ATHLETICS: Ryston Runners AC celebrated another successful and enjoyable year at their annual awards dinner at Knights Hill Hotel.

 The presentations were MC’d by chairman Andy Smith, aided by Bec Tuff and Cath Duhig.

More than 20 presentations were made, mainly for athletic achievement and clubmanship, but with a few more light-hearted moments provided.

Major awards included the Jack Wilde Trophy for Athlete of the Year, which went to Robert Simmonds in recognition of winning the World Double Decathlon Championships in August, and the Outstanding Individual Performance Trophy to Gaye Clarke, who was a triple medallist at the World Masters Championships in Brazil in October.

A new award, The Tinker Trophy, in memory of the former Mayor of Downham, who was so supportive when the club was founded in 1986, was designated for the Club Ambassador of the Year and its first winner was Mick Ennis.

Other awards included the Committee Award for service to the club, to Rod Wood, Road Runner of the Year to Jane Ashby, the Izzy Endeavour Award to Julie Lyth, the Bob Hancock Trophy for Most Improved Athlete to Sue Tuff, and the County Chairman’s Pot to Karen Smith.

Voted for by members on the night, the Bridget Wood Trophy for Clubperson of the Year went to Andy Smith. Elizabeth Blakie received a Silver Hare to mark her 25 years’ continuous membership of the club.

λ Seventeen Ryston Runners took part in the Norfolk Cross Country Championships at Euston Road, Thetford, with some fine results.

Alfie Bobbins and Thea Howlett produced top five finishes in the u13 boys and girls’ race while Annie Rooks had an excellent run to finish second in the u15 girls.

First home in the senior men’s race was Rob Simmonds, followed by Malcolm Tuff, who picked up a silver county medal in the veterans category. Nick Bensley crossed the line closely followed by Marcus Hawkins, which saw all three veterans pick up gold medals for the first team to complete the sapping 12K course.

Ed Borrmann (Ryston Junior Field Athlete of the Year) took part in the pole vault in Birmingham on Sunday and registered 4m10. He has his sights set on a better performance next weekend at the Southern Inter-counties championships.

λ Walpole St Andrew runner Matt Pyatt, returned to competitive action on Sunday after two months off due to the birth of his third son, Stanley, in December.

He made an impressive return to finish eighth of 416 finishers in a high quality field in the fourth race of the Frostbite friendly cross country league held at March.

He finished a slippery five-mile multi-terrain course in a time of 28 minutes and 34 seconds, helping his Hunts AC team to second place.