COLT Awards Night 2017

Around 50 COLTs turned out on a very icy and foggy December night at Vale of Lune Rugby Club for the annual COLT Awards Night. This year saw the addition of several new awards in order to better reflect the activities of the membership and to recognise outstanding contributions. New awards included:

  • Best newcomer;
  • Most improved performance;
  • Outstanding individual race performance.

The evening was also notable for retiring Club Captain, Andrew McCracken’s final award ceremony after presiding over the last five.

COLT Male and Female Champion

After a quite spirited debate on the committee the awards went to Paul Smith and Louise Kelly.

Paul had a remarkably consistent (and fast season) that included representing GB at the ETU and ITU World Triathlon Championships. Highlights included:

  • 1st in age group at Southport Olympic;
  • 13th in age group in Kitzbühel at the ETU European Championships;
  • 24th in age group in Rotterdam at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.

Louise won the award for a second time having won the inaugural COLT female performance of the year way back in 2009. To say that Louise had an outstanding year would be an understatement!

  • Age group and overall female win at Harlech duathlon;
  • Age group win and 5th female at Britsh Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships;
  • Age group and overall female win at Bala Middle Distance;
  • 2nd in age group at Bala Standard;
  • 24th in age group in Rotterdam at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.

Male COLT Champion. Paul Smith with Captain McCracken

Outstanding Individual Race Performances

This was a new award to recognise outstanding performances at individual races. The first recipients were Jonathan Marshall, Louise Goddard and John Knapp.

  • Jonathan Marshall: 3rd overall Triathlon X (a contender for the world’s toughest triathlon);
  • Louise Goddard: Age group silver, European Duathlon Championships at Powerman Zofingen (and recognition of her consistent performances for GB by the award of a pin badge);
  • John Knapp: 4th overall in the Spine race in 108:48:36 (268 miles non stop).

Best Newcomer

Another new award category with 2 awards for Thomas Jones and Anne Greenney.

  • Tom Jones: awesome debut at Ironman UK 11:23:40
  • Ann Greeney: never ridden a road bike to Ironman 70.3 Mallorca in 6 months!

Dawn McCracken and Kerry Oldfield (improved performance) with Thomas Jones and Anne Greenney (Best newcomers).

Most Improved Performance

This award was created to recognise those whose commitment to triathlon resulted in big improvements in race performance. The inaugural awards went to Dawn McCracken and Kerry Oldfield.

  • Dawn McCracken: Awarded for the incredible improvement in her swimming which enabled her to complete Ironman 70.3 Mallorca from being unable to swim front crawl 6 months previously;
  • Kerry Oldfield: who put in a stunning performance at Ironman Emilia Romagna (10:46:18, 5th in AG).

The Spanner Award

This award was specially created to recognise deeds of awesome mechanical stupidity and it was no surprise that one of the two inaugural winners should be Andy Ley. The other spanner was Simon Vaukins.

  • Andy Ley: who completed the bike leg of Ironman 70.3 Mallorca with his seat post slid right down into his frame and his tribars waving about like linen on a washing line.
  • Simon Vaukins: who gamely attempted to reprise Andy Holgate’s famous exploits by attempting (and failing) to complete the Lancaster University Triathlon with no saddle!

2 spanners, Andy Ley and Simon Vaukins

The Stabiliser Award

As usual, this was one of the most hotly contested awards. In hindsight, Guy Higgs’ wipeout at the hands of another contender could have been a strong contender but the awards were given to Lisa Morgan, Craig Slow Sammo and Chris Wild. What? No Chris Lawson? I hear you cry. There’s always next year, Chris.

  • Chris Wild: for breaking the shoulder of an octogenarian on a mobility scooter. Chris will bore you to death with the story that the pensioner was, in fact, joyriding dangerously and was the guilty party. We know the truth.
  • Craig Slow Sammo: not content with falling off himself, he also wiped out Lady COLT resulting in the calling out of the North West Air Ambulance. We hope that Craig has made a substantial donation!
  • Lisa Morgan: quite how Lisa fell of her bike remains a mystery, however the presence of mind to take a selfie while on a spinal board and in a neck brace shows the kind of commitment that makes her a true COLT!

COLT Supporter of the Year

Incredibly, the COLT Committee managed to award this to our legendary club secretary, Sarah Patterson, without her finding out! Sarah is the rock in the foundations of COLT without whom the club would not function and this award is in recognition of for her long standing commitment to her club.

In addition, thanks were accorded to Jenny Evans and Sharon Winterburn for their efforts in coaching COLTs in the swimming pool over the last year.

President’s Big Banana Award

Traditionally, the last award of the evening is always the President’s Big Banana Award. This year, fittingly, he chose to recognise the outstanding contribution that Alice Earnshaw has made to the Junior COLTs. Her time. commitment and leadership talent has led to an increasingly successful and rapidly growing junior section.


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