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ANNUAL AWARDS 2023

CIRENCESTER ATHLETICS AND TRIATHLON CLUB ANNUAL AWARDS 2023


ROAD RACE CHAMPIONS


Kate Sackett and James Widdowson


CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONS


Kate Jacobs and Bill Leggate



VETERAN ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


This award is for men over 40 and ladies over 35. Given this covers most of our adult members, you won’t be surprised we had several nominations in this category, including


  • Jo Musk, just returning to competitive running, for breaking a 33-year old club age record on her debut marathon at Manchester.

  • Ian Barrett for consistently running over 80% age-graded, including his best parkrun time for several seasons, and being part of the winning XC vets team.

  • Rob Forbes for being our highest placed man in the Runbritain national ladder, with a minus handicap.

  • Joyce Matthews for two fast marathons in close succession.


The person with the most nominations however is somebody who set new PB’s at four distances from 5k through to the marathon, averaging over 80% age-graded. They came 2nd in their age group in the County road race series, but more notably lowered their own club M60 marathon record twice, down to an impressive 3:10.


The award therefore goes to Brian Harris.



TRIATHLETE OF THE YEAR


The Martin Archer trophy is named in honour of Martin Archer, a member who tragically lost his life too young in 1991.


There were very few triathlons completed by members in 2023.

In July, Chris Miller finished the Outlaw Ironman, placing 87/612.

In June, both Ian Barrett and Kate Sackett finished in the respective top 10 for over-50’s in the Cotswold 113 Middle Triathlon.

Kate also went on to represent Great Britain in the 60-64 age group European Middle Distance championships in Menem in Belgium in August, where she finished 5th, despite being older than almost all the field, and taking 20 minutes off her time for the equivalent event in Bilbao in 2022.


The award therefore goes to Kate Sackett.


{For those of us who just run, you may not be aware that Kate holds the club age records at every distance for both 55 and 60. Her half marathon time in Belgium after already having swum and ridden was 1:52 – this on its own would be a club FV65 record if she can run it next year (2025)



LONG DISTANCE RUNNER OF THE YEAR


Long distance here means marathon or above, and we had more than 20 members running at this level.

There were many individual achievements, from Chris Illman completing the multi-day 236 mile Dragons’s Back race, through Rob Forbes placing top 3 in two separate 100-mile races, to Jo Musk breaking a 33 year old club age record on her debut marathon at Manchester, and Jo Roberts for her gritty performance in her first 50-miler.


But the award this year goes to an impressively consistent and prolific long distance runner who covered just shy of 2,500 miles, including 25 marathons, no less than 10 of which were run back to back on successive days, all under 5 hours in December, taking his tally to 144.

None other of course than our own “Marathon Man” - Martin Croucher.



TEAM OF THE YEAR


There were several nominations in this category - Men’s masters cross country team, Cotswold Way Relay team, Outgoing Social committee and the Chedworth First Aid Team.


The team award is awarded to a club team who have made the most significant achievement of the year. By definition that can be a team of runners, organisers, coaches etc. who help make the Club work and be successful. This year’s Team award goes to the coaches and helpers who enable the Club to have large and growing Juniors and Teens sections. The sections have doubled in size in 2023 and has also matured in what they do and how it is done. Five children have now helped in one form or other as part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards, including four Teens members who helped deliver the Junior sessions. With two core teams, one for the Juniors and one for the Teens, there are now nearly 20 people helping make the Juniors and Teens happen effectively. We’re only giving out 10 trophies this evening, to those who have helped from before we moved to using two locations, as the Kingshill sports hall wasn’t big enough for all the children. So receiving trophies this evening for the Juniors and Teens Coaching Team are : Aaron Willis, Dorian Matts, Gemma Conway, Karen Ryland, Lara Tompson, Lyra Elliott-Jones, Mike Whelan, Paul Robertson, Rob Brown, Tim Stickney. Noting the help also given by the following team members, since we have moved to using Watermoor school hall in addition to Kingshill: Andy Neal, John Fraser, Mark Garrett, Anna Zaparka, Keeley Russell, Leo Crawford, Jo Musk, Rob Forbes, Sarah Hayward.



NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR


A couple of nominations were received in this category - Jake Yeo and Sophie Humphries. But the outstanding number of responses went to Kate Jacobs. Kate joined us in November 2022 and soon established herself as a dedicated club member. When the Women’s Team Captain role became available Kate was invited to take over and did so with willing and enthusiastic gusto. Her participation at committee meetings was welcomed and last year Kate suggested that we might like to consider doing a parkrun takeover. This event, organised by Kate, took place in January 2024 and was a huge success benefiting not only our local parkrun team but the wider community. Kate is now in the process of helping with the race organisation for Chedworth 2024.



ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


This award recognises not only high-performing athletes but those who have also contributed to and demonstrated loyal support to the club.

This was an easy decision this year. The clear winner raced 19 times at distances ranging from 5k up to 33 miles, on road, trail and cross-country. They topped their age category all but twice, and finished first lady no less than 7 times.

Their Gloucester 5k time in August of 18:41 equates to sub-17 minute for a MV45 to put it in perspective.

These performances brought them several Glos AAA awards –

  • 1st lady V45 XC

  • 1st V45 lady in the road race series,

  • and 3rd lady overall, despite only scoring from 5 rather than 8 races.


In addition to their impressive results, they also newly took on committee responsibilities, and initiated the club’s first parkrun takeover at the start of this year.


The winner is our Women’s Captain, Kate Jacobs.



MOST IMPROVED MEMBER OF THE YEAR


Much of what we’re about as a Club is helping our members improve their running performances, therefore there are many members who could have been in the “running” for this award (pun intended!). However only a handful were nominated by members: Dave Moss, Tom Purnell, Gareth James and the winner, junior member: Isabella Stickney. Some of the awards are obviously objective, but thanks to RunBritain certain performances can be seen in the right context. Isabella may not be known to many, but her off-road performance improvement in 2023 is unmatched. Bella has improved her age gender % from about 60 to practically 80% at parkrun reducing her RunBritain handicap from 20 to 5, as well as getting podium finishes in the cross-country including a county place. The Club has had a history of producing excellent women runners. Hopefully Bella can continue improving and aspire to be in that good company.



THE TONY CURRY AWARD


There were several nominations for this award - Nick Wall, Rachel Barrow, Rupert Chesmore and Tim Ingham.


However, buoyed by his first foray into the role of Race Director, standing in at Chedworth in 2022, Tommy Payne volunteered to undertake the role for the Cirencester Park 10k, the Summer Sizzler for the race in June 2023. Excited to be organising a race in his local community, in October 2022 Tommy began the race organisation with great gusto, From race licence to First Aid cover, timing company, portaloo hire, refreshments and of course the liaison with the Bathurst Estate management team nothing was too much trouble for Tommy. Flyer design and distribution followed as entries began to come in. As the race was this year included in the Gloucestershire AAA race series a big turnout was expected and this did not disappoint.

Fast forward to race day - Wednesday 14th June 2023. Tommy was on site early afternoon along with a band of very loyal helpers setting up the race headquarters. By 5pm the first of the facility providers arrived so liaison was required with each. By 5.30pm the car park marshals had been briefed and were in place followed by bib issue and course marshals arrival for the start of the junior races at 6.30pm followed by the adult race at 7.30pm. I have no doubt that at this point Tommy sighed a huge sigh of relief, but things were not over even then! Presentation of awards and final clear up which went on until after 9pm and the race day came to a close.

Of course Tommy could not have achieved this fantastic achievement without the support of club members family and friends but to take on the mantle and to do such a superb job was so appreciated that Tommy is the winner of the Tony Curry award for outstanding service to the club.



MEMBER OF THE YEAR


There were several nominations in this category - Tommy Payne, Rupert Chesmore, Tim Ingham and Andy Hindson.


However, the most nominations were for Rachel Barrow.


We have all enjoyed the race reports so eloquently written by Rachel on such a regular basis. Despite the modesty of many of our members to provide news of their superb results from ultras to parkruns, Rachel has a lovely knack of being able to bring out the best for the reports. Working closely with Martin and scouring Strava to find out more about our members activities, Rachel has gone over and above to write up about many of you here this evening. Rachel worked extremely hard to record your activities in a colourful manner and we all really appreciated and enjoyed reading about fellow club members events.

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