Stopsley Striders Presentation Awards for 2017
Thanks to Tony Ashby for taking the photo’s.
2017 was an a fantastic year for this man and if I was to list all of his achievements for the year on this citation, I’d have Greenpeace on my case for the amount of trees used for the paper I would need, so I will highlight just a few. He was the first Strider home and part of the 1st place male team at Marston 5k, he regularly finishes first at Wardown Parkrun. In June he broke a men’s senior club record that had stood for over a decade, by running the John O’Callaghan 5 mile in a time of 28.34. He won our 10 mile race in August and finished 3rd, 5th and 6th respectively in the 3 cross country league races he participated in. These really are the tip of the iceberg of his achievements in 2017. If you look at his Strava profile, you can see how hard he trains to run so well, and anyone who voluntarily does an hour’s worth of hill repeats on cardiac hill deserves all the accolades that come their way.
The Stopsley Striders senior man for 2017 is
Since this lady joined us two years ago she has gone from strength to strength, her running has improved significantly and the distances she is covering are getting longer and her times are getting faster. By her own admission she has become a running nut and cannot get enough exercise, she regularly does a workout in the morning and then runs with the club in the evening. She is an active member of Striders, frequently organising social runs and is always happy to welcome new members. She has recently qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness and is the face behind all of our social media. I am delighted this inspirational woman is a member of our club and this years Senior Lady,
This man epitomises much that is good about our club. A person who is prepared to give time to others, trains and races to a high level whilst being self effacing in acknowledging his own achievements.
As many members will appreciate he is a regular coach at our Tuesday night track training sessions where he has helped and inspired many runners to achieve their own ambitions in 2017. this coaching that places during all weathers and can mean sacrificing his own needs at these sessions. yet his schedules and encouragement are appreciated by all those he coaches, together with the friendship and camaraderie this endures.
However, this is but one aspect of how this man represents the club in a positive and constructive way. He was also an active and leading cross country runner at local and county events, has achieved great times at distances ranging from 5K to the marathon in 2017, thus extolling the virtue of hard work and structured training in doing so. His achievement in running the London Marathon in a time of 3:02:38 was particularly memorable meaning as it did that he came 247th in the Vet 45 age category. (Out of a total 3460 in his age category who did this event). For all the above reasons this runner is someone who through both deed and action shows all that is positive about this club. This combination of coach, successful athlete and being a great bloke mean that the award for vert man 2017 goes to
I’m not really sure where to start with this Strider and I apologise now for everything I have left out!
Inspite of having 2 months off for an operation in the early summer she has managed to break the club Vet40 records for 3k, 5k, 5 miles, 10 miles, 20 miles and the marathon! I am expecting her to hold the full set very soon!
She has also had an amazing cross country season – she ran all five of the Three Counties League races, finishing in the top 10 in all of them and coming 3rd overall, she won the Bedfordshire Cross Country Championships outright and earned her first England selection for the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International in Northern Ireland, finishing as 2nd Vet 40 in her race.
Our Vet Lady for 2017 has to be
Super Veteran Man
This man had another phenomenal year.
He continued to take many of the age prizes in races at both County and individual level and I’m sure this is set to continue now that he has entered a new age category and got more time on his hands. His first target of the year was the London Marathon where he succeeded in achieving a GFA time and guaranteed entry into the 2018 race.
However it was as the temperatures rose and the distances shortened that this man really came to the fore, with 1st V55 age category places in the Marston 5k, the New Forest 10 and the Doug Anderson 5k. At the Bedford 10k he came second in his age category but still managed to break the 40 minute barrier whilst others trailed in his wake.
As summer turned to Autumn there was no let up in his performances, achieving 1st V55 in the Luton Half Marathon and the Gower Trail race before finally reaching the big 60. This brought with it a host of new challenges and records to strive for and this man wasted little time, becoming the 1st V60 and 1st V60 Eastern Masters in the Wolverton 5 mile race and breaking the club record with a time of 31.30.He continues to be a cornerstone of the running club and an inspiration to all those who try to keep up with him. The Super Vet Man for 2017 is
Super Veteran Lady
This lady had a great year of running last year, she achieved an age group PB at the Flitwick 10K and was part of the winning women’s team. She also competed in 4 half marathons and achieved a 5 mile PB at our very own Stopsley 5. A course that would suit this lady because her favourite type of running is a hilly trail route.
A regular at parkrun, her times have been getting quicker and she has visited many different parkruns around the country, although can regularly be found at Wardown coaching a young Ethan round encouraging him to achieve his goals.
Our Super Vet Lady of 2017 is
Super Great Veteran Lady
It is sometimes difficult to know what to say about this lady as she so quietly gets on with her running, despite missing out on training as she is either up north or down south looking after her grandchildren. Nevertheless she puts in some good performances as she is doggedly determined, sets a pace and sticks to it, hills or no hills. She has run half marathons obtaining 1st vert 65 at the Love Luton Half, 1st ver 65 at the Leighton 10 and 2nd vet 65 County Championships at 5 miles. She has also achieved her handicap for the Three Counties Cross Country League season and supports Striders whenever she can.
Our Super Great Vet Lady of 2017 is
Super Great Veteran Man
This Strider has had a solid year.
He ran the Flitwick 10K and all three of the Luton AC Series races – finishing as the Male Vet 75 5 mile County Champion. He is regularly seen running in a range of fancy dress outfits even on the hottest of days and has become somewhat of a local celebrity at races.
Congratulations to this year’s Super Great Vet Man
Cross Country Man
When this young man turned up at the 1st cross country race I had no idea who he was. He was so new to the club that he didn’t even have a club vest. After a quick S.O.S to the other striders there, we managed to find a top for him. It was very lucky that we did as he was the 3rd Strider home and finished in an impressive 31st place.
He proved to be a fantastic cross country runner during the season, scoring in every race and never finishing outside the top 60. It was his last race where he really showed how good he was by finishing in an amazing 17th place. To top it all off he also came 1st overall in the U20 age group.
The Stopsley Striders Cross Country man for 2017 is
Cross Country Lady
This lady took part in four of our five Three Counties Cross Country League races. Only not competing in the first race because of the ditches on the course. A member that gives it her all and seems to really enjoy cross country and being part of the Striders team.
This years Cross Country Lady is
This young man joined us in January and by his own admission hadn’t done much running previously, but it soon became clear that he was a naturally talented runner and that he was exceptionally quick. During the year he was part of the 1st place male team at Marston 5k, he came 7th at the Love Luton Half Marathon, ran an astonishing 36 miles at the Beatrix Potter 5 hour timed event and finished in an impressive 27th place on his cross country debut.
Aside from the running, he has been a real asset to the club, he is an invaluable liaison between the club and Inspire, and he is also very supportive of club members at races. This man’s potential is immeasurable and I for one am really looking forward to seeing his progression in 2018. This years male newcomer is
All our beginners graduates are stars, but this lady managed to stand out amongst them. She started the course unsure she would be able to complete it. Not only did she stick it out, including some impromptu speedwork, but went on to complete her first 10K within 6 months of starting the course. Like many of us she loves a shiny medal!
She has also been a regular at parkrun with her times going from 55 to 35 mins, and hates it when she has to miss her Saturday morning run.
While currently injured this lady is itching to get back to running and continue to improve her times, and is wisely following advice to get her back with us.
As her coach on the Beginners Course I am very proud of her for the determination she has shown and what she has achieved, and know that our new batch of Beginners will be lucky to have her support.
Our Newcomer Lady for 2017 is
This performance award goes to a man who started the year with one thing in mind, to run a sub 3 marathon.
His initial attempt at the Brighton Marathon in April in extremely hot conditions brought a PB of some 23 minutes and a great time of 3.03.46.
Whilst most would be happy with such an improvement this runner set his sights on Chicago (the race not the musical). He made significant changes to his training, made sacrifices to his social life and upped his carb intake in the form of the now infamous 4am jacket potatoes to not only achieve the sub 3 dream but to smash it with a time of 2.54.04.
This performance award goes to
This man has been a member of the club for a number of years now, and is always will to help others both as a coach, part time coach driver and friend. His ambition for 2017 was to achieve a PB in a marathon and as a result entered the Milton Keynes marathon in May. Putting all he had learnt as a coach and with several weeks of structured training behind him he got to the start line in a positive frame of mind. Well as positive as you can be when trying for a PB in the marathon!!
However, his hard work was to prove to be all worthwhile and he romped home with the pride of knowing that the 4 hour barrier had been well and truly conquered in a time of 3:54:50. for this great run at the Milton Keynes marathon this performance award goes to
As many of you will know Luton Athletic Club host a summer series of races during June and July which involve 3 runs, a 5K, 5 mile and 10K race. This man ran impressive time of 19:05 at the 5K race, 31:41 at the 5 mile race and 41:15 at the 10K race.
These results would have earned him first place in the V45 category of the series. However as he entered each race individually, rather than the series as a whole he was denied the accolade that most felt he deserved. Notwithstanding race protocol it was felt that this runner should be credited for his overall results in the series of races and for this reason this performance award goes to
This man has had an amazing year in running, achieving times over both short and longer distances which have not been bettered by any club member in a number of years. However two performances stand out amongst the many successful races that he ran this year.
Firstly, for many running a marathon, particularly the London Marathon is an ambition in itself. For this man the aim was to achieve a PB which would mean the fastest senior runner to the club for over 25 years. Perhaps as a testament t o the high regard in which he is held at the club that is was no surprise when he achieved his ambition to finish in a time of 2:48:52.
Having reached his target in the marathon this year a new goal needed to be found and as a result this runner decided he should try for a qualifying time for an automatic place in the next years London Marathon. To do this he would need to run a half in 1:15. He therefore entered the Great Eastern Half Marathon in Peterborough in October hoping to beat this time. However, whilst achieving a time which only one other runner in the history of the club had bettered his time of 1:15:03 meant frustratingly that he was 4 seconds outside of the necessary qualifying time. Nevertheless, undeterred he entered the Bedford Half in December (which is not as flat as Peterborough) and this time stormed to a magnificent time of 1:14:55 to achieve his ambition of an automatic championship place in the 2018 London Marathon.
For these two great performances, this performance award goes to
This lady love to run and loves to run a long way. A marathon is the shortest distance she raced last year and she did two of them. This performance award though is for the Centurion Autumn 100 mile race which she completed in a time of 26:34:55. Anyone that can keep going for that long and complete such an amazing challenge deserves an award.
This Performance Award for taking part in the 100 mile race goes to
This man is one of our quickest at the club with many impressive times being achieved in recent years. However, on this occasion he set himself a completely different scenario to that most runner would wish to face. This involved what the website describes as a “24 hour running party in the woods” adding in “ultra running has never been this much fun.”
Most, if not all of us would describe the second statement to be an oxymoron. Running around a 5 mile loop for 24 hours no matter how beautiful the scenery is not a party many of us would want to be invited to let alone volunteer to take part in. However this man is made of stern stuff and surviving the 86m gain on each 5 mile lap with slopes to a max of 9.5% he ran a total of 24 laps (120 miles) to finish first in the event. For this achievement this performance award goes to
This award goes to an individual for his half marathon time of 2:21:24 which you might think is a bit slow for this man. But with a course record of 1:35:00 and described by the organisers as Level 3 Strenuous Terrain consisting of grass, moorland, beach and rock with 2,337 feet of ascent, then you know it must be hard course.
He finished the Gower Coast Half Marathon 2nd in his age group, this performance award goes to
This performance award goes to a man who had finally got a place at the London Marathon and wanted to make sure he became a regular, so he was determined to run a good for age time rather than take his chances in the ballot.
He set out with a plan, which included his Sunday long runs and became a regular at the Tuesday and Thursday speedwork sessions getting noticeably quicker as the weeks progressed.
This fantastic effort resulted in a PB of 3.17.15 and a guaranteed entry into the London Marathon for 2018.
This performance award goes to
This lovely lady and I started our marathon journey together, we were both training for our first marathons in 2015 and it was great to compare tips and training stories.
Every year since this lady has competed in a marathon and in 2017 she ran two. This performance award is for the first of those marathons where she proved that hard work and commitment to training really pay off. This lady is a regular at Tuesday track and speedwork on a Thursday and her work in these sessions has really made the difference to her times.
Being on home soil with her family there to support she completed the Belfast Marathon in a personal best time of 4:38:09, taking a massive 20 minutes off her previous marathon time.
This Performance Award goes to
This performance award goes to a very dedicated member of the club. She was training hard for her half marathon but was constantly having to have treatment and rest days due to injury. She kept up her dedication to track and coaching on Thursday speedwork sessions. In between all of that she found the time to train on her own, which we all know is not easy. This did not stop her from getting a PB of 2:15:27 at the Bedford Half Marathon.
This Performance Award goes to
I have known this lady for about 9 years through work initially, it was more of a professional acquaintance however over the last few years I have got to know her more as a friend to which I am very pleased about.
This lady joined the Striders beginners group in May 2016, she had spoken to me about it at work and shown an interest so with a few other colleagues decided to come along and give it a go.
As the weeks went by she went from strength to strength as our other colleagues started to dwindle and drop out for one reason or another, she finished the Striders beginners group and took part in the graduation parkrun and completed this in 38:46, which after only running for 12 weeks wasn’t too shabby.
This lady has grown stronger from then and set herself the challenge of getting a sub 30 min pb for her 5K and on the 18th November she smashed it setting herself a new PB of 29:12.
This lady is a true inspiration and a valued member of the club she has taken part in many races and cross country events and recently qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness. She is currently training for her first half marathon in March, which I’m sure we all wish her the best of luck for.
This well-deserved performance award goes to
This runner showed real potential from the moment he first ran with the club, but I don’t think any of us appreciated the determination, or level of insanity, that would follow.
As ‘not really a runner’ until he joined the club he completed his first marathon and ultra in one go in July. It was a laps race – so he didn’t even have to run that far, and then completed Ride London a week later. He followed-up that up November with The Druid Challenge. 3 ultras in 3 days.
Not only has he improved his endurance but he has also got faster with PBs at every race from 5k to Half Marathon.
He has since signed up for his first proper marathon – that should seem easy now!
This hard-earned Improvement Award goes to
This runner has youth on his side. They are a regular at speed work, track, park, road and cross country runner. 2017 has seen them develop their experience and pacing to allow them to achieve some great times, starting with chipping away his half marathon PB from a 1:46 at Dunstable, down to 1:36 at Bedford, 1:35 at Luton and finishing the year with an impressive 1:32:17 at Bedford in December. Attending and point scoring in every cross country event, he has helped the clubs placing for this year. His commitment to running is second to none.
Parkruns are rarely run without him, taking part and helping as a volunteer and having run over 100 parkruns. Breaking the parkrun sub 20 minute time in November and Marston 5K in June, something which many of us including myself can only hope for.
2018 should be a good year once he is back from recent injury and we wish you well. A big well done, this improvement award goes to
This Improvement Award goes to a runner that just goes from strength to strength and is a great example that improvement comes not just from running (although very important), but cross training as well.
Since joining the club in 2017 she has gained PBs at all distances from 5 mile to half marathon, and has PB’d several times at parkrun.
She is also supportive of other runners, dragging them round with her at races or training with them, and is always up for a post race ice-cream or trip to the pub.
This lady is has been an inspiration to me this year, and a great marathon training partner.
This Strider rounded off her final year as a Vet 35 in great style. She got PBs at Marston 5k where she was 1st Vet 35, John O’Callaghan 5 miles (3rd lady), Luton Series 10k (3rd lady and 3rd overall in the Series), Stopsley 10 miles (1st lady), Love Luton Half Marathon (4th lady) and the Oakley 20!
Now she has hit the heights of Vet40 I can’t wait to see what a new age category brings.
This Improvement Award goes to
This runner has shown that injuries can be overcome and with hard work, dedication and in this case natural running talent excellent times can be achieved, with improving performances throughout the year at the shorter distances that culminated in a excellent time of 22:46 at 5K MK Rocket Race
This improvement award deservedly goes to
This Strider returned to running this year, joining our Beginner’s Course in May. She worked hard during the course and set herself a tough goal afterwards – the Disney Half Marathon.
She was very motivated and determined, tackled the new challenge of speedwork head-on and plugged away at increasing her distance. However the race came a little too soon and with a few weeks to go she made the difficult, but ultimately sensible, decision to race the 10k instead.
She followed this up with the Love Luton 10k – not quite so many photo-opportunities at that one!
She has become a regular member of the Striders ‘Jeffing’ Group (Run, Walk, Run) and I am sure that her continued hard work will see even more achievements this year.
This Improvement Award goes to
This award goes to a runner who has had some impressive results this year. They are a presence at the Wardown parkrun, running it 32 times and volunteering 8 times. They had impressive runs at Marston 5K, the MK half, Stopsley 10 and the Great North. We hope that the sky continues to be be blue for this Strider.
This Improvement Award goes to
The awards committee all agreed that this lady deserved an Improvement Award. Her hard work and determination is evident to all at club with her times at 5k improving and very consistent.
While currently injured she has stayed involved with regular volunteering at parkrun and race support to other Striders.
I am looking forward to having her back at club, setting a great example to newer members at speedwork, and seeing her progress further with her running.
This Improvement Award goes to
This award goes to one of our 2017 Beginners Course graduates. He did not let the fact that he missed a few weeks due to injury put him off! Since then his achievements include being awarded Strider of the Month, knocking 4 minutes off his parkrun time and 5 minutes off his 10km time.
He’s come a long way since proclaiming he didn’t know running could be enjoyable!
This Improvement Award goes to
This member is fairly new to the club. A quiet member which few of us may know. Having started running as a teenager, they were plagued with injury and moved onto other things. Now injury free, they have returned to running and have a natural ability. At Luton Wardown parkrun they clocked a time of 18:07 in December. Also they have competed in the years cross country season finishing 16th overall and winning his under 20 age category.
His efforts in speed work are also just as amazing giving the likes of Rob Barnes a run for his money, and sometimes pushing himself a little too far resulting in an embarrassing moment, not to be repeated (less said about that the better!) 2018 is looking to be a great year for him, and hopefully no search party needed this time to give an improvement award to
This Strider has been rather busy this year. He spent the first half of the year completing every parkrun within Greater London – the Lon-done Challenge. He finished this in June with the 48th London parkrun although he did have to go back a little while later to bag number 49, which had started whilst the challenge was in progress.
Once this challenge finished he has not been content to have a lie-in on a Saturday and parkrun closer to home, he is now three quarters of the way through his Cowell Challenge – 100 different parkruns! This involves earlier and earlier starts on Saturday mornings as he ventures further afield and there have even been a few flights!
Throughout his challenge this Strider has continued his role as a coach within the club and has organised a variety of social runs.
Congratulations and continued good luck with the rest of your current parkrun challenge.
This lady is an inspiration to all runners. Only joining Stopsley Striders in the later half of 2017, since then has been proudly showing off her club vest at races and taking part in cross country.
She has ran consecutively every day for 443 days of which started by completing a run streak in December 2016 and since then hasn’t stopped. Not only has her run streak been incredible, she is raising money for a worthy cause and she is also getting PB’s on every single race from 5k to half marathons with all of this proudly advocated on her social media platforms with her post run photos.
This Special Award goes to
We all know how good a runner this lady is, but when you are good enough to represent your country than that takes it to a different level. Not only did this lady run for her country, but she finished 2nd in her age category in her race. She did all this even after having to take a few months out from training due to an injury set back. So for representing England at the British and Irish Cross Country Masters and showing sheer determination to get to the start line, this Special Award goes to
This Special Award goes to someone who is annoyingly very good at running. He’s quick over short distance and quick over longer distance. Last year saw him break club records and get PBs in loads of different distances, but he has other awards (just a few) for some of those things. We want to recognise his slightly longer performances this year. There are probably other races that should be noted too, but for a year which saw him win the St Peters Way 45 mile Ultra in February, finish 12th in his little walk in the Lake District in June, at the Lakeland 100, and saw another 1st in November at the Druids Challenge 3 day event. This Special Award is for his Ultra Running over the last year.
Consistent, focused and dedicated are just a few of many words I could use for this runners 2017 running year.
They’ve regularly attended club nights and were part of the 1st ladies team at the John O’Callaghan series. Their dedication was proven when they broke the Vet45 marathon club record with an impressive time of 3:21:59. A record which had stood for 24 years! I’m sure you’ll all agree that this really is some achievement. Not to be satisfied with that, they have also club PB’s at the Oakley 20 and Marston 5K this year. Many runners like the shorter distances, but this runner seems to take the longer runs in her stride.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them personally for all the help and motivation they have given me to achieve my first marathon in 2017 and without her and the rest of ‘Team Wednesday’ I simply couldn’t have done it.
Lets hope and pray that 2018 will be a year to remember for good reason and we all wish you well. This special award goes to
This man has been a stalwart of the club for many years, probably too many that he cares to remember. He holds many club records and his experience and knowledge is often given to aspiring runners who join the club, particularly if they join him for a Sunday morning run from the Barrels.
However, this award is given for his selflessness in helping fellow striders achieve PBs. In this case he came across one of our lady runners who was struggling towards the end of the Stopsley 5 mile race in June of last year. Believing she could achieve the time she wanted to get her PB he decided that he would run alongside her to help her achieve this objective. With a mixture of encouragement and chastisement (some might say border on bullying) he managed to help the runner achieve her ambition in a time of 34:38. In recognition of this help in the achievement of this PB for Linda Scanlan this Special Award goes to
This Strider is the heartbeat of the club. She is the only member we all speak to on every club night, a member that helps make every social night run like clockwork, and one who supports every committee member in the role they take on. This Special Award goes to
This is a special award for two people who are very special to the club and at points last year I couldn’t have done this job without. The Stopsley 5 and 10 mile race has become the most important event in our club calendar. It is a great opportunity to share with other clubs what we do, raise our profile and put on a club race that as a running club we really should do. Saying this the pressure was on and without the help and guidance of these two people it would have not gone ahead. From my copious emails with lists of questions, joining them for dog walks with my notebook of questions and popping round for a cuppa to ask more questions. They came and helped set up the hall the day before, we paced and marked out the route and their presence on the day really helped settle my nerves.
The Stopsley 5 and 10 mile race would not have been the success it was without the help of
Stuart and Elaine Harries
For anyone who has run any race, you know that the weather conditions can pay a huge part on how your race goes. This was certainly the case for this man when he ran the Brighton Marathon. The weather was perfect for sitting in a beer garden, not so much for running a marathon. Despite the heat he was running well, but disaster struck when he reached the 23 mile mark, the heat had taken its toll and he collapsed due to dehydration. He ended up with paramedics for 45 minutes.
Most other people would quit the race and put it down to experience, but this man wasn’t having any of that. Once the paramedics had given him the OK to carry on, he did exactly that and finished the race. For showing the courage to finish the marathon despite the huge setback, this Special Award goes to
This runner has displayed very high levels of determination that a injury can be overcome and you can achieve excellent performances!
There must have been times suffering with back pain stopping this lady from running that running longer distance races and performing personal bests seemed just a pipe dream!
This runner is one of the most dedicated I have been lucky to meet, she ran two tough 10 mile races including Stopsley, then in October back to back half marathons even her times at the shorter distances of parkrun they all have shown a consistent improvement, these are all times to be proud of by this runner!
She also supported this years beginners course and in doing so helped her friend reach her running goal in graduating at our Wardown parkrun event. She has as well organised training runs outside of club nights for the benefit of others. We are very fortunate to have her as a member of our great club!
So it is my great honour to present this years Ken Abbott Award 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.
Striders XC Handicap Championship Winners
Christine Lathwell 1st Lady
Rob Barnes 1st Male
Cross Country Reward (for doing all 3CXC events)
Andy Durrant. Phil Davies. Christine Lathwell. Pat Blessing. Martin Fallon.
Matthew Lewis (not in picture)