Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2015

Thanks to Tony Ashby for taking the photo’s.
To download larger photo’s click here

Senior Man

Another year has passed and another year of unrelenting consistency means that this year’s senior man award is no surprise to anyone.
This man achieved a Marathon PB, a 10km PB, a 5-mile PB and to finish the year off he achieved a half marathon PB in some horrendous conditions.
He has also been our first strider home in the majority of the cross-country races in 2015. 
Not only is his performances something to admire and strive to imitate but also his unending contribution as a coach leads him to fully deserve this award.
We wish him a very successful 2016. I just wish he wasn’t in my age category!
Congratulations to the senior man of the year 2015
Mark Sains

Senior Lady

Once again we congratulate this senior lady on a fantastic years running with Striders. Taking part in multiple races throughout the year and achieving a great PB at the Oakley 20 back in March. Her training then took something of a different angle as she prepared to go long. Really long! Most of the summer saw her complete endless weekends of double figure training runs in preparation for the big day itself. The goal was to complete the Stour Valley path 100km race; she achieved this in a superb time of 13 hours and 11 minutes. 
Since then her training has changed once again as she prepares to become a mum for the first time.
Not only has she showed great performances in racing but she has also joined the coaching staff here at Striders and she is more than a welcome addition.
In light of her superb personal performances, her willingness to help others and her dedication to Striders I am proud to announce that this year’s senior lady is
Miriam Linforth.

Veteran Man

2015 has once again been a great year for this runner.  Not only is his name a regular feature on the race sheet but he has also been a regular scorer in the Three Counties Cross Country League races.
Over the year, this runner has developed a knack of finding the flattest races in the UK, whilst pointing his fellow Striders in the direction of hillier climbs.  He has also been often heard uttering words of encouragement to his fellow Striders at Cross Country as they overtake him with 50 metres to go.
His highlights include a 5K PB at Marston, a 5 mile PB at Ickenham, a 10K PB at Clapham Common, a 10 mile PB at Kingston, a Half Marathon PB at Welwyn, a 20 mile PB at Finchley and last but not least a Marathon PB at London.  
All in all, an excellent team member and it is a pleasure to have him as a Strider.
I am delighted to say that the Veteran Man for 2015 is
Gez Fallon

Veteran Lady

Where do I start without repeating what’s been said previously?   This lady runs as well on the road as she does Cross Country and shows a great determination to achieve her full potential. 
This lady’s first PB of the year was achieved at the Silverstone Half, another PB followed shortly afterwards at the Oakley 20 and she recorded another PB at the London Marathon of 3:19:19.
She is a highly valued member of Stopsley Striders and an inspiration to many.  Her running style is second to none and she is very supportive of her fellow runners.
After another year of excellent running, our Vet Lady Award goes to
Liz Rollinson

Super Veteran Man

At last year’s awards evening this man was presented with the award which we all hope we don’t qualify for, the Ken Abbott Trophy which was given to him for his recovery from injury and his return to running which plays a big part in his life.
He certainly has recovered! In 2015 he run 22 races consisting of five 5K’s, five 5 miles, one 6 mile, two 10K’s, two 10 miles and four half marathons and several cross-countries. Amazingly he was first in his age group in 15 of those races.
In 2015 he set five new Vet55 PBs. At the end of the year he was awarded a County medal for being 1st Vet55 at the Bedford half marathon.
This man is back and he is our Super Vet Man for 2015.
John Chapman

Super Veteran Lady

In the early days of Striders this lady was always part of the ladies team that often won the team prize in a race. Over the years she has set many club records in different age groups and quite often been in the first three ladies in a race.
But in the last couple of years she had not done quite so well.
It all changed in 2015 when with a new determination her training runs got quicker and she had a hunger to race. She is currently our quickest Super Vet and in 2015 set a new club record for her age group in the half marathon. She is a very reliable member of our ladies cross-country team where in the series she came 4th in her age group. Beware if you train with her and your going for a 60-minute run then it will be at least 60 minutes and not a minute less!
We hope the good times will continue for our Super Vet Lady for 2015.
Karen Ashby.

Cross Country Man

This man has had a very impressive Cross Country season, leading the team from the front throughout. In the four races he completed during the Three Counties Cross Country League, he finished no lower than 26th, and even that was a blip given that in the other races he placed between 13th – 15th! They also reflected a personal improvement on last year’s League results, being on average about 15 to 20 places better.
These results undoubtedly represented a huge contribution to the Men’s Team finishing 7th overall in the league. He continued that form in the Bedfordshire County Cross Country Championships, again leading the team home in 17th place and helping to achieve a 4th placed finish for the Men’s Senior Team. 
The strength, endurance and consistency of this man’s cross country running has undoubtedly helped him to achieve the impressive results this year. One can only think that a large contributory factor has to be the, frankly, scary weekly mileages that this man is putting in, seeing him firmly fixed to the top of the Strava table. 
The award of Cross Country Man of the Year goes to
Mark Sains.

Cross Country Lady

This lady has had an incredibly consistent Cross Country season, seeing her become a stalwart of the club teams this year.
She competed in all five of the Three Counties Cross Country League fixtures and saw only a five place difference between her best result (65th) and lowest result (70th). 
That form continued with a very respectable 32nd placing at the Bedfordshire County Cross Country Championships.
Assuming the role of Ladies Club Captain appears to have really pushed this lady on with her running. She has not only motivated and encouraged others to get involved in Cross Country, but has led by example. This energy and drive has been reflected in her performances over the Cross Country season. 
The award of Cross Country Lady of the Year goes to
Lorraine Webb.

Male Newcomer

This man started with a bang when he joined the club in the summer and completed all 3 races in the Luton AC series with very respectable times.   
As well as being a regular face on club nights, he kept the momentum going with a few local Park Runs before racing the Love Luton Half Marathon and obtaining a PB time of 1:37:56. He then proved himself to be a real team player by turning out for 4 of the 5 cross country league races, as well as performing well at the Bedfordshire Cross Country Championships at Shuttleworth.
It is runners such as this man, whose actions prove their dedication and enjoyment for the sport, who are a true asset to the club. Therefore this years Best Male Newcomer is
Martin Fallon.

Female Newcomer

During the beginners course it became apparent of this lady’s keenest to improve. Her determination is shown at the Tuesday track sessions and the Thursday’s intervals. The result is some impressive improvements in her 5k times particularly at Parkrun. She gets involved in the training sessions and is greatly liked by her running group. She has all the elements of a good club member and her quiet but positive attitude will see further improvements for the future.
So the ladies newcomer award justifiably goes to 
Adele Heathcote.

Performance Award

Not only did this totally amazing & inspirational lady ran for over 13 hours, she ended with a sprint finish and was still smiling.  Completing the Stour Valley Path 100km Ultra in August, this well deserved award goes to Miriam Linforth.

Performance Award

Some visit Amsterdam for a city break.  Others for a stag or hen do.  This lady chose to visit Amsterdam to smash her Marathon PB instead.  For completing the Amsterdam Marathon in a personal best time of 4:11:15, this Performance Award goes to
Lorraine Webb.

Performance Award

This award goes to a runner who last year quietly and consistently ran stronger and faster. This wasn’t his first marathon but he had a time in mind he wanted to beat. Happy to share his experience and knowledge this Strider was a pleasure to share the long runs with.  For completing the London Marathon in a personal best time of 4:01:12, this Performance Award goes to
Nick Crane.

Performance Award

This Veteran Man trained well for the marathon, running especially well at the Silverstone Half, the MK 20 and the Oakley 20. He had set his sights on a Sub 4 in London but his aim was blighted by illness the week running up to the race. He still ran well despite being ill during the race but he was unable to achieve his goal. He was not put off by this and managed to complete his goal in Berlin in Sept by running just under 3:58. This Performance Award goes to
Simon Norris.

Performance Award

This performance is for an amazing achievement, not only did this lady achieve a PB, she gained the club record in her category. For completing the Oakley 20 in 3:12:09 this award goes to 
Liz Davies.

Performance Award

This performance is for an amazing achievement, not only did this gentleman achieve a PB, he gained the club record in his category. For completing the Flitwick 10K in 46:48O this award goes to
Derek Christopher.

Performance Award

For some, a marathon just isn’t long enough!  For completing ‘The Wall’, a 69-mile ultra-marathon along Hadrian’s Wall, in 18 hours 1 minute, this Performance Award goes to
Gerri Tate.

Performance Award

This veteran man took on the challenge of the Ironman in 2015. He seemed to take on the training in a professional manner even taking in some warm weather training in Australia. His training was blighted by several leg injuries and at points he doubted his ability to complete this event. We are pleased to say that he didn’t give up and was able to complete the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2 mile run in a time of 16 hours 6 minutes. What a magnificent achievement for this Strider
John Ryan. 

Performance Award

This performance award goes to a runner who achieved an amazing time at London Marathon of 3:03:43. Well done
Gez Fallon.

Performance Award

This performance award goes to a runner who achieved a first place in each of the 5 races in the East Midland Grand Prix season in his category. The races included Silverstone 10K, Rugby 6, The Wootton Friday 5, Corby 5 & Banbury 5. An amazing achievement well done
John Chapman.

Improvement Award

It is hard to think that this runner has only been with the club since 2014.  He started 2015 with a 10K PB at Milton Keynes, but then bettered that time at the Herts 10K.  This runner also gained a PB at the John O’Callaghan 5 Mile and a 10-mile PB at Leighton.  He is also often seen at the Luton Parkrun bettering his 5K time, week in week out. 
Not only is he a regular at club nights, he is also a regular at the cross-country fixtures.  It’s safe to say that without his bus we would be hard pushed to field a full cross-country team!
A well-deserved Improvement Award goes to
Daniel Mann.

Improvement Award

This Improvement Award goes to a runner who just keeps going from strength to strength.  Over the year he has consistently improved his 5K times at the Luton Parkrun, which culminated in him gaining a 5K PB on Boxing Day.  This runner also gained a PB at the Herts 10K as well as a Half Marathon PB at the Dirt Half Challenge and has been a regular feature at the Three Counties Cross Country League races. 
I am sure that during 2016 we will see more PBs from this young runner. It is with great pleasure that this Improvement Award goes to
Ben Bodsworth.

Improvement Award

A former stalwart of the beginner’s course, this man initially struggled to get his race times to improve. But with his determination, good humour and the support of his running mates his times have started to improve. This summer has seen a four-minute improvement in his 5k times and a five-minute on 10k. With greater confidence he is now taking on the longer distances and these too are getting quicker. Deservedly the Improvement Award goes to 
Mark Layzell.

Improvement Award

It has been another great year for this runner, who not only has been a regular name on the race sheet but has also tried out cross-country for the first time. 
In May he achieved a Marathon PB at Milton Keynes and then less than 6 weeks later ran the Liverpool Marathon.  He also picked up PBs at the Flitwick 10K and Welwyn Half Marathon.  He has become a regular team member for the cross-country fixtures and I’m pleased to say that he appears to be enjoying them! 
A thoroughly deserved Improvement Award goes to 
Pat Blessing.

Improvement Award

I have had the pleasure of knowing this lady for quite a few years now and she is always smiling.  Well, I say “always”, as I’m sure some of you have heard about that particular hill session over on Cardiac Hill.  Let’s just say, the air was blue for quite some time and has been a subject of jest ever since.
This lady has participated in all race distances including a half marathon at her favourite venue Silverstone, is a regular at the Luton parkrun and an avid supporter of the Willow 10k.  This year she got to tell Bob Wilson ( I lost count of the number of photos she got me to take ) that she had achieved the goal she had set the prior year, which was to complete her first marathon.  Her time for the Paris Marathon of 4:47:37 reflects just how well she trained. 
A much deserved improvement award goes to
Zena Ellis

Improvement Award

This Strider is a regular front-runner in track, hill & speed work sessions and is always keen to help and push others in achieving their potential.  He was a regular scorer in the Three Counties Cross Country until injury unfortunately forced him to miss the last race of the season.  Notwithstanding this, his support for his fellow team members was fantastic, where he stood in the freezing cold & rain cheering the entire team in.  
Before his foot start misbehaving (and my ears started bleeding from all the moaning), this Strider achieved PBs in all distances bar 10miles, including the Doug Anderson 5k, John O’Callaghan 5m, Standalone 10k, Oakley 20, Great North Run & his first Marathon in Paris in an amazing time of 3:34:49.   An fantastic year is testament to just how much effort he has put in – those little laps round the car park at Inspire are doing wonders eh Paul!  
Leading by example, a well-deserved improvement award goes to our Men’s Captain,
Paul Davies.

Merit Award

Since joining the club this man just hasn’t stopped. He is a true inspiration with his “can do” “will do” attitude and dedication to training.
This has resulted in a number of PB’s throughout 2015. Numerous times he has broken his 5km PB. He’s obtained a new 5-mile PB, a 10-mile PB and also a half marathon PB. In fact, if you take a look at the club records then this Super Vet 70 currently only has one club record that he doesn’t own; and he is surely odds on to get that this year.
A true inspiration and asset to the club. Congratulations to
Tony Riley

Merit Award

This man has achieved a PB in both 10km and half marathon in 2015 although it’s not his running that has earned him this award. He is in fact best known for his never-ending smile and inappropriate and somewhat excessive use of lycra. Again this isn’t the reason for the award.
This year he took it upon himself to plan and organise a structured route for the striders to “enjoy” which took in a 6-mile loop of Luton with a sting in the tail of Stockingstone hill. This was a very well planned event that everyone enjoyed. It is for this reason that we have awarded a Merit Award to
Willie Ellingham

Merit Award

Another man who has had a very healthy year in the PB department with PB’s obtained in 5 mile, 10km, 10 mile, half marathon and the 20-mile distances that alone is worthy of recognition. However, this man has obtained a merit award for his outstanding achievement in the Edinburgh marathon where he achieved a superb time of 3 hours 49 minutes and 39 seconds. Not only was this a PB in the distance but running it also raised £1,938.35 for last year’s charity. 
It’s in recognition of this that we give this award to 
Gary Fowler

Merit Award

This lady returned to the club in 2015 and immediately shone. She has shown what hard work, dedication and downright stubbornness can achieve. 
Each week she can be seen throwing herself into both Tuesday track work up at Stockwood and equally in the club speed work sessions. She does this with no complaining and just cracks on with the task ahead. All this paid off toward the end of 2015 with a 5km PB.
She has impressed running buddies and coaches alike and we are all very pleased to have her back at the club.
Keep up the great work
Donna Wiggett

Special Award

Months of planning and endless meetings finally came together last Easter with the introduction of the Luton Parkrun (One word, small r!). It has proved a huge success not only for Stopsley Striders but other local run clubs and unattached runners alike. 
Its popularity has grown and even in the most miserable weather the event attracts over 150 runners of all sizes, shapes and abilities.
This is mostly down to one very special lady. She has already been acknowledged by the Luton Sports Network but we wanted to acknowledge her hard work dedication and focus to getting this event off the ground. It has been a roaring success. (And I didn’t even mention the distance!)
Congratulations and thank you to
Kate Neale.

Special Award

Usually getting awards for his running this man is not in short supply of some silverware. However, it is his service to the committee and in his role as Secretary for 4 years that earns him this Special Award.
He has been a superb secretary and taken much of the stress away from the chairman’s role, dealing with new starters, annual renewals, taking the meeting minutes and organising transport to and from club events such as Cross country events and the London Marathon.
Once again, he felt his time as Secretary was at an end and stepped down in November 2015 leaving very big shoes to fill. Thank you for being such a superb cornerstone of the club for so many years.
Mark Sains

Special Award

For as long as many of us can remember this man has stood at the front of the group on a Monday & Thursday night barking out the notices. He has been known to employ aids such as whistles and air horns in an attempt to get people to listen with mixed success.
A superb runner in his own right and a superb leader for 5 years he put his heart and soul into the day-to-day running of the club. Having stepped down from his role as Chairman and committee member in November 2015 it was clear that I had some big shoes to fill. Thank you for all the time and effort you poured into the club and please accept this award as a thank you from all of us.
Stuart Harries

Special Award

Most of us at some point or another have raised money for a worthwhile charity. I’m sure many of you are doing just that at this precise moment.
Likewise, I’m sure most of us have trained for and completed a 10km run in the past or at least have it on our 2016 aims.
Some of us may have even gone abroad to take part in a race of some description.
However, this special award goes to a man who rolled all three into one when he raised over £3,000.00 by travelling to Africa and running the Great Ethiopian Run. This was a fantastic achievement and raised much-needed funds for Vision Aid. 
This special award goes to 
Andy Durrant.

Ruby Age Group Awards

Andrew Durrant, Liz Rollingson, Nathan Scott, Pat Blessing, Gez Fallon.

Emerald Age Group Awards

Paul Davies, Tony Riley, Andrew Reid.

Amber Age Group Awards

Simon Norris, Judy Reid.

Opal Age Group Awards

Lorraine Webb

Chairman’s Award

As my predecessor said last year, the privilege of being club Chairman also brings the privilege of being able to award the Chairman’s Award.
This award is a personal one that is simply from the club Chairman to an individual who has supported and helped not only the Chairman but also the club.
In stepping up from my role as Captain to Chairman I had many concerns. The recipient of this award helped me to overcome those concerns so that I could be the best chairman I could be for the club. Another concern was who would fill my role as Men’s Captain as I feel that the captains have one of the most important roles in the club.
I needn’t have worried as up stepped Paul Davies. I think you would all agree that he has taken up the mantel of Men’s Captain perfectly and even joined the ranks of the coaching staff here at Striders.
Although those reasons do contribute to awarding the chairman’s award they are not the only reason. As I mentioned Paul has supported me during my time as Captain and also now that I am Chairman. He is a true asset to the club, a true Strider in every sense of the word as he always puts the member’s needs before his own, he isn’t a bad runner either and I am very proud to also call him a friend.
Thank you for all your efforts to the club and for your support.
Paul Davies

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 is a long-standing member of the club, with an illustrious running career. He has the distinction of having run every Luton Marathon, and hold the club’s Veteran 40 record for 10k, which has stood for over twenty years.
He also possesses a wit as quick as his feet, which led to him becoming embroiled in the infamous message board scandal of 2009, and for many years was the scourge of any runner who dared miss a Sunday morning long run.
Unfortunately, he was recently affected by a serious illness, which required surgery that left him – like the opening line of Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” – with a semi-colon.
However, we are glad to say that he has now recovered, and is back running again as cheerful as ever.
This prestigious award goes to
Adrian Moore

          Rosa Trophy

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.

Andy Ward

Striders XC Handicap Championship Winners

Karen Ashby 1st Lady

Ben Bodsworth 1st Male

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