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

Welcome to October, Hyde Park Harriers! Wow, where has the year gone?

Sessions have changed a little this month: with the introduction of new Kirkstall Hills and Meanwood trails sessions. It’s great to see so many of you at these sessions and meet so many new Hyde Park Harriers. One of the things on my mind about the sessions we have been providing is how many of you are attending and how much our membership has grown since we started back. We must be doing something right!

That said, there must be some things we can improve on. Capacity of sessions being the biggest thing on my mind. The thing that holds us back from providing more sessions to you as members is availability of leaders on a Tuesday. If you are new to the club, or if you’ve been running with us for a while and you want to give something back, please get in touch and we’d love some new leaders!

Or club has come on leaps and bounds and I feel eternally grateful to have such a fantastic, supportive and reactive committee around me during a period of such uncertainty. Whilst, as a team, we have achieved so much, there are also individual members who have contributed significantly to the club, or their own running this month. It gives me great pleasure to announce that the winners of the Hyde Park Harrier of the month for September are James Tarbit and Naomi Adkins! Well done to you both, great job on all your achievements. Read on for more about what these awesome Harriers have been up to this month.

The male competition was won by James Tarbit this month, for his awesome idea to encourage HPHers to run as much elevation as possible, week on week, for 10 weeks! He has been motivating, challenging and generally loving all the pain that we’ve put ourselves through to climb over 123,000m! James has put in so much effort with the organisation of this challenge and it’s really brough together our members, exploring new places in a bid to get the most elevation every week. Shout out, too, to the individual competitors – just look at those numbers! Well done to everyone that either took part or cheered from the sidelines.

If anyone fancies organising the next challenge, please get in touch! Otherwise, check out a great set of running challenges run by HPH member Tom Thomas in the Leeds Underground Running Group, Yeah (LURGY!). You can see more, here.

Not only does James organise epic challenges, he does epic stuff, too!

The female winner this month is Naomi Adkins. Naomi is a critical piece of the committee puzzle and does so much behind the scenes to help this awesome club running and our members safe and healthy. Naomi was nominated for the President’s award in 2019/2020 and has received and been awarded many nominations for the same thing over her years at HPH, which speak volumes about her dedication and consistent commitment to the club. Naomi’s part of the team who send out the weekly bulletin, she manages the website, she cajoles our leaders into leading sessions and she has incredible decision making skills. She does this all in a really calm and collected manner. Not only that, she’s a top runner and brilliant human being. Read more about why Naomi was nominated, below. Thank you Naomi, you’re a star.

Naomi, is also one of those awesome people that does awesome stuff, too.

Here is a list of everyone that was nominated this month. Thanks, and well done to all of you for everything you have done and achieved.

  • Steve & Jane Prust – Steve (and Jane) have been attending loads of the small group sessions, and have completely embraced the spirit of our club – in particular Steve’s brilliant end-of-session photo poses. Jane’s also run the virtual Great North Run this month after only taking up running a year ago. Well done both!
  • Steve Rhodes & Rich Garratt – Joint nomination for Steve for completing the Joss Naylor challenge and to Rich for run support for the whole of the challenge
  • Naomi Adkins – ‘I love the way Naomi just gets on with everything in the background, never expecting praise or recognition yet contributing more to the club than many people realise. She is a real trooper, so organised, always supportive, willing to step in to lead last minute and also more than capable of doing the weekly roundup on her own when needed. She is always there, never complains, super good at the website bits and always happy to share her knowledge and expertise with others. On top of that, she rarely loses her calm and is a real asset to the club (she’s also putting in some good miles lately). Well done Naomi, we are lucky to have you. Keep being amazing.’
  • James Tarbit – Epic amount of admin in relation to the elevation/Everest challenge. A challenge enjoyed/inspiring across the club
  • Amy Young – I am so impressed these past few weeks (months even!) how Amy has put so much time and effort into interpreting the covid rules, then the new local lockdown rules, in order to get HPH sessions up and running again – and keeping everyone informed, updated and safe.
  • Curtis Ledger – 100% attendance to all three sessions every week for 7.5 weeks of the 9 so far. His determination to complete the program when he’s not managed it in previous attempts is great to see. It’s really noticeable how his confidence in tackling elevation changes as well as the increasing interval times is growing week on week.
  • Dianne Ackroyd – Almost 100% attendance to all three sessions every week for 7.5 weeks of the 9 so far. Dianne has had to juggle things going on at home and has openly said how difficult she has found it to get out and do some of the sessions. However she’s done them all so far and it shows in how her running has grown. She’s often well up the road and having to double back to us so as not to run off into the sunset! It’s so great to see her progress from week one to now.

As usual, just a reminder that the date of the next HPH Committee meeting is October 18th where (once again!) we will be changing how sessions are run for members and friends as the evenings start to get darker and colder. Our piece of strategy work is also progressing… look out for more on this over the next few months. Don’t forget to get in touch ahead of this date if you have anything for discussion.

Finally, as always, keep an eye out on the weekly bulletins and in the Facebook group for more information about virtual races, our weekly sessions, updates on competitions and, most importantly, don’t forget to log into Spond every week to sign up for a club session. Details on how to join us in these sessions is here.