There was an air of expectant anticipation at the Dolphin Hotel last Saturday evening, writes Dave Mutter.

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The AVR gang had just finished a sumptuous meal and were eagerly awaiting the prize presentation that was so ably delivered by Garry Perratt, Eleanor Wood and Jon Day. Arguably the most prestigious award is for the Club Person of the year, which this year went to Garry Perratt for the humongous amount of work he does for the club plus his adventure style running.

The Male runner for 2012 was Phil Bayliss; in a normal year he runs very well but this year has been exceptional with winning the East Devon Community Race Series yet again, many age category victories and even winning the Farway 10K outright. The Female runner was shared between Eleanor Wood and Janet Woodward. Jon Day won the Chairman’s Shield for continuing to give so much to the club. The President’s Shield winner was Patrick Devine-Wright for coming third in the Dragon’s Back race, a 200-miler across the mountainous backbone of Wales. Myrtle Croad was the most improved male and Janet Woodward the most improved female runner. The Founder’s Trophy for encouraging others was won by Gill Day and the Unfortunate Soul was Diane Newton for the river crossing at Forde Abbey. The Team of the year went to the Wessex Ridgeway Relay’s gang for achieving second place (Alex Todd, Garry Perratt, Dominic Schneiders, Tim Sibley, Chris Keeffe and Robbie Holt). The winners of the Derby & County AC shield for the best new members were Dave Thomas, Janet Woodward and Chris Driver.

The final Handicap saw first place go to Myrtle Croad 175 points, second was James Guler 150 and third James Sibley 126.

Phil Bayliss, Richard Hale and Dave Mutter were awarded honorary AVR membership for their contributions to the club over at least 20 years.

During the year Gill Day has hosted the AVR “Biggest Losers” event and the results were announced at the dinner. Third was Myrtle Croad having lost one stone, second

Robin Jones losing 1st 5lbs and the winner was Irene Croad who lost an amazing two stones.

After the main prizes were given, Dave Mutter proceeded to dosh out the “alternative” awards that raised a titter or two. After all this “The Barries” boogied away making a perfect end to a great evening.

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