20 Dec

runABC'S own SPOTY

Headshot of Geraint Thomas

Another BBC Sports Personality of the Year, another entirely predictable debate over whether anyone in British sport has a personality and another social media outrage over BBC bias against men, women, the English, the Scottish, snooker, darts, tiddlywinks and so on.

Last year’s winner Mo Farah was on awarding duties this time round and Britain’s most decorated athlete aside, running had a pretty low profile during this year’s two-hour sporting marathon. Which leaves runABC to pick up the baton and run with our utterly unofficial awards for 2018.

And so, without any public voting, no expert panels and no silverware available, let’s plough on with our annual review.

PERSONALITY

Yes, were SPOTY restricted to runners only, then this man would have had his name etched on the base of that iconic silver camera most of the last decade. It has to be Mo Farah. Stepping up to marathon full-time, he produced a gritty third place in London, a European record run to win his first marathon major in Chicago and a fifth Great North Run win.  

TEAM

Team GB’s 4x100m women’s team, including the jet-heeled Dina Asher-Smith, has youth, style and speed in abundance. They took European gold in Berlin and were the fastest quartet in the world this year.

WORLD STAR

The impossible became the probable in 2018 thanks to Eliud Kipchoge. The Kenyan legend clocked a barely believable 2:01:39 to win the Berlin Marathon, bringing the world within a mere 100 seconds of the first ever sub two hour marathon.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR

As distressing as it was to see, Callum Hawkins’ collapse at the Commonwealth Games marathon is one that is now firmly etched in our minds. The brave Scot was two minutes clear with just 2k to go before his body gave up on him. Never has a marathon runner’s willingness to go to the very edges of human limits been laid bare so painfully.  

UNSUNG HEROES

There is a movement going on right now which is reminiscent of parkrun. This time it's for the group who need our support more than ever. In 2012, Elaine Wyllie set up the Daily Mile, a simple model at her own school near Stirling which saw children getting out of the classroom and each doing 15 minutes of walking, jogging and running to help their wellbeing. Not only were children becoming fitter and healthier, they were also more alert for learning. A phenomenon has begun. As Sport England reveals that two-thirds of children are not doing the recommended amount of activity, 6000 schools are now signed up to the simple, yet effective programme. The Daily Mile is stemming the tide of child inactivity.