Our History

A very potted history of the Datchet Dashers.

If anyone has more information please email chairman@datchetdashers.com so we can add to the story.

The club was formed in 1981 by Terry and Pat Purser.

Mar 87: Tony Humphrey (President)

Jan 88: Terry Purser

1992/93 - 1995/96: Jasmine Flatters (Chairman role introduced)

1996/97 - 2000/01: Tom Emmett (5 years)

 

2001/02 - 2005/06: Ian Spencer (5 years)

2006/07 - 2008/09: Dave Glazier (3 years)

2009/10 - 2014/15: David Priddy (6 years)

2015/16 - 2016/17: Nina Smith (2 years)

2017/18 - 2018/19: Bryony Trafford-Smith (2 years)

The Terry Purser Cup is awarded to the most improved male runner in the club over the past year. 

The Julia Martin Heaven trophy has quite a story to it. It is awarded to the most improved female runner of the year.  Thanks to David Priddy who sent the following, and to Rosemary Arber who wrote it:


"For those Dashers who knew Julia in her running hey-day, the one memory will be of one who was unfailingly cheerful and determined in her approach. Any set-back in her training schedule merely meant a necessity to re-organise the time remaining to meet the targets she set for herself.  Never really a truly competitive runner, she generally enjoyed the training rather more than the event itself - except for the marathon and, her favourite distance, the half -marathon . Back in those days, getting into 'The London' felt like the most serious athletic challenge we'd ever face - rather like approaching the north face of the Eiger. Today 'marathoning' sometimes appears an almost routine exercise with the really tough tests being faced by triathletes and mountain runners etc. Well I'm sure that' s not really true and that today's participants are every bit as challenged and nervous as we were but I mention it because, when in 1985-6 Julia and I were two of a smallish group of Dashers who'd got places in the '86 event and regularly trained together, Julia was who would ensure that we all got out and did our training - no matter what excuse I could think of to postpone it! And I could only rarely persuade her that it would be a good to cut the proposed route short even when the weather that winter was the worst we'd had in years. There we’d be in six layers of clothing, woolly hats and gloves, slithering about on the ice and/or soaked to the skin and Julia would be telling us all how much fun we were having! Well, yes we were! And we made it, round the 26.2 miles too, the determination Julia displayed then was echoed to an extraordinary degree in the last few years of her life when she faced one potentially devastating occurrence after another. Julia developed breast cancer and almost simultaneously her husband, Steve, was made redundant. As often happens these days, it took a while for Steve to find a new post and soon after that he was diagnosed as having a brain tumour. At one stage, both were undergoing treatment on an almost daily basis. Steve unfortunately succumbed to his tumour after a brave fight during which Julia had given him all the support she could. At about this time, Julia herself was made redundant but luckily fairly soon found employment and it seemed at last could begin to build a new life for herself. Typically, she planned another Marathon attempt and started training practically from scratch - and then breast cancer reappeared this time with the necessity for surgery. Julia faced up to this too with her usual cheerfulness and, given the chance for reconstructive surgery went for it - simply re-scheduling her marathon plans.


The final blow came when bone cancer was diagnosed and she was given only months to live. She, once again, amazed and humbled all who saw her during that time with the matter of fact, approach she took to the whole affair trying to reassure and comfort us when we found it difficult to accept what was happening to her. She never complained and it was only afterwards that we found that she had been in considerable pain and had had difficulty in coping with the practicalities of everyday life, like shopping and cooking for herself. Thankfully she died after only a few short weeks and, as she had told us she would, began her really serious training for the Heaven Marathon which she intended would be a PB! It would come as no surprise to us all who knew her that she had done everything she could to prepare her departure so that others would be put to as little trouble as possible. Pat, her mother, told me that when she approached the priest, who Julia had advised would conduct the funeral service, she discovered that everything was arranged and paid for - including the really splendid spread in the parish hall afterwards. The only thing left to do was arrange the time and date - and Julia would probably have done that too if she'd found a way to do it! At the service, pleasingly attended by a great many Dashers, a poem was read and though I haven't been able to track it down, it told us in no uncertain terms not to waste time grieving and asking questions, but to get on with what we had to do and remember her in the doing of it. You can take it from me and I got it from her - that in our case that means getting out there and doing it in training! And while you are out there cussing and blinding and thinking up good excuses as to why it isn't going quite as planned, look up.  That passing cloud or shooting star will be Julia on her way to a finish time that'll put us all to shame. Now that really is a challenge for you!"

The Harry Trigg Trophy is voted for by the entire club and is awarded to the person who has contributed / inspired / has outstanding performances as a club member over the past year. Harry Trigg was Pat Purser’s (club co-founder) father. Harry was also a regular member of the club and sadly died one day whilst out running. It was decided to name a trophy in his honour.

The Jim Banks Handicap Trophy - With thanks to David Priddy, who says, "In 2015 Jim Banks' son Simon came and presented the trophy. Below is an extract of the e-mail discussion I had with him about Jim:"


"I think he [my father] was secretary of the club in early 1980s. As a young man he was a very good athlete and I have a copy of his certificate he received for wining the mile in the 1946 combined services games in Delhi. Apparently, the standard was the equivalent to the of old Empire or Commonwealth games. He was a private hire driver around Slough from the early 1960's until his death in 1985 and took up sport again in the early 1980s to try and improve his health. First he took up the 20k walk, then progressed to half marathons. His ambition was to compete in the London Marathon but given his age, the organisers insisted he undergo a medical. I understand from his widow that the day he received the OK from the Marathon, he went on a training run and had a fatal heart attack on his return. He was 67."
 
The Hannah Wheeler Merit Trophy awarded by the Committee to the Dasher who has contributed most over the past year.

Jules Jog – Run in memory of Jules Agar. His wife, Julia explains more: 

 

"It’s so heartwarming to see all you guys running in memory of Jules. He would be well impressed with you.


For those who never knew him, he was a keen Dasher for a number of years, originally from Sunderland and a loyal Black Cats supporter. We moved from Twickenham to Windsor in 2005. He worked in Finance for GE Healthcare in Amersham. We married in May 2008 & our daughter Freya was born in July 2009.


In April 2010 he ran the Stratford Upon Avon Marathon to raise money for the Neonatal unit at Wexham Park, where Freya was born. It was his first marathon which he managed in a respectable 3hrs 30 mins despite very warm weather.
He continued running for as long as he was able, but he was diagnosed with a Stage 4 Malignant Melanoma later that year. He sadly passed on 9 July 2011 (aged 38yrs).


Freya is now 9yrs old & has been along to the Jules Jog each year with me until we moved. He is always in our hearts and Freya & I are truly grateful to you guys for keeping a special date in the Datchet Dashers calendar to remember him. 💖" (written 2018)