The Bedale and Aiskew Runners annual Presentation Evening took place last week at the club’s home venue, at the newly refurbished Bedale Sports Club.
The main hall looked wonderful after a great deal of hard work by committee members, when everyone sat down to a splendid three course meal. After a warm welcome from chairman, Paul Ellis, various trophies and awards were presented between courses, followed with club member Chris Pritchard entertaining with some well-chosen songs. Tables were cleared, dancing began, an excellent evening was had by all.
The Club Championship awards were after the starters, with Rebecca Smith receiving the title after several years of near misses. Rebecca had taken part in 12 of the designated races, with the best 6 performances counting towards the title. This included 1st place at Snape 10K and Sessay 6K. Louise Baker was the runner up, after achieving a lifetime best of 53:26 at Richmond Castle 10K, a full 5 minutes improvement over the year.
In the men’s championship 12 athletes qualified, with the top 8 in with a chance of the title until the final few races. Will Retchless was the previous year’s champion and again set the pace through the year with some outstanding performances in 10Ks at Doncaster, Snape and going sub 40minutes at Snape, to retain his title. He was pushed all the way by a fast-improving James Bartram, who finished in front of Will on the James Herriot trail race. However overall, he was awarded the runner up title.
The Handicap awards are worked on a percentage taking age into consideration so that comparisons can be made. The women’s Handicap Champion was Alison Grayson, with runner up Ann Harrington. In the men’s Handicap Raymond Lightle was runner up this year after winning the previous three, with Paul Bainbridge taking the trophy for the first time. Raymond however won the award for the most consistent attendee at club night, closely followed by club secretary Mary McDonald.
There were awards for Best Individual Effort during the year. Tash Miller won the women’s award after running her first marathon in Manchester and completing 90K in the Equinox 24hour event. Club chairman Paul Ellis won the men’s award for 1st place in the gruelling Slaithwaite marathon and completing the Fellsman and Lakes-in-a-day trail races.
Matt Randall led a long list of candidates for the Parkrun award. He started the Couch to 5K programme in Autumn ’18, regularly running and/or volunteering at Parkrun events, with a sub 20minute personnel best, to be one of the fastest in the club.
The most improved runner trophy always attracts plenty of candidates, particularly this year with the introduction of several different training groups. After much deliberation the committee awarded this coveted prize to Alison Grayson who had started on the first Couch to 5K programme Autumn ‘18, progressed through to the 10K group, and is now preparing to run in the upcoming London Marathon.