Member of the Month
The first Member of the Month in the year 2020 goes to someone who has emerged into one of the club’s most popular members. Ending 2019 with a flourish, she ran into January in fine fettle - Emma Smith has entertained us with her committed training exploits. She is in ‘heavy’ training for this year’s London Marathon and is showing us how it should be done by sticking to her plans and braving all weathers, both day and night. Even becoming a regular on the race circuit, her enthusiasm and camaraderie is a breath of warm air during a month that daunts most runners. Check out her London goal here. Congratulations Emma.
February’s Member of the Month award goes to our youngest competitive runner; enjoying her training and recording impressively pacey distances during the month, Lucinda Jones is growing into the club’s leading lady – her stylish performance in the popular Bourton 10km really showed she can lead the way for the club. With Shona now in ‘lockdown’ in Spain, Lucy has been running some quality sessions and is now neck ‘n’ neck with Carly in the Queen of the Roads competition! Unbeknown to many, Lucy has been managing a lower leg pain and despite TLC, it is a niggle that will not disappear easily and she has boldly run in discomfort at times. Hopefully, the rising star will be 100% for her target event - the Tewkesbury half-marathon in May - but for February, she hit a great target as MotM. Congratulations Lucinda.
The member of the month for March has been awarded to another shinning lady – no surprises in the gender choice as we do have a plethora of sparkling ladies doing their thang. However, what is a surprise is that we now have our first double winner! Yes, Laura Kent has impressed our two judges (Roy & Michael) the most for the second time with her exploits in March. Like during April 2019, Laura found glory in the half-marathon distance with another personal best (PB) time of 2:09 hr in the London Vitality Half. In addition to her helpfulness to the new members this year, she ran a new longest distance record by passing the 15 mile mark to record a PB distance of 16 miles. Congratulations Laura.
April 2020 was clearly the most restricted in the club’s long history; exciting events being cancelled and our running buddies becoming virtual! Our links were in danger of fraying without the club’s famous physical camaraderie. Thankfully, our Member of the Month lifted the competitive spirits, motivation, and the virtual camaraderie with a genius 5 mile frolic – Cameron Pay set the club alight as over 50 runners responded to his challenge to run and improve during April. Cam is regularly driving ideas and steering runners to better things – he’s a credit to the club. His frolic admin work, weekly reports, and results table isn’t something that can be done in 5 minutes, it takes hours and hours! Cam has teased out some great running from the club and also lifted the grey isolation cloud we are under with his fun and frolics. Congratulations Cameron.
Our member of the month for May goes to our hard-working secretary Suzanne Tharme. With the COVID-19 cloud still above us, Suzie continues to maintain her high standard of club administration for all our benefits. The exciting ‘Race to Athens’ was driven by her and her girls’ team caught her infectious drive and surprisingly arrived gloriously. Suzanne worked diligently keeping track of the distances and ensured her team performed and were not beaten! With England Athletics at the head of our sport, she has been busy cascading the guidelines and keeping our members up to date with the developing situation. And with membership renewals shortly due, her tasks will become heavier so it is with thanks and appreciation that she will also be guiding us towards a healthy future. Congratulations Suz.
As the COVID-19 restrictions dig deeper into 2020, Tewkesbury Running Club continues to unearth special individuals. For the month of June, which included the TRC Three Peaks Challenge, we discovered great depths of determination within the club. Stuart Holyoak featured immensely and it was his own determination and competitiveness that spread like a virus throughout the club. Stuart was the driver behind the Three Peaks Challenge and led by example with some quality performances on the hills. He showed his great club member credentials by reaching out to arouse enthusiasm, which was much needed during a drab period. As well as giving his own sweat and tears, his entertaining rallying calls soon had other members in tears! The challenge was a super success and, despite mild symptoms of controversy, Stuart’s Sub50 team did actually win after a breath-taking final few days. Needless to say, our Member of the Month for June is Stuart. Congratulations.
Our two judges wasted no time in announcing the July MotM; selecting a new member who has progressed at a tremendous pace from our C25K (couch to 5km) course. From the couch, Karen Samuel has gone from one run a week to a July which saw her running Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Not only becoming a committed runner, Karen is also getting faster and running longer - something that most runners aspire to! Equally, her noted enthusiasm for running is a breath of fresh during this morose year. Look out for Karen in the coming weeks and be sure to virtually embrace her into the heart of the club. Congratulations.
The club's first-ever male double-winning star is now known! Our member of the month for August is Chris Nicholls. Chris is known for setting personal goals with his running and fitness and for August he wanted to run every day - not something he had ever tried before - he achieved that goal. In addition, he set quite challenging goals with his diet and body weight - both of those went in the net. With his change in fitness, he scooped up personal best running times over the 5 km, 10km, the half marathon and even the marathon distance - remarkable achievements considering there are no actual races to train for! His attendance at the club runs has been healthy and he even worked with one of the lads to crack his 5km PB and with one of the girls to burst her 10km PB. Congratulations Chris.
Really standing out in September was a member who started to flourish in his sunny sixties and then came familiar with the local trophy engravers pretty quickly. Alan Whitby's September was impressive by anyone's standards; firstly, getting his hands on the Hereford Couriers 5km series title - which is no mean feat for any athlete competing against the area's leading V60 runners. And then for his 65th birthday 'celebrations', Alan set himself a challenge that sounded amazing on paper but a mammoth test of his attributes - and of attributes that he probably didn't know he had! He set off on a 1.09 mile run, every hour, for 24 hours, ending in the full marathon distance of just over 26 miles. His total run time was 3 hours 22 minutes and he was joined by many friends on the 24 runs although he did run most alone - unsurprisingly when you consider late on Saturday evening through to Sunday morning! A great month for Alan. Congratulations.
October’s Member of the Month comes in the shape of running club royalty; someone who has been performing strongly dealing with a heavy professional workload, a busy family, and not forgetting spending hours engrossed in running club business. Most impressively, our chairman Nigel Tillott has been running some of the best runs of his life during the month – a fabulous Lakeland Trail marathon and then put through his paces during the Hellstone race as his oldest lad teased ahead of him. Nigel’s welcome stream of pictures of his Malvern runs on social media have been inspirational for anyone thinking about heading for the hills. What a great month of ups and downs October has been for Nigel. Congratulations.
A new star has been added to the club’s ‘Walk of Fame’ aka Member of Month roll call. With an outstanding November of both mental and physical achievements, Nick Matthews’ shining work behind the scenes, implementing an effective pre-Christmas handicap series easily makes him a star. Nick spent time and effort with the club committee helping to keep the club active with good ideas. Nonetheless, his running during the month went sky-high… amongst clocking some quality training miles, he has run some quite amazing 5 mile efforts – he’s been running 33 minute 5 milers, which is the fastest he has ever run! Not only is he championing a great 5m series, he’s wanting to be the champion too! Congratulations.
Our final 'member of the month’ for 2020 is an inspirational winner who has put aside his own ailments to encourage and group us enthusiastically through the daunting December; enlisting a glamorous assistant for the Advent calendar challenge, Michael Younger ensured we had something to look forward to – regardless of whether it was something achievable, challenging or unachievable! Mike, the club vice-captain has had an unlucky year with injuries and has run very little, however, he has stayed active and he is due kudos for the time and effort he gave to others throughout 2020 ending with the unforgettable Advent challenge. Congratulations Mike.