Weekly Update: The new lambs in the Nidd Valley fold…

­­Hi all –


As the cinema lights dim, the music starts and the big lion roars, you know it can only be one thing. The weekly update is about to begin. Gather the family round you (it’s been rated a PG – you’re okay) and tuck into your overpriced bucket of popcorn as we head straight to an action-packed opening scene…



You’d feel cheated if I didn’t start with the results from the three lucky beggars who managed to blag themselves a place in the London Marathon, wouldn’t you? Matt Wilkinson (2:59:07) finally reversed the curse and managed to get himself under the three-hour barrier, so it is epic congratulations to him. If you thought that was close, it was seriously squeaky bum time here at Nidd Valley House when we saw Jon Easton (3:29:59) just bring his performance home in under his 3:30 target. And last – but by no means least – what an amazing performance from Paul Manning (3:48:10) who brought his PB crashing down in a cracking show of athleticism. Well done to you all.


Spare a thought, though, for Christine Holleran who headed over to Blackpool to compete in the marathon there yesterday. Unfortunately, hip pain forced Christine to retire with about 10k left to go. Say what you like, people, but if pushing on is hard, it’s even harder to step out and call it a day. It takes a true athlete to do that. Well done, Christine, and we hope to see you back with us soon.


I had a very positive text from Sarah Chalmers who competed in the Reeth 20k trail race yesterday. Describing it as “more like a bloody fell race” and “horrendous and it was snowing on top”, Sarah tamed the challenging course in 2:47. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Sarah: you got out there, you finished the race, and that’s a far bigger achievement than the lazy sods who sit on the sofa all day eating crisps.


Before I forget, I’ve got to share Sue Simpson’s result from last week’s Temple Newsam Half Marathon. The course was hilly and muddy, although newbie Sue (1:55:50) stormed round in a brilliant time and was the eighth lady over the line. Congratulations, Sue.


It was the Nidd Valley Massive out in force yesterday to compete in the Fountains 10k – the second in the Club Championships. Men’s Captain (38:58) was the first Nidd over the line, denying Andy Todd (40:39) first place in a tight battle to the finish line. Ben Baird (44:05), Andy Peagram (45:31) held Steve Newton (46:36) at bay in a set of three fantastic finishes, while Adam Kirk (47:05), Jim Cook (49:32), Moira McTague and Dave Seaman (52:44) put in performances worthy of their yellow and gold vests. Sarah Hughan (53:06) was hunted down by Debbie Gibson (55:14) and her bananas, soon to be joined by Hannah Peagram (55:15) and the latest addition to the Nidd Valley family, Rosemary Thompson (1:00:25). A huge well done to you all.

It's like the identify parade from Crimewatch. Only you'd assume all of these lot were guilty...

It’s like the identify parade from Crimewatch. Only you’d assume all of these lot were guilty…

Good Lord! Have you seen what Fingers Harris went and achieved at Harrogate parkrun? He (18:31) only went and got himself a new PB and took fourth place overall. All terribly impressive stuff.  Martin Lofthouse (19:41) and Matt Rickard (20:15) put in sterling performances, with Dan “we really love that man” Eagling (20:29) not far behind. They may be new lambs to the Nidd Valley fold, but there was nothing sheepish about the efforts of Mark Armstrong (23:15) and Sue Simpson (23:20), with three veterans of the Nidd Valley Campaign soon following them over the line: Jim Cook (24:03), Steve Newton (24:18) and Sarah Hughan (24:29). Sarah was only eight seconds from her PB and reckons she would have got it if she hadn’t been having a good old chat with Steve. I think like a teacher sometimes, I really do, but Steve please do concentrate on your own work and don’t distract the other students. Junior Evie Iles (25:29) ramped it up to race in the senior race, leaving mum Alison (25:33) in her wake. Next up, there’s Debbie Dilasser (26:59), Parkrun Dave (27:22), Rebecca Ventress (27:29) and Tony Ledwaba Chapman (27:33). Finishing things up as beautifully ever, we were thrilled to see Dave Prince (29:33), Mandy Smith (26:52) and Moira McTague (50:08, so I assume she was sweeper for the day).


Andy Todd (19:30) led the 1st Nidd Valley Battalion (Monastic Brigade) over the line at Fountains, with Mark David (21:17) following close behind. Parkrun faithful Nick Smith (24:49) was joined by another of our little new lambs Neil Wright (25:16) in a fantastic performance, with Amanda Metcalfe (25:52) and Sue Reast (28:33) rounding things up. And when you see her, do give Fiona Robinson (32:32) a congratulatory hug for a sterling performance down at Wetherby. She’s often the only waving the Nidd Valley flag down on the West Yorkshire course, but she does it remarkably well I feel.


That was a bloody long results write up, wasn’t it? Still, you’ve only got yourselves to blame: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

It’s getting emotional as we head into the penultimate intervals of the season. On Tuesday, we’re back up at The Oval. This is the chance to finely tune your performance and running in readiness for the Evening League, so it’d be great to see as many of you there as possible. As ever, meet at the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm, or we’ll see you down near Trinity Church for our warm up at 7.10pm.


Dave has been looking forward to this Thursday all year, he really has. Yep, there’s no place he’d sooner be on a summer evening than down the Gorge. You don’t really need directions for this one, if we’re being honest, but I imagine it’s going to be out the club and onto the cycle track, and down into the Gorge from there. There’s plenty of places to turn for home so you can make it as short or as sparky as you fancy, and there’ll be pints in the club house bar afterwards. You might want to think about some off road shoes as I’m not too sure how dry it will be. I’m afraid I won’t be there, as I’ll be down in Knaresborough going out for a spot of bed race training.


But on Saturday I certainly will be at the Cake Race, which is the second in the Fell Championships. It’s a squeak under 10 miles with some 1,700ft of climb over Saddleworth Moor. Entry is either £5 or a homemade cake to contribute to the all-you-can-eat cake fest afterwards (yes, yes and yes). Obviously, it’s a bit of a drive this one, so let me or Fell Running Phil know if you want to join us as I imagine we’ll get some car sharing arrangements underway. More details here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4497


Evening League

If you want a number (which you do), please speak to Martin, Michelle or Dave (which you will). The first race in next Thursday, so don’t hang about.


Parkrun: 7 May 2016

I’m still after volunteers to help with our parkrun adoption next Saturday, particularly with marshalling and all the exciting techno bits to do with scanning barcodes. Let’s not having unidentified items in the bagging areas, people, and please let me know if you can help: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Settling the Bills

Okay. Who hasn’t paid their subs? You know who you are. And so do we.


Word to the Wise

We’re forever pushing boundaries here with Word to the Wise, I tell you. And today, we’re just as revolutionary with our debut from a Nidd Valley Junior. Again: picture the scene. Brian and Helen’s daughter Lily is watching as her mum and dad get ready to Ian MacLeod’s birthday party.

“Where are you going?” asks Lily

“We’re going to a birthday party” her dad replies

“Oh. Who is going to the party?” asks Lily

“People from the running club” says Brian

“Runners?” asks Lily, clearly full of all the questions

“Yes”, her dad confirms, “lots of runners”

“Oh. Will there be any normal people there?”


Lily darling, you’re quite right. We’ve not seen anyone normal around here since Nidd Valley House first opened its doors over thirty years ago.


And on that note, have a really good week and I’ll see you soon. Take it easy.


Sam x


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