HPH Chair’s Update and Harrier of the Month for December

Happy New Year Hyde Park Harriers and Friends! We hope you had an enjoyable, restful (if not very different) festive period and that your new year has gotten off to a good start.

This month, we find ourselves, yet again, in another lockdown without the ability to see our running friends in big groups or compete as we love to do. My thoughts go out to all of you during this time, and hope that we can still run together and get together virtually, or in pairs, over the coming weeks. 

Last month we very briefly got back to running as a club; we ran the Chevin Chase route; we ran to all the beautiful trees and Christmas decorations in a bid to feel festive. Not only that, we hosted the first ever Hyde Park Harriers virtual Christmas party and panto which was a raging success and brought laughter to many of your households. Thanks go out again to everyone involved in putting that together – we think it was awesome.

It was a real challenge to choose winners once again this month, which is always a fabulous situation to be in, because it just shows that you’re all still out there, doing awesome stuff. Without further ado, this month’s winners are Anne Akers and Toby Adkins.

This month Toby Adkins received a number of nominations for his absolutely stonking marathon PB where he knocked over an hour off his previous marathon by achieving 2:42 at the Grim Up North Christmas Cracker marathon. Toby has trained so hard for this throughout 2020, and has put in so much work, so a well deserved PB and a fantastic achievement. Well done Toby! How does he fit it all in whilst also being the resident HPH Riddler and regular Tuesday night leader? 

Toby looking happy as he runs his way to a fantastic marathon PB!

Our second winner this month is Anne Akers for all of her hard work and great thought put into this year’s virtual panto. I hope you’ll all agree that the panto worked seamlessly on zoom, and everything had been thought of. Anne has such a fantastic talent as a writer, so the panto was also absolutely hilarious, too! Well done Anne, and thank you to sideline hero Noel, for all your tech support! Maybe this year we can do a panto in person! You can read more about the panto on Anne’s blog: here – and don’t forget you can watch it all back here.

Anne and Noel and their merry band of panto clowns

Our additional bonus winners this month, HPH, are all of you! One of our wonderful members Caroline Sanders had an accident back in December, and she wanted to thank you wonderful Hyde Park Harriers for all your help and support and remind everyone that we are more than just a run club. We are so proud of you, HPH. You’re awesome.

HPH, being awesome at Christmas!

“I’d like to nominate several people for Harrier of the Month. I’d like the whole club to know how important it has been to me in the 10 days I’ve been in hospital, but exceptional mention must be made of the best mates a runner could ever hope for. Lizzie Coombes was first port of call when my sister-in-law, in Altrincham, needed to contact friends closer to me about the accident, and was one of a number of people who must have received a shock Facebook message from someone they’d never met. Teejay Jones, Claire Hougham and Clare Maxwell collected bits from my flat and put together a thoughtful, funny and gentle care package when I was well enough after a week, and delivered it to my ward, Covid safe. Phil Hammond, the inside man, popped in to check on me and I’ve never been happier to see his friendly face. Jaz Bangerh, Mo Aslam, Ben Hartley and Laura Garratt have been checking in regularly with notes of care and food offerings. The messages of comfort from so many people have been quite overwhelming. The single best decision of my life was the one I made to join HPH. You are my community, and have made me feel loved, valued and cared for. I’m always proud of the red and white, and will never forget the kindness and support I’ve been shown. It’ll be a while before I’ll be running again, but I know that however long it takes me to get back to where I was, I will walk with, run with, talk complete nonsense with and be surrounded by people who believe I can do more than I think, and who want me to do my best. With love and pride in my wonderful club and beautiful friends.”

Danni Bryant was also nominated for the awesome backgrounds that she created for the aforementioned panto and Laura Garratt was nominated for her incredible half marathon achievements in December. Well done everyone and thank you for everything you do!

Finally, as always, keep an eye out on the weekly bulletin emails and in the Facebook group for more information about virtual races, competitions and quizzes to keep us all busy until we can see one another for a run again. If you have any ideas for a quiz or challenge, please get in touch with the committee by emailing hello@hydeparkharriers.co.uk or messaging one of us directly on facebook. You know who we are. But if you don’t, you can find out here. Our next meeting is on the 10th Jan – make sure you get in touch with any agenda points.