XC: A season of surprises

SPECIAL MERIT AWARD – as for the last three seasons, there will be a Special Merit Award to be presented at the Senior Presentation. Is there a member of your Club who merits an award? We would like each Club to nominate one of their members who has made a significant contribution to their Club’s participation in the League. They don’t have to be a competing member, they might be a coach or a team manager – anyone who has made a contribution. Your nomination should be submitted to the League with the reason why you feel that person merits a special award. The nomination should be made by your Club Contact. The League’s Working Group will decide the winner. Announcement of the winner will be made at the Senior Presentation on Friday 3rd March.
Manchester Area Cross Country League
Belle Vue Racers enjoyed a hugely successful cross country season, competing in both the Manchester Area and South East Lancashire Leagues.  It was a season of wonderful surprises: alongside old favourites like Parks Woodbank and Heaton (twice), we welcomed a new MACCL race at the University Playing Fields and through Kenworthy Woods, a relentlessly undulating, challenging and overwhelmingly well received course, and, in the SELCC league, a new fixture towards Chorley, another tough, hilly, wet but hugely enjoyable tour through Astley Park.  In the Manchester Area League’s divisional structure, the Men’s Senior Team fielded a full team at every race and won glorious promotion to the second division (the Championship in new money) – well done, lads!  The challenge now is to stay up.
Proud of our endeavours, a small band of Belle Vue Racers made their way to Wilmslow Rugby Club for a beer and hotpot to celebrate the completion of a great season and to congratulate individual and team winners (a rare chance to see what those at the front actually look like!).  But there were also other plans afoot.  Our Lynda had been nominated for the League’s Special Merit Award for her outstanding contribution to our community club over the years.  And then came the final wonderful surprise of the season … Lynda’s name was read out as the winner of the award!  Congratulations Lynda from all of us at BVR!
Here is Club Secretary Ruth’s nomination of Lynda in full:
Since 1989 Lynda has been a central part of the Club initially by supporting Ed Cheetham in establishing the Club, then being an active member and competing in many races.  She continued to support the Club through the challenging years when we had to leave Belle Vue and did not have a base until finally gaining our place at Sport City, where we train on  Thursday nights.  When Ed died in 2003, taking on re-establishing the Club can’t have been an easy task but every year since then she has not only been the Coach but carried out numerous duties, official and unofficial, to ensure that the Club has been a positive place for runners of all abilities to meet, to train, to compete, to build friendships, to carry on the ethos of the Club established in 1989 of being a welcoming Club to all.
The undoubted highlight of every winter has been our participation in the cross country races. Lynda has been at just about every cold, windy and wet start and finish line, and has often managed to pop up on the courses as well.  Her encouragement is genuinely second to none. If ever a runner has been in doubt of their ability to participate, she has reassured of their capabilities, strengths and achievements. Support at races has taken up a great deal of her free time, especially at weekends.
From a personal perspective I would just not have participated in as many races, or the difficulty of races if it hadn’t been for Lynda telling me that I could do it. I know that sentiment carries through from the fastest to the slowest runners, experienced to inexperienced.
We all appreciate her time and dedication to the Club and as a mark of our appreciation we made her the Honorary Chairperson of BVR.  The club will continue without her but she will be very greatly missed!