Weekly Update: So who wants to be Lady Mary?

Evening kids,

It was fab to see so many of you at Bob & Annie’s leaving run and breakfast yesterday. Special congratulations to all of you who braved the weather to go for a run. Thanks so much for turning out to give them a good send off. I think Bob’s words and Annie’s tears said it all. They’ll be missed.


On Saturday, a team of Nidds headed over in Lancashire (they’re a funny breed over there, I tell you) and took part in the gruelling Tour of Pendle fell race. I did the reccie of this 17 mile beast earlier this year with Emma D and would like to set the record straight: reports that I had a hissy fit, burst into tears and swore loudly at the bottom of the last climb are grossly exaggerated. Although the route was shortened on account of the dire weather, we had some cracking results and, unencumbered by a chairman mid-tantrum, it’s congratulations to Carol Morgan (7th woman), Simon Franklin and Paul Geary.

Over in the Netherlands, Tony LC managed to get himself to the start line without any unfortunate incident with a motor car, and completed the Nijmegen Seven Hills 15k in a most respectable 1:24:13. Well done, Tony, that’s a brilliant effort and we look forward to seeing you back at Nidd Valley House rather than the orthopaedic department at the hospital.

Closer to home and in the driving rain, we fielded some intrepid Nidds at the ever popular Abbey Dash 10k. It’s well done to Nick Smith (51:19), Bill Hitchcock (58:28), Jane Hill (1:08:35) and Fiona Robinson (1:24:01) for managing not to drown. Well done. I seem to think that Kate Maybury also ran the race, but her result isn’t showing up on the records. Sorry about that, Kate. I’ll happily set the record straight next week if you send me your result.

Matt Wilkinson headed down to Essex to compete in the UK Obstacle Racing Championship Final. Philippa described the race as “16k of cold hell” (so hell does freeze over), and she didn’t even do it. Again, I’ve not got a clue what horrors Matt willingly put himself through this time – burning, floggings and electrocutions probably, the sort of stuff for which despots have been convicted of war crimes, I should imagine – but Matt hauled himself admirably round the challenging course. I’ve just no idea why he puts himself through this kind of thing.

Wetter than an otter’s proverbial this weekend, it was a slippery affair at Parkrun, with only two runners completing the Harrogate course in less than 20 minutes. Nidd-wise, Steve Newton (22:49) was again first over the line, while Ben Baird (23:37) stepped out for ages in his return from injury. Nice to have you back with us, Ben. Fiona Deacon (23:46) wasn’t far behind, with Jim Cook (24:20), Moira McTague (25:09) and Nick Smith (26:46) hot on her muddy heels. Natalia Lancosova (31:01) put in a fab performance, along with Michelle Dinsdale (31:25), the lesser-spotted Sue Reast (32:38) and Mandy Smith (37:11). Fingers Harris (43:13) took a week off his 19 minute campaign to support his mum (42:23) round the course – so well done Fingers, and well done Mrs Harris! Andy Todd (18:56) was alone in representing the club up at Fountains, with a cracking fifth place overall. Nice work, Andy.

I’ve just noticed that there were no juniors at this week’s Parkrun! Can you believe it? No, me neither. We look forward to seeing them back in action soon and to some more fantastic results. Keep up the good work, kids.

Please do keep me updated with your results and achievements, and I’ll do my best to hash it into something of a weekly write-up. You know where to find me: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead
• Tuesday: in readiness for the winter interval training sessions in the New Year, Mike D and Emma D will be leading a ‘taster’ session to give you a feel for what the intervals are like. Be ready to run from the Hockey Club at 7pm, or meet down on Springfield Avenue carpark for about 7.10pm. As ever, the intervals are all about developing individual performance and confidence and not about competition, so they’re definitely something that all runners can benefit from, regardless of speed or capability.
• Tuesday: for those of you that don’t want to do the intervals (although I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t, to be honest), there’ll be a normal club run, also meeting at the Hockey Club for 7pm.
• Thursday: we’ll be having another club run, this time taking in the Valley Gardens and Cornwall Road. There’ll be longer routes taking in Beckwith Road and Green Lane, and shorter routes coming back down Otley Road. Running from the Hockey Club at 7pm with beers in the bar afterwards. And if you’re wondering why we’re choosing a route in advance, scroll down and read all about herding cats…


Herding Cats
The committee met on Wednesday night and, although it really did feel like herding cats, we got through quite a lot of stuff (we’d have got through more stuff but Sarah C wanted to get back to watch Peep Show and I wanted my tea). We discussed the requests of a few runners to make sure that there is always provision for the more social and the less confident runners in our regular club runs. Unfortunately, it isn’t feasible to have a rota system of ‘group leaders’ as many people in the club work, have other commitments, and don’t always know if they’re going to get down to the club until the last minute. Is what we’re proposing is that our winter runs will be decided in advance (using the system previously designed by Mike D) and we’ll identify our groups at an early point in the run (the bit after about a mile where we tend to break up and go our separate ways). At this point, we’ll identify individuals (including you!) to be a focal point for each group who’ll take responsibility for keeping the group together and making sure that people aren’t left behind or on their own. I understand that this isn’t ideal, but it’s the best we can do without a top-heavy and unworkable rota system. Please let me know if you’ve any further suggestions.

Herding committee cats...

Herding committee cats…

We are also planning both the road and fell championships for next year. Although it is always a balancing act with the club calendar, and a bit of a faff to find races which are accessible, varied, and don’t sell out with seconds, we’re particularly interested if you have any nominations or thoughts on which races you would (or would not!) like included in the champs for 2016. We’re nothing if not inclusive, so please let us know your thoughts. You can do so by filling in this online form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1c6879OCWBHcAYcMiQCrO48KZdgWaGy6j_5wS7qAHy30/viewform?c=0&w=1/.


Christmas Run: 12 December 2015
Please do keep this date in your diary. We’ll have a late morning run, taking in the sights of Nidderdale from round Thuscross Resevoir. This will be a run for all ages, abilities etc., so please do try and get along and bring the kids. Afterwards, once you’ve got home and got your glad rags on, Team Nidd will be painting the town red with a Christmas night out. Further details to follow soon (though if anyone has a suggestion for a preferred pub, then let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk).


And the Nominees are…: 30 January 2015
It’s the highlight of the year here as the butlers roll the red carpet up to the entrance of Nidd Valley House, light the candles and polish the silverware in readiness for Awards Night. It look like athletics’ answer to Downton Abbey (and just who is going to be Lady Mary?): a black tie do with a three course meal, dancing and awards a plenty. We’ll be sending out further details in due course but please do save the date. Unfortunately I couldn’t be there last year as I had a long standing pint date with an old friend in Oxford (sorry about that, folks), but this year your Chairman will be there on his best behaviour, witty speech in hand and dressed like a knob.

The transformation is amazing when they're not wearing running lycra...

The transformation is amazing when they’re not wearing running lycra…

If you have an award from last year, please return it to Judy G as soon as you can as she needs to lug them all down to the shop (those fell trophies weight a tonne) to get them polished and engraved. Judy’s email: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Sunday Runs
These are fun and informal steady runs, organised by members of the club throughout the winter. You get a chance to get to places we can’t do within the hour in the winter nights, and trips to tea shops are often a welcome treat at the end of the run. If you’d like to organise one, please feel free, and share the details via the group email nidd-valley-road-runners@googlegroups.com or via our Facebook page.


A Word to the Wise
“We don’t call you running colleagues, we think of you as running friends” – Bob & Annie Sweeting, bowing out after nearly 13 years with Team Nidd.


Hope to see you all running soon. I hope to be back soon, and it’s going to be the biggest comeback since Lazarus. Have a good week, whatever you do.

Sam x

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