May 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 15, 2013
DOZENS of members of the Saffron Striders gathered on Friday to celebrate the achievements of members who went the extra mile in 2012.
The club’s annual dinner at The Gate in Thaxted Road, Saffron Walden, saw trophies awarded to members who excelled over the course of last year, either in races or through other commitments to the club.
The 2012 Club Championship was won by Toby Lumsden after he topped the table in a hard-fought competition. The championship featured 10 races with distances ranging from 5K to marathon, with members picking their best eight performances from those races to score. Bonus points were available for members who helped out at the club’s own races.
Lumsden accumulated an impressive 631 points, including excellent runs at the St Neot’s Half Marathon and the Thurlow 10 Mile, to clinch victory ahead of Matt Billis (599 points) and men’s captain Arthur Oliva (553 points).
The top-placed female runner was ladies’ captain Fiona Halls, who scored 415 points for ninth overall.
The Striders introduced a new prize this year in memory of club member James Kew, who lost his life while out running with the club in the summer. Kew had run his first ever marathon in April 2012, completing the London race in an incredible 3hrs 5mins, so the James Kew Marathon Trophy for the year’s best marathon performance was deemed a fitting tribute to his talents.
Ian MacDougall was named the first ever recipient of this new award after his astonishing run at the Paris Marathon in April. MacDougall finished 190th out of almost 33,000 entrants in a blistering 2hrs 43mins. He was the fifth male over 50 to complete the gruelling 26.2 mile course, making it one of the best marathon times ever recorded by a Saffron Strider.
The Coach’s Award is given out every year to recognise a committed club member who has taken part in training sessions, worked on their performance, represented the club in races and has altogether been a shining example to other Saffron Striders.
The worthy recipient of this award was Bridget Savill who encouraged numerous new members in 2012 though her involvement with the club’s Beginners Course and subsequently helping them become fully-fledged club members via the Striders’ regular Tuesday night runs. On top of that, Savill competed in many races over 2012 along with supporting the organisation of the club’s own races.
In fact, this level of commitment was the reason that Savill was also the recipient of the final award of the night – the Strider of the Year. Voted for by club members, this coveted trophy has been won for a variety of reasons over the years, and in 2012 there was no more worthy winner than Savill thanks to her encouragement and enthusiasm which has helped new and long-standing members alike.
Despite the late night, the Striders were back in racing action by Sunday with three runners competing in the Great Bentley Half Marathon.
MacDougall won the male over 50 category and came 17th out of 605 finishers in 1hr 19mins, while Halls won the female over 30 category with a 1hr 30mins run, making her the seventh female and 99th overall. Simon Chambers completed the trio of Striders taking part, completing the 13.1 mile course in 2hrs 22mins for 589th place.
● New members are always welcome at the Saffron Striders. Meet at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre at 8pm on Tuesdays for a group run. Visit saffronstriders.org.uk for more information.