Weekly Update: All the finest running clubs drink prosecco with their breakfast…

Hi all –


There are some defining firsts in life which you’ll remember for years to come: your first kiss, your first paycheque, the birth of your first child, the minute you get the keys to your first house. But none of that compared to the thrill experienced by Mandy Smith earlier today when she raced competitively for the very first time at the York 10k. Mandy completed the course in a cracking 1:14:43, and was joined by three veterans of the Nidd Valley campaign: Matt Wilkinson (36:13 – PB), Amanda Metcalfe (52:17) and Jane Hill (58:28). Great work, team!


When they weren’t shovelling down borscht and necking the vodka (I’ve no idea if they were, I’ve just made that up), Fiona and Phil Robinson tackled the St Petersburg Park Run. Described by Phil as a lovely one lap course on Elagin Island near the Neva River, it must have made a lovely change from the multi-lap courses at Fountains and Harrogate. I can’t find an English version of the results website, my Russian isn’t quite what it never has been, and Phil didn’t actually send me the results. A very thorough description of the course. Just no results. If you’re desperate to know how he did, you’ll have to ask them for the results when we see then back at club.


And talking of Park Run (when aren’t we?), throngs of the Nidd Valley Brethren were out to cheer Dave Rushton round on his centenary tour of the Harrogate course. The sun shone for this cracking event on Yorkshire Day (well, it’s God’s Own Country, and he can’t be seen to be p***ing in his own back yard, can he?) and, coached home by Phil Ventress, Dave set a new PB of 23:41. A profound achievement. Matt Rickard (20:05) led the team home, followed by Martin Lofthouse (20:06), Dan Eagling (20:07), Jamie Dilasser (21:04), the lesser-spotted Alan Davidson (21:18), Paul Eagling (21:29) Jim Cook (22:39) and Damien Handslip (23:02). Steve Newton (23:07) took the much coveted prize for First Ginger, followed by Nick Smith (24:39), Sarah Hughan (24:50 – don’t worry about the PB malarkey, Sarah, you’ll get it next time), Jenny Manning (25:04), Debbie Dilasser (26:08), Tony Ledwaba-Chapman (26:14), Rebecca Ventress (26:25), Debbie Handslip (27:45), Michelle Dinsdale (29:10 – yeah, I know, another PB!), Jane Hill (29:11) and Bill Hitchcock (29:33). After their morning workout, the club decamped to Dave and Anne’s to eat them out of house and home and to toast his success with glasses of prosecco.


Up at Fountains and alone in flying the club colours, Andy Todd romped home in a cracking 18:52, taking fourth place overall. Whether he had prosecco with his breakfast is anyone’s guess…


As for me, well, I got a wakeup call from Paul Geary and Rachel Eastaff at 06:10 yesterday morning (I know, that’s about six hours earlier than I normally get up on a Saturday) so we could go and compete in the Elsecar Skelter in South Yorkshire. Times aren’t yet out for the 22 mile cross country route, although the statistically minded of you will be interested to know that we crossed over 32 stiles, through 15 gates, over six bridges, negotiated three cattle grids, passed three churches and admired two stately homes. Well, it passed the time…


He might be last in the write up, but Matt Wilkinson was anything but last when he stormed round the Adrenaline Rush Obstacle Course in Manchester yesterday. Matt took first place in the gruelling contest, taking in such delights as mud trenches, ring grappling and container runs. Still, it takes all sorts. Well done, Matt. Philippa Moorse tells me that she has cycled nearly 100 miles this weekend (she probably needs to just to keep up with Matt), so we’ll give her a hearty well done anyway.


It’s like the GCHQ of athletics here at Nidd Valley House. Teams of operatives fill the bright open-plan office space, working through the day and night and to process your results. Please keep them updated with the latest intelligence: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead
• Tuesday: & Thursday: The Team at Nidd Valley HQ have two cracking summer evening runs lined up for you. I can’t imagine you’d want to be anywhere else. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.
• Saturday: How interesting! It’s the next deposit in the bank of the club championships, and we’re heading up to Fountains Park Run. It’s a short and sharp 5k route, and where else could you compete, totally free of charge, on a UNESCO World Heritage Site? If you’ve never raced there before, it really is something special. See you on the start line for 9am, and then in the cafe for coffee and bacon butties afterwards.


Summer Pub Runs
You’re nothing if not informed, folks. Keep these dates in your diary…
• 13th August – Plumpton, led by Sarah
• 27th August – Norwood, led by Sam
• 10th September – Hampsthwaite, led by Dave
More details to follow closer to the time…


Benidorm Half Marathon: 28 November – 1 December
Steve and I are hoping to get Benidorm Half Marathon booked by the end of August. If you want to come, can you please let us know so we can start sorting numbers for flights and rooms (if you’re very lucky, you might even get to share a room with Fingers!). My email: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


A Word to the Wise
A bit long, this one, but worth repeating in full. The scene: outside the Royal Oak pub in Stavely following the run last Thursday, as Dave dropped his phone.
Dave: “Don’t worry, I’ll pick it up in a moment…”
Alan: “It’s okay, I’m a gentleman. I don’t mind bending over… oh hang on, I think that came out wrong”




Whatever you do, and wherever you go, have a great week.


Sam x

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