Athletes receive awards at annual dinner

Weston Athletic Club.

Weston Athletic Club. - Credit: Archant

Weston Athletic Club held its annual awards dinner at the Royal Hotel.

Weston Athletic Club members ditched their trainers at the door, and scrubbed-up a treat for the club’s annual awards dinner at the Royal Hotel.

One hundred and fifty members packed into the ballroom for a superb three-course meal, before the winners of the awards were honoured for their efforts.

As well as winning the men’s road championship, Kieron Summers won the marathon cup for his superb performance at the London Marathon last year. Nick Briffitt won the age-graded marathon cup, and Theresa King won the women’s marathon cup.

Nia Davies was the overall winner in the women’s road championship, while Mary


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Nutley won the off-road award. Helen Diamond was rewarded for the highest combined scores in both championships, as was Guy Bradford for the men. Tony Hogg took first prize in the men’s off-road championship.

It was a good night for Niki Fulstow and Andy Chadburn, who were surprised to learn that they had won the female and male prizes for most improved runners of the year.

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John Hinchliffe and Michelle Fryer won the Hotlegs trophies rewarding them for having completed the most championship races last year.

Chris McMillan won the head coach performance award, and Gerry Hope scooped the 5k handicap trophy.

The club’s triathletes were also recognised, with Andy Hayes winning the President’s Tri Bowl and Phil Tomlinson being named triathlete of the year.

Jim Wotton, undoubtedly the club’s driving force thanks to his tireless dedication, was awarded the Chairman’s Cup, to rapturous applause. Rob Skeen, who organises the club’s junior races, the annual Beacon Batch race, as well as coaching duties, was deservedly voted club person of the year by his fellow members.

Long-standing club members Paul Snelling and Jim White were both made lifetime members, and Kev Hudson received the achievement award having made a swift return to running following a hip operation last year.

A further 35 awards were made to members who achieved personal best times in last year’s Weston prom runs, and 24 awards were given to the runners-up and age category winners in the club championship.

Finally, on a less serious note, three club members were given special awards for non-running-related incidents involving walking, carrying pizza as mid-race nutrition and dubious driving skills. After the awards ceremony, club members let their hair down and enjoyed dancing until after midnight as a fitting end to a great evening and a great year’s running.

Club runners swapped the glitz and glamour of their annual awards for mud, hills and sweat over the weekend as they took on a variety of club championship challenges.

The Hestercombe Humdinger half marathon follows a largely rural route around hilly lanes on the outskirts of Taunton. With over 1,000 feet of climb, runners are also rewarded with some fast downhill sections.

First to complete the course for the club’s men was Josh Harris in 1.33.07. Tobias Hinchliffe followed five minutes later in 1.38.03, while Michael Reep took third club spot in 1.43.44.

Niki Fulstow was the club’s only female runner taking on the full distance race, and finished in 1.46.27.

The club was also represented in the shorter 4.5 mile Hurtle race which partially follows the same route as the Humdinger. Paul Baker was the club’s first finisher, in 32.51, followed by Noel Flynn in 34.19.

Janet Riddiford completed the course in a respectable 46.25. She was followed by

Ellen Flynn and Nicky Baker, just seconds apart in 49.13 and 49.18.

Meanwhile, just seven club runners braved the mud and hills of the Dursley Dozen, which, following the recent rain, proved even more challenging than usual. Stuart

Diamond took first club spot in 1.50.13. Jim Hayward showed no signs of fatigue from participating in the Gwent League cross country on Saturday, and finished next in 2.01.49. Barry Hall followed in 2.07.31.

Helen Diamond ran a strong race, despite the increasingly cloying mud, and finished in 2.16.33, followed by Caroline Holt in 2.41.50.

The club’s next races are the Weston prom runs tonight (Thursda). The junior one-mile race starts at 6.45pm and the main five-mile race follows at 7.30pm.

More information on these events, the club’s other races, and becoming a member can be found at www.westonac.co.uk

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