So did anyone else see the Harrogate Advertiser this week? Fame at last! Yep, we’ve got our team photo in from the Ilkley Evening League Race, complete with an interesting pose from our very own Treasurer. It’s worth a look. Never mind the friendliest running club around, they’ll all think we’re barking mad. Still, with as much dignity as we can salvage, let’s head straight to the results.
I know it’s very unconventional to start with the parkrun results, but the staff at the Parkrun Department of Nidd valley House are still celebrating the news that Dan (I love that man, I really do) finally clinched the sub-20 minute target that had evaded and haunted him for so long. Dan (19:51) put down an incredible time on the Harrogate course, and was joined by Matt Wilkinson (18:03), Moira McTague (23:55) and Rosemary Thompson (27:11) who also brought their PBs crashing down. You’ll also be interested to note that Saturday marked Matt’s 50th parkrun. Now, Matt, you don’t need me to tell you that such parkrun milestones are properly marked by a stack of bacon sandwiches for your fellow runners. Although you’ve cleared off to Nepal to compete in the Everest Marathon, this will have to wait until you get back, but we won’t let you forget, don’t worry. (Incidentally, you might be interested to know that Matt is Head Chef at Rudding Park. I’m expecting great things.).
Back to parkrun. We don’t care if you didn’t get a PB, the party continues in celebration of some fantastic results from Martin Lofthouse (18:50), Mark Armstrong (23:20), Dave Prince (25:31) and Hannah Peagram (27:05). I’m particularly pleased to Steve Newton (27:11) was still with us after a messy car accident last week (hope you’re okay, Ginger), but just as pleased to see Dave Rushton (27:33), Tony LC (28:24), Natalia Lacosova (31:13) and Mandy Smith (36:15) out in force on the Stray. Keeping with parkrun, the allure of other courses in the region was just too great a pull for Ben Baird (21:09) at Roundhay Park, Neil Wright (26:27) at Skipton, Andy Todd (21:41 – what kept you, Andy?) and Fiona Robinson (31:28) at Wetherby. Brilliant results all round. A huge congratulations to you all.
I was gutted not to be able to do the Jack Bloor Fell Race at Ilkley on Tuesday, as it remains one of my favourite races in the world. It’s got a little bit of everything, and manages to combine accessibility, challenge and scenery into one race. Well, there would have been some nice scenery if it hadn’t been crap weather but there we go. Either way, the mist didn’t deter Matt Wilkinson (48:32), Carol Morgan (53:54 – 1st FV40), Fell Running Phil (1:02:01), Brian Sherwood (1:02:49) and Andrea Bowen (1:17:11) from putting down excellent performances. You really wouldn’t have thought that Dave Prince (1:17:13) had recently had heart surgery given his run out on the fells, just pipping his t’other half Rachael (1:08:48) to the finish line (that said, she was probably hanging back just to check he didn’t keel over in the hills above Ilkley). No matter, he got back in one piece, along with Sarah Chalmers (1:23:22), rounding up a spectacular show for the might Black and Golds.
Staying in the fells, Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin were back in the Lake District this weekend (and when aren’t they, you might reasonably ask) taking part in the Fairfield Horseshoe fell race. Carol (1:53 – 3rd FV40) was first to complete the 9 mile course, while Simon Franklin (1:56) soon tamed the 3000ft of climb as he chased his partner round over Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Great Rigg and Heron Pike (Incidentally, I’ve just noticed that there is a fell in the Northern Lakes called Great Cockup. Someone please tell me that there’s a fell race there, please).
Carol (1:15:22) barely had time to breathe as she led the ladies home at the Ripon 10 earlier today, just a snitch behind Andy Todd (1:08:7), challenging Martin Lofthouse (1:06:18) for the top spot. They were all followed over the line by Adam Kirk (1:15:48) in his first ever 10 mile race, Fiona Deacon (1:19:04) in her umpteenth 10 mile race, Steve Newton (1:20:01), Rick Dalaston (1:22:03) and Jim Cook (1:23:05). Bugger me, that’s a jolly good set of results from Dave Seaman (1:24:58), Jenny Manning (1:26:23) and Moira McTague (1:29:48) on the hilly course. I don’t know which of you took the hit and car-shared with Debbie Gibson (1:31:20), but you clearly did the job and thanks for taking one for the team. We’ve also got some brilliant times from Carolyn Easton (1:33:48), Andrea Bowen (1:46:19), Michelle Smith (1:46:53) and Michelle Dinsdale (1:51:46). Congratulations to you all.
This weekend, Matt Rickard was down in the Midlands visiting his family, although managed to squeeze in a quick race. Matt took part in the Cobra Classic 10k at Halesowen and, although there are no official results out yet, Matt reckons he put the race to bed in a little over 42 minutes, which would be a PB for the little superstar. We have his reward chat pinned up here at Nidd Valley House and it is looking very full, I’ll tell you that much.
Last result of the week comes from the indefatigable Sarah Chalmers, who was down in Leeds to compete in the Over the Odda 10k. Sarah (1:14:18) made quick work of the hilly course as she made her round the North Leeds course, pondering how a completely off-road course made it into the road champs a few years ago (don’t blame me. I wasn’t in charge then). I know it isn’t the done thing to mention a woman’s age, but Sarah does point out that “I was four minuets than when I did it in 2013 which, considering I was a mere FV45 than am now an ancient FV50, is quite pleasing.” Well done, Sarah, you old thing…
If you too would like another big tick on your reward chart, then you need to get out there and start racing. Just remember to send me your result: email@example.com.
The Week Ahead
On Tuesday, I’ll be down in Knaresborough bedracing (God, I love the Bed Race, I really do). We’d love to see you down there, so Tuesday’s run will take you from the Hockey Club and down the Beryl Burton cycletrack to Knaresborough. There’s an option to extend round Horseshoe Fields if that takes your fancy, and from there, it’s along waterside with the beds whizzing past you, before you head over Low Bridge and back over the fields and railway line into Starbeck. From there, it’s up the cycletrack for a little bit, back over the field and back to the Club. Meet at the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm.
On Thursday, we have got the second of our two reccie runs for our Evening League, this time led by yours truly. As usual, meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm. If you were put off by the rain last week and didn’t make the first reccie with Michelle, then I’d be really grateful if you could try and get to this one. The pace is relaxed and will be interspersed of periods while I stare bewilderedly at a spreadsheet and scratch my head until Michelle sets me right. It’s a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the whole course and complain directly to me about the job you’ve been given. As a little aside, I’ll be marking my ever advancing years that day (sooooo ancient), so if you’d like to come upstairs to the bar and join me and the usual crowd for a beer, then it’d be great to see you.
There are some dates that I really look forward to (Christmas, the Grand National, Bed Race) and the Charlesworth Chase is also one of those that has a central place on the Fugill calendar. This cheeky little fell race – número tres in the fell championships – will be held on Saturday at 11am at Appletreewick. Only 5.2 miles long with just 1200ft of ascent up Simon’s Seat, it is well worth turning out for, especially if you think you’re up to the challenge of necking a pint of bitter at the end before you are allowed to cross the finish line (believe me, it’s harder than it looks). Entry is only £6, includes your beer, and you get some lunch thrown in at the end, so you can’t complain. I really hope to see you there. More details here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4344.
Evening League: 24 May 2016
Further to a deluge of unacceptable excuses, I’ve had to redo the marshal plan for the Evening League once again. Sorry it is such a bind for you all, but I’d be really grateful if you could have another look at it and just make sure that you’re where you think you will be. Also, as a quick heads up, we’d appreciate your help with sandwich making if you are free in the evening of 23 May 2016. We’ll be meeting at the Hockey Club, further details to be confirmed in due course.
Do They Ever Stop?: 6 June 2016
They’re at it again. Carol and Simon will be running the Dales Way from Bowness in the Lake District all the way back home to Otley within 24 hours. Apart from hoping to raise a stack of cash for that wonderful charity MIND, Simon would love it if any Nidders wanted to join them on part of the course (especially if you come bearing gifts of food, water or blister plasters). If you want to get involved, then you need to badger Simon and not me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you took part in the Grand National sweepstake and haven’t paid up, I need the money from you as soon as possible so I can pay my debts to a couple of our winners. Come on, kids, cough up.
Word to the Wise
There’s two packages of wisdom for you this week, handcrafted and beautifully wrapped from the Nidd Valley Gift Shop.
Fell runners are an endless font of wise words (not to mention jaw-slackingly appalling sexism in the case of Phil ‘Tyson Fury’ Robinson), and Catherine Barber is no exception. I was moaning that, regardless of the race, I always seem to be overtaken by an bearded octogenarian on the descents, to which Catherine replied:
“It’s easier for them. They aren’t their own knees… And anyway, at that age they won’t mind if they kill themselves. They’d die doing something they loved.”
The second word comes courtesy of Debbie Gibson and Dave Seaman, following after-club drinks in the bar on Thursday. As usual, pints and countless bags of nuts and crisps were quickly devoured.
Dave: “Well I do hope you enjoyed my nuts, Debbie”
Debbie: “I did, they were lovely. Your nuts were very salty”
If it isn’t a magnificent erection, then it’s his salty nuts. He’s the undisputed master of the single entendre, he really is.
I think I had best leave it there. Whatever you do, have a wonderful and beautiful week. I’ll see you soon.