March Athletics Club honour club stars after 'far from normal'

Toni Alcaraz of March Athletics Club

Toni Alcaraz was the overall winner of the March Athletics Club Virtual League. - Credit: MARCH ATHLETICS CLUB

March Athletics Club may be coming to the end of a year that was anything but normal but it still held its annual awards for 2020 with some very deserving winners.

Under normal circumstances the awards would have been presented at the Christmas party but like with most things through the pandemic, adaptation was the name of the game.

And the club were determined that the event still go ahead.

A spokeswoman said: "In a year that's been far from normal, it is more important than ever that the club recognises the wonderful members who have supported us by renewing their membership and participating in our weekly training sessions and monthly challenges.

"They have effectively helped us survive a very difficult year."

The committee considered all the runs completed by members this year, which included some actual races as well as many other virtual ones, before handing out the prizes.

Walter Beldom and Karen Patterson were the winners of the Frostbite League while Andy Cole and Toni Alcaraz topped the charts in the Virtual Challenge League,  the latter taking the overall title.

Joanne Anderson-Wenn of March Athletics Club

Joanne Anderson-Wenn was March Athletics Club's most improved female runner. - Credit: MARCH ATHLETICS CLUB

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Joanne Anderson-Wenn was the most improved female runner, while James Moon was the male equivalent, and the outstanding performance of the year went to the club's Round Norfolk Relay team.

That was in recognition of the mixed team finishing sixth out of the 42 teams who entered the event, with Alcaraz, Patterson and Kanina O’Neill finishing as first ladies in each of their stages.

James Moon of March Athletics Club

James Moon was the most improved male runner at March Athletics Club. - Credit: MARCH ATHLETICS CLUB

The most important award though, the one voted on by club members rather than the committee, is the club person of the year and that went to Mark Darlow with 64 per cent of the votes.

This is for his huge efforts to get the club back up and running after lockdown ended in July, keeping it safe and fully compliant with the ever-changing COVID-19 regulations and sacrificing his own runs to lead the weekly training sessions.

Andy Cole and Mark Darlow of March Athletics Club

Andy Cole (left) was the first male in the Virtual League while Mark Darlow (right) was March Athletics Club's clubman of the year. - Credit: MARCH ATHLETICS CLUB