Striders 2023 Awards Night

28th January 2024

Thank you to all those who attended the Knaresborough Striders Awards Evening. I hope you all had a wonderful time. It was great to see so many of you in attendance. The evening provided an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of some fantastic running performances over the course of 2023.

The evening started at 7.00pm where there was an opportunity for members to purchase various club memorabilia. I tried my best to remind members that you can never have too many club buffs. After members had an opportunity to buy themselves a drink and enjoy a bite to eat the awards began:

The award winners were as follows:

· Club Championship Male Award Winner – Tom Calvert

· Club Championship Female Award Winner – Louise Lodh

· Club Championship Male Veteran Award Winner – John Hamilton

· Club Championship Female Veteran Award Winner – Carla Reddish

· Fell Running Championship Male Award Winner – Daniel Molesworth

· Fell Running Championship Female Award Winner – Catherine Morland.

Well done to all the above award winners. And so it turned out that all the award winners were to be presented with a Striders cap. I must admit I forgot all about this, so I’m grateful to Nicola for being positioned nearby to remind me. It’s almost as if she knew the Club Chair would forget!

Moving on to some of the other categories, which were:

Newcomer awards – Dave Glover, Sarah Glover and Claire Burland.

The awards recognised the positive contribution made by the above individuals since joining the club, particularly their enthusiasm at club training sessions and at club events. We love having you at the club and wish you another enjoyable and successful year of running.

Most Improved Award – Paul Snelling

Paul’s improvement at the club has been phenomenal. Starting off in the jog group and progressing to the inters group and then more recently the run group, Paul has had a great year of running. If you’re in a group with Paul then it’s not unusual to discover that Paul has shot off in search of a Strava segment. On average Paul will seek out five segments during one club session (I might have made that up, but you get the idea). Paul recently managed a 10k personal best on a club training evening. A special mention to Aidan McNab (himself proud segment holder of the Aidan Smash and McNab) for pacing Paul on that occasion. Keep up the great work Paul.

Most Improved Award – Ewan Edmondson

Ewan enjoyed a particularly strong year of running. Take a look at some of Ewan’s age grading performances and you’ll see just how impressive his achievements are. Ewan is clearly getting fitter, faster and stronger all the time. We hope you continue your good form throughout 2024. Striders will be there to support you all the way.

Most Improved Award – Donna Tucker

Proving you can be a hardworking committee member and still find time for great running performances, 2023 was a great year of running for Donna. Continuing her love of parkrun tourism Donna managed to smash her parkrun personal best. Well done Donna. (More to come from Donna later on!)

Special Achievement Award – Andy Clarke

As well as being a thoroughly nice guy and putting in some great performances, including a marathon debut at Cologne, Andy is singled out for his involvement at the club championships. Not everyone will be aware, but Andy participated in every club championship event in 2023, which included the three in a day races. Amazing dedication! Andy, we look forward to you repeating the achievement in 2024.

Special Recognition Award – Stewart Hymas

Stewart contributes a huge amount for the club, quietly working behind the scenes to support and develop the club. In particular the help and support provided in the lead up to Knaresborough Bed Race is much appreciated. I’m sure Stewart will be looking forward to us all getting in touch when minor mechanical issues need resolving. Stewart, thank you for everything you do.

After the above awards there was short break for more food and drinks, whilst teams were formed for the quiz night. Eric and Martin did a fine job with the questions. A great variety of questions and an interesting selection of prizes. I’d had quite a few beers by this point, but I’m pretty sure one of the prizes was a selection of matchbox toy cars. The delight on Craig Mitchell’s face was there for all to see!

And so it was left to the final award of the evening, the eagerly anticipated Strider of the Year. A few last-minute entries came in, but there was a clear winner this year. I can’t find my notes with the summary of comments received, but I don’t need reminding about Donna’s positive contribution to the club. Hard to know where to start and finish, but it’s everything from being kind, supportive and welcoming to other Striders, to her involvement at club time trials, managing club championship races, supporting social events, the Striders Christmas Tree Festival, the list is endless. A worthy winner summing up what being a great Strider is all about.

Finally, even if you didn’t win an award then please don’t think for one second that your contribution and involvement at the club isn’t appreciated by others. One of the things that makes Knaresborough Striders such a special club (and why membership continues to grow) is the support we provide to each other at training sessions, races and other events. I wish you all a happy and successful year of running.

Guy Close