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Harborough AC 2012 Awards Evening - Captain's Speech

Before we get on to the individual awards which is what tonight is all about I wanted to say a few things about our performance when – as as a club – we come together to compete against other clubs.

In these team events we finished in the worst possible position (4th) in many high profile events – Midlands Male Masters' 6-stage Relays, Midlands Men's 7 mile XC Champs, men’s Livingston and east midlands relays, women's Northants XC Champs. But we came good with wins in the masters men L&R county XC Champs (with four in the top ten), the u20 women Livingston and east midlands relays (with a new course record), division 7 victory in midlands T&F and veterans T&F B cup final.

Perhaps the greatest team achievement though, simply because so many were involved, was our 2nd place in the Round Leicester Relay mixed team event – five women and eight men on a brutally hot September day running for just short of ten hours and beating the team in 3rd by just one second. What a day, what a team!


1. Hilary Johnson Endurance Trophy

Running a marathon on a dry, still day is hard, serious business. While most of us huddled in a tent in Leicester hiding from the ferocious April gales and cold driving rain poor old Ady King had managed to choose about the worst possible day to make his marathon debut down in MK. Anyone with any sense would have said “not today thanks” but Ady battled through. 3 hours something I think he did…

But if you want someone with an inspirational lack of good sense – what this award is all about – there’s only one place to look. We’re nine months into the year, so naturally anyone who’s a serious distance runner will have done nine marathons. Not. No-one can compete with this madness.....Rachael Hardman


2. Sue Clayton-Drabble Track & Field Award

This trophy was donated by Sue to go to the person who most embodied the spirit of the ladies veteran track and field team. Jill Roginski, Karen Brooks and Lin Farrow contributed so many points to the team cause at the Midland Vets League Cup Final that they actually won the trophy. Jenny Jones has been happy to compete in the sprints as well as her specialist walk. Marise Taylor has competed admirably in many events but this year’s winner has approached this season with a new-found determination and no little application.....Lin Farrow


3. Most Improved Athlete of the Year

Steady progress from consistent training. The Watson girls, Mollie and Niamh, seem always to be training or competing and showing the benefit of that, as is Alice Tansey.

Back in Nov 2011 our award winner finished 7th for our 7mile midlands XC team – where 6 count for the team. He came to us as someone who’d done a bit of road running. Through his hard work he’s become one of our main track competitors as well as taking on XC. A year on and he’s one of the first people I try and get into a team.....Michael Burke


4. Best Newcomer of the Year

This award is for people who have been with the club for less than two years. This year’s winner has actually returned to the club after years in the wilderness with some other club up the A6. He’s done ridiculous numbers of events for our senior track and field team as well as being part of our recent A team at the Midlands XC Relays.....Mark Cherry


5. Club/ Team Athlete

This award is for the person who, when necessary, puts the Club before their own performance. Many of the T & F athletes come into this category, notably Stuart Avins, Mark Cherry, Dave Ward – all happy to have a go at nearly anything. Also our chairman – none who saw it will quickly forget Martin’s pole vault debut at Nuneaton. Or possibly my 2k walk debut at Tamworth.
Award goes to someone who’s always happy if available to pitch in – a nice long leg at RLR, late call-up to mids XC Relay, picking up points in the vets T&F.....Nick Turner-Henke


6. Cross Country Runner of the Year

We had eight runners competing for their counties in the prestigious Inter-Counties event at Cofton Park, Birmingham, and three of these also ran in the English Schools Champs in Somerset – Martha Clapp, Emily Taylor, Jake Watson. Sam Edwards running for Welland Park Community College was completely dominant in the county schools league with five wins from five races.
We also had fourteen runners finishing in the top ten in their county Champs, with top performance from Sean Fenwick who took silver in the Masters Men's county Champs, leading HAC home to gold in the team event. For a season of consistently high performance and improvement, being selected for both Leics county teams and with 25th place and our best result in the Midlands XC Champs the award goes to.....Martha Clapp


7. Track Performance of the Year

Last year’s winner, Roy Barber, had another successful season with further PBs over the short distances and County gold medals in both sprints. Father and daughter duo, Dave and Sarah Ward, also registered County victories in the 400m and 800m respectively and were followed onto the podium by Sam Edwards and Will Clapp in the 800m and 5000m. Sam then took his skills onto the National level by appearing in the 800m final of the English Schools Champs. This year’s winner has several claims for this award. First up, she won silver and bronze in the British Masters 1500m and 5000m before stepping onto the top step with gold in the 800m. She then transferred her attributes to the European stage when, wearing the colours of GB Masters, she finished 6th in a high quality 800m and 7th in the 5000m. Her crowning glory was a battling bronze medal in the 1500m, backed up by similar success in the WV40 4 x 400m relay. She has shown what hard work can get you at any stage – she should be a role model for all of us.....Karen Brooks


8. Field Athlete of the Year

Although competing sparingly, Jill Roginski performed to her usual level in her competitions, particularly in the Cup Final. Stuart Avins was also to the fore in the Vets League. At the County Championships, both Andy Wilkinson (in the MV45 group) and Lianne Brooks (Senior Women) proved themselves to quite literally be poles apart in comparison to their competition, each gracing the top step of the podium. Lianne subsequently registered a new PB and Club Record for the Pole Vault (at 2.40m). In the Juniors, there were new club records in various events for Bethany Ellis, Alice Tansey, Charlotte Ellis, Susannah hickie, Mollie and Niamh Watson. This year’s winner has returned after a three year injury-enforced absence to set a new pb of 3m40 in the pole vault and rank 6th in the UK in his age group.....Andy Wilkinson


9. Road Runner of the Year

Jackie and Ady King continued to race prolifically as did Kenny Anderson and Lin Farrow also had success in the EMGP. The award goes to someone who is full of potential and close to breaking through some key barriers – 1 hour for 10 miles, 1:20 for half marathon. Ranked 2nd in the UK in his age group over 20 miles. His increasing experience helped him judge his effort in the heat and on the hills between Loddingotn and Slawston, getting us back into the Round Leicester Relay medal race and beginning the move that propelled us from 5th to 2nd in the middle legs of the race.....Matt Driver


10. Club Service Award

We commend your coaches and team leaders, John Thompson, Pete Leach, Dick Callan, Alan Fordham, Andy Shrive, John Thompson, Dave Oram and Yvonne Barber; your team managers, Will Clapp, Rick Brown, Andy Robinson, Lianne Brooks; and Traci Edwards, who with support from Graham Hillier, Lianne Brooks, Sean Fenwick and Graeme Rolfe is overseeing a major rise in numbers and quality of our juniors. Adam Brooks and Kyle Barber help keep us and the wider world informed about our achievements and what’s coming up. By its very nature, this award goes to somebody who works tirelessly behind the scenes, often unnoticed. Tireless is a good word for this year’s winner: he’s taken on co-ordination of our coaching, he continues to deliver a really excellent event as race director for the Harborough 5, he officiated at the Paralympics and his Tuesday night and Saturday morning coaching sessions are hard work and fun and are helping create some very promising young athletes as well as keeping some of us old dogs keen.....John Thompson


11. Junior Female of the Year (Club Captain’s Award)

Emily Taylor and Martha Clapp had strong cross country seasons and Alice Tansey and Charlotte Ellis showed good improvement on the track. Niamh and Mollie Watson were strong on both, but the award goes to someone who although a junior was one of the stars of our senior track team, with a clean sweep of 800m wins in all four matches. She has also discovered the joys of road relay racing, running the fastest under-20 womens time at the Livingston Relay and making her debut at the Round Leicester Relay.....Bethany Ellis


12. Junior Male of the Year (Club Captain’s Award)

Isaac Watson competed well in the Heart of England League and Otis Harrison ran for his county in the Inter-Counties XC, but there can only be one winner of this award.
After an excellent XC season for his school which finished with 18th place in the English Schools XC Champs he reached new heights on the track. Set a club record in 800m which had stood since mid 1980s. 2nd in Midlands over 800m. Reached final of English Schools T&F – just pause on that. This puts him in the top 8 in the country in his age-group. A great 12 months.....Sam Edwards


13. Female Athlete of the Year

Whilst Karen Brooks and Hannah Eveleigh could make strong cases for selection for this award, we have gone for somebody who has performed well throughout the season on all surfaces. Having set a new age-group club record for the marathon at Snowdon (strange course to choose!) her highlight of the season was arguably a tremendous half marathon at Torbay. With a run of 91:49, she not only placed inside the top-100 (83rd) from upwards of 1300 runners. She also won the FV45 bracket, and reduced her best time of the season for the 13.1 mile distance by over three minutes. She also took first place in the FV45 category at the notoriously hilly Chesterfield Spire 10 miler.....Yvonne Scarrott


14. Veteran Female Athlete of the Year

Hannah Eveleigh started the year strongly with her County XC showing one of the best performances of the year. Yvonne Scarrott showed well on the road and it was pleasing to see Lin Farrow’s success at the EMGP. This year’s winner has again improved her performances from an already strong base. She concluded her track season with victory in both events in the Masters Inter-Area Competition. She has taken 5 seconds off her 800m and 4 seconds off her 1500m over the year, putting her in the top 20 all-time for her age group in both events. First English lady for 800m and 2nd for 1500m this year and, apart from the aforementioned European competitions, never finished outside the top three in veteran and senior competition all season.....Karen Brooks


15. Male Athlete of the Year

Sean Fenwick displayed flashes of brilliance – fastest short leg time of the day in the Midlands Masters 6-stage Champs, silver medal in the county XC Champs.
This year’s winner first showed his intent in the North Mids XC at Corby by leading the senior men home. I had the distinct impression of being the target in that race – he beat me by 9 seconds. Within six weeks he was beating me by over a minutes and it was clear he was now hunting bigger game. Bronze medals in Northants and Northants Schools XC Champs. At Livingston Relays he was our fastest runner, five sec’s better than Sean. Then he spent the summer taking huge chunks out of his 800m, 1500m, 5 mile times in amongst his A levels. You kind of expect improvement at his age, but the reason he’s getting the award is that he’s now depending on the distance our top middle and long-distance man. Sean versus Jake – who will win – that’s now the question.....Jake Watson


16. Veteran Male Athlete of the Year

We’ve got a strong team of old men on the road and country – 4th best in the midlands 6-stage and best in the county XC Champs so there’s a number of people worthy of mention here: all of these have shone at various times over the last year: Sean Fenwick, Will Clapp, Martin Gore, Andy Robinson, Jason Pitcher, Ady King. Only one has maintained his consistency, raced a lot, kept improving, shown total commitment to the team. Derby Runner League, LRRL, EMGP – does them all. Ran 1:19 for half marathon, achieved new PBs over 5m and 6m, made his track debut at the age of forty-something, and a really impressive first marathon.....Ady King


17. Athlete of the Year (Sanderson Trophy)

This award is chosen from the six age group winners:
Bethany Ellis
Sam Edwards
Yvonne Scarrott
Karen Brooks
Jake Watson
Ady King

For the first time in many years, we had two people performing well at national level and therefore it was a hard choice to make, but
the winner is ------ Sam Edwards

14/10/2012

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