Friday 29th January – Presidential Presentation Awards Address

Friday 29th January – Presidential Presentation Awards Address

For those of you unable to attend – or remember – the Strictly Come Drink and Dine with Otley AC, brought to you by Toblerone, held at Korks last friday, this is what President Podd said in honour of the very great and good Black and Whites!

“This [award giving] was a great idea and saved me writing a speech. Thanks for all the responses – some of the more libellous or vindictive have had to be removed on the advice of my attorney.

Sara Richard, Sara sneaks under the radar but does an awful lots of races and performs well and mixing it on and off road. Last year Sara did 10K’s, 7, 9, 10 and 20 miles, three half marathons, a full marathon and two ultra-marathons, not forgetting the Millennium Relay.

Honourable mentions: 

Liam. A top performance in the London Marathon, then he eased of a bit due to work commitments and at some point in the late summer he reappeared. Often in the shadow of the fast lads but up there with them. And he can drink.

Sarah Fuller for doing the Spine Challenger and Hardmoors 110 in one year, both of which make me feel sick just thinking about attempting.

Antonio cos he always turns up and runs with a big smile on his face

Frank with a proper try-again attitude to coming second in Rombalds and not breaking 2hr30 for the marathon.

Howard! Out there practically every week in an OtleyAC vest

Mark Hall for breaking age group records, even uk best in his age category.

Scott Harrington – some brilliant performances and came back well after injury.


  • Performance of the year – who ran out of their skin in a race

Jamil for one of his 2 PBs this year, 5k and 1/2 marathon. No mean feat for someone who’s run well while younger, and still getting PBs into old age!

Honourable mentions:

Can’t decide between Jamil at Abbey Dash or Mark Hall at pretty much every race he’s entered, he’s amazing!

Sean for running any and every XC race he can find, always tries so hard

Frank Beresford London Marathon

Sarah Fuller; you know why!

Team win in John Carr

Derek’s Bob Graham


  • Club member of the year – who has done the most to help/support the club

Old war horse, Andrew Robertshaw -quietly gets on with stuff; tirelessly devoted service; constantly committed, good reports, race/route/website guru and we wouldn’t have a hotly contested handicap otherwise. Oh and runs a fair few races pretty well.

Honourable mentions:

Sara E, she is giving up a lot of her time to support the club, coach to 5k, training sessions, represents the club at races, the new conditioning session, committee, the list goes on. She is very supportive of everyone and can be relied upon to help out.

The commitment, support and energy Hannah Lupton gives to the club is unparalleled. She encourages everyone irrespective of their abilities. She praises all and is an asset to the club. She does volunteer but ultimately must spend hours on club things despite everything else she has had going on?

Colin Best


  • Best report writer on the website

Runners questioned why I had this as a prize, but I’m justified by the response, love clicking on the website and finding an erudite yet amusing race report. Self-aggrandisement or deprecation is a skill. Personally I like a description of the landscape passed through!

Howard Jeffrey by a mile! His reports are amusing, detailed and very well written. A pleasure to read,  a treat.

Honourable mentions:

Graham Lake

Steve Boddy – dry, like a boilerman’s throat.

Andrew Robertshaw


• Improver of the year

Nicola Lee has grafted in 2015 in what is her second full year at the club. In 2015 Nicola gained substantial PB’s at 5k and 10k but also did her first 10 mile and half marathon in respectable times.  Nicola Lee x1 x1

Honourable mentions:

Tom Lynch

Sean has put in a massive effort to improve his fitness and lose weight which has seen him get pb’s and he’s running really well

Tom Midegley for knocking 15 mins of his marathon time

Gemma Harrington. Her marathon training has paid off and she has had a fab year.

Joanna Hobson


  • Wackiest race a member completed

Gathering Winter Fools. Fancy dress in freezing conditions and it’s not even a race!!

Honourable mentions:

Gilly Wright, The Hardmoors Rosedale Marathon, a tough race in its self but Gilly decided to run it with her dog Max. Gilly has subsequently completed more races in 2015 with Max, one being the Paras10 and coming 3rd cannicross female.

Anything entered by Sarah Fuller


  • Buffoon of the year

Tom Hannah for his training blunder on top of the Chevin resulting in a broken shoulder, so near a pub too! Thankfully he’s back running again although slowed his drinking for a bit.

Honourable mentions:

Emma Jones, broken nose and hand falling along the river path,

Sara E.  and Louise probably for going wrong on just about every route..

Robin for dressing as a nun at Pudsey Pain Barrier

Frying in the Palma 10k


  • Anyone else who deserves a mention

Hugh for all the work with the juniors

Andrew Rayner (Billy), always at training (unless on holiday) and often doing back to back sessions supporting the beginners and the bridging group at main club. A regular racer and all round nice guy.

I think Colin needs a special mention for sorting out Otley 10 every year, it’s a huge under taking and he does an amazing job

Also, thanks to Tom H for organising the training weekend year in year out, must be a challenge trying to organise everyone and keep us all happy!

The team organising both the efforts sessions and the conditioning sessions – great addition to the club offering

Antonio! he keeps on turning out for us: at xc no less – so brave! and always comments positively on the website.

Richard Hamer’s social media reporting and information is very much laughed at.

Neil Charlton for web work [when it’s done]

Chris Carver…all those emails must do his head in!!!

Flash (Caron’s bassett hound – he’s always there at cross country, relays and, oddly, anywhere that Caron is racing)

Christian Hosker stopping to offer help to a stricken athlete at Leeds half.

The beginners who’ve moved up-Louise Penny, Rob Fearnley, Claire Hastings, the lovely Isla and Beth.

Everybody & anybody who turns up for training sessions/races & social events making this a great club

All our families who allow and help us to do this

The woman with the Bacon Sandwich at Baildon Boundary way”

13 thoughts on “Friday 29th January – Presidential Presentation Awards Address

  1. Was a great night Pres. Podd-I’m just glad Flash didn’t have to make an acceptance howl….we wouldn’t be where we are today without each and every member (and no, I’m not trying to suck up to whoever is judging the bake off this year) Up the Black and Whites!

  2. I think we all like to compete, however, the club needs people to make decisions and direction. In my opinion, the committee should receive a great amount of praise and Andrew seems to do a lot re handicaps etc. Thanks to all of you who are behind the scenes, I think you are not always appreciated but I certainly recognise what you do.

    Thank you

  3. Pity you all turned up a day late for the Presentation Do! Ahem.
    Yes, cheers to everyone who keeps the cogs turning, I just turn up and run! Looking forward to wearing the Black and White vest this year.

  4. The Presentation Awards was indeed a great night and I appreciate the nice words said by the President Matt P. about me. The Improver of the year Awards to NIcola L. is well deserved , Nicola is a fast competitor , also Gemma H. is doing great , last year Gemma had an efficient stride and confident in her running and Joanna H. had a good year running with consistency in every race.

  5. Club member of the year Award to Andrew R. is indeed well deserved , Andrew is a giant of our club and a king of the fell races . Sara E. is a very friendly person and what a good runner she is , also Hannah L. is a great runner who works well for our club , and Colin B. a senior member , a pillar of Otley AC.

  6. Performance of the year Awards to Jamil is well deserved he had a superb 2015 with extraordinary performances , also Mark H indeed deserved one as well because is one of the fastest v55 in England and that counts for something .

  7. Runner of the year Award to Sara R. is well deserved with a huge consistency all year round . Also Howard J. deserved one as well , a super runner , not many like him around , what a massive competitor Howard has been in 2015 .

  8. I am flabbergasted that Sarah Fuller has been forgotten , Sarah has done a 7 day non stop race , The Spine with atrocious weather condition , night and day with huge determination and courage although the exhaustion and no sleep , a unique challenge that no one in our club done before , and hard to match for anyone in the future , I am still impressed for what Sarah has done , and I admit in the past I have never been a fan of her kind of racing , but Honour to her .

  9. Antonio, let your flabber not be gasted Sarah was not forgotten:
    Sarah Fuller; you know why!
    Performance of the year – who ran out of their skin in a race

  10. She got a lot of Toblerones and a bottle of champagne to share with Derek who completed one of the fstest Bob Graham rounds of the year. There was also a special T shirt.
    Not forgotten, but suitable honoured.

  11. Dear Howard , President Matt P. , for what Sarah Fuller has done , she should have deserved a special Award for her brutal 268 miles challenge , full winter condition on the Pennine Way , 7 day race non-stop , sub-zero temperature ,deep snow , blizzards , gale force winds, torrential rain , huge fatigue , sleep deprivation , in the dark most of the time , almost moving alone , the most difficult terrain in England . She is a hero , a tough one .

  12. Thanks Antonio for your lovely words but rest assured I was not forgotten – i was given a bottle of bubbles (to share with Derek as lest we not forget a sub 20 hour Bob graham round is far for impressive than anything I’ve got up to!!) and a rather fetching bespoke t shirt to celebrate the worlds longest DNF !! I certainly had a lump in my throat and maybe some dust in my eye when they were presented – I am staggered beyond words how much support and appreciation the club has given me for my crazy adventure and i am so grateful thank you 🙂

  13. It is all right Sarah , I did not think you were capable to do such grand achievement , I still can not believe the courage you had to start the Spine , your mental strength to cope on the Pennine Way , a Legend . Well done once more .

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