This year has been hectic. I’ve taken part in a wider range of events than in any previous year. I’ve completed single and multisport events and gone further and faster than previously. I even won a race! Without further ado, here are my 2015 race awards… drum roll, please…
The winner in this category is the Grand Shaftesbury Tri/Run weekend. St Giles House at Wimborne St Giles is the family home of the Shaftesburys and it made a stunning backdrop for these events:
Most Challenging Course
The runner-up in this category was Winchester Duathlon. I had assumed that it was going to be on the same course as previous years, which was very flat, but instead, it took place on what felt like a mountain.
The winner of the most challenging course category is Brutal 10 Enduro. A single lap of this course wasn’t too bad, but running 50km on it at night-time wasn’t easy.
This has to go to London Marathon, which consistently has a good expo. It was also easy to choose this one, as no other event that I went to had a decent expo.
I enjoyed watching Martin Yelling’s presentation on marathon running and also the interviews with elite runners.
Best Post-Race Food/Beverages
This is another hard category to judge. I enjoyed taking part in my Tri Club’s “Tim Wilks Day”, which is a timed swim, bike and run, followed by a delicious pub lunch, but it’s not really what is meant by post-race food, so I’m going to award this to Gridiron 100, which is a low-key randonnee that I took part in. Bacon sandwiches were available before the start of the event and then there were copious platters of biscuits and other snacks along the way, followed by some more food at the finish.
I’ve not received a lot of goodies at races this year, so I’m going to award this to Durlach Turmberglauf. At the end of this 10k, I received a glass with the race logo and as much water as I could drink. Given that the event only cost €6, I can’t complain about that!
This is a heavy medal with a beautifully decorated ribbon.
Favourite Race Shirt (tech tee or reg)
The runner-up in this category is Salisbury 10 mile. Runners were presented with blue technical t-shirts at the end of this race – I’ve worn mine quite a few times:
The winner in this category is Thunder Run. The main sponsor is Adidas, so of course, the technical t-shirt is a lovely Adidas shirt:
Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc
For me there was no competition for this – it has to be Southampton Half Marathon. Various groups were challenged to be ‘mile makers’, which guaranteed crowds all the way around the course. I saw many friends from Southampton Tri Club, SUTRI, Lordshill Road Runners and parkrun as well as work colleagues from the University of Southampton. Although I went into this race with low expectations (of myself), the support of the crowd meant that I finished in a time that I was really proud of.
Event You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing
This has to be Scilly Swim Challenge. At the start of this year, I’d never swum more than 2km… and that wasn’t continuous, so this was a massive challenge for me. I may have had to be rescued for some of it, but completing the training and getting to the start line was an accomplishment in itself. It also meant that I took part in a variety of swimming events throughout the year. The event itself was really well organised and great fun – it’s already too late for you to sign up for 2016, but please do add it to your planning for 2017!
Favourite Overall Event
The runner-up for my favourite overall event is St Michael’s Mount swim. It was a really fun evening and it gave me so much confidence.
Overall, my favourite event was ABP Southampton Half Marathon. The crowd support was great as were the technical t-shirt and the medal. This is an event that will go from strength to strength, so I’m definitely going to do it again in 2016.
Which events that you took part in this year would you give prizes to? What should I add to my bucket list?