17 Feb Awards Presentation Night, 15th Feb 2019
Friday 15th February saw a Penarth and Dinas Runners “flash mob” descending on Penarth Athletic Club bar, to celebrate the achievements of our Club members in 2018. There were a selection of awards on offer, ranging from the Main Club Championships, through to the Off-Road Champs, with other awards for “Improvers of the Year”, Club Member of the Year, and the Chairman’s Choice Award. Master of Ceremonies for this evening was the outgoing Chair, Yvonne Williams, with assistance from Lyn Evans and the incoming Chair Simon Williamson (observing his first P&D Awards Night!)
As is tradition, the first award presented was for Club Member of the Year, with this individual then invited to dish out the other awards and feature heavily in the photos! (taken as ever by “Mr Snapper” Malcolm Bradley) A popular choice this year, with Club member comments such as “friendly”, “approachable”, “first member I met at training and he took me under his wing for the run”, receiving a huge round of applause (once he got back from the bar with his drinks order!) the award went to Chris Nellins. Chris has also been leading the Wednesday Social Runs for something like seven years, but will be stepping down from a regular commitment to this, with the last official ‘Nellins Tour’ on Weds 27th February…everyone welcome to join Chris on that evening. Thanks Chris for all your efforts with these unique runs, though he tells us he will be guesting on an ad hoc basis from time to time….
Next up were the “biggie trophies”, awarded to the Male and Female Club Champions in the 2018 series, which consisted of 15 races, everything from 5K up to Half Marathon on the road. A combination of high quality running and consistency brought the spoils to Ben Butler-Madden and Cath Barker.
The Senior Men’s Title went to Gary Brown (who had a close-up dog fight with Ben all year), followed in by Nathan Christoforato (his first full year of running; mightily impressive) and Kit Lambert, the latter getting quite “emosh” in a next day Facebook post, blubbing that it was his first ever Sporting triumph…maybe there’s a TV script in there, eh Kit?!
The Senior Ladies Title was picked up by Beth Apglyn, reaping the rewards for some highly consistent training. The Runner-up was Dan Rayner, with no 3rd spot awarded (you need over 4 completed races to get a place in the final rankings)
Next up was the Veteran Men 40 Category, and another fairly ‘recent’ runner grabbed the spoils…big congratulations to Jon Ely. Jon was chased in by Colin Caesar and Mark Taylor, neither of whom could make the evening (although Colin was snapped by Lisa cruising at speed around Barry Island parkrun the next morning!)
Unfortunately none of the Veteran Ladies 35 could get to the evening…so here are some action shots instead! Well done Louise Hunt taking the crown, followed in by Ruth Cann and Sarah Patnett.
Stephen Farmer proved all his doubters wrong (Jon Lewis?!) and grabbed a magnificent victory in the Veteran Men 50 Category, holding off the challenge from Kevin Chalke and Lyn Evans.
And so on to the Veteran Ladies 45 Category, and Club Captain Lisa Cleary literally led from the front to take a well-deserved title. She was followed in by Mandy Barrington and revelation of the night, Debbie Rees, another member thrilled to win her first ever running podium award (although rumour has it she’s won many awards for Circus Performance!)
The Veteran Men 60 Category was a bit sparse this year, but hopefully will pick up a bit in 2019. Malcolm Bradley cruised to a solid victory, and such is consistency and speed he actually finished 4th Male overall in the Points competition, which is a fantastic achievement when you look at the quality of some of the younger guys.
The final category of the evening was the Veteran Ladies 55, and again consistency paid off for winner Bev Warburton. Like Malcolm, she also finished well-up in the overall Ladies points competition, with a cracking 5th place. She was followed in by Yvonne Williams and Shirley Howman.
We then moved on (or should I say off?) to the Off-Road Championships. This was a race series beautifully put together by Malcolm Bradley, and his enthusiastic support landed him the Men’s Runner-up spot. But no one was going to deny Gary Brown victory in this series, a man who looks very comfortable throwing himself down steep rocky descents. Great running by Frank Atherton, finishing 3rd Man. In the Ladies it was another runner who loves nothing more than communing with muddy hillsides, Cath Tailby, and the Runner-up spot was nabbed by Yvonne Williams.
Improvers of the Year is a category decided by the Club Captains Ben and Lisa. The members chosen have shown significant improvements throughout the year, maybe radically improving a selection of PBs, right up to winning races or their individual age categories. Gary Brown had a brilliant 2018, with PBs at 5k (16:31), parkrun (16:53), 5m (27:49), 10k (33:46) and Half Marathon (76:10). He also gained prizes at several races, including a winning run at the Llantwit Major 10k.
There were joint winners in the Women’s Improver category. Cath Barker had a brilliant victory in the Great Welsh Marathon (3:33:27 PB), and managed further PBs at 5k (20:13), 10k (42:20) and Half Marathon (96:10). Beth Apglyn completely rewrote her PB profile, with 5k (22:02), parkrun (22:22), 10k (46:16), 10m (83:38), Half Marathon (1:42:37) and Marathon (3:54:08). Congratulations to our three Improvers of 2018!
We like to recognise the efforts of a hardy group of individuals known as “The Full Setters”…these are members who attend every single race in the Gwent League XC Series. Some unique mugs were commissioned by Lisa and designed by club member Hannah Clark. Take a bow Ben Butler-Madden, Shirley Howman, Beth Apglyn, Andrea Hurman, Lisa Cleary, Stephen Farmer, Gary Brown and Cath Tailby (not present on the night).
There was just one more award to present before we moved on to Quiz Night, this being the Chairman’s Choice. Worthy winner this year was Lyn Evans. Lyn combines the Club Treasurer’s role with that of Race Director for all three of our Open Events, as well as being one of the Lead Race Directors at Barry Island parkrun. Somehow he manages to get along to most training nights in the week as well….he is the true definition of a running club stalwart, and P & D are lucky to have him “on our side”!
We were very grateful to have Mandy Barrington organise a really fun Quiz for us…Mandy will now be forever known as “Sheila” as she inadvertently blurted out the answer to one of the questions (John Thaw’s wife)! Overall winners on the night were the very clever “Two Chris’s & Three Angels” (Chris Nellins/Chris Herdman/Arabella Calder/Deb Williams/Beth Apglyn), with Bingo Category won by “The Doritos” (Emma Shumack/Nigel Adams/Nathan & Jennifer Christoforato/Steven Barker)
All in all, a great evening out, and thanks to everyone who supported it this year.