Below are the list of our worthy award winners for 2018, presented during a wonderfully enjoyable evening at the Portmore Golf Club on the 5th of January 2018. For those unable to attend, a copy of the Chairman's Speech is also included hereunder.
Club Member of the year:
Performance of the year 2017:
Achievement of the year 2017:
Most improved runner 2017:
Beginner of the year 2017:
Marshall / Volunteer of the year 2017:
Committee’s Choice Award 2017:
Good evening fellow Road Runners and welcome to our Christmas Dinner & Awards evening. A big welcome must also go out to the partners who have joined us to celebrate a great year of running. You are the ones who put up with our countless hours of training, days away at races, grubby trail shoes and manky toenails. For that you have our deepest thanks. Long may you put up with us.
This year has seen our members achieve countless personal bests, many new distance milestones, record-breaking achievements, some massive charity contributions and many outstanding individual & team performances. Some of which will be recognised tonight.
In-turn the club is also celebrating the end of a good year. Our races have grown from strength to strength, with many achieving new entry records. Novel initiatives, including introducing “Running Angels” at the Barnstaple Marathon & ½ Marathon, “Food & Cocktail” stations at the Hartland Hartbreaker and ever more scary marshal points at The Nightmare at Arlington, have given our races a point of difference, which will only help them grow in popularity going forward.
None of the above would have been possible however, without the commitment, creativity and dedication of the Race Directors for each of our events. For that reason, I would just like to take a moment to thank Godfrey Osborne, Karen Grant, Zoe Smith & Simon Haywood for all their efforts in making our races such a success.
That said, none of the above could take place, nor would the events be such a success without the commitment, enthusiasm and dedication of our members, (and many non-members), who give up their time to serve on the committee, marshal, volunteer, support and assist in logistics. You are the true hero’s and deserve our deepest thanks!
This past year also saw us run successful beginner’s programmes and expand our coaching team and coaching initiatives. The people who run and co-ordinate these programmes are all volunteers, but yet give of their time unselfishly week-in, week-out. To the coaches and their support. Thank you.
Towards the end of the year, we rolled out a new membership management system, online store, email system and website. We hope you will agree the latter now provides members with an improved web presence and contains all the relevant information relating to our club in one place. The above initiatives are largely due to the efforts of one person, who gave up many weeks of his time to see it to fruition. I would personally like to thank Trev Bryan on behalf of all of us for his research, initiative and dedication.
With that all said, this evening is about you, the members. For that reason, I now take great pleasure in announcing the winners nominated by you in the following categories:
Performance of the year
This award is given to the person, who you believed achieved the best performance /or performances during 2017.
The person concerned, has grown from strength to strength in 2017, having won and placed overall in several races, won several age category awards, completed their first ultra, participated in the record breaking SWCP 630 mile team challenge and is an all round top bloke. Oh and he ran a sub-3hr marathon. Oh, and he ran a sub-3hr marathon.
This award had to go to: Phil Thorne
I would be remiss, if not mentioning some of the other candidates you nominated and who equally, produced some outstanding performances in 2017. For that reason, I would also like to make special mention and congratulate: Bryan Abell, Jenny Stone & Katrina Smale on their exemplary performances.
Achievement of the year
This award goes to a runner, who isn’t necessarily the quickest runner /or a runner who has run the furthest, but who has achieved significant milestones during 2017.
The winner of this award received your overwhelming support. This runner (and I hope I have my facts right here), ran over 1,800 miles, participated in the 630 mile SWCP Challenge, completed 29 marathons, ran the 90 mile Ridgeway Ultra, completed the Druids Challenge 100 mile multi-day ultra and many other ultra’s too numerous to mention.
I give you: Shaun Watts
Other special mentions, nominated by you, also need to go to the entire SWCP Challenge Team, who completed the 630 mile course in a record breaking 05d03h33m. Many of the team are in the room tonight. Put your hands up. Well done.
I should also mention that we had a number of runners complete their first ultra in 2017. Could you also put your hands up. Well done.
Most Improved Runner
This award goes to the runner whom you felt had made the most significant strides in their running in 2017. (Excuse the pun)
I am pleased to say that this recognition goes to a most deserving runner. Completing their first ultra was just the beginning of a year that saw massive Personal Best’s being achieved across the 5k, 10k, 10 mile and ½ marathon distances.
None of this came by chance however. This runner doubled their running total from 2016 to 2017 to complete over 1,000 miles this past year, all while showing a huge amount of dedication. This runner can be found at 05h30 in the morning 3 days a week, come rain or shine, participating in the morning coaching sessions and still continues to run at Club Nights and on the weekend.
I am very proud therefore, to present this award to: Becky Mountford
This category did however raise a number of worthy members in your nominations. I would therefore also like to take the time to mention a few of them: A big well done to Bill Thorne, Jo Biederman, Stuart Talbot, Vicky Fillingham & Vicky Bolsom, all of whom achieved new milestones this year past.
Beginner of the year
This award goes to a runner who successfully completed the Beginners Course and who has gone on to achieve new and greater things in running.
The winner of this award has since completed a number of races, including the Barnstaple Half Marathon and I believe is set to run the London Marathon this year. She is described as chatty, friendly & approachable and there seemed to be a number of comments complimenting her cakes at the end of races.
Please give a hand for the deserved winner of this award: June Tamlyn
Marshall / Volunteer of the year
Another new award introduced this year is in recognition of our outstanding volunteers and marshals, who selflessly give of their time, before during and after each of our races.
This year’s award, voted almost unanimously by yourselves, goes to someone who gives of her time at each and every one of our events, is a stalwart of the Park Run volunteer team and who is always friendly, bubbly and approachable.
The award goes to none other than: Michelle Williams
Committee’s Choice Award
This year the committee made the decision to award an exemplary member, who although may not have won in one of the individual categories mentioned this evening, has been nominated in most of them.
This year’s winner participated in all five of the club relays, (sometimes running twice to fill the numbers), has volunteered at a number of our races, helped with the Beginners Programme, ran further than before in 2017, (reaching 470 miles) and has achieved numerous Personal Bests in the 5k, 10k, 10 mile and ½ marathon distances.
It gives us great pleasure to announce this year’s Committee’s Choice winner as: Lisa Adamson
Thank you awards
Before announcing our final award, I wanted to take a moment to call some of our hidden hero’s to the stage.
These people, (some of which do not even run for the club), tirelessly contribute to the success our events and programmes. In addition; two of the people involved, give of their time on a regular basis to support, motivate and encourage our runners.
These people, often unseen, are the true spirit of the club and to that end I wanted to offer them our thanks and a small token of our appreciation.
Could the following people come to the stage: Brian Mulholland, Richard Fogerty, Alan Talmage & Iain Hindes
Club Member of the year / Personality of the year
This final award of the evening and as nominated by you, goes to someone who you have deemed exemplifies the ethos and spirit of the club.
This person is often the first person to help collect items from the container before an event and the last person to finish clearing up after an event, all the while giving of their time, energy and enthusiasm during the event itself.
After a year of injury in 2016, this runner has come back stronger than ever in 2017 and successfully completed 2 ultra-marathons in the process, while finishing the year having run well over 1,000 miles. He also walked his dog around 1,000 miles for good measure and made sure to record every damn step on Strava.
He is a valuable committee member, having taken on a very difficult role in an enthusiastic, never-say-never manner and in the process, has sourced and built a robust membership management and event solution that will carry the club forward in the coming years.
It therefore gives me great pleasure to present this year’s member of the year award to my friend and all-round top bloke: Trevor Bryan
Before we move onto main course, I have two more mentions to make.
Thank you for bearing with me.
The first is to thank Becky Mountford for the outstanding effort she has put into this evening. Preparing for an event such as tonight, as well as the many other social events, coaches and the like she has co-ordinated throughout the year, takes a tremendous amount of time and coordination. For that reason, I hope you would accept this small token of our appreciation and in thanks for all your hard work.
You may have noticed all the band equipment behind me.
A year ago, one of our members was having her 49th birthday. As a birthday gift (and as she had expressed a lifelong dream of performing on stage), her partner arranged to form a band, so that she may perform in front of you tonight, soon after her 50th Birthday.
I hope you all enjoy your meals and the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol. Some of you probably don’t need any encouragement, but thereafter, please be upstanding for Vicky Skelton and the Munchausen Band, who will perform a few songs before dessert.
Thank you. I look forward to seeing you all on the dance floor later.