Red Rose Road Runners

Runner’s Runner of the Year 2018 – The Nominees

Runner’s Runner of the Year 2018 – The Nominees

John Wiseman, last year’s winner was nominated for being a supportive and motivated leader on the Thursday night runs. He has stood down from nominations this year, but please give him a big “Wahay” the next time you see him at a race, parkrun, training, or just in town shopping! I was nominated for my 5in5 marathon efforts, but like John have decided to stand down from nominations. Pita Oates was nominated for dedication to track sessions and all her work with cross country, she has stood down from the nominations, as has Stu Cann who was nominated for his aĺl round efforts, he was a previous winner of the award. Steve Bullows has also withdrawn from nominations. He was nominated “because he is such an inspirational guy. He has run loads of races from 5K’s to Marathons for charity and raised loads of money. He is always supportive & so welcoming”. Mo (Maureen Laney) has also withdrawn. She was nominated for being  “A genuinely lovely lady, who despite not being able to compete herself (yet), more often than not can be found marshalling parkrun or standing course-side at club races cheering people on”. Anneke Crosby has withdrawn as she is a previous winner. She was nominated for her selfless support of others in her running, volunteering and general support for other runners. Mark Willett was nominated for his efforts through adversity and his efforts for charity. He has decided to withdraw from the competition.

Voting will open later today (I will edit this post to include a link at that time). Voting will be open for a week. 

The nominations, in no particular order are below. Please take some time to read them all, you may not know all the nominees. Our club members have some great things to say. We have inspirational people, life savers, tireless volunteers, organisers, charity fundraisers, many unsung heroes and some great running and personal achievements.


Samantha Edwards

Really ran well last tear and brightens up the races with her rainbows. She always stands out whichever race she attends for her uniqueness and because she is so friendly and supportive to others.

Always cheerful, positive and has achieved some amazing running goals. She’s always out there in the Red Rose.

For reminding everyone that running can be done well (such excellent times she achieves) and done with fun (excellent costumes recognisable make-up).

She is inspiring to others. She has improved massively and her flamboyant style shows what we are all about.

She is a brilliant person and very kind. She has overcome some difficult times recently and always deals with them in a strong and positive manner.


Dr Joydip Majumder – Was going for a PB in Liverpool Half Marathon last year. Stopped to save somebody’s life when he saw them collapse and fit. Kept the Kirby runner’s airway open till ambulance arrived (which took ages). He then finished the race and went back to work no doubt.


Paula Plowman for organising the inter club and Worden Park race plus helping on a Thursday night at training. Also sorted the Xmas Do.

Paula puts a tremendous amount of time and effort in as our club race director, organising the Worden 10k and Interclub races. She has always been a friendly, helpful and welcoming member of the running club. Paula is always willing to help others out wherever she can and actively participates in club competitions as well as local park runs, where she volunteers regularly as well.


Faisal Ali
He encourages and supports everyone on races, always gives the biggest cheers and has worked hard on his 12 marathons in 12 months.

On training runs he often encourages the newbies, and gives them a boost. All round lovely guy.


Pete & Marion O Grady

For all that they do promoting our great club and encouraging people with their very successful ‘Couch to 5K’ intakes.

They also organise the Friday runs, true stewards of the club.

Marion O’Grady Supportive and helps to develop new runners through beginners group and leader of the Friday day session

Marion is one half of team O’Grady and provides great support to Pete at beginners’ training and Friday morning Avenham runs where she took the lead for him during his spell of injury. She has supported Pete in facilitating the MIND run and chat initiative and promoted RED January across the group. A regular parkrunner Marion has made the move to running some races of a longer distance this year and has also ventured into trail and Lakeland running. It has to be said she is a great ambassador for Red Rose running (and real ale).

Stephen Woodruffe For time put in doing intervals and organising tempo runs.

Alison Dick – Having fought and beaten cancer twice, Alison continues to run for charity to help others in a similar situation. She is running her 1st marathon this year and she is a well liked and respected member of Red Rose, who also encourages others along the way.

Dan and Nicola Hughes

Team Hughes are most deserving joint recipients for the Runners’ Runner(s) of the year. Both Nicola and Dan are extremely credible runners in their own right, but together they also support each other and their fellow runners in a number of ways. Whether in races, parkruns or training runs, Team Hughes can often be seen in support roles, and they regularly volunteer either separately or together at parkruns, races and off road events, often with their beautiful sheep dog, Badger, who waits patiently for his ball to be thrown!

It is no secret that Nicola has faced immense challenges in overcoming breast cancer three years ago, and so it is even more remarkable that she has come back as a serious contender in races and is smashing her running targets, working towards the challenge of running the Lakeland 50 with Dan.

Anyone who has the good fortune to have met Nicola and Dan will know just how modest they both are about their fantastic running achievements and so it is fitting for them to be considered for the Runner’ Runner(s) award.


“Both are amazing runners and have achieved a lot this year. Red Rose isn’t just about running fast though and that’s why I want to nominate these two. They are humble and supportive of each other and every other runner. They have been through some tough times and use that to motivate themselves to do better and make the most of life which they do through running and enjoying running together and with each other. I have had a really tough year and running has really helped me get through it. Although they might not know it these two have really inspired me and reminded me to be grateful and enjoy what I have and strive to do better and achieve more. There’s much more to come from these two and nobody deserves success more than this amazing couple”.

Shane Collins (Spike)

I would like to nominate Spike for this award. He has been leading and planning unofficial runs on a Tuesday for a while now and this has grown into a lovely supportive and social group, mainly because of Spike’s welcoming and inclusive approach to anyone who comes along. He is extremely positive and encouraging, and takes genuine pleasure in seeing new runners improve and progress. In addition, he is a regular at Preston parkrun, where he continues to support others. A genuinely nice bloke and a credit to Red Rose.

John Plowman (and his trusty clipboard). For everything he does behind the scenes. Even when injured he turns up and leads on his bike on a Thurs night. Him and his clipboard are valuable members of the club.

Gail Dunlop – Gail has suffered a few setbacks this year for various reasons and yet she still comes back stronger and happier.
Despite her set backs she has completed two half marathons and plenty of runs in-between.
Gail always has a smile on her face and will always help others. She is encouraging and determined; she is a credit to Red Rose.
If you don’t know her by name you’ll know her as ‘the one with the white blonde bob and funky leggings’.

(Editor’s note – She also makes excellent wedding cakes!)

Debbie Porter

After a low key year in 2017 spent mostly recovering from surgery, 2018 saw Debbie return to running and get back to winning ways. She had an excellent running year, coming second V45 in the Championship and comfortably winning the F40 Fell championship prize. As she is most at home on the fells, it is not surprising that she came 5th female overall in the Interclub Fell championship and also 2nd V40 and she made a massive contribution to the Red Rose ladies Fell team. Those results speak volumes about her commitment to the club.

Away from running, she volunteered to assist as membership secretary in the summer when John Rogerson took time off to recuperate following major surgery. Given the growing size of the club, this is not an easy task to take on but Debbie did it with efficiency and diligence, helping to ensure that everything behind the scenes was running as usual in John’s absence. Due to her naturally low key personality, she is probably under a lot of people’s radar as a candidate for this award, but she is a credit to the club in terms of her attitude to running, how she conducts herself at races and also the support she gives to other club members.

Julie Thorley – Nominated for years of nonstop effort for RRRR – tireless work for the club.

Louise Davitt
“I joined RR a few months ago & Louise was really welcoming & supportive when I first posted on Facebook to say I’d like to join the Friday run from Avenham but was nervous as I’d be on my own.

When I turned up she came over to me straight away & introduced herself which made me feel at ease. She’s always really friendly and encouraging”.

Wendy Ward – Always supportive of others at races and training runs alike.
Has made great improvements to her own fitness and has done some great running.
A positive and cheerful runner.

Mary Conway – For qualifying to represent GB in marathon in her age group.

Gina Biggs – She is a lovely lady – always happy and willing to help others. Doesn’t matter that she comes last in races but enjoys every run.

(Editor’s note – Gina does not usually come last in races, unless she’s tailrunner!)

Mike Hall
“Without being biased as he’s my father, for his age he’s a fantastic runner and always puts 110% in. Done plenty of marathons too, and to me he’s an inspiration”.

Dave Maudsley – He turns up nearly every Thursday evening and always helps out with the short run, supporting those at the back and helping wherever he is needed. He is always volunteering to marshal the club races and quite happy to help with whatever is required.

Laura Houghton– sheer determination and dedication to training constantly to achieve several PBs in 2018. J

“Laura has been very supportive to everyone this year, she has had a tough summer and has stuck with it and come out stronger. She really helped me after a few bad runs this year and made me feel better even though I was upset with my times she helped me Stay positive”.

Michael Oddie – He is always there in training and always inspires others to push themselves further.

Ruth Watkinson Very inspirational lady improved so much over the last year and is a brilliant motivator and supporter.

Emily Ingham At only 20 years old Emily is one of the youngest adult members of the club. Her journey began in 2014 when she ran a few 5ks and parkruns. She also organised her own fundraising run in memory of a school friend. The 11km route was a massive challenge at the time!
Right from the start she enjoyed supporting other runners and has always been a positive role model encouraging children and making running fun.
As her commitment and training increased she moved onto longer distances, completing 6 marathons (pb 3.45) and 10 half marathons. (pb 1.45)
She has now set her targets even higher and has entered Iron Man this summer despite not having cycled /swam much since school.

John Rogerson for his continued dedication to the club. John is Membership Secretary and spends countless hours each week processing new members and dealing with all sorts of enquiries by email including those from the club website. Quite often he is the first point of contact for new members and always provides detailed and accurate information.
He is always helpful, extremely quick to respond, goes above and beyond to keep the membership admin in order, provides many stats about the club and has a great sense of humour.
John is most definitely one of the valued back bones of the club.

Lynn Melvin– for being a brilliant runner, marshal and supporter of others. Lynn runs in sun, rain and even snow. She tackles mountains with ease (no surprise she is ladies fell captain) and her encouragement of others makes them believe they too can achieve anything! She often forgoes her own run to marshal so others can, or run along side another to support them. She has persuaded me to run races I would never have even considered and converted me to trails. She’s always warm and friendly and usually puts others before herself. A great example of what a Red Roser should be!

Katy Cleece – “I nominate this prosecco loving runner. She has shown considerable improvement over the last 12 months and is currently going from strength to strength with PB after PB. Her persuasive personality has also pushed other Red Rose runners to enter races that they may not have considered without her encouragement…….I sometimes think she should work on commission! Here’s too many more runs Katy Cleece xx”.

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