And welcome aboard the HMS Nidd Valley as we prepare to hoist the anchor, and set sail for the many a distant athletic shore. But we before we reach such balmy havens, the treacherous and unchartered seas of the weekly results await us. Hold tight, everybody!
We couldn’t start anywhere other than the Parkrun at Harrogate, where Sarah Hughan and Mrs Fingers Harris took their hundredth and fiftieth titles respectively. Ever taking the opportunity for some Parkrun silliness, I joined Fingers Harris and Steve Newton in dressing up to mark the occasion, so Sarah and Mrs Harris were accompanied round the course by two storm troopers and a gorilla (it’s amazing what we have in the dressing up box after so many years of bed racing).
Martin Lofthouse (19:48), Matt Wilkinson (21:09) and Junior Jake Stalker (22:08) led the celebratory crowd home, followed Ben Baird (22:11), Maurice Kelly (23:00) and Matt Rickard (24:06). Dave Prince (25:31) wasn’t ever far behind, but fast enough to keep Fiona (25:59) and Mike Deacon (25:59) at bay, followed by Nick Smith (26:35), Rebecca Ventress (28:06), David Rushton (28:21) and Hannah Peagram (29:16). And who is this? It’s Jim Cook (29:29), Jane Hill (31:21), Michelle Dinsdale (32:35), Debbie Dilasser (32:36), and Fiona Robinson (34:51). The fancy-dress crew soon followed, with Sarah Hughan (45:03), Sam Fugill (45:04), Mrs Harris (45:06) and, sweeping things up, Moira McTague (46:35).
Now, I’m not sure really sure quite how to relay this tale. After the Parkrun, a few of us decamped to Cafe Marconi’s where – and this really isn’t something you want to repeat too often if you can help it – Mrs Harris appeared, draped in a union jack flag, a knitted crown and holding fistfuls of balloons. She then serenaded the centenary girl Sarah with ‘The Parkrun Song’ and accompanying dancing. Imagine some terrifying hybrid of morris dancing and the Last Night of the Proms and you’ve almost got it. I’m still trying to process what happened, and the PR Team here at Nidd Valley House are fielding calls from all round the athletics world. For now, however, nobody will speak publically about this.
To bring your Parkrun knowledge fully up to date, we’ve got Emma Edgar (35:54) at Durham, Amanda Metcalfe (26:15) at Cross Flatts, and Paul Eagling (23:08) at Tramore. Fountains-wise, John Mitton (22:34) led the troops home, followed by father and son team Tim (23:10) and James Harvey (23:11), with Nicki Walton (28:11) rounding things up nicely for us. Well done to you all.
They say that good things come to those that wait, and we are indeed thrilled to publish the results for the postponed and much anticipated Jolly Holly Jog from up Ripon way. Suitably warmed up after his Parkrun foray, Tim Harvey (39:56) was first home the club, just sneaking under the 40 minute barrier. Martin Lofthouse (40:45) was hot on his heels, though, and Jon Easton (47:19) and Christine Holleran (53:59) showed that they were a running force to be reckoned with. Jon Reast (58:34), Janet Carling (1:01:21) and David Rushton (1:06:22) gave us a trio of brilliant finishes to round off proceedings, so congratulations all round.
We don’t yet have the results for the adults PECO race, this time held at Golden Acre Park. In order of finishing, however, it’s great to be able to congratulate Matt Wilkinson, Edoardo Piano, Fingers Harris and Steve Newton for completing the men’s race, and Sarah Hughan, Rachael Prince, Hannah Peagram, Sarah Chalmers, Michelle Dinsdale and Fiona Robinson to showing the ladies how it’s done. Well done to you all. You might also be interested to note that Philippa Moorse started the race, although (and I quote) “I DDF’d… Didn’t f***ing finish. Jacked in after 3.6 miles of running in circles, did my head in.” Philippa, you may have been hungover and tired from a cycle race, but you remain an inspiration to athletes everywhere. And while we’re in the business of public humiliation, we’ll draw attention to Matt Wilkinson who managed to trip up on a molehill as he turned onto the home straight. Although he managed to keep his footing, I’m reliably told that he was “all over the place”, whereas his other half reminds him that “all them hills on the race and it’s a lickle molehill he struggles with.” I quite agree. Feel the love, Matt, feel the love.
OMG! They might not have the PECO results out for the adults, but the results are out for my favourite people in the whole world – Nidd Valley Juniors. On the one mile course, we’ve got Joe Sutcliffe (6th), Jake Stalker (10th), Aidan Ranns (26th) and Liam Harmer (47th). Kicking things up a notch with the two mile course, we’ve got Alex Robinson (39th), Sarah Lofthouse (41st) and Georgia Reddish (52nd). That’s a brilliant effort and some great results, kids, really good. Get me head coach Amanda on the phone, we need to talk about a pay rise.
Go on, I know you’re bursting tell me your news: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
• Tuesday: we’re taking it back to where it all begun, as this week’s intervals takes us back down to Montpellier for a bit more hill-based running action. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, or down on Montpellier for 7.10pm. Look forward to seeing you there.
• Thursday: this week’s run is the supermarket sweep. Be at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and ready to head out round the back, past ASDA, up towards Waitrose, then down round the Stray and Showground for Sainsburys (you can add M&S on Leeds Road to your shopping list if you’re feeling sparky), before heading back round by Morrisons for a few last minute essentials then up to the club. Here’s the route if you want a little look: http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/926355713. Afterwards, we’ll be heading up the bar for a swift half, a bag of crisps and a chance to stare at the TV while pretend we’re listening to the conversation. Why not join us?
• Saturday: cocktail dresses and DJs on, chaps. The Awards Night is finally here. More below.
Emma’s Stretch of the Week
This is one we do all the time after intervals but here are a few tips to make sure you are stretching effectively. Stand upright and pull your heel into your bottom. Push your hips forward to avoid arching your lower back. Make sure your knees are together. The knee of the leg being stretched should be pointing towards the floor. Balance on a friend or a wall for support if you need to!
Awards Night: Saturday 30 January 2016
That’s it, chaps: we’re sold out. There are no more tickets left, not a sausage. Please don’t send begging emails to me or Judy, I’m afraid we’ll only disappoint you (even though Nick Smith managed to blag himself a last minute place. Judy is going soft, I tell you…).
This really will be the most prestigious and glamorous of athletic events, and even Fell Running Phil will be exchanging his off-road mudclaws in exchange for something more befitting the red carpet. The Head Chef here at Nidd Valley House is busy perfecting a fancy jus, whereas the minions in the kitchen scuttle back and forth into the steam, carrying all manner of dishes, crates and pans. Chaos reigns, but it really is very exciting. If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to this black-tie event, we’re looking to welcoming you at Harrogate Golf Club for 7pm.
If you didn’t get a ticket, you’ll be sorry you missed the boat and won’t make the same mistake again next year.
Committee Meeting: Wednesday 10 February 2016
The committee will be coming together for the next round of tense negotiations around Dave’s dining room table next month. If there is anything you want us to discuss, think about, talk about, change, implement, stop, consider etc., then please let me know. You must know where to find me by now: email@example.com.
Committee-wise, maybe you think you could do a better job than the hopeless bunch of amateurs you’re got yourself lumbered with at the minute. If you do, then read on to find out about how you could manoeuvre yourself into the upper echelons of power at Nidd Valley House.
AGM: Thursday 18 February 2016
I’d really appreciate it if you can make the time to come to this. We’ll be having a shorter run that night to make sure everyone can get to the Hockey Club bar by 8.30pm, and we’ll be sweetening the pill with some free pizza for all of you. All the relevant details re the AGM can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2016/01/16/agm-2016/.
On a serious note (I know, it was going to happen at some point), please do think about standing for ANY position on the committee. It doesn’t matter if someone is standing for re-election, or whether they’ve done their job for years, you too are most welcome to stand. This isn’t a popularity contest, but a chance for everyone to get involved in running their club. If you are interested in standing, want to stand, or just have a few questions, then speak to any member of the committee at the club or badger me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If ever an excel spreadsheet were a thing of beauty, then this it is. Thanks to Mark, Matt and the committee for juggling all the dates to create a championship which is broad, inviting and challenging. Go on, have a peek: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1XK_e04aX7IPXORhDoE62rYUYI3YACQhHdQqXuJhRcrI/edit#gid=0.
A Word to the Wise
“Have we got a vice chairman?” – Edoardo Piano, expressing genuine concern after I accidentally ran out in front of traffic on Thursday night. It’s thanks to ABS braking that you’re getting a speech on Saturday, if we’re being honest.
Have a great week, and I’ll see you on Saturday. I think I’m going to have to go easy on the running for a bit, given that I have the alarming beginnings of what looks like plantar fasciitis. It’s from the frying pan to the fire, it really is.