Christmas party and ROTY awards 2015

Last Friday was our club Christmas do and presentation evening, this year held at a new venue.

Although I’m usually not too bad navigating by foot, ask anyone and they will tell you how hopeless I am when it comes to navigating whilst driving.  I’m forever missing turnings, going the wrong way along motorways and generally getting into arguments with the sat-nav.  Missing the group trail run last Wednesday was just one example of my poor track record!

After a 40 minute journey to the venue which was just eleven miles away(!) I arrived clutching the Runner of the Year (ROTY) nomination videos, rather flustered and ready for a drink!  Unfortunately, as it was also Dan’s Christmas work night out that night, I had promised that I would remain sober and leave my party a little early so that I could make the (genuine) hour drive to Cambridge to collect him in the early hours of the following morning.  J20s it was for me!

The evening involves Christmas dinner with running friends (really difficult to recognise some people out of their usual lycra attire and with their hair not scraped back off their face!), a presentation for all the awards issued to members, lots of dancing, alcohol, and for some, a trip out into town afterwards.

The first awards issued were the group ROTY awards.  Our club has six groups, ranked by speed.  I am currently running with Group 4 – an accomplishment I am really proud to say that I have achieved for all of 2015, having moved up just before last New Year.  I have moved up twice in the past, but had always ended up having to move back down into Group 5.  This year though, something has worked.  I must have gotten quicker (a few PBs to prove it!) and I have now been running in Group 4 for a full twelve months.  Last year I won the Group 5 ROTY award, something I really did not expect at all.  This year, I won the Group 4 ROTY award!

Group 4 ROTYI really like this picture, as I did not expect to win at all and you can see the look of surprise on my face!  My previous coach who had awarded the Group 5 ROTY award to me last year is in the background here too.Group 4 ROTY

A running club party is one of the few parties where I don’t feel as though I am being judged for wearing my vivofit!
Several people joked afterwards that having won the Group 5 award last year, followed by the Group 4 award this year I should be targeting Group 3 by Christmas 2016!  With entry requirements to run with Group 3 set at a 51 minute 10k time, I think I’m a little way off just yet! 😉

Group 4 ROTY award

After the group awards, triathlete awards and club championship awards were issued, I played the nomination videos for the Runners’ Runner of the Year award.  Each year since sitting on the committee in one of the web admin positions, I have put together videos for the nominations.  Putting together the video takes many hours, but it is so, so lovely to see the many fantastic goals that members of our running club achieve throughout the year and it is then so nice to be able to share these nominations (anonymously) with the other club members.  For each runner that has been nominated, I choose a nomination quote to add to images/videos of them for the ROTY video.  The following morning I then email all of the received nominations to the relevant runner so that they may know all of the lovely things that have been said about them.  The videos have always gone down well.  Here are this year’s videos…

Male…

…and Female…

I received several nominations this year and I was really touched to read all of them.

* Mary has smashed nearly all of her PBs this year as well as achieving her goal of a sub 5 marathon. She has also completed a number of ultras in between! Go Mary!
Did some fantastic distances (Grim70) and got a sub 5 marathon time. Well done.
* Mary has achieved a lot in 2015 including her goal of a sub-5 hour marathon and a number of ultra runs. Mary is always very modest about her achievements and ability.
* This year she set her targets changed her training and gain the PBs she aimed to achieve. Always works hard as a runner but puts in so much more time and effort for the club that many are unaware of.
* Mary has had a fantastic year achieving PBs at all distances she has raced from 5km to 70 miles! She also achieved her long term goal of getting under 5 hrs for the marathon. I am sure she will one day get her goal of a 100 miles as she is so driven! So next goal sub 4:45 marathon?!?
* For her continuous improvement throughout the year. And her face at the end of the Shires and Spires.
* Very determined lady.
* Many personal bests (time and distance) smashed.
* Mary has achieved some amazing PBs this year. Her determination is inspirational and she offers great support to others too.
So many people I spoke to in the build up to the award giving were struggling to decide on their nominations.  Not only do we have some fantastic speedy runners who have achieved some fantastic times and improved PBs by miles, but we also have a runner who had a heart attack on his very first club run and has since returned, running regularly with the club and having now entered his first marathon.  We have a coach who was diagnosed with a brain tumour early this year but has remained strong and continued coaching and entering races.  Every person that was nominated has worked incredibly hard and been inspirational this year.
Kev (who I often run with) won the Male ROTY award.  In June, he encouraged and helped more than 35 runners to enter and get round the Shires and Spires 35m race – giving confidence to what for many, was their first ultramarathon.  Kelly won the Female ROTY award.  She has literally won or places in every race she has entered and has had a fantastic year, achieving PBs in many race distances.
Trophy winners at the WDAC awards evening
I know I’m biased, but I do believe W&DAC is the very best running club!  :)
Me, Laura and Steph at the Christmas do
Does your running club hold an awards ceremony?
Who are the most inspirational runners you know?

8 thoughts on “Christmas party and ROTY awards 2015

  1. Congratulations!
    Our running club is very new- just over a year and a half old! Last year it had an awards ceremony, but I had only just joined, and I was busy, so didn’t go. But this year I have bought myself a ticket- it’s in January and I am looking forward to the social aspect as I feel I know quite a few of the club members now. Although we are going into London the next morning as some of us are doing the Winter 10K, but at least everyone will understand the not wanting to have a late night!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…The decorations are up!My Profile

    1. I didn’t realise your running club was quite so new! How lovely that most of the members right now will have been there since the beginning though. Our club has changed so much just in the four years I have been there.
      The social aspect of running clubs is fantastic. Hope you have a great do!

  2. I’m so happy for Kev! He was the first person from your club I ever spoke to at Shires 2013, and he was so nice 😀 I was a mumbling, stuttering wreck and he was ridiculously kind to me. He made me feel at ease before the race and I will never forget that. He deserves the award so much. I watched the entire video for the women as well – I wish I was as good with all sorts of technology as you are!

    I love your club…to the point where I wish I lived in your region so that I could join (well, if they would have me of course!) They seem to be so welcoming and have the right balance between fun and serious training. So many clubs are either uber-competitive (and slightly mean-spirited…) or go too far in the other direction and end up being WAY too social for me. I don’t know that I could ever really run for a club as I could not handle the idea of letting everyone down when I do badly in races, but I still wish all running clubs were more like W&DAC :)

    Congrats on your award! You look absolutely stunning – I adore your dress 😀 I’ve said you are an inspirational runner in the true sense before and I will say it again. Don’t write off that Group 3 trophy just yet!
    Jess recently posted…December Virtual 5K ~ Week 2 ~ 19:56My Profile

    1. As always, thank you for your lovely comments Jess. :)

      Kev is so utterly selfless. I was running with him on Monday evening and he was telling me how 2017 was going to be the year that he ran races with other people to help them achieve their goals. I pointed out that he had always done that ever since I first met him anyway, even if he didn’t always realise he was doing it!
      Of course we would have you at our running club! I definitely agree that it seems to have the perfect mix of fun and training. Running is meant to be a hobby, and I think if there is no fun element involved you limit the lifespan of the sport. You never ‘let anyone down’ at races though. Our club always turns out with the biggest cheering squad on the finish line, no matter what times people achieve. At Shires and Spires this year, one of the runners who finished in five hours waited until the very last of our club runners came over the line…four hours later!

  3. Congrats!! Such a well deserved award. This year has been fantastic for you :-) and you clearly do so much for your club too.
    On Sunday when I was at my friend’s birthday party (who’s a fellow runner and loads of the people there were from the club) we were all just chatting about how good running clubs are and how running really bonds people together. Non-runners don’t get it and it’s difficult to explain to them. My non-runner friend asked me how I became friends with the people from my club as I often mention different people and doing different things with them. It was hard to explain to him that when you run with people you develop a weird relationship. You see each other at your absolute worst, but also at your absolute best in terms of experiences and memories.
    Your club sounds very organised for your running groups. We usually just sort ourselves out on training day by saying “this group is running 8min/mile paces” and another group will run at 10min/mile etc. There’s no entry criteria – just kind of informal estimating. Though I imagine it works better as sometimes groups will split off if there’s too much of a range of paces.
    Anna @AnnaTheApple recently posted…You can never have too much cakeMy Profile

    1. Thanks Anna. :)
      I agree, there is such a great bond between the runners at a running club. I’ve made so many friends since joining ours and really feel part of the area I live in now, having moved two hours away from all friends and family back in 2010. You definitely see other runners at their worst and best – that can even happen during just one race! 😉
      Our club is quite large – with over 300 members. Obviously not everyone turns up on a training night, but there is some sort of need for organisation before a run! We usually get somewhere between 70-90 runners on a training night and there are six set groups. The club found that the easiest way of setting people is by 10k time, as most groups roughly cover this distance on a training evening.

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