Awards Blog

Dear Members,

Thank you very much for attending our annual awards evening this year online – it’s unusual circumstances to be celebrating our awards but I hope that everyone enjoyed the event.

I wanted to write a quick blog to summarise our award winners on the night, including our championship winners and our special award winners.

First of all, I’d like to summarise the championship winners. These will all have been announced in our Facebook group and on the blog already, but for your convenience here they all are:

  • Club Competitor – Ladies: Winner – Robyn Johnson
  • Club Competitor – Ladies: Runner up – Amy Young
  • Club Competitor – Men: Winner – Paul Dickens
  • Club Competitor – Men: Runner up – Richard Edwards
  • Road Championship – Ladies: Premier Division Winner – Amy Young
  • Road Championship – Ladies: Premier Division Runner up – Lizzie Coombes
  • Road Championship – Ladies: 1st Division Winner – Robyn Johnson
  • Road Championship – Ladies: 1st Division Runner up – Zeni Bellwood
  • Road Championship Age Grade – Ladies: Winner – Amy Young
  • Road Championship Age Grade – Ladies: Runner up – Lizzie Coombes
  • Road Championship – Men: Premier Division Winner – Michael Vargas
  • Road Championship – Men: Premier Division runner up – Philip Fisher
  • Road Championship – Men: 1st Division Winner – John Pratt
  • Road Championship – Men: 1st Division Runner up – Robert Butler
  • Road Championship Age Grade – Men: Winner – Steve Rhodes
  • Road Championship Age Grade – Men: Runner up – Michael Vargas
  • Off-Road Championship – Ladies: Premier Division Winner – Amy Young
  • Off-Road Championship – Ladies: Premier Division Runner up – Lizzie Coombes
  • Off-Road Championship – Ladies: 1st Division Winner – Louise Gardham
  • Off-Road Championship – Ladies: 1st Division Runner up – Robyn Johnson
  • Off-Road Championship – Men: Premier Division Winner – Michael Vargas
  • Off-Road Championship – Men: Premier Division Runner up – Paul Sawyer
  • Off-Road Championship – Men: 1st Division Winner Colin Tranter
  • Off-Road Championship – Men: 1st Division Runner up – Greg Billenness
  • Fell Championship – Ladies: Winner – Rebecca Gray
  • Fell Championship – Ladies: Runner up – Robin Culshaw-Groves
  • Fell Championship – Men: Winner – Adam Lomas
  • Fell Championship – Men: Runner up – Michael Vargas
  • parkrun Championship – Ladies: Winner – Anna Stocks
  • parkrun Championship – Ladies: Runner up – Sarah Underwood
  • parkrun Championship – Men: Winner – Philip Fisher
  • parkrun Championship – Men: Runner up – John Blatherwick
  • Marathon and Ultra Championship – Ladies: Winner – Laura Hastings
  • Marathon and Ultra Championship – Ladies: Runner up – Chloe Brooks
  • Marathon and Ultra Championship – Men: Winner – Phil Hammond
  • Marathon and Ultra Championship – Men: Winner – Matt Armstrong

This year we also introduced two new annual awards to celebrate the contribution to the club and the character of members that we lost in the past year.

The first new award is the Rolf Neugebauer Photo Award. Rolf was a Hyde Park Harriers stalwart and a regular part of the volunteer team at our home parkrun of Woodhouse Moor. Rolf was also incredibly well known for his race photography, particularly at Peco cross country races and on the laps of the Brownlee Centre track as part of the Leeds 5K Series, and I’m sure that many of us will have used one of his photos as a profile photo on social media over the years.

This award will celebrate the best photo taken related in some way to Hyde Park Harriers in the year – it could be a race photo of an individual or a group of Harriers, people cheering, people on a running or social event – it could be anything. The award is presented to the person who took the photo, so this could be your inspiration to get in to race photography.

The inaugural Rolf Neugebauer Photo Award was presented to Steve Brown for this brilliant photo of Caroline Sanders cheering at the Chevin Chase, summing up the key ethos of Hyde Park Harriers of supporting others.

The second new award is the Sue Smith Silly Story Award. Sue was a long standing member of Hyde Park Harriers from the early days of the club, and was someone who always found the maximum enjoyment from her running and made sure that she spread that with all of those around her. As Sue sadly suffered from cancer, she never let this affect her enjoying taking par in running events and being part of the club, famously taking part in the Leeds 10K in her new wheelchair with her support team.

Sue could always be guaranteed to find herself in the centre of some humorous happening – and this award is to celebrate that. This award celebrates the funniest story of something that has happened as part of Hyde Park Harriers in the previous year. The award is presented to the person or people involved in the story.

The inaugural Sue Smith Silly Story Award is presented to Honor Baldry for ‘Honor’s LCW Loo Adventure’. Honor found herself waiting for the previous relay leg to come in, which as we all now can be a very variable amount of time. Honor was waiting in the queue for the loo when the team with the baton came in, she had to run out of the queue to start the leg, and then ended up having to have a ‘wild wee’ fairly early on in the leg!

We have three other regular awards which are decided based on your nominations for Harrier Of The Month, and then decided by the Committee, the Chair and the President.

The Chair’s Award is awarded on the basis of athletic performance and the achievements or improvement of a Hyde Park Harrier in the previous year. There was an eight strong shortlist for the Chair’s Award, including: Alison Hargreaves, Caroline Sanders, Chloe Brooks, Laura Hastings, Mike Vargas, Mike Webb, Robyn Johnson and Sarah Underwood.

This year the Chair’s Award was presented to Robyn Johnson. Robyn had a stellar year, PBing across all distances, completing her first Ultra event, and maintaining an impressive run streak. Robyn also brings an infectious enjoyment to her running and shoes what a positive impact running can have on people individually beyond physical health and athletic achievement.

The President’s Award is awarded on the basis of contribution to the club. Things happen at the club because of all of the people volunteering, from people leading runs on Tuesday sessions, to people organising large events or projects, through to people being on the committee and contributing to the club. There were many ‘couples’ on the shortlist who in many ways contributed to the club together. This year the shortlist was Naomi and Toby Adkins, Laura and Richard Garratt, and… Steve Rhodes.

This year the President’s Award was presented to Laura and Richard Garrratt. Laura and Richard were both nominated for all of the effort that they put in to supporting other runners. Both Richard and Laura are regular leaders on a Tuesday night – what may seem like to some an easy job, but their consistency of leading through the year means they are helping to deliver running for hundreds of people (if you count each individual and individual run individually…), and have also supported runners to specific individual achievements.

The ‘Ain’t No Barriers’ Award is an award that is not necessarily awarded every year, so the decision to award it is a mark of special distinction on the person who receives the award. The ‘Ain’t No Barriers’ Award recognises special and extraordinary achievements in the face of challenges and barriers. It has often in the past been awarded to people for amazing achievements in ultra distance running, but it does not necessarily have to be, and can be awarded for any achievement in the face of barriers.

This year the ‘Ain’t No Barriers’ Award was present to Alison Hargreaves. The award was presented to recognise Alison’s dedication to running and the enjoyment that she derives from it that pushes her to continue her running. Alison has written a brilliant account of her journey to join Hyde Park Harriers on the blog talking about the barriers that she faces on a weekly basis of balancing family life and her running, and the sense of achievement and ownership that she gets through her running. We felt that overcoming these challenges made Alison a worthy recipient of this award each year.

Thank you again for coming to our awards evening, and I hope that you enjoyed this run down of all of our awards recipients!

Best wishes,

Philip Fisher

Hyde Park Harriers – Chair

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