Georgia Barker
Georgia Barker (Ladies 10 Mile Champion)

Biggleswade Athletic Club members celebrated a superb year of achievements at the annual club presentation evening last Friday evening.  It was also announced, to those present, that Alistair Burt MP had agreed to become the club’s new President, following the retirement of former president, Bill Jordan MBE.

Chairman, Nigel Bush, welcomed Alistair and thanked him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come along to present the awards.

The first awards to be presented were to the men’s and women’s Club Road Race Champions (5K, 10K, 10 miles and half marathon distances).

Deb Bryant
Deb Bryant (Ladies Half Marathon Champion)

The ladies 5K champion was Isobel Everest and her training partner, Juliet Naylor, won the shield for the 10K.  Georgia Barker received the 10 mile award and Deb Bryant, the half marathon (having first received this trophy back in 2006).  David Lee was crowned the men’s champion for the 10K, with Paul Davies achieving an amazing triple in the men’s 5K, 10 miles and half marathon.

The club ‘Endurance Trophy’, which is for any distance from a marathon upwards, was awarded to Melanie Brookes.

The next to be presented were the track and field awards.

Paul Davies
Paul Davies (Mens 5K, 10 Mile and Half Marathon Champion, and Athlete of the Year)

The trophies for the ‘Senior Track Athlete of the Year’ went to Frankie Riley, for the ladies, and Ethan Metcalfe, for the men.  And the awards for the ‘Senior Field Athlete of the Year’ were awarded to Sarah Ridley and Dan Steel.

The female ‘Veteran Athlete of the Year’ was Sandra Ingham with Ian Skerratt scooping up the trophy for the men.

The ‘Most Improved Athletes’, always hotly contested titles, led to extensive discussion among the judges, however, the deserved winners were named as Hannah Ridley and Michael Blunt.

This year the club introduced a new award – ‘Athlete of the Year’.  This award is given to the club member who epitomises the club ethos of being friendly and supportive, and takes into account, not only outstanding contribution when competing, but also getting involved with club events and races.  The outright winner of this inaugural trophy was Paul Davies.

Dan Steel
Dan Steel (Mens Senior Field Athlete of the Year)

The next award had also been a very difficult decision as there were a number of very worthy candidates: Andy Deans and Jamie Webster, coaches and great role models for the club’s junior members; Zoe Luscombe, for her unstinting dedication to coaching through illness; and Robin Wynde, for almost single-handedly managing with the administration for the Three Counties Cross-Country League.

Sadly, there could only be one winner.  The ‘Club Person of the Year’ was former vice-Chairman, coach and regular track maintenance volunteer, Ken Prior.

Sandra Ingham
Sandra Ingham (Ladies Vet Athlete of the Year)

Last, but not least, it was the turn of the ‘Members Club Person of the Year’ (affectionately known as the ‘Lonely Pines Trophy’ having been carved from a pine tree that once stood along a favourite club running route, by a much-loved, former member who passed away 5 years ago).  The receivers of this award are nominated by the members, and it is not necessarily awarded to an athlete or coach, as was the case this year.  For her dedication and help at numerous events throughout the year, the Lonely Pines Trophy was presented to Bev Strong.

Next it was the turn of sprint coach, David Brown, to present the medals for track and field events.

Sarah Ridley (100m, discus and shot put), Josh Watson (200m and high jump), Michael Blunt (Vets 200m), Adam Murphy (200m), Alice Ebbage (1500m), Martin Oestreicher (3K), Paul Davies (5K), Dan Steel (pole vault, triple jump and long jump), Alex Ingham (U20 javelin) and Sandra Ingham (Vets javelin).

Alex Ingham
Alex Ingham (AAA Standards U20 Javelin – Grade 1)

David also presented standards awards from the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) to two club members.  Euan Dickson-Earle and Alex Ingham both achieved Grade 1 standard: Euan in 60m (indoor) and 110m (outdoor), and Alex in the javelin (under 20) – the top 7.5% of athletes in the country achieve the Grade 1 standard!

There were also awards for Isobel Everest and Paul Davies from the 2014-15 Three Counties Cross-Country League.  Isobel, for being the 3rd lady in the Vet35 age category, and Paul for being the 3rd male in the Vet40 age group.

Finally, at the end of the evening, the chairman presented his ‘special’ awards for achievements that could only be described as mind-numbing.

Bev Strong
Bev Strong (Members’ Club Person of the Year)

The winners of the ‘Best Runners Diet of the Year’ were Giles Hawthorne and Paul Cooke – when they happily tucked into a full English fry-up after one of the club Coffee & Cake’s runs last year.  David Brown was awarded ‘Predictive Texter of the Year’, because of the random words that appear in his communications, and James Rastrick received the ‘Van Man of the Year’ in recognition of his driving abilities when helping set up for the Sandy 10 last year.

The Winners 2015
The Winners

Alistair Burt becomes club’s new President

At Biggleswade Athletic Club’s presentation evening last Friday Chairman, Nigel Bush, announced the appointment of Member of Parliament for North East Bedfordshire, Alistair Burt MP, as the club’s new President.  Alistair takes over the position from Bill Jordan MBE, who was a member for many years before becoming the club’s president for 13 years.

Being a keen runner, as well as a member of Biggleswade AC, Alistair was the obvious person to succeed Bill Jordan and is a very popular choice among members.

‘Promising’ Biggleswade athlete attends House of Commons reception

Euan DE at HoC 2Biggleswade Athletic Club hurdler, Euan Dickson Earle, was one of a selection of Britain’s most promising young athletes invited to a special reception hosted by John Leech MP at the House of Commons last week.

The event was attended by many Peers and Members of Parliament, as well as a number of former successful sports people; Duncan Goodhew and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson to name just two.

“It was an amazing evening”, Euan recounted, “I met so many successful young athletes from a wide variety of sports, all of them are completely dedicated to his or her chosen sport and I felt so honoured to be part of the group”.

It’s been a busy week for Euan.

On Saturday he competed in the under 20 men’s 60m hurdles at the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley winning both races and recording a new season’s best time of 7.84secEuan DE Lee Valley 31-01-2015s. And fellow athlete, Josh Watson, had a good start to his first season as a senior (under 23), finishing 7th in the high jump with a score of 1.90m.

It was also confirmed this week that Euan’s time for the 60m hurdles, recorded at the South of England AA U20/Senior Championships on the 18th January, was in fact a championship best performance.

What a great start to 2015! And, if you are feeling inspired to get running yourself, don’t forget this year’s Sandy 10 (miles) road race takes place on Sunday 12th April. Enter on-line at

Success at Chiltern League for U13 boys

U13 boys XC team at the Chiltern League Cross Country match at Milton Keynes on Saturday

It was a busy weekend for Biggleswade Athletic club’s older and younger members. On Saturday the under 13 boys cross-country team, consisting of Daniel Hemming, Ferdinand Kricks and Elliot Swinburn, finished in a very respectable 3rd place in Division 2 of the CHILTERN CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE. In addition to this great result the under 17 ladies finished 4th and Hannah Ridley won the under 20 ladies title. There was further success for Biggleswade AC at the EASTERN COUNTIES INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS at Lee Valley on Saturday 7th. Georgia Smith managed a superb 2nd place in her heat of the under 13 girl’s 60m – finishing in 6th place in the semi-final in a new club record time of 9.04secs. Callum Dickson Earle won silver in the under 17 men’s 60m hurdles final and older brother, Euan, after a disappointing run in the 60m hurdles, managed a pleasantly surprising win in the 60m sprint. Laura Satahoo, returning from injury and illness, managed a first-rate result in the under 20 ladies 60m sprint. It was then the turn of veteran athlete and coach, John Haines, as he travelled to north Essex for the GREAT BENTLEY HALF MARATHON on Sunday 8th February. Indulging in just one relaxing beer the night before, he had high hopes of another sub 1.30 half-marathon performance, as a 60 year old. He began well but was hampered by strong winds which put paid to any race goal times. However, he battled on to complete the 13.1miles in a very respectable 1 hour 32 mins 38 secs, and had the satisfaction of being the first vet60 to cross the finish line.