ATHLETICS: Grantham runners celebrate success at first annual awards
Nearly 100 members of Grantham Running Club celebrated the many outstanding successes and achievements over the past 15 months at their inaugural awards presentation evening at Belton Park Golf Club last Saturday.
The opening section of the evening was devoted to the presentation of more than 60y bespoke club Race Standard certificates, culminating in the award of a Diamond certificate and Special Recognition Award to Julie Braker whose Leicester Half Marathon performance earned her an Age Grade in excess of 90 per cent, which is considered by athletics statisticians to be a world class performance.
The second half of the evening saw 12 new awards presented to t10en members of the club. Catherine Payne and Rob Howbrook were crowned women’s and men’s club champions respectively, whilst both also picked up the award for the club’s Grand Prix Race League Series.
Peter Bonner and Caroline Davis were winners of the Men’s and Women’s Points Championships – a title that rewarded frequent participation in road races and parkruns.
Nicola Cottam was presented with the Biggest Improver Award; the Best Newcomer Award went to Lucinda Gamble – a 10 Weeks to 10K novice who went on to complete a marathon less than six months after graduating.
Women’s club captain Sarah High was a deserving winner of Cross Country Runner of the Year, and Nick Payne was awarded Ultra Runner of the Year, having completed no less than eight Ultra Races (events longer than marathon distance) and at least 18 marathons in a 15-month period.
There was a standing ovation for Gordon Geach who was voted Member of the Year by club members for his pivotal role in nearly all aspects of the club’s functioning.
The final award of the evening saw an emotionally charged presentation of the Nathan Walker Memorial Cup by his parents Ady and CJ to Holly Durham for her heroic performance at the 2017 Equinox 24 Hour Race, where she ran 99 miles to finish fourth.
Club chairman Matthew Kingston-Lee said the presentation evening had beena memorable one: “I was honoured to co-host our inaugural awards ceremony and thrilled to present our certificates and awards to so many thoroughly deserving members of the club.
“I’ve long wanted an evening devoted to celebrating the many outstanding successes and achievements of our fantastic club of runners. There were nearly two years of planning and work involved in bringing it to fruition but I am delighted with the overwhelming positive feedback from the event.
“I am indebted to the efforts, in particular, of our social secretary Edina Burns who transformed my vision of a pleasant, but low key affair, to a glitzy, stylish, and hugely enjoyable evening.”