Saturday saw our runners ditch the Lycra and don their gladrags for this years annual awards presentation.
The evening began with a video slideshow of all the race photographs from the entire year. A fabulous documentation of every single members achievements. With Take That in the background declaring it was “The Greatest Day” it was 10 minutes of beautiful moments, reminding the team how far they’ve all come and bringing a smile to every face in the room. A perfect opener to the award ceremony.
What a year it’s been for the Roadrunners! We’ve seen triumph and success in reams with support and encouragement knowing no bounds. It really has been a joy to see so much love and passion for the sport rewarded with personal goals being smashed and even a trophy being won here and there along the way.
Several awards were re-presented by Chairman Pat Harris and team captains Julie Ray and Darren Cole on Saturday. Giving the recipients their well deserved moment to shine in the presence of their peers.
Winter Nominated Series – Bel Rockall
Summer Nominated Series – Elaine Harris
IOW Half – 1st IWRR female – Holly Newton
IOW Half – 1st IWRR male – Bill Goozee
St.Georges 10 – 1st IWRR female – Ashleigh Douglas
St.Georges 10 – 1st IWRR male – Bill Goozee
Club 10k – 1st female – Rosie Sexton
Club 10k – 1st male – Bill Goozee
Next up were the top 3 achievers in the Hampshire Road Racing League based on points scored totted up over the season. They were rewarded with vouchers for Love Running.
1st – Darren Cole
2nd – Simon Riley
3rd – Dean Pike
1st – Sarah Sharp
2nd – Abigail Farwell
3rd – Trish Train
Next up were the awards voted for by the Roadrunners themselves. With 2 awards to consider for men and ladies, every club member was asked to make their choice for Most Improved Runner and for Club Member of the year (an award which not only considers athletic achievement but also their overall contribution to the club, their inspiration to others and their team spirit)
Most Improved Female
1st – Sarah Holmes
2nd – Hayley Baxter
3rd – Bel Rockall
“All the mid run tears and tantrums paid off I guess!” said Sarah “the support and encouragement from the club along the way has been amazing. I would never have improved so much without you lot”
Sarah’s managed to break every PB in the book this season. From 5 miles all the way through. Shes’s run 5 marathons along the way, gaining herself a GFA time at the New Forest and coming 5th at IOW.
Hayley was voted into the 2nd spot after a fantastic win at IOW Marathon and also gaining herself a GFA time. Bel Rockall was recognised for her battle back from injury to break all her PBs and running a triumphant Brighton marathon after deferring the previous year.
Most Improved Male
1st – Glen Jones
2nd – Bill Goozee
3rd – James Shoulder
“I feel bl***y awesome! I’m a bit surprised! If I never win anything else in running I’m happy now!” said Glen the next day
Glen’s had a remarkable year, training solidly and often alone. He’s broken every single one of his PBs (for the second year in a row) and took a phenomenal 34 minutes off his marathon time at Manchester.
Bill, in the the number 2 spot, despite already being a speed demon has still found room to improve taking his marathon pb down to 2.46. James was celebrated for breaking almost all of his PBs and his participation in so many league races.
Club Member of the Year Female
1st – Sarah Holmes
2nd – Sarah Sharp
3rd – Abigail Farwell
“I am blown away! I can’t tell you how much of a surprise this award is! What an honour it is to be voted for by my peers!” said an emotional Holmsie. She was handed this accolade not only for her achievements in races, but for her endless encouragement, support and advice for runners of all abilities, helping to inspire others and her committee work, utilising her organisational skills and her way with words writing the reports.
Sarah Sharp was celebrated for her appearance at all 12 HRRL races and her outstanding committee contribution making her such a valuable asset to the club. Abi was voted into 3rd place, recognising her brilliance by placing 22nd in the league, her dedication to helping to organise track nights and her encouragement of others knowing no bounds.
Club Member of the Year Male
1st – Bill Goozee
2nd – Pat Harris
3rd – Darren Cole
“It’s amazing to be recognised by so many of your running friends! It’s unachievable without so much support over the year. I think everyone deserves an award!” said winner Bill.
Overall champion at both the New Forest and Dorchester marathons and 2nd at his first 12 hour ultra, Bill has had a whirlwind of a season. Giving his all in every race, he’s reaped the rewards. Training hard and racing hard.
Pat was celebrated for his amazing contribution to the club in his role as chairman and his passionate running, particularly his performance at the Race to the King. Darren was voted into 3rd place for his outstanding contribution to Track nights, his fantastic performances in the HRRL and breaking many of his PBs along the way.
Each year the club’s committee vote to grant their Achievement Award. This goes to the person that they feel has shown something out of the ordinary. This year they didn’t need to vote however, the winners name was suggested and it was a unanimous Yes. Karen Phillips. Long standing member and club stalwart. Quiet and unassuming, Karen is a regular at HRRL races and is always a consistent runner. However her remarkable achievement this year came on June 4th, when after training for months with co-hort Julie Ray, they embarked upon the Needles marathon. It was at 3 miles that disaster struck and Karen took a really nasty tumble. But Karen being Karen, she got up, dusted herself off and carried on… in pain…. a lot of pain. Not one to give in, she still ran the remaining 23 miles and completed what is already a tough marathon. Little did she realise that her shoulder was broken. A true display of mind over matter, of grit and determination. What a Roadrunner she is!
Occasionally the club will award a bespoke trophy. Made especially to award one members particular achievement, or non achievement may be more accurate. Yes that’s right the Epic Fail award was back this year! Hand crafted and presented by our own king of mud Michael Coultrup, this year’s trophy went to Mr. Ian Russell. Sadly he couldn’t attend on the night but was presented his award via a video call. Ian was deemed the worthy winner of this year’s acclaim after getting lost on the Midnight Marathon back in August. Lost….. on an out and back course… Lost to the tune of running an extra 9 miles in circles in the dark…. Lost and having to get a taxi to the finish area and still running across the line to collect his medal.
Finally, our trusty in house photography legend Peter Billington presented a special award of his own. This special trophy rewarded the winner for their finely honed skills, which over the course of the year, many club members have asked for lessons in this very specialist field, to which the recipient has encouraged them to watch and learn.
The Best Gimp award couldn’t go to anyone else but the self proclaimed queen of gimping Sarah Holmes
“I am chuffed to bits with my award and I will be fiercely defending my title in 2018. No gimping lessons are available from now on…I want to retain my competitive edge haha! ”
After a break and some food came what arguably the most exciting part of the evening. The grand reveal of the winners of this year’s coveted London Marathon club places. For anyone that has ever entered the public ballot to gain entry to the worlds most iconic marathon, they will know that the odds of getting a place are slim at best. But as an Athletics Club, we are awarded 2 places every year to issue to members as we see fit. As a club we lay down criteria that entrants must satisfy to enter this club ballot… the rest is down to luck… or in this case… round one of a lottery and round 2 a game of musical chairs. 14 names were in that hat to begin with before luck saw them whittled down to 6. A quick blast of the London Marathon theme tune saw them scoot round and round, before they sat down to a gold envelope on each chair holding their fate.
Bridget Keyte opened hers first, finding a IOW Marathon place in her envelope followed by Abigail Farwell finding a dreaded Needles Marathon place in hers. Next up was punk rock king Dean Pike finding one of the London Golden tickets in his
“I can’t wait! I’m going to attempt to dye my hair club colours for this one!”
Envelope number 4 was in the hands of Nick Scott-Denness, he opened his to find an IOW place. Next was Sarah Holmes standing in for Glen Jones, who’d double booked himself for the evening and gone off to a wedding reception. He picked the right stand in as the golden girl continued her winning streak by finding the last remaining London place, leaving Sarah Sharp with a Needles place for the 2nd year in a row.
“I only announced my 2nd retirement from marathons 2 months ago! Looks like I’m making a comeback!” said Glen
And so concluded the formalities for the evening. All that was left to do was dance the night away in true Roadrunners stylie with an “Oops Up Side Your Head”
Congratulations to not only to all the nominees and winners, but to every member of this wonderful club…. together we can make each other magic. Merry Christmas to every one of you xxxx