Members’ Member of the Year
Seven people were nominated for this award, but only the following two received more than one nomination and the comments are a summary of what was said about them.
Alex Penny – Coping with injury is tough, but despite being injured for almost a year, Alex has continued to be fully engaged with the club and has shown 100% commitment, leading sessions, helping people with training plans, supporting club members with much positive advice, and organising lots of other activities within the club. Alex has maintained a positive attitude during this period and his efforts, such as running the Berlin Marathon only a month after returning to running, have been inspirational. The Buckingham half marathon was initially Alex’s idea and, as chair of the Race Committee, he was instrumental in setting it all up. He was also responsible for organising the Bournemouth trip and our cross-country teams and is a regular parkrun Run Director.
Steve Thomson – Steve is a regular at club nights, gives great encouragement when he is run leader, participates in and consistently runs well at races, whilst still being supportive of others. He also wants to achieve his own goals and is an example to other club members on how to use training, mixed with grit and determination to improve! Steve is also responsible for raising the club’s profile through community work and does a great job ensuring the club gets involved with the foodbank, litter picking and the river rinse. He also organises many Sunday Runs for club members.
Male runner of the Year – 6 nominees
Duncan Gordon – Duncan has completed 15 Marathons this year (one more on 28 Dec) and will be running his 20th on 6th Jan 2018. They are: Darwin Day, Shrewsbury (4:30:13); Enigma Good Friday (4:16:05); Enigma Easter Monday (4:01:58); Isle of Wight Challenge -Ultra 65miles (17:36:26); Phoenix Saturday Night (4:20:13); Enigma Redway (4:30:05); Salomon Trail Marathon Wales (5:24:29) – the most technically difficult according to Duncan; Spitfire Scramble -Ultra 24hr (35miles); Phoenix Summer (4:55:06); Joust -Ultra 24hr (50miles); Bournemouth (4:36:36); Brooks Snowdonia (4:00:11); Phoenix Riverside (3:47:14); Enigma Deja Vu (4:32:47); and finished with a PB at the Enigma Christmas Cracker (3:45:13). Whilst on the BSRC trip to Bournemouth he completed the “Nut Case challenge” – the parkrun (22:08), 10k (46:14), 5k (22:45), and Marathon (4:36:36). He has also achieved the Gold Standard this year over 6 events. Duncan also took on the Route 66 Virtual Challenge by running, cycling, and walking the 2,280.3 miles over 2017. Duncan achieved the club’s Gold Standard this year.
James Olliffe – Quite apart from winning the club championship, James has competed in numerous other races and has achieved numerous PBs this year at Buckingham parkrun in 17:56; Silverstone 10k in 37:44; Not the Roman IX 12k in 47:45, the Helmdon Hurler 4.3 mile in 26:15; the Wolverton 5 mile in 29:06; Run the Claydons 7 mile in 42:43; the Leighton 10 mile in 1:03:20; and Buckingham half marathon in 1:26:06; not to mention coming home first club man in all 3 cross country races and many parkruns – even with a buggy! He came second in the club handicap competition – quite a feat when you realise he often started each event with a handicap of at least 10 minutes. As for the club standards, James achieved platinum standard in every race, but he didn’t run a marathon, so doesn’t qualify for gold!
Paul Sadler – Paul claims he has been “consistently appalling this year” but is genuinely delighted that somebody thinks otherwise. This is typical of his modesty. Not the fastest runner, Paul personifies what we all admire in a club runner – grit and determination and a willingness to try out new events and push himself to the limit. This was evidenced by his epic achievement at Bournemouth, when he was one of a very small number of people who competed in the 5k; 10k and marathon races that weekend, in addition to the parkrun on Saturday morning. His results were as follows: Bournemouth parkrun 24 min 59; Bournemouth 10K 48 min 48; Bournemouth 5K 24 min 50; Bournemouth Marathon 4 hr 50. He is most proud of his 10k race as he achieved a PB in this event. Other races in 2017 were: Silverstone Half 2 hr 18; Run The Claydons (7 miles) 1 hr 08; Blenheim Half 2 hr; Leighton Buzzard Dirt Half 2 hr 06 and Bedford Harriers’ Half 2 hr 05.
Darren Stanger – Darren has made incredible progress this year achieving six personal bests at Buckingham parkrun – including four weeks in a row – knocking 61 seconds off his previous best, which now stands at 22:40. He also achieved PBs at the Buckingham 10k, 49:57 (his first sub 50m) and the Leighton 10 mile event (1:25:42). Darren completed his first ever 15 mile at Banbury (2 hour 35 mins 15 seconds), and 20 mile (3 hours , 33 mins and 29 seconds) at the Milton Keynes Festival of Running and his first full marathon in May (5 hours 7 minutes) also at Milton Keynes. Prior to February he had not ran further than half marathon distance!
Steve Thomson – Steve narrowly missed out on the Club Championship trophy places by 2 points – foiled by the snow in December, perhaps – but he did compete in 9 races – the joint-highest number. Throughout the year Steve has been in full training for some race or other, completing 5 marathons this year, beginning with his first “two marathons in two days” in March, in 4 hours and 4 hrs 22 minutes, followed by the Bournemouth Marathon (then a pb of 3h40m), being the second placed club male. Shortly afterwards he finished the Abingdon Marathon with another pb in 3h38m, then in December he ran the mind-numbing Enigma Christmas Cracker in a valiant effort to achieve his club platinum standard, but came up a little short in a time of 3h44m – missing out by 2.25% on his WAVA rating. In between, Steve ran the Isle of Skye Half in 1h46m; the Leighton 10 mile in 1h12m57s; the 1 mile time trial in 5m54s and a parkrun in 20m24s for his 2nd highest WAVA score of 71.16%. Finally, it is no surprise that Steve achieved the club’s Gold Standard this year.
Shaun Twelftree – As Shaun himself says, he is “not the most natural of runners” and does “not have the dedication of some fellow club members” and “simply uses running as a form of exercise”. That said, he has run over 100 miles every month this year as part of an online challenge, with August being a particularly difficult one as he was on holiday for a couple of weeks. In November Shaun completed his 100th parkrun and his other achievements this year include several PB’s at the main distances he runs: parkrun in 21.09; Silverstone 10k in 45.27; Brighton Half in 1hr 41.03. He also completed the Cotswold 24hr endurance event as part of a team where he contributed 28miles which is by far the furthest he has ever run in one go. He says there’s a marathon in him somewhere, he just doesn’t know when! Shaun achieved the club’s Silver Standard this year.
Female Runner of the Year – 6 nominees
Hazel Allen – 2017 was the first full year of running for Hazel (she began running at the end of January 2016). During this year, she has run 5 10k races taking nearly 4 minutes off her previous PB and 5 half marathons reducing her best time by a whopping 27 minutes. Hazel has also run several of those “odd” distances – 12k, 4.3 miles and the Leighton 10 miler. She particularly enjoyed the latter despite all those hills! It may be because of being able to run an average of 10 minute miles which was then reproduced at the Bournemouth half. Hazel has run (at the time of writing) one long run of over the half distance in preparation for the Manchester marathon next Easter. Not bad for someone who said at the start of 2016 she was “only going to ever do the parkrun”.
Jenny Harris – Jenny started 2017 with the Watford half marathon in February where she achieved a 1h42m PB on quite a demanding course and followed this up with many other events – 10k’s, half marathons and marathons, including the Bournemouth Marathon – and she has now joined the cross country team. In November & December she completed the 100 mile challenge for each month running over 210 miles in all. A regular parkrunner, Jenny’s best time this year was 22m25s. She came 2nd in the Club Championship gaining 56 points, a mere 4 points behind the eventual champion, having competed in 7 events – the joint highest and was first woman home in the club’s run of the Buckingham Half in September. Jenny has achieved the club Gold Standard this year.
Jane Keig – Jane has had an impressive year, running a total distance of 1,696.37 miles in a total time of 282h27m15s and expending 127,931 calories in the process! (Jane likes her stats as you can gather!) Jane ran in the MK Festival of Running, doing 20 miles in 3h02m; took 15 minutes off her 12k PB at the Not the Roman IX in 57m; came first in her age category at the Helmdon Hurler (34m07s); improved her mile time in the track to just over 7 minutes – getting most improved for runner the second year in a row. In the Chicks and Chaps Winter Series she came in 5th, 4th and then got a 1st Place (she says she’d never been first in a race before – not many of us have!) achieving a PB of 46:34 for the 10k Race in the process. This year Jane ran her 100th parkrun and on the way achieved a PB of 23:09. She completed six marathons: the Easter Enigma in 4:00:20 followed by MK Marathon in 4:27, the Liverpool Rock and Roll in 4:15, Bournemouth in 4:14 (being 6th in her age category), and Three Lakes Marathon being first lady in 4:08, and finishing with another Enigma Marathon on Christmas Eve, her first sub-4 hour in3h58m. Just to mix it up a bit, Jane also competed in 3 triathlons – 2 sprint and 1 Olympic distance – after learning to swim well enough to do this. Not surprisingly, Jane has achieved the club’s Platinum Standard this year.
Debbie Morris – 2017 has been a record year for mileage for Debbie as she has run over 1600 miles! Here are her running stats for the year: she has taken part in 20 races plus 31 parkruns and 5 cross country races. These have included 3 marathons – all completed in under 4 hours – London in 3h42m (obtaining ‘good-for-age’ entry for2018!), Bournemouth in 3h55m and Abingdon in 3h49m; 4 half marathons, achieving a PB of 1:39 at Silverstone; 2 x 20 milers, 4 x 10ks, 2 x10 milers, 2 x 5 milers. Debbie says her highlight of the year was completing her first ultra, when she ran the Race to the Stones 100km race over two days in an overall time of 12:14. After the first 50k on day one she was the 2nd female, and finished as 13th female overall. Never one to take a break from running, Debbie ran whilst on holiday in Cornwall, the French Alps, and Greece, earning Strava ‘crowns’ along the way – although she says there was no chance of taking any from the elite athletes who have them all on the routes around Club La Santa in Lanzarote! Debbie has also achieved the club’s Platinum Standard this year.
Natalie Nicoll – Natalie is one of the ‘dark horses’ at the club, always away somewhere or other running in a race, usually that no-one has heard of, or certainly one that many of us wouldn’t ever dream of doing! She participated in one of the infamous Wolf Runs in November – essentially, an off-road, obstacle/trail/mud race – you have to be a bit mental to take part. She also finished 4 half marathons, beginning with a PB at Thorpe Park (2h24m24s) in February, then the Henley Trail (another PB in 2h22m00s), before completing yet another PB at Bournemouth (2h20m31s) and finishing with her first trail half at Broadway in 3h10m. Natalie also completed 5 10k events and a 5-, and a 10-mile race, before finishing the year with the Hook Norton Christmas Canter – another tough, slippery, muddy course – in 1h32m52s.
Tracey Watson – Apart from club nights, Tracey rarely runs anything other than a marathon or an ultra! In fact, she recently completed her 50th marathon/ultra. Over the year she ran in the following events: New Forest 50 km in March; South Downs Way 50 in April; Thames Path 100 and North Downs Way 50 in May; South Downs Way 100 in June; North Downs Way 100 in August; Chilterns 50 and Clarendon Marathon in September; the Autumn 100 in October and the Wendover Woods 50 in November with her final race of the year being the Winter Cross 50km. Some of these formed the incredible double Centurion Running Grand Slam, which consists of four 60 mile ultras and four 100 mile ultras and Tracey was the only woman to finish this. In fact, she has now run a double slam two years consecutively and hopes to make it three years in 2018 with a few more ultras and marathons too.
Best performance by a Male – 6 nominees
Duncan Gordon – Achieving a then personal best at the Brooks Snowdonia Marathon of 4:00:11 knocking 15 minutes off his time from the previous year and climbing 761m in the process.
Simon Hull – representing Great Britain in the 45-49 group Aquathlon Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia in May. (1000m swim, 5000m run) – placed 13th at the ripe old age of 47.
Alex Penny – Completing the “Nut Case Challenge” at Bournemouth as follows: parkrun 29:34; 10o 43:34; 5k 21;33 and marathon 4:18:33.
Paul Sadler – Completing the “Nut Case Challenge” at Bournemouth which included his first full marathon. His results were as follows: Bournemouth parkrun 24: 59; Bournemouth 10K 48:48; Bournemouth 5K 24:50; Bournemouth Marathon 4:50.
Darren Stanger – His first full marathon in May at Milton Keynes in 5h7m.
Steve Thomson – Running the Abingdon marathon in 3h 38 m – just missing his platinum time – after all his hard work and effort to get closer to 3h30m
Best performance by a Female – 4 nominees
Becks Brock – 100k Race to the Stones in 17h54m across two days, her first ultra and longest ever distance.
Jenny Harris – first woman in Buckingham Half Marathon club race.
Jane Keig – her first sub-4 hour marathon at the Enigma Christmas Cracker in 3h58m
Emma Rowlandson – Chiltern cross country at Luton coming in 12th female in Div 2 in 24:39