Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2014
Thanks to Tony Ashby for taking the photo’s.
A special thanks goes to Dave Hall who presented the Awards for 2014
Once again this man has shown his superb yearlong consistency which, as a club, we can all admire and look up too.
2014 started (and finished) with him representing the club in the cross country races. Once the seasons cross country had completed he proceeded to get a string of personal bests throughout the year.
However, his talents are not only limited to running, he also completed another year as our club secretary. As if that wasn’t enough he has lead great speed work and hill work sessions throughout the year and offered unlimited support, advice and guidance to anyone that asks.
For his personal achievements, selflessness and his dedication to the club, I am happy to announce our Senior Man of 2014 is
This lady seems to go from strength to strength. She is a valued member of the club who always takes her training and racing seriously. She chooses her races carefully and competes with an air of professionalism that is second to none.
She runs as well off road as on and has been an active participant in the Cross Country league where she is always a scoring lady for the club. She also took part in the Stopsley Striders duathlon, coming first in style. Her commitment and dedication to running is paramount and although she has a lot of natural running ability she works hard to maintain the high standard that she expects of herself.
So, after yet another excellent year of running our Senior Lady Award goes to
Barely a week goes past where this man’s name is not on the race record sheet, once again showing a consistent improvement in his running and reaping the benefits in the progress. This man has always impressed throughout his running career and that isn’t restricted to the road. Our veteran male of 2014 contributed to team points at the cross country before moving on to record a host of PB’s throughout the year.
The highlights being a PB in the London Marathon, the Finchley 20, The Nene Valley 10 and the Hatfield 5.
Once again returning at the tail end of the year to become a regular scorer in the three counties cross country and the county championships. Not to mention his continued sparring with a fellow teammate which I think we all enjoyed.
I am very happy to be presenting Gez Fallon with this year’s Veteran Man award.
What can we say about this extraordinary lady that hasn’t been said before? We all know she is committed to her running and wear’s her Stopsley Striders strip with pride. She has competed this year in all race distances 5k, 10k, 10 mile half marathon and the London Marathon where she recorded a PB time of 3:26.42.
She has a natural running ability that few possess but many would love to emulate. This lady not only runs well on the road but performs well in the Cross Country league. She has been a member of the club for a few years now but still seems to be going from strength to strength. She has a fantastic attitude and determination which we are sure will continue to help her achieve her goals.
This lady is a valued member of Stopsley Striders and one of our top performing ladies. She has great enthusiasm and a fantastic cheerful disposition and is an inspiration to many.
We are delighted to say our Veteran Lady for 2014 is
Super Veteran Man
There is nothing that I can write about our super vet that has not been put in writing before. He continues to be a role model for many people inside and outside the club.
One look at the club records board will show his continuing dominance of the V60 club records. This man has had a great year on and off the road as he has shown his metal on the cross country course by being a regular scorer at both ends of the year. On the road the highlights include the Hatfield 5, Standalone 10k, Sandy 10, Henlow 10 and the Bedford half marathon.
It’s as difficult to keep up with this man’s achievements as it is his consistent pace on the road.
He remains one of the most respected and well liked club members and his fiery temperament shows his passion for our sport.
For all of his achievements, the love for the sport and his club I am proud to announce our Super Veteran Man of 2014 is
Super Veteran Lady
There is very little that we can say about this lady that has not already been said in the past. It is so hard to keep up with her racing record has she has competed in at least thirty races this running season and achieved PB’s at 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile distances. These PB’s prove how well she trains and reflect on her sheer guts and determination to succeed.
She obviously loves to race and at the current time there seems to be no stopping her. She is a great role model to the club and is always willing to help and lend a hand. We are glad to see that each year this lady goes from strength to strength and can only wish her the best of for 2015.
Let’s hope the good times continue for our Super Veteran Lady
Cross Country Man
What a Cross country season this man has had. Completing all of the 2014 cross country league fixtures as well as the County, Regional and I’m sure if we had entered a National team he would have been there too.
The 2014 – 2015 league season saw this man really impress in the first race in Wellingborough and built on that success and certainly raised his game to compete against other clubs, and his own club in order to drive his pace all the way to the finish line.
Despite injury hampering him he has not let this hold him back and returns to the mud time and again to represent his club. I think it’s fair to say that most people have a love hate relationship with cross country, and rightly so. However, this guy seems to get off on the cold, the wet, the mud and the gruelling climbs and fast descents.
A scorer in every cross country race throughout the year has certainly helped the Men’s team into 6th place.
His enthusiasm for cross country is only met by his love of banana bread, although I’m not sure the rest of us appreciate this!
This year the award of Cross Country male goes to
Cross Country Lady
This lady has had a great year running both on and off road. She started the year on a high by gaining a PB at the Fred Hughes 10 and has just continued to improve. She has competed in all of the cross country league fixtures, maintaining her position and becoming part of the scoring team.
She is always willing to help and throws herself into the spirit and camaraderie of all Striders events and this seems to always be done with a smile on her face. She is a valued member of our ladies cross country team and of the running club itself.
The Cross Country lady of 2014 goes to
Since joining the club our newcomer has barely been off the race sheet. Always keen to race for his own benefit and the good of the club in cross country events has seen this Strider grow as a runner and a well-liked clubman.
Solid performances since he joined in cross country and on the road has proved he is a true asset to the club and his peers – a good representative of the club.
Having completed many races this year his highlights have to include PB’s at Buntingford 10, Bedford half – where it has to be said he demolished his previous half marathon PB – and the MK Marathon.
A chap that’s always in good spirits and eager to mix with other club mates shows that he is a good Strider and not just a good solid runner. He is always keen to take part in the tough speed work sessions and has established himself as a valued, well respected runner.The club captains are very happy each time I see his name down on a team sheet, and are sure you will all agree that deservedly the Stopsley Striders Male Newcomer for 2014 is
This lady was the only real contender for this award. She joined Stopsley Striders from the beginners running course in April and has since then with her positive nature and attitude not only improved her running but has also become a pivotal character at our club.
She has competed in many Parkruns and has been the main person behind procuring the Parkrun status for Luton. An incredible achievement considering the red tape she needed to cut through. This lady has also been an active participant at our cross country league fixtures. We are sure we will be hearing a lot about this lady in the future in one way or another. Long may the good times continue for our female newcomer of 2014
On a hot May Bank Holiday, just completing the Milton Keynes Marathon was an accomplishment- completing it in a PB and smashing a good for age time at 3 hours, 33min and 12 seconds.This performance award goes to
Some go to Bournemouth for the sea, others to run their first marathon in 3:49:05.This performance award goes to
For some, running is just not enough – and Olympic triathlons are just too short.
For completing the Zurich Ironman with a time of 12:55:58, this award goes to
Some runners can be a bit blasé about marathons, but we should all respect the distance. This performance award goes to a first time marathon runner who put his all in to the Milton Keynes marathon to get a time that he should truly be proud of.Well done
Having only just joined the club, this runner promptly signed up for races of all distances. However, this award is for her run in the York Marathon in3:47:27, and goes to
Having achieved a Good For Age time to enter the London Marathon, some athletes would sit back and enjoy the run, but this runner pushed on for a further PB time of 3:26:42.
This performance award goes to
This man never fails to impress. His relentlessly consistent pacing during a race is hard to replicate- as anyone who has tried to keep up with him will testify!
This man has represented the club well in a whole host of races throughout 2014 beginning with the team cross country events. However, it is not for these that he is receiving his award.
The winner’s goal for 2014 was to achieve a new PB in every single race distance, for anyone that has attempted a goal like this in the past, they will appreciate just how difficult it can be. However, here is how he got on:
19th January – Fred Hughes 10 miler – 61:22
20th June – Marston 5k – 17:52
28th September – Barnstaple marathon – 3:03:07
30th November – Hatfield 5 mile – 29:46
7th December – Bedford Half Marathon – 1:22:23
For those that were paying close attention, you would have noticed that there was no 10k PB in 2014. Well I guess he has to have something to aim for in 2015!
This performance award goes to our secretary, coach and mentor,
This runner is new to the club but has achieved a great deal in the time he has been running with us.
He has obviously got the running bug as his name is rarely off the race sheet. He has run all distances from 10k, 10 miles through to half marathon, and finally the full marathon running Milton Keynes in a respectable time of 4:13.
Through his commitment and endurance this runner has seen his times drop and his performance improve.
This improvement award deservedly goes to
This is a lady who has been a member of Striders a few years and even a move away from the area cannot keep her away. She had a brilliant season of running last year, and had her name called out on numerous occasions on a Monday night with a new PB she had set the weekend before. She has gone from strength to strength and achieved a PB in 5k, 5 miles, 10k, 10 miles, as well as reaching a big personal goal of running a half marathon within two hours – 1:55:27 at Luton but just to make sure 1:57:32 at St Neots Half 3 weeks later. Not to mention she has participated in her very first triathlon event this year and from all reports thoroughly enjoyed it.This coming year will host a new set of challenges and goals for this runner and we wish her the best of luck, this improvement award goes to
This lady has been a member of Striders for several years now. She attends almost every club night, rarely missing a Monday or Thursday. However she will readily admit she doesn’t enjoy racing and often needs a bit of persuasion from her running friends to join them at events. Despite this over the past 12 months she has pushed her boundaries and has entered at least 8 races with distances ranging from 5km to 10 miles and up to half marathon. What is more impressive is that the results include 5 PB times including a very respectable sub 29 5k at Marston in June.
It was during the autumn when she really came into her own, undertaking 3 half marathons over a period of 5 weeks and recording PBs in two of these. This was a brilliant result and evidence that consistent training can pay off. However to those that know and run with her the most surprising result was that the last of these Half marathons was the Dirt Half Challenge ,and yes it really does live up to its name! This lady does not do mud, normally avoiding it at all costs, but she tackled this race with real determination, not too much moaning and finished with a smile on her face.
For this, and an excellent year of racing, this award goes to
For the recipient of this award the road to improvement has not been easy. Having been injured he had to fight his way back to fitness in order to continue his 2014 PB quest.
Again a regular scorer in the Three Counties Cross Country League as well as a club representative in the county and regional cross country championships has contributed to his success. A good reason for all of you to compete in cross country events next year!
He is always eager to help others and welcomes newcomers to the club and makes them feel welcome. Another strider who is keen to take part in speed work and hill work and often found towards the front of the pack.
To name all the races he has done well in this year would take a while but the PB’s include a half marathon PB obtained at Silverstone, a 10 mile PB in Sandy, a 10k PB on a tough Herts 10k course and a 5 mile PB in Welwyn.
It has been a superb year for this strider, and one where he has kept the Sun Do restaurant in business not to mention the UK’s production of flapjacks!
A great 2014 is his reward of all the effort he has put in. Congratulations, Paul Davies on being the recipient of an improvement award for 2014. Good luck in 2015
Merit awards are usually awarded solely for running related events, and this runner has definitely achieved those: with 1st place in the v65 County Championships at both 5 miles and 10k. He was also a regular at the league cross country events. However, this runner has also shown the true spirit of Stopsley Striders and the support of a great friend, by being there and offering support for large periods of time (and distance) while Dave Hall completed his John O’Groats to Lands End feat.
For both running achievements and the support involved, this Merit Award goes to
For some runners, a long term injury is a major setback, and if we’re being honest many feared that this would be the case with this Strider. However, he has proved that slowly easing back into running and being sensible with your training can get you back to full running fitness and put other in their places. Throughout 2014, this runner was a regular name at all the County Championships – except for when he gave others a chance by forgetting to sign up – and in the Cross Country league. He also racked up new club records in the V60 category at 3 distances, and came within 4 seconds of bettering his half-marathon club record time.
This Merit Award goes to
This Strider only clocked up a few running races through the year – he was obviously scared of how competitive the Senior Men are, or possibly it was due to his unfortunate knack of picking up an injury or illness. Running in races up to 10 miles, he picked up very respectable times at Sandy, Wheathampstead, Hatfield and in Parkruns; but this Strider is better known for his defections to the Tri side. Fortunately, the injuries of last year did not stop this Strider from doing the events that he loves and more importantly allowed him to complete for Team GB in the European Championships in Austria.
For representing his country in a sport he loves, this Merit Award goes to
It is difficult to find something to say about the recipient of this next award that hasn’t already been said – quite possibly by him, as he does like to talk.
He also likes to run, and has completed well over one hundred marathons, earning him membership of the exclusive 100 Marathon Club. However, whilst running is often seen as a solitary pursuit, he is also incredibly generous and giving, with his time, his advice, and his efforts to win cake auctions at any cost.
You have already heard about his adventure from one end of the country to the other, which he undertook not for personal glory but to raise money to build homes in Sierra Leone, where up to 10 people can live in a single corrugated iron shack.
This Special Award for a spectacular achievement is for
This award goes to a lady who has done just about everything that a Strider can achieve. She has been an active committee member, a coach, achieved many personal running goals up to marathon distance and on top of that is possibly the best cake maker ever!
This lady is one of the most long standing and encouraging coaches, she has such enthusiasm for it, and it shows. She is often the first person to take a less experienced runner out, and it is because she is so encouraging that they come back. Her role in the beginner’s course is essential – she will often have the group with the runners who need a bit more from their coach, and she will deliver. She is often the last person across the line when we ran the ladies 5K, staying with and getting those last runners round.
For years now she has also been instrumental in raising funds for the club charities by baking cakes throughout the year. She has raised hundreds of pounds for the charities, but she is so modest and never ever looks for credit.
This lady also regularly gives up or rearranges her runs so she can help to set up the birthday monthly socials, and will always produce something amazing for the buffet.
With her selfless attitude and an amazing smile this club would be lost without her.
This Special Award goes to
This special award is for a club member who has done a great deal for the club and for local running in general.
As a committee member for many years, she was always willing to contribute, and was certainly never short of an opinion. Despite having recently stood down from the committee, she is still willing to assist whenever called upon to do so.
As a coach, she has helped coordinate and organise the annual beginners course, and introduced many Striders to their first experience of speed work.
She has organised the Luton Marathon, has cooperated with Luton Athletic Club in the running of their summer series of races and organised the results of these, and her knowledge and experience has been a great help to Love Luton in the organisation of the town’s Half Marathon, an event which now appears to be a regular fixture.
For her commitment and dedication (and patience), this Special Award goes to
It was only a few years ago that this runner joined us with one intention: to pass the fitness test to enter the fire service. With hard work and dedication, her name was added to the roster of famous firemen (Pugh – Pugh – Barney McGrew – Cuthbert – I could go on).
However, the running bug clearly bit this Strider, and she gradually increased her distanced until she was capable of running a full marathon. This alone is enough for many runners, but once again, the recipient of this award looked for more.
To raise money for Child Bereavement UK, she set herself the challenge of running four marathons on four consecutive weekends. This endeavour took her overseas, to the Berlin and Amsterdam Marathons, to the north of England in the Chester Marathon, and back to the 1970’s in the Isle of Wight Marathon.
Not only did she set herself the target of these four races – which she achieved – she also set herself a fundraising target, and managed to exceed this by nearly 80%
This Special Award goes to
This special award is for the contributions made to Stopsley Striders over the many years by this man.
Almost as soon as he joined the club as a runner he became a part of the committee, and very quickly became Chairman, a post that he held for five years. During this time, amongst other innovations, he introduced the annual Chairman’s Award.
When he retired from the role of Chairman, he volunteered to stay on the committee as Vice Chairman, and was able to provide invaluable help and advice to his successor.
When the vacancy arose, he stepped into the position of Treasurer, and quickly simplified the accounts.
He has now left the committee to pursue new challenges, but for all of his contributions over the years this Special Award is for Tony Green
This award goes to a man and lady who have given so much to the club. They are both active runners with a long and successful history – they have been members of very successful cross country teams on both local and national level, and have achieved many club records each.
They were the perfect choice when it came to choosing the club captains many years ago. With a wealth of personal achievements and enthusiasm for running by the bucket-load they were in prime position to offer so much to these positions.
They really are a good match and each bring something special to the position, and worked tirelessly promoting the cross country league. As well as running most of the events, they ensured that we always had a full team, all paperwork was present and correct and that every runner received lots of encouragement both pre and post run. On every occasion these two definitely lead by example.
As well as fitting in their own runs, coaching and personal lives, they also kept an eye on the race sheets, did a monthly running report and played an active part on the committee. They would always be on hand should anyone need them for help and advice.
This Special Award goes to
Bill Barrett and Karen Ashby
This award is for a man who takes his role as a coach seriously. He is always on hand for any new comers, and is for many their introduction to running and Stopsley Striders. He nurtures new runners and helps build their confidence every week so they are able to achieve their personal goals.
This man was instrumental in re-designing the beginner’s course; increasing its profile and giving the runners a more balanced approach. He designed a new handout that gave relevant and interesting articles that would help any new runners, answering many questions, and giving them an overview of what the course would entail.
Despite moving away, he is still a regular at the club and still is a active member of the coaching team.
This Special Award goes to Mark Bradley
The privilege of being club Chairman also brings the privilege of being able to give the Chairman’s Award.
A chairman can only ever be as good as the committee that supports him – and I have been very fortunate in that respect. However, a good committee can only be as good as its secretary – and in this respect I have been extremely fortunate.
In his role on the committee the chairman prepares the minutes and agendas for all committee meetings and the AGM, deals with all the paperwork relating to memberships, and handles all the correspondence that the club receives.
Throughout my time as chairman I have relied on the club secretary for help and guidance. I have relied on his advice, which has always been wise and considered, and he has frequently been the calm voice of reason which has tempered some of my more impetuous ideas.
My first Chairman’s Award was presented to the club secretary at the time, and it is fitting that my final Chairman’s Award goes to
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 man started the year suffering from a deep personal loss. However, with the help and support of his many friends at Stopsley Striders, he was able to train for the London Marathon, and ran a very impressive time.
Unfortunately, his running plans were then thwarted by an injury. He did not give in to self-pity, but sensibly took time to recover. When he was ready to run again, he paced his recuperation, aiming to complete certain targeted races, but trying not to overreach himself.
This approach clearly worked, and he is now thankfully running very well indeed. This award, though, is not just for his recovery, but also to recognise that throughout his hardships he retained a positive outlook, and took an active role in helping others.
This prestigious award goes to
The Rosa Trophy is possibly our most prestigious award, as it is voted for by the members of the club. The aim of the award is to recognise the efforts of a club member who has done the most to encapsulate the spirit of the club, and the recipient of it is usually someone who has set a standard that we should all try to attain.
This award goes to a man who is one of the most supportive Striders. He has been on the committee and is a very popular coach. He has a really good sense of humour and knows how to use this to help and encourage people. He was a very active member of the committee, always willing to put himself out to ensure things got done.
He is a regular coach on the beginner’s course; he is often the first face people see, taking responsibility for the register, and guiding the new runners in their first weeks, answering questions and giving reassurance. His group is always successful – most complete the 5K race at the end of the course, and many have since joined the club.
He also saw that there was a need for an intermediate group for speedwork; he took this up and runs regular sessions. He is very dedicated, and despite injury he still continued to be a regular club goer, ensuring the speedwork continued.
The worthy winner of the Rosa Trophy is Simon Cain
Striders XC Handicap Championship Winners
Pam Abbitt 1st Lady – Andy Durrant 1st Male