The ‘Michael Graham Callaghan Trophy’ was donated by Patrick Macke who was originally awarded this for his 1985 Spartathlon win.Patrick’s wish is that we rename the trophy the ‘Michael Graham Callaghan Trophy’ after the original Spartathlon organiser Michael Graham Callaghan who unfortunately passed away in 2013 and award it as a perpetual trophy for the best British Performance at Spartathlon each year. I’m sure you’ll agree this is a very kind gesture by Patrick which will be greatly appreciated by all future British Spartathlon runners.The trophy was held by custodians Malcolm and Marilyn Campbell (Malcolm was in fact a world beater himself on the Ultra scene and inaugural President of the IAU) before this was donated to the British Spartathlon Team.
Without Michael’s efforts Spartathlon might never have come about and John Foden’s ideas may have been forgotten.
In 2017 an additional trophy was introduced in order to recognise both the best male and best female British performances at Spartathlon. The Michael Graham Callaghan Trophy was adopted for the 1st Male British Finisher and a new trophy was created for the 1st Female British Finisher.
Unfortunately, the original 1st British Female Finisher trophy was mislaid and a replacement trophy purchased in 2019. After a vote on the British Spartathlon Facebook page, it was agreed to name the award the Lizzie Hawker Trophy after her fantastic 2012 Spartathlon performance as 1st place female and 3rd place overall. The team aims not to lose the trophy again a second time!
With no female runners in this years BST Team we had 25 British men all challenging for the Michael Callaghan trophy. In the early stages of the race Alistair Higgins was once again leading from the front and on the charge for a hat-trick of wins with Danny Hawkins and David Bone close behind. With some unkind stomach issues both Danny and David over-took Al around the mountain stage and Danny kicked on to a huge win and 15th best British time ever.
We had three female starters this year. Two debutants. Sandra Tullet and Emma Bird and Ali Young a returning Spartathlete. All three gave their all but Ali Young built on the success of her previous journey to Sparta by delivering a rock solid performance to take the plaudits for the Ladies Best British Performance.
Little separated the men up to marathon point but early leader Alastair Higgins was leading the charge, followed by Ryan Tipping, Ian Thomas, Nick Smith and the bulk of the team. Come Hellas Cann (Corinth) at around fifty miles the picture remained largely the same but Andy Day had moved up the field.
Alastair alas encountered stomach issues by the time the race had hit Ancient Nemea but failed to shake it off, whilst Andy Day went from strength to strength coming home as first Brit with a storming ninety minute PB. Big congrats to both Ali and Andy!
1st Male British Finisher (The Michael Graham Callaghan Trophy)
2022 – Andy (Daysey) Day
2021 – Danny Hawkins
2019 – Alastair Higgins
2018 – Alastair Higgins
2017 – Nathan Flear
2016 – Ian Thomas
2015 – Dan Lawson
1st Female British Finisher (The Lizzie Hawker Trophy)
2022 – Ali Young
2021 – No Female Competitor
2019 – Sarah Sawyer
2018 – Cat Simpson
2017 – Sarah Morwood