Teignbridge Trotters Running Club
Newton Abbot, Devon
Established 1982
Born to Run

Teignbridge Trotters awards night celebrates performances in 2018

The evening of Saturday 12th January saw the much anticipated Teignbridge Trotters annual awards night, this year held at The Passage House Hotel in Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot. The awards evening is an opportunity to recognise some great personal achievements by its members throughout the calendar year, as well as the traditional and legendary Trotters party.

The night proved to be a great success, thanks mainly to the efforts of Liz Barnett and Ruth Johnson, but ably assisted by Jacki Woon, Eleanor Taylor, Nathan Elphick and Ryan Anthony.

The compere for the evening was Keith Anderson, who always delivers his speech in his own charismatic and energetic way.

David Foster and Maurice Piper were invited to make the presentations having represented the club so well over the years and are life time members.

2018 proved to be a fantastic year, with a host of Club records being broken, personal achievements conquered, and the 20th Dartmoor Discovery ran over the original race distance of 34 miles

The Club Championships format was changed for 2018, with the intention of encouraging more members to take part in this year’s competition. This indeed happened with 12 ladies and 12 men qualifying for an overall position. Both competitions were keenly contested. The Ladies Club Champion 2018 is Jacki Woon with a maximum point’s total of 400. A superb achievement from Jacki. In 2nd place was Mandy Wheeler with 393 points with last year’s winner, Kathryn Steemson in 3rd place with 385 points.The Men’s Club Champion 2018 is Gary Smart, who also won with the maximum 400 points on offer. Gary retained his title, having scored a maximum points total in 2017. In 2nd position finished Geoff Davey with 395 points and in 3rd place with 388 points was Paul Sharples. Thanks has to go to Graydon Widdicombe, the Club Championship Secretary, for all his hard work throughout the season. 

jacki woon, ladies club champion 2018.jpg Jacki Woon, Ladies Club Champion 2018
gary smart 2018 club champion.jpg Gary Smart, Mens Club Champion 2018

Some fantastic performances were achieved from two of our outstanding performers. Helen Anthony and Jamie Barnett both broke three Club records during 2018.

Jamie Barnett created new club records in three race distances, 10k, Half Marathon and the Marathon. Jamie set a new record of 33:42 at the 10K Fast Friday, 1:11:30 at the Taunton Half Marathon and travelled to Frankfurt to smash the marathon record in a time of 2:40:24.

Helen Anthony repeated the same feat, also breaking club records in the three major race distances. Helen’s new records were 40:36 at The Stoke Stampede 10K, 1:26:38 at the Taunton Half Marathon, and a time of 3:00:00 in the Valencia Marathon.

sarah pike, most improved female athlete 2018.jpg Sarah Pike,most improved female 2018
christian robinson, most improved male athlete.jpg Christian Robinson, most improved male 2018

The next award to be presented was for the most improved female. The candidates were all nominated due to their impressive performances throughout the year. Sarah Pike deservedly won the trophy having reaped her rewards after training so hard. Sarah not only completed the club championships, but smashed her own 10K and Half Marathon PB’s by considerable margins. ‘Pikey’ also completed her first marathon in Lanzarote and was also part of the Trotters team finishing in 2nd place. The other nominees were Emma Ray, Mandy Wheeler, Hannah Jones and Suzie Mills.

The most improved male award was won by Christian Robinson. Christian has come on leaps and bounds this year, and through lots of hard graft, has improved to become an all-round athlete. Christian improved his personal best three times while competing in marathons, culminating with his latest PB in Lanzarote, who was also part of the successful team in Lanzarote. The other nominees are improving rapidly and have performed fantastically with new PB’s clocked and races won.They were: Adam Johnstone, Tim Pratt, Kris Ward and Scott Wiggins.

The most promising female newcomer award was deservedly won by Susanne Westgate. Susanne had a great year, having completed 3 half marathons and is now in training for the 2019 London Marathon. The other nominees who are really showing promise were: Katey Blackmore, Lynda Cooper, Natalie Cusack and Louise Lee-Gammage.

The most promising male newcomer award was won by Max Conroy. Max joined the Trotters in June 2018, and ran 6 races until the end of the year, including The Haytor Heller, Totnes 10K and The Dartmoor Vale Half Marathon. The other deserved nominees were: Chris Jones, Tom Mactaggart, Steve Mariadas and Jason Trevenen.

susanne westgate, the most promising ladies newcomer 2018.jpg Susanne Westgate, most promising newcomer
liz barnett, committee cup winner 2018.jpg The Committee Cup winner Liz Barnett
clare youngman lifts aloft the denis's cup for best coach of 2018.jpg Clare Youngman voted coach of the year 2018

The Committee Cup, awarded for great service to the club, was won by Liz Barnett, the committee Secretary. Liz works so hard behind the scenes, as do all our committee members. Liz is also the assistant race director of the clubs premier race of the season, The Dartmoor Discovery, and race secretary for the DD and The Haytor Heller. The other nominees were Kevin Besford, Eleanor Taylor, Mark Walker and Jacki Woon.

The Dennis’s Cup is awarded to the best coach or leader of the year. This trophy is in memory of a beloved Trotter, Denis Milstead. A poll is created so that the members can vote for who they think deserves the award based on their experiences whilst being coached or led. This year’s winner was Clare Youngman. Clare richly deserved this accolade, due to her coaching sessions being always tough but fun at the same time. All our coaches deserve special praise for the leadership skills and knowledge they provide..

john scott trophy winner, kevin besford.jpg John Scott trophy winner Kevin Besford
zilpath and ewan walton wth the dave dunn trophy.jpg Zilpath and Ewan Walton, Ist co-habiting couple
sue brown, ist trotter tattoo finisher.jpg Sue Brown,1st Trotter tattoo finisher

The last Club Championship race of the season is the John Scott Trophy, a light hearted handicap race, run in fancy dress by some members. This year’s popular winner was Kevin Besford. 2nd place went to Paul Johns and Sue Brown finished 3rd.

The Dave Dunn Cup is also keenly contested during the race. This cup is awarded to the first co-habiting couple, which this year went to Zilpath and Ewan Walton.

The Ross Cup, was won by Sue Brown, for finishing the first tattooed Trotter. Not just an ordinary tattoo!! The famous Teignbridge Trotter tattoo!! 

multi-marathoner suzie mills with her well deserved award.jpg Multi-marathoner Suzie Mills
mark walker having collected his special prize award.jpg Mark Walker all smiles having received his well deserved award

Two special awards were presented on the evening, to Suzie Mills and Mark Walker.

Suzie completed an incredible year and many of us followed her journey throughout. She completed her target of 12 marathons in 12 months plus three more. Suzie created a new PB at the Cornish Marathon. What is so remarkable in what Suzie has achieved, is that three years ago Suzie wasn’t a runner?? Suzie would have laughed at you, if you had told her that she would run a marathon!! Suzie’s inspiration was gained by joining the Teignbridge Trotters, and by following a National icon, Ben Smith, and his 401 Challenge. These are the reasons why Suzie has now become a multi marathoner in her own right. A fantastic story.

Mark also deserves his award for all the behind the scenes work he does. Mark plans and schedules all the coaching sessions and leaders. Not an easy task I’m sure!! Planning a timetable for when the coaches are available must be mind boggling at times. Thanks to Marks considerable efforts, training sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays invariably run smoothly. Keep up the good work Mark. 

party.jpg Let the party begin!!
knees up.jpg Go for it Mandy!!

With all the formalities out the way, the Trotters celebrated as Trotters know how to party!!

2018 proved to be a great year for The Teignbridge Trotters Club. Some very fine performances were achieved, and all our members represented the club admirably where ever they travelled to race. The five races that the club organised all proved very successful, thanks to the race directors and all the club volunteers who give up their own time to assist in marshalling, timekeeping etc. A great team effort. The foreign club trip to Lanzarote was a highly successful one, with the marathon team finishing in 2nd place in the team event, and Alan Boone winning his age category. It is believed that the club have never won any silverware before on the trip away!! A fantastic achievement. A special mention must go to all our committee members, who do such a great job behind the scenes. Without them, our club wouldn’t be the highly respected club that other clubs envy. Let’s make 2019 another great year.

Thanks must go to Keith Anderson for his awards speech and to Suzie Mills for her great photographs.