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President's Speech 2023

It’s been another fantastic year full of amazing achievements and lots of fun. Ellie has put together an amazing 2023 wrapped for us, which will be going out soon… but I thought I’d steal the headlines to share with you now.

As a club, we have participated in over 812 races, 130 different events in 84 locations. We’ve collectively raced for 37 days, 20 hours, 2 minutes and 47 seconds… that definitely makes the medals well worth it!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the committee and volunteers, a lot of whom do lots behind the scenes and without whom there would be no club as we know it.

From the coaching team who create our wonderful track sessions and give up their own time when they could be running to make sure we can do our training, as well as the copious amount of behind the scenes work they have to do to keep everything going,

to the membership team who are the initial friendly contact from the club, doing lots of unsung work, giving info about what we offer and giving all sorts of support where needed,

to Gilly and the newsletter crew who work tirelessly to keep us endlessly in the loop of all the club comings and goings (we’ve never been so informed!), to John and Jean who single handedly keep us in the running of our beloved Summer League, to the Liddiard team who are doing everything they can to modernise and streamline our very own cross country fixture and make sure it sticks around for years to come and the fantastic Juniors team who have brought our juniors division back from the brink and selflessly give their time to coach and foster the next generation of runners.

A special mention is also needed for Gavin and Charlie Lawson who are relatively new members, in the grand scheme of things, but have really stepped up both in coaching and the committee!

There are so many more people who do so much for the club that I can not shout out everyone, but know that we appreciate everything you do!

The usual thing now would be to commend all the amazing times people have run this year, and whilst these should definitely be celebrated, we are all aware of the speedsters of the group, so I would prefer to take the time to shout out the unsung heroes of the club, those runners who put in the effort and, whilst aren’t winning races, deserve every bit of praise as our faster compadres…

Sarah Dent who bought her first set of spikes this year and got out in the mud at cross countries as well as being a stalwart at the track, improving her race times massively including a 3 minute PB at both Bath Half and London Marathon and being a great race day help at the Liddiard.

Saikat who took a huge 13 minutes off his marathon PB at Berlin marathon as well as getting a great half PB too. One of this year’s Vice presidents, he is a membership team hero.

Anastasia, who whilst wrangling 3 energetic boys, got a London good for age time at Valencia Marathon after having to give up her London place this year following a bike accident. She is also a consistent guide runner.

Leanna, who is not only an integral part of the Juniors team, but after double pneumonia and sepsis earlier in the year is back running strong.

Newer members Roma, Elsa and Jodie who have thrown themselves into club life, embracing all things cross country. Jodie was also a massive help with the organising of the Liddiard being a main player in the team despite being a newbie.

Jojo, who is continuously putting in the hard work that got her London good for age less than a year after having her third baby as well as being greatly involved in the track sessions.

Giles who is just a general legend, not satisfied enough with PBs at Hertford Half and parkrun, he has put in some amazing work with Kensal Tri, helping refugees and also is starting his involvement with the committee, which is very exciting!

Chetan who has continued with his amazing running improvement including a run of PBs in only a few weeks. A constant at the track and parkrun, he always greets you with a smile and a sunny disposition.

Louise Goldsmith who is another cross country super star who steps up week after week to organise the Sunday club runs, planning some great routes.

Sarah Power who has PBed at parkrun, 10k and half marathon and ran sub 4 in her first Marathon in Manchester! Not only this, but she’s an integral member of the membership team.

And Sofia who has run some amazing half marathons all over the world this year, ran her first marathon at London, leads track sessions, is a mental health champion, a pilates super woman and also runs her fantastic walk 2 run group, of which many are now Queens Park members too!

There are many more people I could mention, but I will leave it there so to give you some dancing time! However, it’s also worth noting that some of our runners have been sadly injured this year and it’s a credit to them that they have continued to be involved in the club despite this.

As many have done, I really encourage you to, if you are unfortunate enough to get injured next year, volunteer at the club… blow the whistle, help with sessions, join the committee… it’s a great way to stay present even if you can’t run whilst you recover!

And finally, to me, the best part of this club is the amazing, friendly and supportive community. You are all amazing and I’m honoured to be president to such a wonderful group of people. So go forward into the new year knowing that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Set yourself a goal, no matter how small and do your best to achieve it… it may take a couple of months or the whole year. But do your best, listen to your body, have everyone’s back and enjoy the journey… because that’s the important bit!

Merry Christmas everyone!!


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