as we did. 

Day Ten - Redhill Club Awards

From the previous days of Christmas, you'll have noticed that we do a lot of running at a variety of events.  At our Annual General Meeting back in May, we took the opportunity to celebrate our member's running successes.

All nominations and winners are voted for by the club members themselves. Here are our lucky winners for 2022:

• Clubman (Contribution Outside of Running) - Leigh Stubbs
• Endeavour Award (Achievement is not always about winning races) - Rosemary Horn
• Graham Dugdale Award (Outstanding Club Runner) - Ray Poynter
• Dennis Warden Award (Outstanding Vet Runner) - Peter McNally 
• Chairmans Award - Wendy Lawson
• Cross Country: Male - Ray Poynter
• Cross Country: Female - Rosemary Horn

There were no awards for Road Running, Fall GP or Road GP this year, they'll be back in 2023 though. Congratulations to each of our award winners and well done to everyone nominated.

Day Eleven - Social Events 

We're a very sociable running club so we enjoy a night out just as much as we enjoy our runs! In 2022, we've had some cracking social events, here are a few of them!


Starting off with a spot of friendly competition on the lanes. For something a little more light hearted than bowling, we've also taken a jolly to the Glee Club to enjoy some comedy.


As we moved into the summer, Toni and Mike hosted the annual RRR Summer BBQ with much fiod, drinks and fun had by all on a beautiful summer afternoon in July. That was followed by the Lake Relays at Mill Lake & Summer Buffet in August.


Into autumn and one of the most fun nights out you can have with a box of coco pops, we headed to Bongo’s Bingo in Nottingham. As it was Halloween weekend we also took the opportunity to go in fancy dress and there were some great costumes. Not only that, we even had a winner from our group to top the night off. 


December took us to Bestwood Lodge Hotel for festive drinks, dinner and a disco with nearly 60 of us there to start celebrating the Christmas season. And our last club run of the year coincided with our Christmas Fuddle and Secret Santa presentation. 


All of these events were organised by our Social Secretary, Toni Harper. Please join me in staying thank you to Toni for all her hard work and the planning that goes into these social events.


We're looking forward to many more events in 2023.

Day Twelve - Merry Christmas

We've made some cracking memories over the past 12 months, had some awesome runs and participated in some amazing events and hope you've enjpyed looking back on the highlights in the #twelvedaysofchristmas.

We look forward to making more running memories with you all in 2023 and thank you for making Redhill Road Runners the best running club around.

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of our members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Sending well wishes to you and your families from the Redhill Road Runners Committee.

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