At the recent Awards Evening, it was my great pleasure to present the Ted Baker Award and an honorary membership. The Ted Baker Award is given annually for contribution to the club, especially over the last year, whilst Honorary Membership is awarded for outstanding contribution to the club over many years.
The recipient of the TED Baker Award for 2017 was Jas Dhanda, in recognition of his volunteering at all our races, including taking on the role of Chief Marshal, as well as his coaching of the seniors. This continues his many years of work for the club.
An Honorary Membership was presented to Sue Carnell. Sue was the ladies cross-country captain for many years and served on the committee in most roles including the first club welfare officer. Sue was the prime moving force behind the revival and development of the junior section. As a qualified UKA coach, Sue has coached both junior and senior sections. Over the years she has also managed the girls cross-country team; organised social events; acted as a welcoming presence for new members and led social runs. As an athlete, Sue was the 1993 Box Hill fell race ladies winner, whilst her time from 1992 still ranks as the 10th fastest ladies time ever. Sue was a bronze medalist in the London Marathon team race and has a best time at London of 3:06. She has been the club road race champion on many occasions over all distances and topped the national 10k race walk rankings when she turned her attention to competitive walking rather than running!
My thanks and congratulations to both Sue and Jas.
January has been a month of cross-country, including Surrey Country championships, Surrey Schools championships, Surrey cross-country league and South of England championships.
For the juniors, a highlight was the 3 podium finishes by RPAC athletes at the Surrey Schools championships, with Lucy Denece winning her race, Lucy Broderick and Matthew Pickering both finishing 3rd. They will be joined by Poppy Wardley, Emelye Kenyon-Brown and Katie Driver in the Surrey Schools cross-country team. At the South of England Championship last Saturday, Matthew Pickering (our only junior representative) finished a fine 25th in the U13 Boys race.
For the seniors, the ladies team continued their run of good results in the Surrey cross-country league, finishing 8th on the day and maintaining 9th overall (out of 15 teams). In the Box Hill fell race, Ryan Harris finished in 7th overall and 1st veteran man over 40!
We have two opportunities coming up for volunteering.
On Sunday 4th March, we are organising our first race in the MABAC league, at which we will need upwards of 20 people to marshal, assist at the finish funnel and set up / dismantle the signage on the course in Priory Park. Claire Humphrey will be sending out a request for assistance in the next week or so, but if you already know you are available, please contact Claire by e-mail (see e-mail copy of this update for Claire's address).
Then on Sunday 22nd April, we are once again providing a team to help at the start of the Virgin London Marathon. The 35 members of the team will be providing "meet and greet" information for both athletes and spectators at the start, which is a great experience (and you get a free VLM jacket!). Donna Barrington-Smith will also be sending out more details shortly, the deadline for replies is 8th March.
The summary minutes for the December 2017 committee meeting are now available here.
Congratulations to everyone who ran in the Holly Run 2017 on Sunday. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves, even if it is only in retrospect! Full individual and team results are now available on the website site (hollyrun.com).
We had over 80 more finishers than last year across the 8 races, which made the effort put in by all our volunteers even more worthwhile. Thank you to all the volunteers and to our sponsors, Simply Sports.
A couple of photos showing the U11 Girls preparing to start:
and now they are off:
Christmas is coming and it’s time once again to join us for the 2017 Holly Run.
Reigate Priory Athletics Club have hosted this event for the last 34 years. There are races for all ages starting from 8 years and this is your chance to join previous race winners/participants such as Mo Farrah and Scott Overall.
Last year we had glorious sunshine, once the early morning mist had cleared (photo below is start of the U11 race), but you should also be prepared for mud and occasionally snow, it’s a true cross country experience!
Before and after the race you, your family and friends can relax in the warm with hot drinks and home made cakes, whilst watching the post race presentations.
We hope you can join us, entries are now open via the Holly Run website: www.hollyrun.com
Welcome to my final update for 2017, Merry Christmas / Season's Greetings (delete as appropriate!) and a Happy New Year to all members, parents & friends of Reigate Priory Athletic Club.
The Holly Run
It's been a busy year, but it's not quite over yet. It is now less than 2 weeks to the annual Holly Run cross-country races in Priory Park, on Sunday 17th December. With races for all runners from 8 to 80, we are expecting a total of approximately 500 competitors.
Please can I therefore ask all seniors and parents to offer their help if at all possible, simply reply to the recent e-mail from Nat Wilson with when you are free and your preferred role(s). The more people we have the better, but we are definitely short in the afternoon. Many seniors will be marshaling the junior races in the morning, but racing later on, so if there are any parents who can assist then please let Nat know.
It would also be great to see most of our juniors competing on the day, either for their school or for RPAC. Full details of the races and how to enter are available on the website, www.hollyrun.com.
Awards Evening, Saturday 20th January
To celebrate the successes of 2017, we will be holding the annual Awards Evening at Reigate & Redhill Golf Club from 7.30 pm on Saturday 20th January 2018. Gavin Lawrence will be sending out more details soon, but expect a buffet supper, the awards themselves and a disco. Please put the date in your diaries now, the evening is open to all seniors, older juniors, coaches and parents.
Among the other trophies & prizes, we will be presenting the Ted Baker Award for service to the club in 2017. Please send nominations (including a brief explanation of why your nominee should receive the award) to Ginevra Stoneley or me by no later than Monday 8th January, so the committee can make a final decision on the recipient at our first committee meeting in 2018. A full list of previous recipients is available on the website (http://www.rpac.org.uk/index.php/award-winners), current members of the club committee are NOT eligible for this award.
Yet more change to report at Battlebridge. Bam Nuttall have just recently completed a new concrete area in front of the Cabin and container. This was done as a community project, at the request of the Council, whilst Bam Nuttall are working in Redhill. This was therefore done at no cost to us or the Council, so a massive thank you to them.
Reports in Surrey Mirror
Dave Mills has been submitting junior reports to the Surrey Mirror for some time now, but regular readers will have noticed that senior reports have also started to appear recently, thanks to Nat Wilson. To ensure we get a regular flow of publicity for the club, please can everyone send junior reports to Dave and senior reports to Nat, no later than Monday in the week of publication. It is always good to have a photo that can be published.
Summary minutes from the October 2017 meeting are now available here (website login required).
As promised, back to my normal boring title for this update.
Reigate & Banstead Sport Awards
First of all, congratulations to Mike Pocock. At the Reigate & Banstead Sports Awards earlier this month, Mike received the "Senior Citizen Sport Award" in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the Male Vet 60 category. I understand he still hasn't forgiven committee member Christian Froggatt, who organised the nomination!
Surrey League Cross-Country
Last weekend, the club organised the first fixture in this year's Start Fitness Surrey League Cross-Country, a total of 6 races across all age groups for both women & men. My thanks to everyone who volunteered on the day to ensure that the races went off successfully, but especially to Ian Thomas (Race Director), Naomi Jones (Race Referee), Jas Dhanda (Chief Marshall) and Andy Walker (Results). We have set a standard for the other organisers to aspire to.
In the races, we had 20 juniors running across the various age groups, led home individually by Matthew Pickering (2nd, U13 Boys), Felix Vaughan (3rd, U15 Boys), Lucy Denece (8th U13 Girls) and Poppy Wardley (9th, U17 Girls). In the team competitions, the U13 Girls were 4th and the U13 Boys 5th.
The senior ladies had a much better start to their season this year, finishing in 8th place (out of 15 teams) in Division 1 (just 1 point behind Belgrave), led home by Fiona Clark in a fine 7th place individually.
The men however found Division 1 a massive step up from Division 2, compounded by 3 of our top runners being injured at the moment. The standard of the field was amply demonstrated by the fact that our first finisher, Paul Prothero, was back in 29th place despite having a good run.
RPAC organised races
On Saturday 4th November, we are organising the historic Priory Relays in Priory Park. This is a cross-country relay open to all seniors, veterans and juniors over the age of 17, each leg is 2.5 miles long. See www.prioryrelays.com for full details.
Please see the recent e-mail from Race Director, Ian Martin, for the request for volunteers to help stage this race, all offers of help will be gratefully received.
We will also be entering a large number of teams, if anyone wants to run and hasn't already put their name down, please contact the relevant captains; for ladies, please respond to the ladiescaptain e-mail address, men should reply to the Teamer invite (if you haven't received this, use the menscaptain e-mail address). Juniors (over 17) however should note that it is the English X-C Relays on the same day, which take precedence.
The Holly Run this year is on Sunday 17th December. There are a total of 8 cross-country races across the day, catering for all age groups from 8 upwards. Full details are available at www.hollyrun.com, online entries are now open via Sport Systems. Bulk entry forms for schools will follow shortly. Race Director Mike Scott will be in touch closer to the date to request help with organisation and marshaling.
In addition to to website and Facebook page, we now have an active Twitter account "reigatePrioryAC". For those who use Twitter, as a minimum a tweet will be published giving the link to each news item on the website. I hope I've used the correct terminology here, as you may have already gathered I am not a user of Twitter myself.
The summary minutes for the September committee meeting are available here.