Manchester Harriers’ annual awards evening provides an opportunity for club members to celebrate their running achievements over the past year. Members eagerly gather with anticipation to wait and hear if they have received an award – followed by the even more eagerly awaited trophy size comparison exercise (mostly male participants). Will the V45 3rd Cross Country trophy rival the V50 2nd in middle distance trophy, that’s what everyone really wants to know.
Last year, my running revolved around the Thunder Run, a 24hour run, which Jason and I competed in as a pair. This chosen focus had mixed results for my running. On the one hand Jason and I came 3rd and got some free trainers, on the other hand, it nearly killed me and my running off. As a result I didn’t end up competing much in other running disciplines and automatically ruled myself out of any trophy glory in Cross Country or track, this time around.
But do not feel too sad for me – I managed to defend the Road Championship and walked away with the biggest trophy of all – sorry lads. The Road Championship is an accumulation of all the roads races you have competed in over the year, from distances ranging from 5K through to the marathon. There is a complex network of working out the points, but put simplistically you have to run the fastest time in the club over 5 different distances. It is more more sophisticated than that and I’d properly get into trouble for explaining it that way but for the purpose of sanity and clarification we will leave it as that.
I went away from the night feeling proud that I’d won the big ‘un, but also a bit regretful that I didn’t compete enough in track and Cross Country (ok – so maybe not so much track!) How have the results of awards nights effected my overall motivations and running goals for this year? Well, it’s made me realise that sometimes you need to sacrifice other aspects of running to achieve difficult goals, but it has also spurred me on to want to qualify in other categories next year. So basically mixed results! However, most importantly it gave me an incentive to keep running and served as a reminder that running well takes time and effort.
In other news, Jason Brogan came 2nd in the Road Championship and was 1st V45 in Cross Country. He also had a trophy from his recent Bolton 10K exploits, which saw him finish 2nd V45 in tracky bottoms. So his trophies outnumbered mine and do so on our book cabinet at home, were they mix in with our Thunder Run trophies.