Report by Jenny Appleton. Although this weekend was a quiet one in terms of racing, the clubhouse was littered with champagne and silverware as all the members’ greatest achievements from 2018 were celebrated.
Jon-Jo Doherty was the worthy winner of the ‘Most Improved Male’ category having smashed some very long-standing 5km and 10km club records this year then breaking his own new records on several occasions throughout the year. This was cemented by his new 5km club record time of 16:38 at Parkrun on Saturday.
The ‘Most Improved Female’ winner, Sian Maguire, has shone this year as someone whose dedication has reaped dividends achieving several personal bests throughout the course of the year.
Described as having ‘character in abundance’ the effervescent Nigel Herbert was the winner of the ‘New Strider of the Year’ award. He has greatly improved his running times as well as devoting himself to supporting other members at races, during club nights and regularly volunteering at club events.
Of the ‘old guard’, two exceptional ladies tied for the title ‘Strider of the Year’. Rachel Tickle was described as ‘instrumental’ in many of the Striders’ events including the Trail 5 race and the work on the committee. Quiet, yet a confident ‘wonder woman’. Her fellow title-holder, Kelly Hamilton has had an exceptional year of running, either winning or placing top three in a wide variety of races. Her positivity shines through and she always makes the time to make everyone at the club feel welcome.
The Jim Crehan Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution went to the remarkable Rachel Fairclough. Rachel was commended for her hard work behind the scenes over many years and her physical and mental strength being an inspiration to many. Her dedication to her training despite recently becoming a mother has been hugely impressive.
Away from the glitz and glamour of award ceremonies, a large group of Striders braved the mud at Arrow Park to compete in cross-country. Kelly Hamilton placed as 3rd Lady with the ever improving Hannah Whittaker just behind in 4th place. Donning their festive hats at a charity Santa Dash in Victoria Park ably organised by Strider Gemma Harkness, Kevin Cairns was astonished at the talent of youngsters as he placed in 3rd position behind an incredibly speedy 8 year old (hopefully a new club member in years to come!) with David Brisco coming in 4th place despite having to hold his Santa trousers together!
More about St Helens Striders Running Club
The St Helens Striders Train on a Monday and Wednesday Evening from the Windlehurst Sports Club on Windleshaw Road. The warm up starts at 6:50pm and the prearranged training plans start from 7pm. All Abilities Welcome!