Last Saturday may well have been renamed Quaker Day as it saw both the annual presentation night and the club hosting another successful parkrun takeover.
The main event of the weekend was to be found indoors at the presentation night, which acknowledged members achievements over the year, both on and off the road. The top prize, Athlete of the Year, went once again to Brian Martin, most notably in recognition of his sub three hour marathon at Amsterdam. He also picked up one of the other main prizes, winning the Club Championship, comprising a series of races varying in distance and terrain over the year, with Julie Whinn claiming the trophy for being the highest placed female finisher. The awards for Senior Male and Female of the year went to Michael Joyeux and Sarah Watson, with Brian Martin and Wendy Colling claiming the Veteran Male and Female Awards. The Most Improved Awards, recognising those runners who made the biggest improvement in the past year went to Bridget Stewart and Chris Minto. The 10K League winners (in league order) were Paul Dalton, Andrew Vernon, Rob Gillham, Darren Wright, Phil Clarke, Phill Hall, Sarah Watson, Pamela Barrass, James Simpson, Wendy Noble and Rebecca Bowes. Finally the Catastrophe Award went to Paul Roberts in recognition of his brave attempt at the steeplechase which ended up turning into a swim at the water jump!
There were several special awards given out on the night as well to recognise the efforts of members over the past twelve months. Marc Ellis was acknowledged for his 500 mile charity run from Land’s End to Darlington, Louise Trainor, Darren Wright and Paul Roberts for all their assistance with the cross country events, Sally Singleton for her work as Coaching Co-ordinator, Chris Crathorne and Ian Young for their work with the intermediate groups every week, Dawn Bramley for her work as long standing treasurer, Lewis Boshier for the runs he completed for charity, Dave McLachlan for his determination at bouncing back from races, Paul Dalton for becoming the regional ambassador for parkrun and Gary Read for his continuous encouragement during training sessions and races.
The Chairman’s Award went to Steve Padgett for his work as club secretary, with Kath Horan also acknowledged for supporting husband Mike during his several years as club chairman. Karen Newton was the recipient of an honorary club membership, in recognition of all her support to the club through her fantastic photography contributions.
Earlier that day had seen the club hosting a second takeover of the South Park parkrun, which once again saw all the volunteer positions filled by members of the club, as well as a large turnout of black and white vests on the run itself, so it was maybe no coincidence several runners managed to set a new fastest time there.
Dave Jones was the first of the 42 Quakers to finish the run in 18:59, followed by Marc Ellis (19:28), Rob Dent (19:40), Richard Coulson (19:42), Andrew Laing (20:04), Gary Read (20:18), David Todd (20:51), Daniel Orton (21:21), Graham Park (21:27), Phil Clarke (21:31), Stephen Moore (22:09), Gavin Armstrong (22:30), Nick Wadd (22:51), David Whittle (22:56), Peter Rowley (23:05), Dawn Richardson (23:29), Ty Hankinson (23:57), Bridget Stewart (24:05), Billy Harris (24:06), James Simpson (24:49), David Mclachlan (25:52), Sue Woodcock (26:01), Mark Blewitt (26:05), Neil Harrington (26:24), David Brown (26:25), Neil Scollick (26:29), Sandra Martin (26:32), David Ledgerwood (26:45), Gill Colling (27:06), Andy Whittam (27:44), Lisa Johnstone (27:51), Sylvia Baines (28:36), Duncan O’neil (28:52), Sally Singleton (29:06), Michelle Scruby (29:45), Lisa Jenkins (31:43), Siobhan Waddell (31:53), Louise Mccann (31:54), Nigel Walker (33:20), Jan Waite (36:00), Andrew Dixon (41:35) and Ian Bond (45:07).
There was also a double helping of cross country action at the weekend, the first of which saw one of our runners coming back with some silverware. Wallsend played host to this year’s North East Masters cross country championship where Louise Trainor took second place for her age category by finishing the 5.3K distance in 24:56, while Brian Martin completed the 7.9K men’s race in 34:28.
The final regular fixture in the cross country season took place at Richmond, on a very windswept course at the old racecourse ground. The women’s event, which also included the over 65 men, covered 5K over two laps and saw Sarah Watson finish in 26:03 along with Michelle Boshier (28:17), Abbie Hull (28:47) and Danny Gordon (30:31). In the men’s race which covered 9.5K over four laps, Rob Dent finished in 43:26 followed by Andrew Vernon (46:00), David Todd (46:53), Darren Wright (46:58), Paul Roberts (47:07), Phil Rutter (47:39), Gavin Armstrong (50:40), Lewis Boshier (54:50), Gary Read (54:51) and David Ledgerwood (57:40).
Some runners also headed down to Yorkshire for two 10K races happening there. At Dewsbury, Diane Vaughan completed the race in 45:34 along with Richard Hughes (47:47), Peter Rowley (49:08) and Diane Adkins (1:07:26).
Meanwhile in Ripon, at the Muddy Boots 10K, David Thompson completed the multi-terrain route in 51:31, with Gill Wallis finishing in 1:17:51.
In the weekend’s other parkruns, Dave Thompson finished at Sedgefield in 23:14 along with Abbie Hull (26:51), April Corbett (28:56), Anthony Corbett (29:12) and Sandra Cass (29:13). At Albert Park, Andrew Vernon and Sarah Watson ran there in 20:25 and 23:41 respectively, while Alan Prest did the run at Durham in 33:01.