Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2005

Senior Man


This man started his year in March and managed to get through the full year up to December BUT at a cost. His first love cross country. But it seems to have been worth it. He ran a total of 14 races and managed to hit an amazing 8 PB’s. He ran PB’s in all distances from 5k to half marathon. His only problem seems to be in winning a race. He finished second in three races during the year. Hopefully winning his first race is saved for this year. He seems to have the Sergi Bubka touch of just a little at a time. I don’t think he gets paid by the second. After his first three 10k PB’s he had only knocked off 33 seconds, but it does show how consistent his running is. The good thing about this chap is although he is much faster than most of us, (he takes after his greyhound), he is always willing to drop back and help the rest of us out (hopefully not like his greyhound!). He finished third in the Vauxhall three race series, and third senior in the County 5k championships. He was second senior in the County 10 miles championships and first senior man in the County half marathon championships. So hopefully the improvement will continue in 2006.  Our Senior Man for 2005 is Gerry Taylor

Senior Woman


When we talk about running two of the words most commonly used are “if only” I think they fit this lady exactly. If only we could get her fully fit and healthy for a year we would have a very high class athlete on our hands. Maybe even good enough to have Hayley checking over her shoulder. She did not get her first race in until the end of May, finishing second lady beaten only by an ex international. In her next race she finished third and without going through all her races one by one, she only managed eight road races for the year as her season again finished early in August. In her eight races she had three first places, three second places and 2 third places. She was first in the County 5 mile championships, first in the County 5k championships and managed to hit four PB’s. She won the Vauxhall 5 mile and was second in the Vauxhall 5k and first in the Vauxhall 10k, which also meant she won the 3 race series. Even though on paper she had a very good year she was happy with only one, possibly two of her race times which just goes to show the lady has the right attitude and all she needs is a change of luck. Talking about a change, this lady certainly brings a change of clothes I have never known anybody that wears so many layers! Even when it is 90 degrees outside along she comes with gloves and hat in tow!! Seriously though all we can do is encourage her to keep her head up and keep going. She knows the whole club is behind her and hoping 2006 is the start of the good times for her. So wishing her the very best of luck for 2006 our Senior Woman of 2005 is Michelle Friend

Male Vet Award


And what a year this man has had. It reads like a fairytale. He missed out on London through injury. He did his first race in April where he finished second Vet 40 & 45 in the County 10k Championships. Six weeks later he improved his 10k time and finished 4th overall and second Vet in Stockwood. He missed a lot of the summer through injury, but maybe it worked in his favour. He returned in September where he finished second Vet 40 & 45 in the County 10 mile Championships. Now this man has been running for about the last 15 years or maybe more. His ambition has always been to run under 1hr 20min for the half marathon and under 60 mins for 10miles. He ran 59.54 once in 1996 but has not got under the hour again since. He went to run the Bishops Stortfod 10 miles on November 20th where he ran 59.58 and just missed his PB.   3 days later on November 23rd he ran the Henlow 10 miles where he not only finished third Vet 40 but ran a new PB of 59.50. Now we all want to know what he is on as we all want a share! But there was even better to come. On Sunday 11th November he went to Bedford to run the County half marathon championships. Many of us have known this chap since he joined us here at Striders and feel that he went to Bedford with a new confidence and a spring in his step. Not only did he finish first Vet 40 & 45 in the County but he achieved his ambition with a time of 1.19.29! I think everybody in the club was pleased for him as he has had so many near misses in the last few years. Now we all want to know why it has happened now. Perhaps it is because he knows Gerry moves into the Vet category this year!! So our Vet man of  2005 is John Chapman

Lady Vet Award


At the start of the year this lady set her sights on one target, that was to run a good London Marathon. Any other good performances were to be a bonus.
She competed in, all our league cross country races. In addition she competed on the Southern and National cross country races.
The road running was limited due to the marathon training.
She finished 1st Vet 45 in the Berkhamstead,  ½ marathon and had a good run in the Oakley 20 miles.
This lady is dedicated and rigorously sticks to her training programme. If you are running with her and you return early she will insist on adding on the time in order to complete the full training time.
After the National cross country race in Birmingham last year, her training programme for the next day said 2 hours. With four others she went out for her run. They all returned after 1hr 58min 40sec. 80 seconds left to do, so it was past the hotel for another 40seconds, turn around and come back again. Nor even after a race the previous day is anyone allowed to get away by shortening a training schedule. This is one factor that makes this lady the tough racing character she is.
Entering the London Marathon well prepared and fit, she completed the run in 3hrs 41min 29 sec. This being a P.B. from her marathon performance 16 years earlier. The training and the marathon run did take its toll, the recovery period was longer than she would have wished. However in the autumn  the performances came back.
Leighton Buzzard 10 miles, 3rd Sen. woman, 3rd Vet. 35 & 40, 2nd Vet 45 in the county championships.
Bedford ½ Marathon 3rd Vet 35, 2nd Vet 40 & 45 in the county championships.
During the year the pinnacle of her performance was the London Marathon. This year she has gained automatic qualification, this means for all her running partners no short or earl finish training runs.
The Vet lady for 2005 is Karen Ashby

Lady Super Vet Award

In all the length of time we have been giving yearly awards we don’t think that we have ever had to share one before. We would have needed a magician to separate these two ladies over the year. They even ran the same number of road races for the year. They are that close so we feel it would not be fair to separate them. Their year went like this:

The Dublin5mls1st Vet 65
Vauxhall5mls1st Vet 50 in race & County Champs
Cranfield5mls1st Vet 65
Vauxhall5k1st Vet 60
Vauxhall10k1st Vet 60 in race & series
Derry½ marP.B. + 1st Vet 55
Leighton Buzzard10 mls1st Vet 60 County Champs
Bedford½ mar1st Vet 60 County Champs
The Wilshire10K1st Vet 50
The Flitwick10K1st Vet 55 in race & County Champs
The Cranfield5k1st Vet 50 County Champs
The Beast 1st Vet 50
New Forest½ mar1st Vet 50
Leighton Buzzard10mls1st Vet 50 in race and County Champs
The Ridgeway15K1st Vet 55
The Salisbury½ mar1st Vet 55

Both ladies also completed the league cross country races.

Our 2 Super Vet Ladies for 2005 are Margaret Chew and Breda Haughton

Male Super Vet Award


This man started his year with a first vet 50 place in the Berkhamstead half marathon. He spent a long time during the winter thinking about whether to do London or not and in the end decided to have a go. Now all of us who know this man well, know that he just does not “give something a go”. He puts 100% effort into everything he does. And so a Vet 50 running 2.54 for the marathon proves just that. He continued his year by finishing first Vet 50 in the St Albans half marathon for the third year running. He finished second Vet 50 in the County 5 mile championships and then lost two months to our dreaded “friend” the injury! But he got back in shape to finish first Vet 40, 45 & 50 in the County 10 mile championships. In December he was first Vet 50 in the County half marathon championships and first vet 50 at the Buntingford 10 mile.
Now this man is not just a good runner but is also a very big asset to the club with his help and knowledge, not only with running but also with nutrition as well. Many people have benefited from his expertise especially some of the first time marathoners. So our Super Vet Man for 2005 is Chris Lamont

Female Newcomer

Although this lady did not join us until very late in 2005 all the club coaches and captain’s have staked their reputation on her  being our find of the year. Just a little bit of pressure to see how she reacts! We have no doubt she will go on and confirm the outstanding ability she has shown already. She is only running 3 times a week at the moment. In her first race for the club she was our first female finisher in our league cross country race at Wootton. In her second cross country race and without any time to prepare or warm up she was our first female strider home again. She was also 4th lady in the Bedfordshire County Cross Country Championships and in doing so claimed her automatic place on the Beds County Team. Not too bad for a beginner. So with a newcomer like that on board I think everybody here at Striders can look forward to 2006 with anticipation. Our Female Newcomer for 2005 is Joanne Wilson

Male Newcomer


Since joining us here at Striders in July, this man has raced at every distance from 5k to half marathon and has done very well in all of them. In such a short time however he has also found out what it is like to be out injured. But he has still managed to knock 2 mins of his 10k PB. But by far his best run so far is his 36.05 five mile race on the tough Vauxhall course.
Something else he has got that many of us haven’t is youth on his side. So with a little bit of guidance and a lot of hard work this time next year should show the BIG improvement continuing.

Our Male Newcomer of 2005 goes to Neil Bunker

Male Cross Country Award

This man had a very good cross country season. He was first Strider to finish in our five cross country races in early 2005 and our second and third finisher in our two league races in November and December. He was second Vet 50 in the County Cross Country Championships where he also led his Vet 50 Team to first place in the County Championships. He also had a very good run in the Southern Counties and an exceptionally good run in the National Cross Country in Birmingham where he finished about 750th which is a remarkable run for a club of our standard. He also finished second Vet 50 in our cross country league. Now I think we spoke earlier of this chap being a very good clubman which he proved in December by running the 2006 Cross Country County Championships on Saturday 17th but was also our 3rd Strider home in our league race on Sunday morning 18th. Never let it be said that this man only runs cross country for the food afterwards! So our Cross Country Man for 2005 is Chris Lamont

Female Cross Country Award

This  award was another close run decision. Each club needs members that you can rely on. This lady is on of those. You can always rely on her being there and will never let you or the club down, both by her presence and her performances.
She competed in all the x – country league races in 2005.
She was a member of the Stopsley Striders Ladies team , that won the County Championship Ladies Vet category.
She was the 2nd lady Vet 45 in the x-country league.
She was one of two ladies from the club who ran in the Southern Counties x country and the only lady representing the club in the National Championships.
On taking on the role of Ladies Captain she has transformed the representation of ladies now taking part in the x-country league. She has more than doubled the number of ladies regularly taking part in these races. What is more important is the fact that these ladies seem to be enjoying taking part in these races.
She is always ready to help and advise all the newcomers to the club. With a lady like her in  the club , we as a club can only go from strength to strength.
The female x country female for 2005 is Karen Ashby

Marathon Performance Award

This man has to be one of our most unlucky Marathon Runners. He has entered so many marathons and trained for them until, normally in the last week or 10 days injury or illness takes over and bang goes another marathon! We know that Blackpool was not his first choice last year that one went like a lot of the others!! In fact we don’t think Blackpool would be many people’s choice on a hot June day, but with his sort of luck you take what you can get! His race went all right for 20 miles but then he battled on for the last 6 miles which is all you can do in that situation as we never think about pulling out (It’s not allowed!) He still ran well and managed to run a PB we well remember reading his comments afterwards they read “hot thirsty and 6 miles of pure torture!” So for his hard effort and grim determination on June 19th this performance award goes to Paul Keech

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