Category Archives: About the Club

Meet the Buzzards – Pete Mackrell

Meet the Buzzards

Part Two of Meet the Buzzards – The second half of the dynamic duo of our wonderful Co-Captains, Pete Mackrell!


Pete Mackrell



Where were you born?

Burnley, Lancashire, England (in that order)

Tell me something about you:

When I was 12 I was Lancashire Maths champion, but I was rubbish at all sports and not exactly popular at school. Now I’m an accountant so I haven’t got any more popular, but I do seem to have discovered some talent for running. I take great pride in having run several times for Bedfordshire (cross country) and for England Masters (marathon). When not running you might find me at Turf Moor.

What inspired you to start running?

My girlfriend at the time decided we (by which she probably meant me) were getting fat so we should take up running. I hated the idea but reluctantly agreed to tag along with her.

Who is your favourite athlete?

Of the current bunch Eliud Kipchoge is the King, he’s sublime and a joy to watch. But Emil Zatopek is my hero because he wasn’t sublime, however he had guts, determination, ingenuity, humility, and three gold medals in one Olympics.

What made you choose LBAC?

It’s the only “athletics” club in town and I genuinely assumed the Fun Runners always wore fancy dress and did egg-and-spoon races!

How long have you been running and when did you join LBAC? 

I started running in 2008 and joined LBAC after moving to Leighton in 2011.

What is your favourite race distance?


What is your goal for the next 12 months?

To stay injury free and keep proving myself wrong.

What’s your favourite post-run refuel snack?

A pint and a packet of crisps!

Fartlek or Pyramid session?


Speed or distance?


And one for the post Cross Country pub trips…

What’s your favourite drink?

A pint of something, preferably real ale.

Pete doing what he does best… marathons!

Meet the Buzzards – Fiona Towell

A new, occasional feature to help people from the different training groups and disciplines get to know others from the club and what better place to start than the two Co-Captains?!

This week, introducing co-captain part 1: Fiona Towell!!

Name? Fiona Towell

Age? 49

Where were you born? Glasgow, City of Culture 😉

Tell me something about you:

Sailed a leg of The Millennium RTW Yacht race from Mauritius to Recife in Brazil round the Cape, next to childbirth possibly the toughest 48 hours of my life. read more

Chairman’s Review – 2018

Andy Inchley, Chairman of LBAC gave a review of the year at the AGM on Wednesday 6 February. We’ve added a rough transcript for you to enjoy. Please note that this is not a complete record of all LBAC’s achievements in 2018 as there were so many!

Cross Country

We punch way above our weight by regularly finishing mid-table in the CCCL and this is something I need to remember. Every year I have frustrations that I know we can win prizes if we can get close to our best team out at each fixture, and we have proved this recently, but as soon as we lose a few runners we don’t quite have the strength to challenge. read more

ICE ICE Baby – Show your ID please

We would like to remind people of the importance of carrying some sort of ID with you when out running.

We understand that taking a mobile phone with you can be awkward and affect your running form, there is also the possiblity of it being dropped and broken and often you just don’t have any pockets to carry round your old fashioned address book!


But, we have a solution:


Solve two problems at once with these parkrun barcodes! With lots of options you’ll never have an excuse to forget your barcode again, plus on those long training runs in the countryside you’ll have your name, an emergency contact and any known medical conditions just in case you should be struggling miles from home.

We recommend the plastic tags as a minimum as these can easily go on keys, on shoelaces or even on the ties on  your shorts, but the new smoothbands and flatbands are also an excellent option. Why just stop with wearing them when you run? Wear these all the time, “just in case.”


It’ll be well worth it.


Other options can be found at:

Shop around and find one that suits you best!

The Inaugural Off-Road Series Yields Total Awesomeness

The Off-Road Series 2017 – Round-up

by James Bell


The LBAC awards evening on Friday 27th April 2018 saw the Off-Road Series results communicated to 60 plus athletes and friends of The Club. I suspect that some of the 76 runners who took part were unaware that they were even in the mix, given that six of the 25 events that were on offer were parkruns (Rushmere, Tring) or relays (MK, DDR, Greensands and Squeaky Bone) which have always been popular races. The remaining 19 individual races ranged from 5k to 86 miles, graded according to difficulty in terms of length, terrain and altitude gain.

The rules of the series are simple; just finish, appear in the results and remember to wear a club vest. I took the idea to the LBAC committee in 2016 but had quite nerdy discussions thereafter with Sam Dear and Andy Inchley and together we came up with an acceptable score for each race. Sam then simulated what we thought would happen: 10k runners would do their thing and run the shorter distances whilst ultra bods would be pounding the trails on the longer distances. Towards the end of the season, we thought that there would be a clash of running ideologies and a bit of a scrap would ensue to grab those last few points.



Before I get to who won, it is worth mentioning that Adam Haylock laid down his intentions early in the 2017 season and declared that he would ‘win the series’ announcing to all present at the club dinner in 2017. We like that ambition, but you have got to follow through Adam. He started well in February doing the first race in the series, the Hardwick X-Stream,  following it up with lots of races and even progressing onto the Ashridge Boundary Run, a mere 16 miles of mud and hills. However, his enthusiasm seemed to dwindle by the summer. Adam finished the series in 4th with 112 points, much to the delight of David Killick whose mission seemed to be to beat Adam no matter what.

It is worth saying at this point that the average score across all runners was 32 points which Richard Steeley managed to surpass in two ultra races; the Greensand Ridge Relay (all six legs on an extremely hot day – 32 degrees) and the Wendover 50, a mere 50 miles of torture. A number of runners were fighting for the top 10 spots and whilst not accumulating the necessary triple figure overall score to put themselves on the podium, they all did extremely well: Billy Mead (5th, 82 points), Warren Rose (6th, 80 points), Gareth Bird (7th, 75 points), Andy Inchley (8th, 70 points), Jo Sharples (9th, 62 points) and Amy Farnfield (10th, 61 points).

The winner of the Off-Road series made it his goal to do as much volume as possible, from the short stuff right through to the very longest race of 86 miles and this proved to be an unbeatable formula. When Mark Haynes decides to do something, watch out because his dedication and resolve means that he will always finish the job. Mark finished clear of everyone with a massive 184 points out of a possible total of 286 points completing the hardest race of all, the Wendover 50 which looked just punishing with over 10,000 ft of climbing. Mark gave an emotional talk at the awards evening of his journey, his health issues that he had to overcome and the many other challenges he faced along the way.

The Final top 3 can be found HERE

David K (3rd, 126 points) was not only chicked, but chicked by his wife Alex by 7 points (2nd, 133 points) and we love that. Alex is clearly made of strong stuff as she never gave up and kept the intensity right through the season. I find it astonishing that over two weekends she raced three times in November: Dirt Half on Saturday, Herbert’s hole 10k on the Sunday and then a Wendover 50 the following weekend. Unfortunately Alex and David were timed out of the Wendover 50 and David, now captain, has since removed the Wendover 50 from the series, such is the scar.  But, I bet they will both slay the Chiltern dragon some time soon.

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