The annual Christmas dinner and awards do is always an eagerly anticipated event on the Exmouth Harriers’ social calendar. This year it was held in the Exmouth Rugby Club where a delicious buffet dinner, a quiz, some karaoke and a chance to strut their stuff on the dance floor kept the 70 some party-goers entertained all evening. Further entertainment came in the form of David Bowie-Stone on the mike and then he showed off again by getting his groove on on the dance floor (ok, so, the fastest runner in the club, a good singer and with some legendary dance moves: sign up for the 'this is beyond sickening and how can one bloke hogg all the talent' club here: ____________________ (Although, to be fair, Roger Riggs did give Dave a good run for his money in a dance-off!!)
Joking aside, the eagerly awaited announcement of the awards was, however, the highlight of the night, with chairman Bob Keast presenting the three awards.
The ‘male athlete of the year’ award went to Scott Jordan: a very popular choice amongst voters as he has thrown himself into a strict training regime over the past year that has brought its rewards in terms of a collection of massive new PBs and some fine individual performances at local races. He is also a stalwart team player and can be relied upon to sign his name up to any relay or team event supported by the club. Scott’s hard efforts were also rewarded by him being successful in the Exmouth Harriers’ club ballot for a place in the London Marathon 2012. Very well done to him, and well deserved.
The ‘female athlete of year’ award went to Ellie Sutcliffe. Ellie only joined the Harriers in February of this year, having taken up running in 2010, so she was thrilled to have been selected for this award. Since joining the Harriers she has set numerous PBs, from 5k up to marathon distance, and has even won a few races in the region and further afield. Despite working away in Dorset during term time she has tried to support the club at relay events whenever she is at home in Exmouth.
Ellie and Scott, female and male athletes of the year, with their awards
The final award of the evening was the President’s award. Unlike the other two awards, which are voted for by club members, this award is chosen solely by the Harrier’s president based on who he feels has made the biggest contribution to the club. This year it was felt that Bob Woodhall was the most worthy recipient due to the huge amounts of time and effort he has dedicated in masterminding and developing the beginner’s running course. The course lasted 12 weeks but thanks to Bob’s enthusiasm, support and encouragement, he then persuaded many of the graduate runners to join the club on a permanent basis and he has continued to mentor them ever since. He sacrifices his own weekly training run every Tuesday to do this and so the consensus was that Bob was a highly deserving candidate for this award.
Left: Deep in concentration during the quiz... a room full of athletes, so nobody was at all competitive. (Yeah right!)
Right: The victorious quiz team - 'The Magnificent Seven' (athletes can't count!)