Annual Awards Shindig

This year's Awards Shindig on February 2nd at Abigail was a fun, festive evening that allowed long-time members to catch up and new members to recognize how special PPTC is. The evening began with Club President Tom Meany presenting the President's Award.  This award is presented at the discretion of the President and is usually given to a person who has shown leadership in some area of club business.  This year's winner was Tom Tobin.  Tom became a board member in 2011, led the men's team and was a constant cheerleader at races when he wasn't running.  Tom is also one of our fastest masters runners.  He is certainly deserving of this award.

Ami Hassler then took over the mic to thank all of our 2011 volunteers.  For the first time, a tree was planted in Prospect Park in honor of our amazing volunteering members.  Thanks to Lynda Mules for this brilliant idea.  Thanks also go to Richard Weaver for creating our volunteers' rewards program.  We hope those of you who qualified found a piece of PPTC clothing to wear proudly or enjoyed a free race or renewal of your membership. The dedication of our members is greatly appreciated.

Ami continued as MC and announced the fastest female and male awards.  Our fastest female ran 24 races this year, and placed 1st in her age group in 7 of those races.  She ran a 1:34:11 Brooklyn Half and a 20:42 5K in the last Al Goldstein Summer Speed race of the season. This year's winner was Maggie Deschamps. Our fastest male ran a 2:55:50 NYC Marathon, a 1:24:36 Brooklyn Half and lest you think his skill is exclusive to long distances, our male winner also ran a 5:13 for the 5th Ave. mile. Mike Goettig was this year's fastest male.

Our next award of the evening was the Bob Mueller Award. This award is given to either a male or female over the age of 50, who is a top masters runner and has volunteered at a PPTC event. The award is voted on by the membership. This year's nominees were Tom Tobin, Frank DeLeo, Anthony Watson, Yves Roger, Anne Perzeszty, and Doug Olney. And our winner is Coach Tony, who ran 21 races in 2011 and ran the 5th Ave. mile in 5:16. Now we all know why he's our team coach. Congrats Coach!

Jason Horowitz then took over as our presenter to award Comeback Runner of the Year. Our nominees were Paul Soskind, Charlene Kohler-Britton, Tyrone Sklaren and Patty Perlo. All of these runners battled back against an injury to race well in 2011. They are all a great inspiration, but our winner as voted on by the membership was Charlene Kohler-Britton. Charlene, we are all certainly happy to see you back on the roads!

PPTC was particularly blessed this year to have many wonderful, committed new members. Three in particular stood out to our membership and received nominations for our New Member of theYear Award: Nicole Importico, Steve Lastoe, and Irene Camp. All three of these members stepped up to volunteer for the club, as well as push themselves on the roads. Our winner was Nicole Importico. Yay, Nicole!

Next we presented our Most Races Award. Our winner ran more than one race a week in 2011, logging 227.5 miles in 58 races. Our winner was Arthur Gonzalez.

Next we awarded Ultra Runner of the Year. Our winner ran over 700 miles in races this year with at least one 100 mile challenge. Congrats to Al Prawda!

Now on to our Run Brooklyn Awards. For four years we have given out 5 $100 awards to members who ran 6 Brooklyn races in 2011. We're so proud that so many of our members support Brooklynrunning. The lucky winners were: Arthur Gonzalez, Joern Ahlers, Paul Soskind, Tom Tobin, and Jim Israel.

Our next kudos go to the member who made an Outstanding Single Contribution to our club in 2011. Our nominees were Matt Strawn, who has made our general meetings much more enjoyable with his excellent, healthier food choices. Lynda Mules for organizing our women's team and helping secure our first place finish in the B division with NYRR. Richard Weaver for the creation of our volunteers' rewards program. And Michael Ring for "everything" as one of our nominators phrased it. Our winner was Lynda Mules. We're so lucky to have her on our team.

Our final award of the evening is the Most Inspirational. This year's recipient broke his hip in August of 2010. He couldn't run for over 6 months, but in March of 2011 he decided to tackle thelofty goal of qualifying for the 2013 Boston Marathon. As he would be 65 in 2013, the qualifying time would be 4:10, but to guarantee his entry, he would really need to break 4. The goal race wasthe Ing Hartford Marathon, and we're happy to report that our winner finished in 3:57:58. Tyrone Sklaren, we're so happy for your recovery and running success.

Thank you to everyone who attended. We've taken your feedback to heart ad hope to make next year's shindig even better.

Meaghan Horner