WITC Holidays Party 2012

WITC Holidays Party, 12th December 2012 at Znajomi Znajomych

2012 was a breakthrough year for WITC, with the club going from strength to strength both on and off the field. In the words of club founder Ken Globerman: “2012 was an AWESOME year for WITC! In just our second season, we doubled the WITC community to over 300 and increased our activity in triathlon from 1 athlete in 2011 to 25 in 2012. Our running community also increased – most evident in our club’s participation in the Biegnij Warszawo 10K in Warsaw, where we went from 20 runners in 2011 to more than 40 in 2012.  The WITC buzz, awareness and community is only going to get bigger in 2013. I’m excited!

Ken doing what he does best

The holidays party in December gave everyone involved with the club the chance to celebrate a fantastic year. Ken had prepared a fun-filled evening with a slide-show, raffle, awards ceremony, special WITC song and much, much more …

As the guests started to gather at popular club haunt Znajomi Znajomych, in the background there was a slide-show of pictures and quotes from members. This served as a great reminder of all we’ve done as a club this year. Then came the first stage of the night’s entertainment, a raffle with awards from WITC’s generous partners, ERGO, Holmes Place and Trinergy ranging from entries for an indoor triathlon, one-on-one triathlon training to sports apparel.

After a short break for refreshments came the much awaited awards ceremony. WITC members had been voting for their “Athlete of the Year” and “Most improved Athlete of the Year” for weeks and there was excitement in the air as Ken read out the winners in reverse order.

Ken congratulating Olgierd (at least that’s what I think’s happening) on his award

The Most improved athlete of the year award was deservedly won by Olgierd Swida, who overcame injury in 2012 to successfully complete his first ever half-marathon in Munich. After the initial shock had passed, Olgierd had the following to say about the award:

I am very touched with the WITC Most Improved Athlete Award. Thank you very much! Special Thanks to Dominika who convinced me to join the group a year ago; to Grzegorz and Mark who chaperoned me on the first run in Waryszew; to Ken for his persuasive “oh yeah, you could do it”; to Lizzy for the inspiration on persistence; to Teresa for her patience and to all of WITC for the continuous support! Couldn’t have done my Half Marathon without you. THANKS!

Then came the prestigious WITC Athlete of the Year award. The voting here was incredibly close, but in the end there has to be a winner and that was Ewa Smiechowska, who had a superb year as you can see in her acceptance speech below:

This is just a piece of metal, but it symbolizes all those magical moments that happened to me over the last 12 months.

My first running race, first half marathon, first 50 meters of freestyle, first triathlon, first marathon. First time running for charity and first achievements (5th woman in Bieg Powstania Warszawskiego, fastest woman in ERGO vs. WITC challenge).

But also my first jenga party, first Thanksgiving, first couchsurfing. Organising a surprise birthday party, cooking together, barbecuing. Making instant decisions about inviting 20 people for lunch to somebody else’s summer house. Reaching the highest peaks of Romania and Poland. Taking care of cats and rabbits. Looking for chanterelles in Oslo and finding a mushroom tree in Kazimierz. Watching sports I don’t understand just for the fun of cheering together. Racing hundreds of people dressed as Santas for 21 k…

Laughing, chatting, texting, drinking, dancing, cooking, cheering, joking, eating, playing, inspiring. Sometimes crying.

If it takes swimming, biking and running to hang out with you guys, I’m up for it. My life has never been so interesting. This club is awesome.

Thank you!”

No, thank YOU Ewa!

Then, after a small break, came the night’s big surprise …

Last rehearsal back-stage for the group

6 club members had been secretly working on a WITC dance which was unveiled for the first time at the party. It was a reworked version of Village People’s classic YMCA, and you can view the amazing performance below:

Star performer Luco Colombo (the cowboy in the video) took a break from autograph signing to tell us his thoughts of the night:

The slide-show, awards ceremony, WITC show and music later were really well organized, the atmosphere among friends was awesome… the night emphasised that it is a really a great community, both in and out of the races“.

WITC girls in a lovely, festive red

All in all it was an amazing night, spent in a great atmosphere. What a way to finish off a great year and here’s to an even better 2013!!

You can view the full photo gallery here.

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