ATHLETICS: Award shortlist announced

WILTSHIRE Athletic Association, supported by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport, will be hosting a presentation awards evening at the Devizes Sports & Social Club on Friday 6th June to recognise all those who make the county an outstanding place to run.

There are awards for athletes, coaches, officials and others who give their time to make it possible for us to run and participate in events. The Association will also be celebrating some of the best initiatives and races of the year in the county.

Male athlete of the year: Michael Towler (Avon Valley Runners) - Wiltshire Half Marathon champion and Wiltshire XC champion; Simon Dill (Swindon Harriers) - Wiltshire & South West England 800m champion; Simon Nott (Calne Running Club) - Wiltshire 10K champion.

Female athlete of the year: Keeleigh Chapman (Swindon Harriers) - Welsh 60m indoor hurdles champion; Lizzi Clifford (City of Salisbury A&RC) - Wiltshire & South West England 400m hurdles champion and ranked 6th in UK; Ruth Barnes (Avon Valley Runners) - Wiltshire 10K and Half Marathon champion Young male athlete of the year: Jacob Ness (City of Salisbury A&RC) - Wiltshire & South West England 400m champion and ranked 2nd in UK; Lewis Harnett (Moonrakers AC) - Wiltshire 100m & 200m champion and South West England medallist; Will Crisp (Swindon Harriers) - Wiltshire 800m, High Jump & XC champion and winner of Oxford XC League title.

Young female athlete of the year: Becky Alexander (Swindon Harriers) - Wiltshire 70m Hurdles champion & South-West 200m Indoor champion; Polly Maton (Moonrakers AC) - short listed for the world junior championship and the European Championships as a T46 athlete; Skye Allen (City of Salisbury A&RC) - Wiltshire & South West England 100m & High Jump champion.

Veteran male athlete of the year: Gary Dunstone (Chippenham Harriers) - 1st MV40 at the Castle Combe Half, Malmesbury Half and 1st MV40 in the 2013 Wiltshire Road Race League; Gordon Wiltshire (City of Salisbury A&RC) - a leading MV70 athlete over 5K & 10K with multiple age group victories including Yeovilton 5K; Peter Molloy (Swindon Harriers) - M65 UK Records and gold medals at the British Masters' Indoor 800m, 1500m & 3000m and medallist at the World Masters championships in Budapest.

Veteran female athlete of the year: Denise Grech (Calne Running Club) - Multiple outright race wins, including Calne Clock Change Challenge 10K, Foxtrot 5 and Wiltshire 10; Fiona Price (Avon Valley Runners) - Wiltshire 3000m champion, BMAF 5000m & 10-mile medallist, GB Silver Medal in World Masters Half Marathon in Budapest; Sam Kelly (Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds) - Winner of the Leicester Marathon and Downton Half Marathon, achieved the highest number of first place Park Runs in UK.

Unsung hero of the year: Lorraine Ferris (Royal Wootton Bassett Hounds) - Active club committee member, plans and leads training sessions. Voted as 'Runners Runner' by Hounds; Sean Price (Avon Valley Runners) - Club Assistant Secretary, Event Director of Southwick Park Run and assists in the organisation of several races across the county; Stuart Henderson (Corsham Running Club) - Club Treasurer and Race Director as well as Wiltshire XC Secretary. Driving force behind the inaugural Wiltshire Off-Road Race League.

Official of the year: Alan Brown (Swindon Harriers) - Officiates at club, county, regional and schools events specialising as a Field Referee; Aly Sloane (City of Salisbury A&RC) - Officiates at club, county and regional events specialising as a Starter/Marksman. Also outgoing Honorary Secretary of Wiltshire Athletic Association and organiser of the county Track & Field championships.; Dave Amey (City of Salisbury A&RC) - Pivotal in the clubs development and organiser of XC events.

Coach of the year: Colin Baross (Moonrakers AC) - Specialist sprint coach to able bodied and disabled athletes. One has been shortlisted for the European and World Junior championships; Michelle Maxwell (Chippenham Harriers) - Introduced structured training and physical preparation sessions which are well attended by club members with a range of abilities resulting in several members of the Club achieving PBs and excellent performances during the year; Tony Jackson (Swindon Harriers) - Six of the eight athletes his coaches won county-level titles in 2013 Club initiative of the year: JAVR 2K (Avon Valley Runners) - A monthly event held in Southwick Country Park targeting young athletes as young as 8-years old, with its own League scoring system. The event also launched the inaugural Wiltshire Junior Race League; One Mile Club (Corsham Running Club) - Provides incentives to younger runners to run a mile or multiples of, including certificates and t-shirts. The OMC also took a road show into local schools to generate support; sofa to 5K (Devizes Running Club) - A 10-week beginners programme led by the clubs qualified Running Group Leaders and have seen club membership increase as participants 'graduate' from the programme.

Race of the year: AVR Wiltshire Half Marathon (Avon Valley Runners) - Only in its second year but receives great reviews and provides competitors with free photographs and videos of their run; Chippenham Half Marathon (Chippenham Harriers) - Attracting 1,500 runners, the race was voted 5th in Runners World’s top-10 Half Marathons of 2013, raises £10K+ for local charities and good causes. Race #10 for the 2014 Wiltshire Road Race League.; Corsham St Georges 10K (Corsham Running Club) - Attracts 800 runners and generates a fantastic atmosphere. Race #3 for the 2014 Wiltshire Road Race League.

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