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Raven of the year awards 2014

Photo of Steve Glackin being presented with his Grand Prix award by Marcus Elwes
Thursday 25th September saw 26 Ravens attend the annual Raven if the year award dinner, co-hosted with the SEAA, who kindly let us join them at their venue at the Old Doctor Butler's Head in Moorgate. The awards, donated and presented by Phil Hernon, were awarded in the following categories:
City Mile race
Grand Prix (rated excellently by Simon Phillips taking age graded results across the last year, with an emphasis on the Assembly League results)
Raven of the year - for outstanding performances and contribution to the Ravens and running generally.

Merit award.
The awards were presented as follows as summarised by Phil himself:
City Mile – Arif Merali- hopefully more will run it next year. It is a great event and as I said last night , the race has a really amusing fun guy in the holding area who became all the rage in the internet feedback. It is a great race so let’s try and support it. Next years date TBA.

Grand Prix- The winner was one of the Kent Mafia – Steve Glackin (Marcus has the trophy) . Well done Steve and thanks for supporting the Assembly League which ultimately won it for you. Thanks also to Busy (Male version) for his excellent work and investigation in piecing together the results – thanks Simon.

Raven of the Year – this went to Dave Butler . In a close vote he pipped the others by one vote. At one stage it looked as thou all four were going to be level but a late vote won it for Dave. We all wish you a speedy recovery. Well done great running ..

Merit Award- this went to Andy Catton for his contribution to Essex and Insurance Athletics. Also to recognise his 50 years of top level running . well done Andy and thanks for being one of my running inspirations. I forgot to mention he had his retirement announced in Athletics Weekly – not many have that done but thru a lot of coaxing we got him running again..thankfully.

A good time was had by all.
Congratulations to Mick Bridgeland and Dave Butler for again qualifying for their England vests. They will be competing at the 2013 British & Irish Masters International Cross Country at Bute Park in Cardiff on the 16th November.
Selection for the annual race between the four UK countries, England, Scotland, Wales and NI plus the Rep Ireland, is based on mainly the BMAF xc Champs plus performances in other BMAF races and current form.
As you all go out on your reps its worth sparing a thought for Mel Batty. Mel died last week at the relatively young age of 71- his funeral is Friday 9 September. Mel was a rounded figure, very prominent in Essex and coached many including Eamon Martin, Rob Denmark and our own Ricky Goad. I met him a couple of times and whilst reasonably quiet he was bubbly and had a fantastic knowledge of athletics. He was also the driving force behind Brooks shoes. I understand he was a gutsy runner and he certainly drove his athletes hard and got the best out of his runners. Eamon won the London and Rob was successful on the world stage. He managed a sub 48 min ten mile time and was 10 mile World Champion in 1963. His contribution to Essex running and by definition UK was huge and he sponsored a number of races and he frequently showed at League County and National CC races. So whilst we are all able to enjoy our running its worth giving some thought to those who kept our sport going during some tough times. I honestly believe without the Mel's of this world, our sport would have been a lot less enjoyable. Alongside Mel Watman and Alistair Aitken, he was one of the original names when I got involved in 1983.

Phil Hernon

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