Christmas Party and Awards 2023

Jon and James

This year’s Christmas Party took place at Leo’s on Friday 8th December. The highlights of which were Kathy’s Valley Striders Quiz of the Year, and James, Alan and Simon’s presentation of the VS Annual Awards, VS Grand Prix Awards and VS Fell Grand Prix Awards.

Annual Awards

Marathon Trophy – awarded to the best overall marathon performance by a Valley Strider.

Winner:  Amanda Spencer 3:12:50 at the Yorkshire Marathon 15/10/23  (83%)

Although not an age graded award, the standard of this performance was so high in age-graded terms, that it was deemed the winner. It was also a PB by 15 mins!

Notable mentions:

Fastest female in Valley Striders:  Faith Bowman 3:09:38 at New York City Marathon 5/11/23 (71% age-grade).

Faith also ran 3:13:41 at the London Marathon and 3:30:53 at the Leeds Marathon.

Fastest Male in Valley Striders:  Joost Vogel 2:39:47 at the London Marathon 23/04/23 (77% age-grade)

2nd Fastest Male:  Tom Thomas 2:47:52 at the Paris Marathon 2/4/23 (72.5% age-grade).

Vadim Kuznetsov Trophy – awarded to the fastest age-graded performance at the Leeds Half Marathon.

Vadim was a club member in the early 2000s. Like many members, his main race of the year was the Leeds Half marathon.

Winner: Paul Grave 1:24:54  (75% age-grade)

Runner-up: Rachel Davidson 1:32:00 (70% age-grade)

Max Jones Trophy – best age-grading in any event.

Max was a long-standing member of the club and age-grading expert! Take a look on the archive website for Max’s training advice.

Winner: Gavin Taylor 14:43 at the Mid Cheshire 5K  25/08/23   (87.32% age-grade)

Disallowed winner: Amanda Spencer 19:25 at York parkrun  29/04/23  (88.77%)  (she won it last year, and she won the marathon trophy!)

Also Ran Trophy – this trophy is awarded to recognise the running achievements, participation and commitment to the club of a runner that hasn’t otherwise been rewarded through race prizes and other awards.

The runner-up for this award was the presenter himself, James Slater. You will see James at most training runs, team events and races, he puts his all into every race and this year entered his first 20 mile race, next year he’s entered Manchester so watch out Amanda, he’ll be after the marathon trophy.

Our winner, however, was Jon Jackson. Like James, you’ll see him at every training session, team event and most races. The reason Jon was chosen to win the trophy was for his incredible fundraising for St Gemma’s Hospice over the past 18 months. Jon ran the Berlin Marathon on an injured ankle, and prior to that, the Manchester Marathon only 2 weeks after having Covid. Jon is one determined guy and truly deserves recognition through the awarding of this trophy.

It is also worth mentioning  that Jon was last man standing in Palma and spent the night tearing up the dancefloor after running the Half Marathon whilst injured. There is no limit to Jon’s commitment!

For results of the VSGP and FGP see the separate News Posts from Alan and Steve.