Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2010

If you would like any of these photos please email here

A special thanks goes to our guest professor John Brewer who was a thoroughly entertaining speaker and as a runner himself could empathise with all members of the club.
Also to Mark Fairclough who gave us an insight into the history, workings and progress of the Help for Heroes charity which I am sure has inspired us all to raise as much as we can for such a worthy charity.

Senior Man 2010

Although this man has only been a club member for a couple of years he has gone from strength to strength. We would love to think that this improvement is purely down to being a Strider, but unfortunately this is not the case. He trains very hard and his dedication along with natural ability have secured him the times and awards this year. He started 2010 with his sights and training set on the London Marathon. His training went well, collecting PB’s in his half marathon and 20 miles preparation races. Although he ran a PB in London he did not run as well as he would have liked or indeed as fast as expected. But as we all know a marathon is like no other race and if you are not right on the day a marathon is a very long way. He took a very sensible recovery period after the marathon and this paid off as he has run and raced extremely well for the rest of the year. He ran a very fast Whipsnade 10k but then work commitments took him to America for a month but he continued to train hard and took a third place in a half marathon. Once back on home soil his running improved even more and he raced the Bedford 10k in a very impressive time. Not only does he run on the road but he performs well in the cross country too and is rarely out of the top 3 finishers in our league cross country races. He is still young so we feel there is still more years of improvement ahead for our Senior Man of 2010;

Mark Sains

Veteran Man

We think we should start with a warning to everybody not to try to emulate this mans’ achievements. He is definitely a “one off”. He just loves to run and run and run! He may well run every day during the week including a hill and speed session and then go and compete in a marathon at the weekend! Yet come Monday he is back training again as if it is a normal week. We would not recommend this as a normal code of training! His times at marathon’s are not to be sneezed at either, he is no “Joe Jogger”! In London he just missed the 3hour mark by 9 seconds so as you will all appreciate that is quality running! He does not just run marathon’s or long distance races of over 40 miles either. He ran a PB in the Bedford 5k last July and in December he finished first vet 45 in the Bedfordshire County half marathon Championship and second in the County Cross Country Championship. We all wonder how he would perform if he concentrated and trained for just one race and put all his efforts into it, but that is just not his way.
The lure of running is just too much for our Veteran Man of 2010

Dave Hall

Veteran Lady 2010

2010 has been an exceptional running year for this lady. Having recovered from an injury late last year, which curtailed her running for a while, she came back to Striders running stronger and faster than ever. Like so many other Striders she started her year by training for, and running the London Marathon. She had a very good run in London running under 4 hours for the first time in a marathon,. She continued to improve in almost every race for the rest of the year. Throughout the year she has run at least 7 PB’s. Normally for a new runner this would be a good record but for someone who has been running for a number of years, as she has, this achievement is quite remarkable. It just goes to show what hard work and dedication can achieve! She is a County Champion in her age group in the 5k and 5miles and only missed out on the half marathon championship because she did not tick the box for county status! But for the record she was in fact 4 minutes quicker than the lady who took the prize! During 2010 she has run nearly all of our cross country races and has featured in our scoring ladies team on most occasions. 
How we would all love to have a year like our Lady Veteran of 2010

Linda Thomasson

Super Veteran Man 2010

We have all heard the expression “All round Sportsman”, well this man certainly deserves that title. He walks, climbs, skis, plays golf and cricket as well as many other activities. But tonight it is his running ability that we are acknowledging. He has raced at every distance from 5k to 54 miles, from flat road races to mountain marathons. He is also a County Champion in his age category over 5 miles, which was awarded for the race at Cranfield. When ever the club goes away for a racing weekend event it is this man who organises a walk before we leave for home and somehow it always ends up at a pub! He has been a member of our cross country teams for many years and is a regular front line scorer. He has worn the Stopsley Striders vest in a variety of different countries throughout the world. If there is an unusual event somewhere then this is the man to find it and run it!

Long may the good times continue for our Super Veteran Man of 2010;

Paul Keech

Cross Country Man 2010

Although this man is only in his second year with Striders, he has become a very important member of our club. He is the first name everybody enquires about when the cross country season is upon us. Heads drop if he is not able to run in our men’s team, which thankfully is not very often. In all his cross country races for Striders we do not think his finishing position has been any lower than second. You can now appreciate why heads drop if he has to miss any of the cross country races! This award is for cross country but he is not just a cross country runner. He performs just as well on the roads. Indeed we consider ourselves very fortunate to have him in our club. During the last few months his work commitments have taken him away from our area so we do not see as much of him as we would like, although he does make an appearance when work allows. His commitment and dedication to running is paramount and we hope that he will remain a Strider for many more years to come. 
Let us hope that the good times will continue for our Cross Country man of 2010:

Tim Davies

Cross Country Lady 2010

There would be something wrong if on Stopsley Striders Presentation Evening this lady did not receive at least one award. She has been our leading lady both on the road and cross country for many years. She is as much a Bedfordshire County runner as she is a Stopsley Strider and she always manages to finish in the County scoring team. We know all the other ladies in the club look up to her and think that one day maybe they will be able to emulate her. She is fortunate that she has a lot of natural ability but those who train and work with her know that she trains extremely hard to achieve the high standard that she expects of herself. Many of our faster men find it extremely difficult to ensure that she stays behind them but we feel that she is hot on their tails so watch out boys! 
She is the Bedfordshire County Senior and County Veteran 35 Cross Country Champion, she is also the 3 Counties Cross Country League Veteran 35 ladies Champion and we hope that the championships will keep coming for our Cross Country Lady of 2010;

Louise Peters

Male Newcomer 2010

When this man joined us here at Striders he seemed a very laid back type of person who just wanted to enjoy his running and not worry about PB’s and times. But just 9 months later things have changed! He is at the club every Monday and Thursday and “YES” times do matter! He has shown dedication and commitment to his running to enable him to make steady improvements in his running times.

He has also started to turn out for our cross country league fixtures which has given him a variety of terrains to run on, and we feel will help him to improve his running even further. His first race as a Strider was the St. Albans half marathon, he then clocked up PB’s in the Vauxhall 5 miles and Vauxhall 10k. but he finished his road running year with a PB in the Stevenage half marathon. He is currently focused on his marathon training so we can only say “good luck” to our Male Newcomer of 2010;

John Ryan

Female Newcomer 2010

The decision for this award was one of the easiest to make for many years. In fact this lady was the only real contender. She joined Striders on our beginners course in April and form the very first night showed an ability that every coach is looking out for but rarely finds. From the very start she moved up to the front of her group and stayed there throughout the course. As most of you know we finish our course with the Ladies 5k in Wardown Park and our newcomer finished the Open Ladies 5k as the first unattached runner! – Quite a feat for a “beginner”. We consider ourselves very lucky that she joined us here at Striders as her running has kept on improving month by month. It is an old saying that “some people are born to run” but this lady most certainly is. She has also joined our ladies cross country team and has become a regular scorer. All that ability and she only trains twice a week! Imagine what times she could run if she trained 4 or 5 times a week – look out Louise she may be on your shoulder yet!
Long may the good times continue for our Female Newcomer of 2010;

Liz Rollinson

Performance Award  2010

This man decided to run a marathon because the rest of his running group were running London. As it was too late to enter London he found another marathon to run. As we all know he is a very good runner over a variety of distances but this was his first ever marathon, a distance that is like no other. Most of his running colleagues expected him to break the 3 hour barrier but as many of us know a marathon can be a very long way sometimes! The reason for this man being given this award for his marathon is due to him going off to Dorset on his won and running his first ever marathon and achieving a remarkable time of 2 hours 56 minutes. So this well deserved Performance Award goes to;

Tim Davies

Performance Award 2010

When this lady ran just over 4 hours for the London marathon in 2009 we believe that she said that in her next marathon she would like to go under the 4 hour barrier. But as we all know the marathon distance is an extremely tough one and with the best will in the world sometimes it is not quite possible to live up to what in your heart you would like to achieve. This lady has raced over a number of different distances this year with remarkable times achieving County Championship status and awards for her age group. But we have chosen her run in the London Marathon because she clocked up a time of 3hours and 55 minutes. Let’s hope the good times continue for our Performance Award winner;

Linda Thomasson

Performance Award 2010

This award is for another lady with ambitions. Once again we are referring to the London Marathon with all the mental and physical targets that this event requires. She also had the 4 hour target to break as she had missed out on this in 2009 by just a few seconds. We have mentioned many times tonight how hard work, dedication and commitment are required for a runner to achieve their ambitions and this lady has certainly showed that. She knew that she was in good shape prior to the race as she had run a PB in a half marathon during her training. But all her hard work had indeed paid off and she was delighted to see the finishing clock realise her dream of 3hours 55 minutes! 
We wish her a speedy recovery as she is injured at the moment, but a Performance Award goes to;

Dianne Blackmore

Performance Award 2010

The big difference with this award winner was that there were not many races to choose from as she does not race regularly. But although she is choosy about her races, when she does race she does it extremely well! The race that she has been given this award for was a two lap course which may well have helped her mentally, thereby knowing what was to come in the second lap. Those watching realised that she had over 100 meters to make up with a lap to go, and on the second lap she found inspiration. When she came onto the track at the Betty Willet 10k she had passed her rival, and by the end of the race she was over 50 meters ahead of the second place lady. So this award is not just for actually winning the race but for the way she ran it. A Performance Award goes to;

Jenna Litchfield

Performance Award 2010

When this man decided to run the London Marathon he had been a member of Stopsley Striders for less than a year. It was felt by many that it was a brave decision to take. But he had ambition and started talking about getting close to the 3 hour mark which we know is an extremely hard target to achieve. Many other runners wondered if he was indeed being a little over ambitious as running your first ever marathon is often just about completing the distance. But he was not put off and decided to train hard for his marathon. He definitely is an icon for the saying “hard work pays off”. He ran his first ever London Marathon in a time of 3 hours 7 minutes so a Performance Award goes to;

Chris Hunt

Improvement Award 2010

This lady has shown a very steady improvement throughout the year. In fact hardly a month goes by without a PB appearing on the results sheet. She has worked hard at her running and shown dedication and commitment which has paid off. She has raced at every distance from 5k to 10 miles and recorded PB’s at these events. She started her year with a PB run in the Wellingborough 15k and continued with a PB in the Sandy 10miles, Flitwick 10k, Marston Vale 5k, Waddesdon 5k and the Bedford 10k. She is now training for her first marathon and we wish her good luck and hope that the PB’s will continue for one of our Improvement Award winners;

Helen Veira

Improvement Award 2010

This lady has been a member of Stopsley Striders for a couple of years, but 2010 was her year.
She has run a number of PB’s and has joined in most events throughout the year. She has even give our cross country league a try and said that she enjoyed it! She is an excellent club member and always offers to marshall or help out at different events but her strength is in her running. She has run about 10 road races and recorded PB’s in the Stanwick 10k, Bedford 5k, our own Ladies 5k and the Cranfield 5miles. 
So after an excellent year of running performances an Improvement Award goes to;

Jenny Griffiths

Improvement Award 2010

This is another Strider who came to us through the Beginners Course just 2 years ago. He has shown a very steady improvement since he joined. He has not tried the longer distances as yet, preferring to stay at 5k and 10k. We feel that he may well be saving himself for a big attack on the longer distances and cross country next year! He started his year with a PB run in the St Albans 10k and ran a number of other 10k’s and 5k’s with PB’s in the Marston Vale 5k and the Luton 5k. He finished his running year with a good run in the Standalone 10k. We hope that the good times and PB’s will continue for our Improvement Award winner of 2010

Nick Crane

Improvement Award 2010

This man has had one of the most successful running years of any Stopsely Strider. We believe that he may well have set a record of sorts. He ran a PB in every race he entered and we do not remember anybody ever having recorded doing this before. He started his year racing the Betty Willett 10k, he continued with the Vauxhall 3 race series and then the Bedford 10k and finished his year with another PB in the Bedford half marathon. That is quite a year for a relatively new runner. He is a man that seems to enjoy his running and rarely misses a club night. Let us all hope that the good runs and the PB’s will continue for a few more years to come for our Improvement Award winner for 2010

Simon Norris

Improvement Award 2010

This man has had a very busy year running about 15 races throughout the year and has also managed a couple of cross country events. We also understand that he plays football as well so that will tell you what a busy person he is! He has run every distance from 5k to 15 miles and started his year by running one of the toughest races in the calendar – the Orion 15 miles. If you can complete that event you do not worry about any other race! He works hard at his running and it is encouraging to see that his hard work had paid off.  He ran 7 PB’s throughout the year and attends regular speedwork sessions. He has also been spotted out on his own doing different reps and speedwork to help improve his performances. So after a year like that a well deserved Improvement Award goes to;

Thom Darby

Merit Award 2010

Both of these ladies have given up their valuable time to make local races more efficient.  They have for the last two road racing seasons been behind the scenes, often giving up their own chances to race to ensure that those background roles are filled.  They have been instrumental in raising the standards of how local races are organized, they can be found on the late entry desk, running the results back to the HQ, inputting and collating the results. They have not limited their help to events run by our club, but have volunteered to assist at events run by Luton AC and Bedfordshire AAA, and have helped in making very good connections with other clubs. Without people giving up their own time, we wouldn’t be able to hold races, so these well deserved Merit awards go to

Christina Green and Christa Jeffrey

Special Award 2010

This award goes to a man who is an inspiration, and shows how hard work pays off.  He is also a very modest man, who is very encouraging to all members. This year he completed the Rotterdam Marathon in a brilliant time that has earned him the best marathon time in his age group in the overall clubs PB’s. Most people only complete one marathon a year, simply because of the time it takes to train and then the time needed to recover, not this man, he has completed a whole range of gruelling events, from many triathlons to a half iron man, and that  is on top of other club races.

This special award goes to

Andy Ward.

Special Award 2010

Since its inception nearly thirty years ago, Stopsley Striders has been constantly evolving, and has seen many changes. However, it is a tribute to all of the members that they have embraced these changes, and have been keen to move forwards. We are now privileged to belong to a club that can both promote high levels of athletic achievement and boasts many county champions, but that also warmly welcomes runners of all abilities and actively encourages beginners to start running. It is of huge credit to the club that it is able to encourage such attainment, but never entertains any notions of elitism or superiority. These are qualities that are embodied by the recipient of this award. During his tenure as Chairman the club has become more progressive, without compromising its essential core values. Further the profile of the club in the community has increased, winning a second place in the “Sports Club of the Year” category at the Luton Sports Network Awards. It is surely only a matter of time before we secure a first place, but this will still be mainly due to this man’s hard work.
For his contributions to the club for the past five years, and in recognition of his continuing support, this Special Award goes to

Tony Green

Chairman’s Award 2010

As club members, we have a tendency to turn up to club evenings and races, and expect everything to be in place for us. Similarly, those of us on the committee have certain expectations of what will be available to us for committee meetings. However, few of us take the time to appreciate how much work is required behind the scenes for these things to happen, and that in most cases it is all the work of one individual. This man deals with all the paperwork relating to memberships, and negotiated his way through the affiliations to both UKA and ARC, so that members have the option of benefitting from both. In his role on the committee he prepares the minutes and agendas for all committee meetings and the AGM – a substantial task in itself – whilst also dealing with the majority of the correspondence that the club receives. In addition to all of this he has taken on the organisation of our annual Ladies 5k Race. He performs all of these tasks with humour and patience, and without complaint, and somehow still finds the time to train and race. He has frequently participated in the Three Peaks Challenge, raising a lot of money for charity, and is currently in preparation for the London Marathon. However, he will no doubt approach these achievements with the same quiet modesty.

It is for all of these reasons that the Chairman’s Award goes to

Chris McLaren

Ken Abbott 2010

This award normally goes to somebody who has suffered a serious or long term injury or set back and has managed to recover and get back to running in the face of adversity.

This lady is always cheerful and always throws herself into what ever event she has entered.  She competed in the clubs biathlon this season, her first attempt at this event, she not only took second place but also kept us all entertained with her recent running stories, making an already fantastic event, into a really fun day. She has made a remarkable recovery after knee surgery, and has thrown herself back into her running tenfold. She has been totally committed to regaining her fitness and returning as soon as she could to her running, and rather than ease herself in gently and start back with some shorter distances she as chosen the marathon distance and has competed in two this season, she was also entered for Luton, so would have actually completed three as if that wasn’t enough she has completed 7 races, with two PB’s and also raced in a cross country.

This prestigious award goes to

Lynne Doyle

Rosa Trophy 2010

This is an extremely prestigious award as it is voted on by the members of this club. This time last year, I spoke about the friendly atmosphere which existed within the club. I’m glad to say that this is still true and that it is the members of the club who have made this a fact. The winner of this year’s Rosa Trophy, like the winner last year, works hard on the committee, is a coach and is a very competent and active member in organising the Luton Marathon. Did I forget to say that she’s also a very sincere and happy person?
Now, just in case some of you think that I’m re-cycling last years words, then you could be right, as the winner of this year’s Rosa Trophy is once again

Elaine Harries.

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