Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2016

Thanks to Tony Ashby for taking the photo’s.
Larger photo’s will be available soon

Senior Man

This individual is an exceptional runner; his dedication to the sport and training is remarkable. He regularly runs 50 miles a week, his training involves a daily run commute to and from work and he also often runs to and from club training sessions. During this sporting year he has completed the Hardmoors 30 mile race in 4hrs 13 minutes in January, came third in the St Peters Way 45 mile race in February and another Hardmoors race in March when he completed the 55 mile race. 
In August he finished 6th in the 86 mile Ridgeway challenge in 17hrs 25 minutes.
He is not only awesome at the longer events but in the shorter ones he is able to run fast too. He regularly supports the Luton Wardown parkrun, often finishing first, with his best time this year being 17 minutes 22 seconds. He also came 1st in the inaugural Stopsley Striders 10 mile race.
Stopsley Striders Senior Man for 2016 is Rob Barnes.

Senior Lady

The year started pretty slowly for this year’s winner. After taking quite a long time off running after the birth of her first child, running simply hadn’t been particularly high on the agenda for this lady.
However, a desire to get back into running and regain some fitness, together with a successful stint on Weightwatchers (which her poor husband also had to endure), led to a gradual return to fitness.
When this lady sets herself a target, she becomes extremely driven and focused. We all saw the results of that, with PB after PB at both parkruns and official 5km races. The amount of time taken off her PB was remarkable and if it hadn’t been for becoming pregnant again, she wanted to go even faster.
For an impressive comeback and superb number of PBs this year, 2016’s Senior Lady is Christina Green.

Veteran Man

The temptation to copy and paste last year’s citation again this year was overwhelming as despite being a year further into the Veteran category this member just keeps on impressing. 2016 has indeed been another superb year for this Strider. He has remained consistent throughout the year and has had many great race results and been a regular face at cross-country races. Where his “twinkle toes” seem to skip over the mud where the rest of us have to wade through.
This year he has been a regular face at track unless Luton are playing at home and he is always the first to offer support and encouragement to other Striders.
Making it three in a row. Congratulations to Gez Fallon on another impressive year.

Veteran Lady

In the build up to running a marathon this lady ran the Oakley 20 where she came 2nd in her age group in the Beds County Champs and was a member of the ladies team that came first in the race.
In the Milton Keynes Marathon she was the first Strider and 5th lady overall in a time of 3:27:36 which gained her a good for age entry for the 2017 London Marathon. In the Luton Ac Series she finished 1st female in the 5k, 3rd in the 5 mile, and was 1st in the 10k. Not surprisingly she won the Series title.
She also does well on the track, running a 10000m track race in Sandy in under 40 minutes, which secured her place as EMAC Champion V35 and Beds Champion V35, ranked 4th in country. Not content with just winning in the morning, she then travelled up to Solihull, West Midlands and took part in the Solihull 3000M and finished in a time of 11:20 and came 3rd overall.
Our Vet Lady is Christine Lathwell

Super Veteran Man

This runner has achieved a lot in 2016, competing in many races and numerous parkruns. Races included all of the Three Counties Cross Country League, Finchley 20, Love Luton and Welwyn Half and the Henlow 10 all in impressive times.
He regularly finishes in the top 10 of Luton Wardown parkrun and is always cheerful and takes the time to say good morning whilst lapping us. 
I am delighted this member rounded off the year by joining the Stopsley Striders committee of which he will be an asset. 
The 2016 Super Vet Man is John Chapman.

Super Great Veteran Lady

This lady proves that you’re never too old to be a County Champion, which she demonstrated when she was placed 1st Vet 60 in the 10 Mile Beds County Championships at Sandy.
This year she also was awarded 2nd place in the 5k Beds County Championships at Bedford.
Watch out for this lady in 2017, her 2016 Luton parkruns are slowly getting faster.
This year’s award goes to Judy Reid

Super Great Veteran Man

2016 was a big year for this runner taking on his first marathon and all the training that is involved with that. As well as proudly sporting his Striders vest and stripy gloves to compete in many other runs including the Love Luton Half, Three Counties Cross Country and Striders 10 mile.
This runner is a pleasure to run with and by run with I mean chasing 20 metres behind trying to keep up. 
He now owns the club record in every distance in the Vet 70 category and in 2016 completed the MK20 in a time of 3:19:19 and Manchester marathon in an awesome time of 4:14:06. 
The Super Great Vet Man for 2016 is Tony Riley.

Cross Country Man

This runner took part in all of the Three Counties League races and scored for our club in each race, helping us achieve the fantastic result of finishing fourth on the table overall. 
The Cross Country Man for 2016 is Rob Barnes.

Cross Country Lady

This Lady started her 2016 cross-country year by running in the Beds County Cross Country Championship where she won her age category and was 2nd female in the race. Later that month she headed down to Parliament Hill to take part in the Southern Counties Championships one of the hardest cross-countries around.
She continued her cross-country season by coming 3rd lady at the British Masters Cross Country Championships.
In our cross-country league she always finished in the top four of the ladies and won the overall title.
Our Cross Country Lady of 2016 is Christine Lathwell

Male Newcomer

This man joined striders beginners group last year, where it quickly became apparent he was really quite good & had natural talent for running. 
Within the space of 6 months he had already achieved 1:42 at the Love Luton half, 1:19 in the Stopsley Striders 10, 49:32 in the Willow 10k and a parkrun PB 21:56.
He has caused quite a stir within the club as he can regularly be seen having his lucky pre & post run cigarette. But that aside, he is a real asset to the club. More recently he has struggled with injury but is working really hard to get back to running and I’m sure will soon be back at club smashing more PB’s. 
This year’s newcomer man is Lee Bearley

Female Newcomer

It is hard to believe this lady first joined the club in the spring of 2016. She was already running and training for the London Marathon but it was suggested to her at parkrun that that she might like to join our club and I think it is fair to say that she hasn’t looked back since. This member has since completed the London Marathon in a great time of 4:36:26 stating that it was one of the best days of her life. She has become a regular on club nights and a coach who regularly leads speedwork and track sessions as well as valuable post run stretching sessions. 
Our Newcomer Lady for 2016 is Carly Eaves.

Performance Award

Proving that consistent training and dedication reap results, this lady managed an incredible 3:15:49 on the Virgin London Marathon, and at the same time achieved a new V40 club record.
This award goes to Liz Rollinson.

Performance Award

When this man walked through the door a couple of years ago we knew that he had the capability to produce some great running achievements. He has clocked up some impression Park run times and impressed during coached sessions with his natural ability when running. 
In particular he has received this award for a sub 18-minute 5km. This is a tough ask and only a few ever achieve such an impressive time. 
A time of 17:43 at the Hatfield 5km earned this member the September Strider of the month award and also this award. Well done on a fantastic effort, Karl Tull.

Performance Award

We all knew how good this Strider was way before the Virgin London marathon last year but I think his result on the day surprised him let alone underlined his talent to the rest of us. 
To go sub three in a marathon can either go well, or very badly, trust me! The training, dedication and strength both physically and mentally is a huge strain. So imagine going close to 15 minutes faster than that. Most of us will never be able to imagine that but in April 2016 this man hit a simply phenomenal time of 2:45:20 and missed out on National selection by just 20 seconds. 
The club record is awarded to Mark Sains

Performance Award

This man’s greatest achievement this year was completing the Three Peaks Yacht Race. This team event sees a team sail from Barmouth to Fort William via Caernarfon and Whitehaven and then have to run from the bay up to the summits of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis. This saw him run the equivalent of 3 marathons in 3 days including the climbs of the three highest peaks in the UK. He is also an expert sailor and runner and was able to help his team finish 6th out of 13. 
He ran the Snowdonia leg (24 miles including the climb) in 4hrs 17, Scafell Pike (40 miles and the climb) in 9hrs and the Ben Nevis leg (17 miles including the climb) in 4 hours 17.
The 3 Peak Challenge award goes to Robert Barnes

Performance Award

There is an expression in running “let the legs do the talking” well this lady certainly has. 
Some runners might sit quietly within the pack and then blast away to the finish. This lady’s approach is to quietly get on with her training. There is no blast in her race just unbelievable endurance.
To prove this, her race was back in April with a “little” run between London and … Oxford. This lady completed the Thames Path 100, a continuous 100-mile trail race in 24 hours 43 minutes and 42 seconds with an overall ranking of 132 out of 207.
This Performance Award for her amazing ultra-distance run goes to Annelies Gerber.

Performance Award

This member took on the infamous Race the Train in August along the Welsh coast in Tywyn completing the 14 miles in an impressive time of 1:42:38 and beating the train that crossed the line 6 minutes later. 
Well-done Pete Croall.

Performance Award

A merry band of Striders decided to take up the challenge of the Manchester Marathon last April. Despite not being able to have a pre-run pasta and it being the warmest day of the year so far, this did not deter this runner from achieving something memorable. Where others faltered, he went on to become the first male Strider over the age of 70 to complete a marathon in a time of 4 hours 14 minutes 6 seconds. This has allowed him to gain a good for age time for London this year and let’s hope the sun will be shining again in April for this Strider. 
A Performance Award for the Manchester Marathon goes to Tony Riley.

Performance Award

This performance award goes to a young man whose hard work and determination to succeed produced an excellent time of 20:48 at Luton Wardown. 
Well done Phillip Davies.

Performance Award

A performance award is given to this man for completing four marathons last year including Brighton, Milton Keynes & Bournemouth; which in itself deserves an award. I can attest with my own eyes that he did excellently in Bournemouth as it was a very hot day & he ran well.
So 2016 was a pretty notable year for him; he rounded up his total marathons to 19, and to which he will add the London marathon in 2017 as number 20. Apparently his last, but I think we all know he will soon be adding more to the list this year. In 2016 he also got create another human…so all in all he’s basically super human. Well done Phil Nitchen & good luck with London & the new arrival.


Improvement Award

2016 was a great year for this runner, she couldn’t get enough of running and managed to run 6 marathons over the year, getting faster and stronger as the year went on. Her best time was 4:03:08 set at Brighton Marathon just a week after Manchester Marathon.
As well as her own running, this member was instrumental in supporting many others join the club and exceed their expectations through the beginners’ course. If all of that didn’t take up enough time this member was a fantastic and very conscientious Ladies Captain we were all sorry when she stood down. 
This improvement award goes to Lorraine Webb

Improvement Award

I have had the pleasure of watching this lady go from strength to strength since she joined the club. A regular at the club and a solid member of the track gang has rewarded this young lady with a new 5km PB, 5 mile PB, 10km PB, 10 mile PB and a Half Marathon PB in 2016.
Her stand out performance of 2016 was undoubtedly her half marathon PB that was obtained at the Luton Half in October 2016. In 2015 she finished the Luton Half in a time of 2:15:06. In 2016 she showed how much she has improved as an athlete and hammered round the course in 1:51:11. An improvement of around 24 minutes. I feel there will be a lot more to come from this young lady. Well done Hannah Fothergill.

Improvement Award

This lady is an inspiration to many of us, both her fellow runners and coaches.
Her hard work and determination is evident to all at club, track and when she races, and all done with a smile and friendly word for her fellow runners.
2016 saw her achieve PBs at 5k, 5miles, 10k, and 10miles.  It also saw her complete her 1st half marathon (another PB!) where that determination shone as she kicked out a great finish, with a time well within her target range.  
We are sure 2017 will see more of the same.
Well done Donna Wiggett

Improvement Award

This young lady came to us as part of the beginner’s course and has continued to improve since her first week at the club. 
She is a regular at club nights. A regular member of the track gang on Tuesday nights. Above all she is a superb advocate for the club in person and on social media. 
She can be seen most Saturdays wearing her club colours proudly at Luton Parkrun and has seen improvements consistently throughout 2016. I am very proud to have this young lady as a member of our club. This very well deserved award goes to Lu Philpott.

Improvement Award

This award goes to a lady who enjoyed a parkrun just for the fun of it and never worried about her times, but as she ran more and more and saw her times improve, she set herself a goal of under 30 minutes. In February of this year after much effort she achieved it, was much praised and it spurred her on to even try out the track sessions, perhaps we can get her to try some longer races, who knows? 
She is always a smiling face of fun, willing to aid out the club and new runners. This well-deserved Improvement Award goes to Liz Evans

Improvement Award

This lady is an inspiration to all women, mothers and runners. She was running right up until her 32nd week of pregnancy and was seen back at parkrun only a few weeks after giving birth. She has since been working on getting her fitness back and her times have been tumbling. There was about a fortnight in total that I was able to run quicker than this lovely lady before she caught me up and is now blitzing her times from before having her beautiful daughter Thea. 
This improvement award goes to Kim Caddy.

Improvement Award

The man has shown with hard work and determination there is no limit in what you can achieve. Deciding to run the Brighton marathon he run some impressive times for a newcomer in warm up races, then clocked an excellent time of 4 hours 30mins and raised a good some of money for charity as well.
Well-deserved improvement award goes to Martin Smith

Improvement Award

He started 2016 by running a 5k and achieving a new PB of 20:14 but not content with that he took a little trip up the A6 to Bedford and smashed his target crossing the finish in 19:50 taking 24 seconds off. 
A few months later he ran Marston 5k and brought his time down even further to 19:32. The 5k story doesn’t end there; he went on to do the Hatfield 5k race series and in the second race managed to secure a PB of 19:31 beating his previous PB by a second.
He is not only a short distance runner; he has this year also achieved PBs in several other distances, the Fred Hughes 10 Mile, the Milton Keynes 20 Mile and the Milton Keynes Marathon.
This Improvement Award goes to Ben Bodsworth

Improvement Award

This lady has had an epic year of running which truly deserves an improvement award. The most notable month came in October where she completed her first ever & second half marathons, the willow 10k, the striders 5 miler, a 5k and the 401 virtual marathon, as well as running for the club at cross country, bagging PBs along the way.
This year she has been a valuable asset to the club becoming a coach & I think we can all agree she is a very organised, totally natural coach who brings a fun element to her sessions. Her fun side extended into creating ‘team brilliant’ which consists of Zena, her and myself dressing up in cow ears & a tail and jaunting around at the cross country races. We certainly made everyone giggle & I think next year we will be seeing a few more farm yard animals at cross country.
An improvement award goes to Maria Petts

Improvement Award

This Strider has quietly and efficiently improved his running over the course of the last year. He has racked up times of a sub 21 5k and a 42 minute 10k. He was an ever-present member in the cross-country team in the 3 Counties league and he also represented the club at the county and Southern Cross countries.
This Strider has now become an excellent club member and lets hope his brother has to look a little more over his shoulder in the next year. An improvement award goes to Martin Fallon.

Improvement Award

This man has been a member of the club now for some time and has shown continual improvement throughout his time. He is now a familiar face on club nights and his arrival at track is usually my signal to start the session. 
His racing exploits in 2016 have been many but all have shown the dedication and commitment that he puts into his training and for that reason I am very happy to announce the winner of this award is Pat Blessing.

Special Award

2016 has been a fantastic year for this man’s running achievements, and he undoubtedly deserves this performance award.
With well over 30 of his 50 London parkrun challenges complete, I think we can all agree he deserves a medal just for sacrificing every Saturday morning when he could have a lay in, but unwaveringly carries on each week. He has also kept an interesting blog on his adventures, which has a large following & has been inspiring runners far and wide.
He has also been an invaluable asset to the club in his role as a coach; his sessions are always well thought out & enjoyable, and he definitely brings a fun side to his sessions; most notable being his Halloween run last year. 
Well done Mark Layzell and good luck with the rest of your parkrun challenge.

Special Award

This special award is for a special lady who has brought so much to the club, she is a passionate supporter of all charities and especially our chosen club charity for this year. 
Many of the citations for awards this evening have mentioned parkrun. It is hard to believe that Luton Wardown parkrun has been running less than two years but with a regular attendance of 250 runners it is well established on the parkrun circuit. Without this lady it would never have been set up and I am delighted that she is now able to run it as well as be run direct. My Saturday mornings will never be the same and I wouldn’t change that for anything. 
This award goes to the wonderful Kate Neale.

Special Award

This lady nominated the club charity of 2016. Signposts is a local charity helping the homeless with shelter and integration back into the community.  This includes volunteering for local events including the Luton Half Marathon. 
She arranged a number of fundraising activities to boost donations including a very successful quiz night, sweepstakes, and sponsorship for the London Marathon and opening up the London Marathon coach to other local club members.  
All in all a superb £2000 was raised for a well deserving local charity. Very well done Linda Scanlon

Special Award

This award is for a club member with such enthusiasm and commitment for Striders. This year he has competed in every Three Counties Cross Country event, several races proudly wearing his Striders vest and joined our team of coaches. He has been known to give lifts to fellow runners in his minibus and is always willing to help out where he can. 
His energy for his coaching sessions and his fresh approach make them very popular with members. His enthusiasm and beaming smile are infectious. 
This Special Award goes to Dan Mann

Special Award

There is no stopping this man winning the over 65 category at the 3 county cross country championship this season with some impressive finishes.
Always ready to give help to other club members with sound advice, He may be a quiet man but he lets his running do the talking and is an inspiration to all of us at the club!
Deserved Special award goes to Derek Christopher

Special Award

This award goes to a young lady who is not known for her running prowess, but having joined Striders after the Beginners course in 2010 to improve her fitness, she has become a regular and popular member by helping out in the background of the club.
Quietly going about her business, each year she has supported the coaches of the Beginners course and can also be seen frequently helping out on the Striders Social evenings.  In fact it is on the social nights that she makes her presence felt, especially when she brings along a tray of cupcakes or other sweet treats.  She is also responsible for the spread that you have hopefully enjoyed tonight.
So this Special Award for 2016 goes to Cheryl McLaren.

Special Award

This special award goes to a Strider who is a long-standing member of our club. He has been a coach for a while and took one of the first speedwork sessions I plucked up the courage to join. I’m glad I did because I loved it, even though I think there might have been a hill involved. 
This Strider introduced triathlon to the club and has mentored a few members to compete in their first triathlon. His knowledge of running and cross training is vast and if you ever need advice he is always happy to help.
Recently this Strider has had to stand down from coaching due to injury preventing him from running, but is using the opportunity to concentrate on his cycling and is embarking on an ambitious cycling challenge in Europe later this year. This does not stop this individual being an active member of the club and the committee for which we are very grateful. 
This Special Award goes to Andy Ward.

Age Group Awards

Ellie Ballinger – Opal Award

Lorraine Webb – Amber Award

Chairman’s Award

It is a massive honour to be the chairman of Stopsley Striders and it is an honour to decide whom to give this award. 
This person although injured at the moment is a fantastic runner with many races and a couple of marathons under his belt. Although this award is not for his running, it is for his overall contribution to our club. 
This Strider is a real team player and would do anything to help this club to be the best it can be, he is an active member of the committee and does a lot behind the scenes to get the club noticed. He has been a massive support to me in this role as chairman and there have been several occasions when I have sent an email asking for advice or a second opinion. This individual will always see each point of view and decide the fairest way forward. 
I feel reassured with his presence on the committee and at the club, the chairman’s award for 2017 goes to Thom Darby.

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.
2016 was a turbulent year for this lady, both from a personal and a running perspective. The sudden deaths of her Father and Mother-in-Law in quick succession this year was combined with a long-running injury. These meant that there was little opportunity to run for a large part of the year, or an inability to string a decent series of runs together when there was a chance.
However, towards the latter end of the year, the injury seems to have been sorted and this lady is back into her running and her fitness is gradually returning.
After an extremely tough year, it is great to see this lady back running. The award goes to Beverley Green.

          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.

This award is voted for by members for a Strider who has gone that extra mile for our club. 
This year this individual has become a coach and regularly leads speedwork sessions and Tuesday track. She took part in every Three Counties Cross Country event although it turned into quite an expensive series of races as injury followed each one. I am glad to say injury has not hindered her enthusiasm for the club and for running. 
A very worthy winner of the Rosa Trophy is Maria Petts.

Striders XC Handicap Championship Winners

Karen Ashby 1st Lady

Martin Fallon 1st Male

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