8 Dec

And The Award Goes To

Bolt and camerman

It’s that backslapping time of year again. Yes, award season is well and truly upon us. In the UK, attention turns to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and the annual debate over whether any of our sporting stars actually have any personality.

So in the spirit of the season, runABC has drawn together its own awards. All completely unofficial and with no public vote whatsoever. Still, we hope you like them anyway…
Paula Radcliffe bid farewell to competitive marathon running at her spiritual home in London in April. The icon of British running was no longer the same force of nature who ran a mind-boggling 2:15:25 at the 2003 race – still the world record. But the acclaim was no less rapturous as she covered the 26.2mile capital course for the final time in 2:36:55.
Steve Edwards completed his 700th marathon at Bournemouth in October. The “Godfather of Marathon Running” holds numerous world records including over 600 sub 3:30 marathons. Not ready for retirement yet, maybe, just maybe the 53-year-old might reach 1,000 one day.
USA’s Molly Huddle thought she had the bronze medal in her back pocket as she raised her arms just before the finish line in the 10,000m final at the World Championships. But teammate Emily Infield sneaked past in the final strides to snatch the medal from her.
When he was appointed IAAF President in August, Seb Coe was fulfilling a long-held ambition to lead the sport that defines his life. Less than three months later he was fighting allegations of corruption and wide-spread doping aimed at the international governing body.
In July 2013, an unassuming Devon barman called Kevin Carr set out to circumnavigate the world on foot in the fastest time ever. 621 days later he jogged back to the same spot high on Dartmoor having completed 16,000 miles of an epic journey which included being hit by cars, attacked by wild dogs and stalked by bears. He beat the previous record by one day. 
Usain Bolt confirmed his status as not only one of the greatest athletes of all time, but one of the greatest sportsmen of all time when winning triple gold at the Beijing World Championships. Despite an injury-troubled year, he saw off the huge challenge of two-time drug cheat Justin Gatlin in what was billed as sprinting’s ultimate good v evil match up. It was the feel-good event of the year. But there was almost a weird twist in the tale when an out of control cameraman on a Segway upended Bolt on his victory lap at the end of the 200m. Thankfully, the world’s fastest legs were undamaged and he took the incident in typically good natured spirit. 
There is little love lost between British teammates Mo Farah and Andy Vernon. But when the European silver medallist questioned the quality of field that had been lined up to face the double Olympic champion for an indoor meeting in Birmingham on Twitter, not many would have thought it would lead to Vernon being compared to Taylor Swift. But it did and we savoured every little hashtag. 
A Scottish primary school caught the wider imagination with a simple, yet brilliant idea. Every day the pupils at St Ninian’s in Stirling put down their pens and paper and run their ‘daily mile’ round the school grounds. Not only are the boys and girls improving their fitness, they are also showing improved concentration in class with their regular healthy dose of exercise. A+ for everyone involved.