Annual Awards

While LERCís Christmas dinner was certainly an opportunity to celebrate the impending festive season, as usual it was also the time to reflect on both the summer road racing season and the exploits of club members throughout the whole of 2012. As is increasingly the case, there was a lot to look back on and the number of runners vying for awards was large, thanks chiefly to sheer enthusiasm displayed by large swathes of the club over the past 12 months.

The annual Ian Baxter Memorial Award recognises those who, over time, have given their time and effort to assist the club. It awards the people who work behind the scenes to make events happen, or ensure that the day to day club matters are attended to. This yearís recipient was Colin Bostock, the long-time Club Treasurer and LERC 5 mile Race Director, who has recently stepped down from the latter position. Amazingly, since the selection procedure normally involves the whole club committee, Colin was totally unaware that he was the choice until the announcement, and, typically, thought that he didnít deserve it. He was wrong.

Another award made on the night was the Outstanding Athletic Achievement award, which is presented to the club member who has achieved the most over the last year, in purely running terms. This is the clubís highest sporting award and is decided by the Club Management Committee only.
In the deliberations, many genuine contenders were discussed, and many fine athletic achievements over the year were, nevertheless, considered to be below this particular ďbarĒ. At the dinner, Rob Fox summarised the yearís performances, highlighting some of the County medals earned, and mentioning the noteworthy races of the final shortlist nominees.

Eddie Matthiesonís single act, to run the entire length of the Trent Mersey canal, some 90+ miles, was mentioned, as was Jackie Matherís year of gaining County, Midland Masterís & British Masterís medals at various distances or terrain, as a LV50 athlete. Rachel, in earlier awarding Natalie the Ladiesí Captainís award, had already described Natalie Teeceís magnificent year, and Rob then mentioned the fact that Sarah Harris had also staked a claim with several wins, including two British Masters LV35 titles at 5k and 1500m. Rob then highlighted the outstanding year that Andy McNeill has had, maintaining an extremely high standard for a V45 athlete, along with his essential contributions to club league races recently. He made the point that Andy Macís achievements have often been over-looked or under-reported.

However, the clear choice for this yearís OAA award was Andy Peat, who has improved his overall level of performance over 2012, and has attained multiple consecutive PBís at distances ranging from 5k to half marathon. His crowning achievement was his top 50 finish in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k in 31mins 41secs, while he has also returned regular top 10 finishes in the Notts AAA Summer Road and North Mids cross country leagues. He also achieved a sub-73mins RHM half and a dazzling 15:41 5k, which earned him a county silver medal.

Unfortunately, Andy couldnít be present to receive his trophy, but his ears must have been burning and he was inspired to win the Turkey Trot half marathon two days later in 71mins 15 secs. Andy was presented with his award after receiving his winnings at Keyworth in front of a noisy travelling LERC crowd, as well as the menís captain award, which he also won, as Shaun Burtonís selection.

The Christmas dinner also saw the awards made for the LERC summer and fell leagues, as well as the draw for the clubís London Marathon places. The recipients of the trophies and marathon places are listed below, and it should certainly be noted that Rich Wilkinson, Phil Waters and Andy Dickenson gave up their awards and requested that the money instead be contributed to charities associated with the late Darren Holloway, a popular local fell runner who recently passed away. The club rounded up the donation to £100.

The main MC for the evening was Pete Sturgess, who had been involved in the staging of the Paralympic Games in his professional role as a masseur, and one of the many "gamesmakers". Inbetween the announcing of the Captain's awards and handing over to Rob for the final awards, Pete spoke about his experiences with the athletes about how they were so positive in overcoming their disabilities. Most of us have heard many such stories over the period during and since the games, but it was great to hear a first-hand account from a club member who made his own contribution to an historic event.

Summer League (where categories do not have 3 runners listed, it is where insufficient numbers have completed the requisite number of races).

Senior Ladies: -

1st Sarah Terry
2nd Rachel Argent
3rd Leanne Smith

F35: -

1st Karen Levers
2nd Dawn Blatherwick

Senior Men: -

1st Andy Peat
2nd Mark Boot
3rd Peter Webb

M40: -

1st Dave Boot
2nd Paddy Fitzgerald
3rd Shaun Burton

M50: -

1st Rich Wilkinson
2nd Paul Burchell
3rd Martin Tilling

Pheidippedes Awards

Carrie Chan
Damian Cowlishaw

Fell league

Senior Men: -

1st Mario Rocchelli
2nd Phil Abbott
3rd Will Chang

M40: -

1st Phil Walters
2nd Mark Harrison
3rd Damian Cowlishaw

M50: -

1st Rich Wilkinson
2nd Burchell
3rd Bill Sheppard

Senior Women: -

1st Rachel Argent

F35: -

1st Cheryl Brown
2nd Clare Eardley

F45: -

1st Cath Rowe

London Marathon places: -

Kevin Barry
Richard Ferguson
Phil Abbott
Lee Carnelley
Reserve: Chris Wood

In addition to the traditional awards and trophies, a couple of further presentations were also made. 2012 saw the first running of the clubís Cake Challenge series. This was a selection of longer races that had been identified as suitable for runners looking to improve their running or increase the distances they are able to run. Laura Froggatt and Karen Preston both embraced the concept and their efforts and subsequent improvements were duly recognised.

Finally, club chairman Ashok Patelís efforts to help new, returning and steadier runners were also acknowledged in the form of an award organised by Nicola Greensmith.

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