I am Richard Lecky-Thompson (Lecky). I am a fell runner, orienteer and love to coach. I’ve been coaching fell running and orienteering for around 6 years and have worked my way through a number of coaching qualifications.
Currently I hold UKCC qualifications in L2 Fell and Mountain Running; L2 Coaching in Strength and Conditioning and L3 Coaching Orienteering. Hence the name of this site, 223coaching.co.uk.
I am the first person to have gained the L3 Orienteering award, and was on the first course for the FMR award as well. You could call me an early adopter. As things stand, these are the highest coaching awards in these two sports.
I do three main coaching sessions most weeks: Broughton Runners meet on a Tuesday evening; Ulverston Victoria High School Orienteering club meet after school on Wednesday’s and NavNight (the Lakeland Orienteering Club, LOC, Community session) meets on Thursday evening.
Within LOC I currently coach two juniors and one senior individually. These, and other juniors I have coached have won medals at the British Orienteering Champsionships, JK Festival and World Schools Orienteering Championships. They have also had high placings in English Junior Fellrunning Championship races.
I was asked to coach at National Talent camp for British Orienteering in 2010 and did the same for the Regional Squads Lagganlia camp for 14/15 year olds in 2012.
Two athletes I have been coaching have just successfully completed the Marathon des Sables after nearly a year of focussed training.
I have worked with various organisations to put on coaching sessions, including for another local club, WCOC, and British Colleges Sports. I have also worked for England Rugby as a Strength and Conditioning coach on National Academy fitness weekends. Over the last few months I have been asked to deliver coach development sessions at the British Orienteering Coaching Conference and for Scottish Orienteering.
The development of the FMR Coaching course was one of my key achievements whilst Junior Coordinator for English Fellrunning, from 2007 to 2010. There had been much talk, but little action on this prior to my taking on the role. It was great to be able to persuade English Athletics to fund this and to be able to go on the first course. The English Schools Fell Race is the other main innovation of my time in the role. We have had 4 races now, and the numbers are in the region of 375, which makes it the biggest junior race of the year. I am still involved with this and the Junior Committee.
My personal achievements in sport are somewhat modest. I was Northern Ireland Orienteering Champion a couple of times and medalled in the Irish Champs as a junior. I represented Ireland at a Junior International in Norway. As a senior orienteer I competed throughout Scandinavia and parts of Europe, before switching to fellrunning in my mid twenties.
I spent the next twenty or so years racing on the fells. I had a couple of good placings, winning Levens Sports and coming 2nd in the Caw Fell race, and was normally in the top third of championship races. I also won the C Class at the Mourne Mountain Marathon in the late 80s. I have completed most of the major races, but there are still a couple I would like to do, fitness permitting. Mountain racing in Europe is different from fellrunning and I have enjoyed competing all round Europe, including the Davos Alpine Marathon, a 72Km 2700m Ultra and the Matterhornlauf. I particularly enjoy continental uphill races, when I am fit enough.
In 1994 I completed the Bob Graham Round, a 72mile 27000ft ascent loop of 42 peaks in the English Lake District, in 23hours and 15mins. Like many who have done this, I am still very proud that I managed to do this.
Now, I still fell run, when I am fit enough, and have gone back to orienteering. I find it possible to compete better at orienteering with my current levels of fitness, as I can still navigate, even if I can’t run as fast. Sometimes it is hard to maintain fitness when spending time on the sidelines (or stood in a forest) coaching.
I came to coaching rather late in a running career which has involved most aspects of fellrunning, navigation and orienteering over the years both before and since moving from Yorkshire to the Lake District nearly 30 years ago.
When my own children were very young I helped to set up Broughton Runners for young people and became a qualified Athletics Coach. I went on to coach orienteering at Ulverston Victoria HS when my son joined the club. These days I am much more motivated by helping young people to realise their dreams whether through orienteering or fellrunning, than I am by competing myself, though I do still try on occasion!
I am a Level 1 qualified Athletics Coach with 10 years experience coaching Fellrunning. I am currently working towards UKCC Level 2 in Orienteering with 8 years experience. I coach Broughton Runners on Tuesday and Friday evenings and UVHS Orienteers on Wednesday afternoons, as well as driving bus loads of children to races at weekends.
- I have managed two teams of UVHS Orienteers who represented England at the World Schools Championships and have helped coach UVHS to become British Champions for large secondary schools in 15 out of the last 17 years. I have been involved with 7 of those successes
- I am Junior Coordinator for Lakeland Orienteering Club; winners of national championships in 2011/12
- As England delegate to the International Committee For Mountain Running I was involved in the selection and management of England and GB International Fellrunning Teams between 1989 and 1996 during which time English athletes twice won World Championships
I am a keen rather than a talented runner with a love for mountains which has tended to lead me towards the extreme ends of fellrunning. I couldn’t run faster than the others so I determined to run further! In 1980 I became a member of the Bob Graham Club which is open only to those who have run the famous Lake District 42 Peaks in 24 hours circuit. I was one of the first pair of runners to complete the Round in Winter, and in 1986 became the first person to run a solo Bob Graham Round in Winter.
I have run all the classic British Fell Races and have finished the annual 16 mile Bens of Jura Race 22 times and counting.
On the roads I ran a sub three hour marathon in the first London event and have subsequently finished the race on the 21st and 30th anniversaries.
As a founder member of Ambleside Athletic Club I am proud to have competed on each of the three occasions the club has won the British Fellrunning Championships. Happily the team didn’t need to rely on my results to win!
These days I compete most weekends in Orienteering events in my age group.
In 1985 a friend of mine was banned from amateur athletics because he competed in a ‘Guides’ fell race at his local gala. I got involved in the effort to change the rules which had divided ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ fellrunning for over a hundred years, and became a sports administrator by default! Achieving that change remains my best result in sport. I was banned myself as part of the process and rather bizarrely became a Director of the England Amateur Athletic Association within a year of them reinstating me!
Other admin roles have been:
- Former Chairman and Secretary of the Fell Runners Association
- Secretary of the Organising Committee : Mountain Running World Championships; Keswick 1988
- Initiator of FRA British Relay Championships and Junior Home Internationals
- Chairman of the Bob Graham Club since 1997
- Chairman of Broughton Runners since 2003
- Three Shires Fell Race organiser since 1983
- Blisco Dash Fell Race organiser since 1990
- Lakeland Orienteering Club’s Junior Coordinator since 2010
After qualifying as a Social Worker on completing my Law Degree I spent 20 years working in Child Protection and Child Care and leading a Team of Social Workers, before setting up and running the first wave of Children’s Centres in Cumbria. Taking early retirement in 2009 my time is now divided between coaching and a role as Volunteer Coordinator for Broughton Hub.
In 2012 I was extremely happy to become a GamesMaker and spent a fortnight working at the Olympic Stadium.