Running Club North is pleased to announce the 2014 winners of the club’s annual awards, who were recognized last Saturday night at the RCN awards social.

2014 Volunteers of the Year:  Roger and Tamara Sayre
One or both members of this enthusiastic, hard-working couple was nominated in all three categories (Volunteer, Race Director, Most Inspirational).  The Interior running community will sorely miss their leadership and dedication, as they are relocating to the Lower 48.  Comments from nomination e-mails give a sense of our collective appreciation for them:
“I wanted to recognize all they have done for the running community, especially with youth activities. They have been coaches, volunteers, supporters, and race directors. They have been quiet leaders and role models, despite individually dealing with injuries and chronic illness. They recognize the value and power of physical activity and the role it plays in health and wellness, and encourage that in both kids and adults.”
“They may not have directed the biggest races but they were well marked, well planned, numerous, and it was a privilege to run good XC (cross-country) races.”
“For someone in his mid-50s, Roger’s times are phenomenal.  It’s exciting to see what he can do and it also motivates the rest of us to dig a little deeper.”

2014 Race Directors of the Year:  Amber Barlow and Tyson Flaharty, for organizing the Alaska Interior Triathlon Series
Not only did they take over organizing the venerable Sourdough Triathlon (thanks to Bad Bob Baker and Bruce Miller for many past years of work on that!), they made our three local swim/bike/run races into a new series, going from a short sprint event (the Break-Up Triathlon) to an Olympic distance tri (the North Pole Tri) and culminating in the half-Ironman Sourdough Tri.  Any one of these races takes a tremendous amount of work.  Amber and Tyson did a great job on all three events.  In the words of a nominator:
“They did an amazing job, in just their first year, to pull these three disparately run events together to be organized as a progressive series of events from sprint, to Olympic, to half Ironman distances.  The locations, atmosphere, courses and prizes were fantastic, and uniquely Alaskan!”

2014 Most Inspirational Runner of the Year:  Davya Flaharty
It would seem that having a baby only made Davya faster.  As part of the Baker family, she’s been involved in running, skiing and other athletic pursuits virtually her entire life – volunteering as well as competing.  Now that she and Tyson are parents of Eevy, born in March 2013, does that mean she has no time for such sports?  No way!  She kept on helping out at track meets and elsewhere, and took the competition side up a significant notch this summer.  At the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage in June, she achieved her goal of a sub-3-hour marathon, which also won her the women’s title.  All summer long she ran well, chalking up impressive performances in many races including the Two-Way Torture Test, Chena River Run, Gold Discovery Run and Santa Claus Half-Marathon, culminating the season with a personal best in the Equinox Marathon by more than 5 minutes.  We are inspired by this young mom’s dedication, success, and cute baby.