And so the curtain came down on the 2014 season with our annual big bash party, the LAYA’s, held this year in the warm and welcoming surroundings of Holme Hall Golf Club. The old clubhouse has rarely seen so many athletes gathered together at one time…..most likely never!
Resplendent with fairy lights, ‘Lincsquad’ black blue and white foil balloons and a giant ‘2014’ foil balloon banner, the room looked fabulous thanks to the decorating skills of the team comprising Vicki, family Horner and Mr. Hinch who also looked after the setting of the trophy table aided and abetted by Erica C. With upwards of 150 Lincsquadders due to attend, a great night was anticipated and we weren’t disappointed!
As the waves of finely tuned athletes, long suffering families and friends arrived, they were met square on by our Chairman, Ironman legend Steve Clark, who skilfully lightened their wallets and purses in exchange for strips of raffle tickets, promising the chance to win some spectacular prizes later in the evening.
As usual, the Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Lincsquad’s very own Don King, Dave Hinch…..that microphone will have a head as sore as many others the morning after the night before! Humorous, witty and fluent as ever, the links were seamless 🙂
First up as the night kicked off in earnest were the awards for our young stars from the burgeoning Youth Academy who had turned out in force to celebrate their spectacular 2014 achievements. Cathy Walsh managed to prise the microphone off Mr. Hinch to introduce the awards with Jeff Chappill presenting the trophies. The roll of honour for our wonder kids read:
Youth male of the year: Chris Durham (not present on the night) Training. What a surprise!
Youth female of the year: Annie Dolby (not present on the night) Away looking for a University for next year!
Best youth race performance: Josh Jones
Most improved athlete: Matthew Walsh
Spirit of the youth academy: Will Walsh
Best ‘little legs’: Freddie Gibbs
It is safe to say that the future of Lincsquad looks to be in very safe hands!
The homely aromas of warm sausage rolls drifting out of the kitchen enticed Mr. Hinch into calling an early break in proceedings; many rumbling tummies were suitably satisfied with a tasty and mountainous offering of various finger foods.
Next up were the hotly contested awards and titles for the 2014 TT Series; always close and with some familiar names heading the charge for the accolades….but for how much longer? The kids are coming!
TT powerhouse Steve Grocock is becoming noticeably edgy as challenges to his all conquering TT dominance in recent years seem to be coming from all corners, including one that is just a little too close to home for comfort!
After a long and exciting series, the ladies title went to the wire with a decisive final round ultimately settling the honours. Next year promises to be another battle royal.
The youth academy is producing a crop of talented TT riders, both girls and boys; these are the future kings and queens of TT racing and it will be exciting to see when and how these young maestros dismantle the current champions and replace them at the top of the TT tree!
So, the 2014 series kings and queens of 9.7 mile lactate mastery were:
Male champion: Steve Grocock Female champion: Ruth Wilson
Youth Male champion: Bevan Jones Youth Female champion: Caitlin Bower
With the TT awards wrapped up and done for another year, the evening turned to the awards as voted for on the Lincsquad Forum, by you the members. Hotly contested, debated and shamelessly self-promoted by some (Moda vs. some blue, black and white tatty old thing :-)) this was the main event. All of the results from the Forum vote are now live on the Forum for all to see, with the winners in each category being:
Ironman of the year: Phil Binch,
Sexiest bottom in Lycra: Mel Lucas.
WAG of the year: Clair Dolby.
Blogger of the Year: Steve Grocock.
Prettiest Bike: Gary Horner.
Most motivated to train: Chris Gibbs.
Slave to Strava: Chris Durham. A young star in the making, moulding his own future by spinning those wheels over huge miles every week. Dad Dave now needs a tow rope! No presentation picture of Chris as he was…..unsurprisingly…out training!
Youth of the year: Aiden Grocock.
Coach of the year: Jeff Chappill.
Lincsquadder of the year: Nicky Robinson.
Race performance of the year: Phil Binch
Most Improved athlete: Dave Gibbs.
Female of the year: Ruth Wilson.
Male of the year: Phil Binch.
Splasher of the year: Simon Wild.
Newbie to Quadrathlon: Delyth Williams. As a Quadrathlon club, this is a really prestigious award and well deserved by Delyth! Unfortunately, Delyth couldn’t make it on the night, however she was spotted by Chris Durham, kayaking down Bottesford beck 😉
The presentations were finished off with the very special ‘Christian Brown’ award, presented to someone who has shown the determination, courage and commitment that Christian always demonstrated in abundance in his work, training, attitude and everything that he was involved in. This award was presented by Christian’s mum Christine, sister Alex, and Chris’s good friend Steve Beevers to Phil Binch for his tremendous courage and determination in completing the Triple Ironman event earlier in 2014.
So the final role for MC Hinch and Chairman Clark was to draw the raffle which Steve had sold so effectively to all-comers. No surprises for me on a barren evening for trophies of any kind, that our tickets stayed firmly in the Holme Hall raffle tumbler! Lots of lucky people did however receive some wonderful prizes that had been generously donated by Lincsquad, A&C Cycles of Gainsborough, Tony England, Kerry Padly and others who I must apologise to for not remembering….wine and general giddiness had taken over by this point!
With the awards and raffle complete and the microphone finally prised from Mr Hinch’s grip, another year drew to a close for our hugely successful and popular club. The only thing left to do was to open up the floor, crank up the music and dim the lights.
What followed wasn’t Strictly Come Dancing, but it was, like the whole evening, fun, really good fun!
The images from the presentation and subsequent shenanigans will be on the Lincsquad Facebook page soon, and I’ll also try to load them into the Lincsquad website FlickR page. I accept no responsibility for the images taken and displayed, Steve C and Rick S were coercing me! 🙂
Watch out 2015, Lincsquad is coming!
A very merry Christmas to you all and a happy and healthy New Year.