Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2012

Thanks to Tony Ashby for taking the photo’s.
To copy and see more photo’s visit TonysPhotoSite

A special thanks goes to our guest John Kirkby who talked about and gave a slideshow of his run in the Marathon Des Sables.

John then presented the Awards for 2012

Senior Man

This man started his year by running in nearly all of our cross country races and indeed he always managed to finish inside the top three Striders. His aim for the first half of the year was a good marathon. He started well by running a good race at the Oakley 20mile and was in superb shape for the Milton Keynes Marathon, but unfortunately the weather put paid to any good times on the day. There was continuous heavy and torrential rain and gale force winds. Undeterred he battled on with his training and completed the Colworth Challenge later in the year which consists of a 5 mile race on Friday evening, an 8.1 mile race on Saturday and 13.1 mile race on Sunday. He ran the Luton 3 race series, a half marathon in America and a PB in the Standalone 10k by 1 second but they all count! He achieved his aim and ran a PB in the Luton Marathon and was the second Strider in their winning team. 
Running is only part of what our senior man is all about. His talents extend to being a great club secretary which is no easy job ,and he is also one of our most helpful members, always willing to give advice and help out in any way he can! He is always first Strider to be found back out on the course after completing his own race encouraging and helping other Striders to finish their race.
Long may the good times continue for our Senior Man of 2012.

Mark Sains

Senior Lady

This lady started her racing year with a PB run in the Milton Keynes half marathon. She trains hard but is not a big racer picking and choosing her races very carefully which enables her to nearly always achieve her aim. We think she only ran one race throughout the year in which she did not run a PB time. She ran a PB in the Oakley 20 mile and also a PB in the Milton Keynes Marathon. We are staggered how she managed to achieve a PB in Milton Keynes in such terrible weather conditions! She also ran a PB in the Cubert 5 miles and in the St Albans Park 5k run. She is not just a keen runner as she also does an enormous amount of administration work behind the scenes for some of our local races including helping with the late entries and the results on the 
Luton 3 Race Series and of course the Luton Marathon.
After running five PB’s from six races let’s hope the good run will continue for our Senior Lady of 2012.

Christina Green

Veteran Man

This man has been running for a few years now but only joined us here at Striders in the Spring of 2012, with the aim of improving his times especially his marathon time. He started his year with a PB run in the Silverstone half marathon and continued with a PB in the Oakley 20 miles and so on to London where indeed he did improve his marathon time by an amazing 28 minutes! He has now set his sights much higher and is talking about running a sub 3 hour marathon! Although he has been running for a few years he had never run a cross country event. He had planned to run all our cross country races but due to work commitments and a nasty injury he only managed one cross country event which he says he thoroughly enjoyed! We feel he will be a great advantage to us at Striders as he finished 4th scorer in the Striders Cross Country team that day. We know as we write this citation that he has a place in the London Marathon and hopefully the injury is behind him and he can concentrate his training and achieve his ambition of running a sub 3hour marathon.
We know that if he does not succeed it will not be through lack of commitment or effort from our
Veteran Man of 2012

Pat Cosgrove

Veteran Lady

We have been writing about this lady now for quite a few years and it has always been about her winning ways and her PB’s. This year is no exception but we feel she has surpassed herself and has had her best ever year. We actually feel sorry for all the other ladies in her age category as it is very hard to win anything with the form that our vet lady is in. She had not just put Stopsley Striders on the map locally but indeed nationally! We could write two pages about her and we would not cover half of her achievements throughout the year. We know she will forgive us if we only mention some of her achievements otherwise this citation will take at least half an hour!
She started her year with one aim and that was to run under 3 hours for a marathon. In her preparation she won and set PB’s in almost every race she ran. She won the Beds County Cross Country Championship , and the Milton Keynes half marathon. She was the first lady for Bedfordshire in the Inter Counties Cross Country and second in the Oakley 20 miles. She ran the London Marathon achieving her aim with a time of 2hours 54 minutes 32 seconds. Then after that there was only one way of improving and that was to target a place on the England Vet 40 team in the Home Internationals Cross Country. She continued throughout the summer winning the Luton 5 mile and County Championships. She was second in the British Masters UK 5,000mtrs, she ran the  fastest  leg in the Stevenage relays and won the Eastern Vets 3,000metres. She was first lady in the Inter Counties 5,000mtrs and is ranked second vet 40 in the UK. She was first lady in the race and in the county in the Bedford 10k. Amazing achievements you might say but then just the week before Striders celebrated our 30th Anniversary she was called up to run for England and so became the first ever first claim Strider runner to get an international call up. There is just one thing we would like to say before we finish.
Having known this lady and ran with her for many years she deserves every accolade she has won. She is an inspiration to many runners, taking her awards in a very humble way and always encourages others when she can.
We hope that the winning ways and PB’s continue for our very deserving Veteran woman for 2012

Louise Peters

Super Veteran Man

In all our categories for this year this category has been the toughest to decide. This man had a brilliant cross country season being a member of Striders scoring team in nearly every cross country race he ran. And he ran in nearly every one of them. He also ran the St Albans 5k Park Run running a club record vet 60 time. He set another vet 60 club record in the Sandy 10 miles where he was also first vet 60 in the county championships. He was second vet 60 in the Flitwick 10k and third vet 60 in the Silverstone 10k. This man has been running for many years and indeed back in the late seventies and early eighties could have been called an elite runner although he may not agree with this statement. He certainly ran both with and against the best and was never too far behind the leaders. He then made the decision to take it “easy” for a few years, but he has really got back into the old running and training routine once again. There is a lesson there for everybody.
Do things right and you can come back in good shape just like our Super Veteran Man of 2012

Derek Christopher

Super Veteran Lady

Since she joined us here at Striders a few years ago we have learned that this lady enjoys racing. She has had a few injury problems but when fit she appears to thrive on racing! During the year she has run at least twelve races. She started her racing year with a Bedford 5k Park Run and then ran the Whipsnade 10k in scorching heat and then another Bedford 5k Park Run. With this pattern we could see that she was targeting a 5k PB and we are delighted to say it arrived in her very next race the Marston Vale 5k. Perseverance certainly paid off for her. She ran our own Ladies 5k, the Doug Anderson 5k and the Bedford 10k where she was third vet 60 in the County Championships. She ran the Swineshead 5 miles, Swansea 10k, Bedford 5k Park Run and then ran a PB in the Grand Union Canal half marathon. So after completing a vast amount of races including two PB’s and a first time top three place in her category in the Beds County Championship a well-deserved Super Veteran Lady Award goes to

Jenny Griffiths

Cross Country Man

This man has only missed one cross country race including the Southern counties and the Nationals in the last year. He has been a scoring member of our team in every cross country race. Indeed what we at the finish look forward to is to see him coming because we do not know how he manages it but he always seems to be in a battle with a club mate at the finish of cross country races! We are sure it is hard work for him but we must admit it is very good entertainment for us to watch a battle! This man is always a pleasing sight for our tail enders in the cross country as they know that when he has finished his race he will go back out on the course to encourage and help them complete theirs.
So our Cross Country Man of 2012 is

Stuart Harries

Cross Country Lady

This lady has had yet another good year of cross country racing, although she missed a couple of races at the start of the year through injury. Indeed she has spent quite a substantial amount of time injured this year but is now fully fit and racing far better than she has raced since joining Striders. She has been a scoring member of our ladies cross country team in nearly every race she has run this season. It has been very noticeable that she has shown a remarkable improvement in both her road and off road races.
May the good times continue for our Cross Country Lady of 2012

Alison Sugars

Male Newcomer

This man only joined us in February 2012 although he was not a stranger to us as we have all know him on the racing circuit for a few years. The first thing we would like to say about him is that he has been a massive asset to Stopsley Striders not just on the road but at cross country as well. One of the best things he has brought to the club is his youthfulness as he really is only a boy! He races at every distance from 5k to a full marathon. We will just mention some of his races because believe us there are an awful lot of them. In fact if we can find a fault with him it is that he over races but he obviously enjoys racing and due to his youthfulness he gets away with it. He ran the London Marathon, then a PB in in the Milton Keynes 10k and set an age 20-24 course record in the St Albans 5k Park Run and has had an incredible end to the year where he ran the Luton Marathon in a time of 2 hours 58minutes 27 seconds. On the following Saturday he ran a PB in the Wolverton 5 miles and the next day he ran in our cross country league fixture! He was still not satisfied as the following Sunday he turned out and ran a PB in the Nene Valley 10 miles and a week later ran the Bedford half marathon. An amazing amount of races we feel you will agree, not that we would recommend a racing schedule like that! But we have to admit it was an incredible achievement. He has run all our cross country events and has always been one of the first 3 Striders home. We have no doubt there are more years of improvement and many more years of racing to come from Stopsley Striders Male Newcomer for 2012

Lee Murphy

Female Newcomer

Many of us can remember when this lady came to the club for the first time. She said that she wanted to run the London Marathon and that she already had an entry. When she was asked how much running she had previously done to our amazement she said “None!” Fortunately she did not say that she wanted to run the marathon in a sub 3 hour limit but to her credit she said she was prepared to work and train hard and she did just that. She started her racing with the Fred Hughes 10mile, the Hemel 17 mile and the Silverstone half marathon. All seemed to be going well but then the injuries started. At first they were not serious but as anyone who has ever run a marathon will tell you any type of injury will interrupt your training and it is what you can least afford especially being a newcomer to running. To her credit she battled on through and the Sunday prior to the London Marathon he ran the Flitwick 10k and came through unscathed! She then seemed fit and raring to take on the mighty distance in London. On the morning of the marathon her face changed as she was left to walk with the others to the start area. But she gritted her teeth and ran a very respectable marathon. From that point she has gone on to race and achieve PB’s in the Bishops Stortford 10miles, our Ladies 5k, The Great North Run and the Bedford Half Marathon. If she would like another challenge perhaps she would like to sample the cross county events. She is an inspiration to many and it goes to show you can join Striders never having run before and if you have the right attitude and dedication in the space of one year you can run every distance from 5k to 26 miles.
A very big well done, to our Female Newcomer of 2012.

Siobhan McSwiggen

Performance Award

This man is one of our most injury prone runners. Over the last 2 years he has only managed to run four races. We have no doubt that he would be one of Striders best ever runners if he could keep injury free. This year he wanted to run a marathon but he set himself a target of running it under 3 hours! This is a tough assignment but even tougher when you are prone to injury. He leads a very busy life away from running, so he had to juggle his family life, job and trips to the physio in order to give himself a fighting chance to achieve his target. During his preparation he managed to race just one half marathon which he ran well but not enough to fill him with confidence when you are taking on a marathon. So at the end of October he went over to Dublin to run his marathon. His hard training, determination and his Irish luck combined together to give him a time of 2hours 58 minutes 29 seconds in the Dublin Marathon.
So a very hard but well-earned Performance Award goes to

Gerry Taylor

Performance Award

This man does not usually run many road races, he is normally found running in an off road event in a hidden corner of Great Britain! This year for some reason he decided to run some road races and we counted at least 5, which must be a record for him! He ran the Luton Series which consists of three races, a 5 mile, a 5k and a 10k event. He was first vet 60 in the 5 mile race and in the County Championships and was first Vet 60 in the 5k race and in the 10 k race. This amounted to him being given the award for first Vet 60 in the series. So for a man who does not run many road races to win his age category in the Three Race Series makes him a deserved Performance Award winner.

Jeff Dowsett

Performance Award

This man has just completed his best ever year of running. He could have won this award for any one of three or four events that he has competed in this year. We decided to choose the Luton Marathon. After running the London Marathon in April and just missing out on the three hour time target he decided to train for the Luton Marathon, which is a much tougher course than London. On the day everything went extremely well for him as he led home our Stopsley Striders winning team in a brilliant time of 2 hours 58 minutes 27 seconds. 
So for his time in the Luton Marathon a Performance Award goes to

Lee Murphy

Performance Award

Although this person is a very busy clubman he still makes time to train and run marathons. Having run the Milton Keynes marathon earlier in the year and not getting the time he wanted he decided to run the Luton Marathon. As you may know the Luton Marathon course is not a fast or easy course, however this man managed to run a PB! He was also a member of the Stopsley Striders Men’s winning team. 
We feel that he is now ready to run under three hours for a marathon.
So for his determination and effort in the Luton Marathon a Performance Award goes to

Mark Sains

Performance Award

This man set himself a target 2 years ago and that was to run under 2 hours for a half marathon. When he stands up everybody will be able to see that he was not born to run, possibly he would have been more at home as a number 8 or a front row forward on the rugby field! This means that his target was going to prove a much harder one to achieve. During 2010 he ran a couple of half marathons; he did not get too close to his target but he was determined that in time his target was achievable. He nominated the Reading half marathon, which is not an easy course, on Sunday 4th March to see if his training, determination and hard work would come to fruition. In just 1hour 58 minutes 12 seconds a happy smiling face crossed the finish line!
A well-deserved and hard earned Performance Award goes to

Nick Cross

Performance Award

This man started to come to our club after Christmas with the hope of improving his marathon PB time. He worked hard and put a lot of effort into his training. He ran a half marathon and a 20 mile race achieving PB’s in both prior to his marathon, so we knew that he was in good shape. We feel sure that he will be the first to admit that he started his marathon just a little too quickly. He ran extremely well for 18 to 20 miles but then the last 6 miles he had to dig deep and remember the effort he had put into his training. He may not have achieved the time he was quite hoping for but he did manage to run a 28 minute PB which most of us would be extremely pleased with.
So for his run in the London Marathon a Performance Award goes to

Pat Cosgrove

Performance Award

This man set himself an extremely tough target of running three marathons in three weeks. One marathon is hard but to run three in three weeks is a target most of us would not even contemplate. An experienced marathon runner would think twice about this challenge but this man is relatively new to marathon running so the target was going to prove challenging. He trained extremely hard and all his races during the build-up to the challenge went well. He ran a PB in his first marathon in Brighton, the following Sunday he ran the London Marathon where he admitted that he had found it tough and his time reflected this. But he had given himself a challenge and he was not to be beaten so the following Sunday he set off for Milton Keynes in good spirits. Unfortunately the weather was not going to be sympathetic there were gale force winds and torrential rain. But this man put his head down and ran a magnificent race coming home with a 20 minute PB! Amazing! 
Three marathons in three weeks so a well-deserved Performance Award goes to

Phil Nitchin

Improvement Award

This lady is another prolific racer. We can count at least eleven races that she has competed in, in the past year. She not only races well but she is also very willing to help out with anything she can for the club and this can sometimes be at the expense of her own race. A true Stopsley Strider! Her races consist of the Milton Keynes 5k Park Run, The Bedford 5k Park Run, where she achieved a PB the Olympic Park 5 miles, the Bossingbourn half marathon where she ran a PB the Marston Vale 5k where she also ran a PB, the Ladies 5k at Wardown, another PB in the Magor Marsh 10k in Wales, the half Kilomathon and finished her year with the Grand Union Canal half marathon.
So a very well deserved Improvement Award goes to

Amanda Rankin

Improvement Award

This award goes to another lady who received an Improvement Awards last year and we are pleased to see she has continued her improvement once again this year. She has run most of our cross country league fixture races and has shown a great improvement from last year. She is not a big racer but chooses her races carefully and normally ends up with a PB. She ran a PB in the Sandy 10 miles and another PB in the Flitwick 10k. Although she worked hard she just missed a PB in the Bedford 10k. This only made her more determined and she fought back to get a PB in the Standalone 10k, We understand as we write this that she is currently injured but we wish her a speedy recovery and hope the injury is not too serious.
Our Improvement Award winner for 2012 is

Liz Davies

Improvement Award

This lady only joined us here at Striders a couple of years ago and has showed a very steady improvement since. She started her year with some very impressive runs in our Cross Country League races and being scorer in our ladies team in most races. Her first road race was the Sandy 10 miles where she ran a PB and was first Female Vet 40 in the County Championships. She ran the Flitwick 10k and the Whipsnade 10k where she finished third lady. She ran another PB in the St Albans half marathon and set a new vet 40 club record in the Luton 5 miles. She ran a PB in the Luton 5k and a PB in the Milton Keynes half marathon where she also recorded a new club vet 40 record time. She was second lady in the Luton 10k and finished second lady in the Luton Three Race Series.
So after an impressive year like that a well-deserved Improvement Award goes to

Liz Rollinson

Improvement Award

We have spoken a few times tonight about the number of races some of our members compete in but feel that this member will take some beating on that score. We feel sure that not all her races have been recorded on our race sheets but we can count at least 20! Out of these there are 17 PB runs which by anybody’s standards show what an incredible year this member has had. Her year started with a PB in the Milton Keynes Half Marathon and she finished with a PB in the Bedford Half Marathon. The races in between included every distance from 5k through to the marathon. She ran her first marathon in Milton Keynes in April and followed this up with another marathon in Dublin in October where she knocked 39 minutes off her previous time! If one piece of advice could be offered it would be to race a little less to avoid injury even though she obviously enjoys it!
A well-deserved Improvement Award goes to

Lorraine Webb

Merit Award

For many runners, a marathon is the pinnacle of their running career, and many hours of training will be dedicated to one, or at most two races a year. However, for a dedicated few, this is not enough. Further, whilst the majority will follow a carefully planned training schedule for a marathon, gradually increasing the length of their runs to around twenty miles before tapering down for the main event, a minority will train for a selected marathon by running other marathons as preparation. They even have their own organisation, the 100 Marathon Club. Hopefully it isn’t necessary to explain what their entrance requirement is. They will accept associated members who have run fifty marathons, but only those who have completed one hundred approved and vetted races are eligible for full membership, and have the right to wear their club colours. Having finally completed one hundred races of the necessary distance, the recipient of this award made his application to the Club, only to find that one of his races did not meet their requirements. Rather than be disappointed by this, the runner concerned entered a marathon from the approved list the following week, and finally gained his membership to this prestigious club.
For this achievement, this Merit Award goes to

Dave Hall

Merit Award

The recipient of this award has had an amazing year by any standards. First lady and first vet 35 in the County Cross Country Championships. First lady in the Milton Keynes Half Marathon (also setting a new club record). Twenty-fourth lady in the London Marathon, gaining a place amongst in the top fifty marathon runners in the country. County Champion at 5 miles, 10 kilometres and 20 miles. However, possibly the crowing achievement was selection to represent England in the Home International Cross Country Championship in Belfast. A just reward for the time and effort invested in training throughout the year, and for the achievements that this has brought. Further, this is the first time that a member of Stopsley Striders has been selected for national duty, something of which we should all feel very proud. Needless to say, this lady did not let us down on the day. She was a scoring member of the Gold medal winning England team. She finished fourth vet 40 England lady, sixth vet 40 lady and twenty-fourth overall.
For this achievement, this Merit Award goes to

Louise Peters

Special Award

This award goes to a man who has been a member of Stopsley Striders 12 years. There is no doubt that he is a net contributor to our club. Hardly an edition of the Striding Magazine is published, without at least one article from him appearing, covering a wide range of running based topics. In the recent past he set himself a target of running every day for a year. This he achieved and surpassed. He is probably one of the most regular attendees at Monday and Thursday club night’s. As well as being a runner, he also volunteers to assist in marshalling rolls at runs organised by the club. He is also a great supporter of the club’s social events. 
He is also a team player, over the last few season’s, he has been a constant as a member of the Stopsley Striders, cross country team, particularly in the Three Counties League. Over the last year not only has he competed in most of the races, he has also stepped up to the plate and has been a scoring runner, plugging the gap, when many of our more recognised scorers have been unavailable to race. His positioning has been such, as to have allowed the club to maintain its league position, in fact this year improving the position over the previous year’s position.
This very well deserved Special Award is given to

Derek Christopher

Special Award

This man has been a member of Stopsley Striders for the past 26 years. For many of those years he has been a club coach and our Club, Men’s Captain. However as a runner in his own right, Bill has been a true competitor and has always strived to be the best he can. He currently holds the following club records:
Senior man at: 5k, 10 Mile, Half Marathon and Marathon. Vet 40 man at: 5k, 5 Mile, 10 Mile, Half Marathon and Marathon. For many years he has led our Cross Country team. He represents the club at the League’s committee meetings. He keeps abreast of all County, Regional and National competitions. He ensures that all the administration is completed to ensure the club is represented at all levels. Many a flagging cross country runner, has been delighted, to see Bill coming back down the course, to encourage them along their way to the finish. Every week he ensures he is available  to lead “Speed Work” sessions. As a club coach, he is one of the most dedicated people, any of us have had the privilege to have met. He fully commits to anyone who asks him to assist them, advise them or coach them. I am sure that he has lost count of the number of training schedules he has hand written for club members. He designs the schedules to the individual need. He gets to know them, understand their capabilities and the time they can commit, to their training. He aims all his advice, at the targets being set by the individual. For many of us our achievements are a shared achievement, with this Bill. This last year as a coach has seen some of the best results, which Bil,l can be rightly proud of. The achievements of our club colleague, Louise Peters, have been gained by the true partnership and trust between an athlete and their coach. To see that one of your runners being:
County Cross Country Champion. County Champion at 5 Mile, 10K & 20 Mile. A Half Marathon winner. 24th Lady in the London Marathon. In the top 50 Ladies in Marathon running in the UK. Gold Medal Winning ,Cross Country, England Team Winner. Bill is not an elitist coach or person, he has time for each and every runner in our club, no matter what their ability. He gives freely of his time, advice and expertise. Bill delights in their achievements and never fails to support them.
From us all a grateful, Special Award goes to

Bill Barrett.

Chairman’s Award

The privilege of being club Chairman also brings the privilege of being able to give the Chairman’s Award.
To succeed in the role of Chairman requires the support and backing of the committee, and the recipient of this year’s award has been a long-standing member of the committee, and is always ready to offer advice and assistance. He has also lately surpassed himself in this capacity by having some ideas, some of which have been surprisingly good. His many contributions to the club are too length to list, but I must mention a few of the most crucial ones: this gentleman maintains and updates our club website, a vital tool in communication between club members, and which has quite rightly won awards in its own right; he sources, orders and distributes our club kit; and behind the scenes is one of the hardest-working members of the Luton Marathon team, updating the race website and entry lists throughout the year, and setting out and supervising the course on the race weekend. In addition to all of these efforts for the club, he still finds time to run, and even to set age-category PB’s
For all of his help and assistance, and for being such an asset to the club I am very pleased to give the Chairman’s Award to

Dave Debnam

Ken Abbott

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.

The recipient of this award has shown what can be achieved by keeping a positive attitude. In fact, the year before this runner’s set back she was running regularly and competed in the Luton Series and the Ladies 5K.
Unfortunately, injury then struck, and a period of rehabilitation followed. As she struggled to complete the walk/run programme she had been advised to follow, she confided to fellow club members that she thought at times she would ever run again. However, she persevered, and made progress with her recovery, and also ensured that she did not lose contact with the club, regularly attending club nights and providing help and advice to other runners. Happily, after much hard work, this lady returned to running in the summer and went onto complete the full cross country season, where she won the award for her age category.
For her refusal to give up and her triumphant return, this prestigious award goes to

Helen Morris

          Rosa Trophy

This award is unique as it is voted for by the club members, and is given to the person who has contributed most towards the “Spirit of the Club”. The recipient of this award won by a clear majority, and we can only try to list some of the reasons why. The recipient of this award works tirelessly in organising the Luton Marathon, and her work rate more than makes up for the ineptitude of other members of her team. She even doesn’t get too cross when on the day of the race the category winner’s trophies somehow get broken. In addition to all of the work required to put on the Luton Marathon, she has also co-ordinated race results for the Luton Series, and liaises with Luton Athletics Club to help them with their organisation. Since she set up online entries to these events, the number of entrants has noticeably risen. She has also taken on the responsibility of dealing with the entries for our own Ladies 5k race. In addition to this, she is also an essential member of the committee, and played a pivotal role in organising the club’s thirtieth anniversary celebrations.
In addition to all of this work for the club she still finds time for her own training and races – which is probably just as well, because if she had any extra time on her hands she would no doubt adopt even more animals than she currently has. This person doesn’t look for recognition for all of her hard work, but contributions clearly do not go unnoticed, as she has now received this award three times.
The recipient of the Rosa Trophy for 2012 is

Elaine Harries

Ken Abbott Cup

Striders XC Handicap Championship Winners

Matt Davies – 1st Male

Alison Sugars – 1st Lady

Award Scheme

Linda Kelly, Kim Willis, Finbar Willis, Zena Ellis.
All achieved Pearl Level

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