The Nidd Valley Philharmonic Orchestra is tuning up and all the players look resplendent in their tuxedos and black and gold ball gowns. The conductor taps the stand with his baton and the audience waits in eager anticipation for the world premiere of the Nidd Valley Symphony, starting with a dramatic opening movement: the results…
Carol Morgan kick starts proceedings for us this week. You won’t be surprised when I tell you that Carol (32:54) was the first lady to cross the line at the Kildwick Fell Race on Wednesday evening, and so adds a little more silverware to the Nidd Valley Trophy Cabinet. Partner Simon Franklin (32:55) was just pipped to the post by t’other half, but still ran it in a time far faster than I could ever manage so we’ll congratulate him anyway. Mark David (36:05) and Andrea Bowen (46:04) also put in sterling efforts, so remember to sing their praises when you next see them.
Also on Wednesday, Amanda Metcalfe was back in Esholt to complete in the next of the John Carr 5k Series. Amanda (25:21) shaved a few seconds of her previous time as she stormed over the line, so there’s even more excitement here at Nidd Valley House as the results come pouring in. Congratulations, Amanda.
Yesterday, it was up into the Dales for the third from the fell champs: the Charlesworth Chase. You know the one: run up and down Simon’s Seat, down a pint of beer, try not to vomit. We had a cracking turn out from the Nidd Valley Faithful. Matt Rickard and Alan Davidson sparred for most of the race, with Matt just clinching victory in the drinking competition at the finish line. Mark and Emma David were next home for the club, just managing to hold an ever improving Alex Crowton at bay. The race wasn’t going my way, and I was thoroughly dejected by the point Fell Funning Phil thundered past me on the final descent and made it back to the village with about a minute’s advantage (when it comes to fearless descending, then man has no peers). No matter, I managed to turn the tide and soon caught up with him, overtaking him on the drinking and finishing ahead (so clearly when it comes to speed drinking, I have no peers). Catherine Barber soon appeared at the finish line, thoroughly fed up at having had a difficult race (don’t stress it Catherine, it happens to us all), soon to be joined by Dave and Rachael Prince. By this point, the rain was hammering it down, but it didn’t stop Rachael demanding to know “where’s my drink?!”. You’ll all be suitably impressed to hear that Sarah Chalmers won herself bottle of wine for being the last lady across the line, making sure the morning finished in a suitable alcoholic manner. Come on people, a win is a win, right? Congratulations to you all.
News just in! Jane Hill has been up in the North East competing in the Pier to Pier – a coastal race starting in Newcastle and finishing in Sunderland. I’m not biased in anyway, but God only knows why anyone would want to run out the glorious city of my upbringing and run to the dive that is Sunderland, but there we go. I can reliably inform you that people from Sunderland, otherwise known as Mackems, are baby-eating savages and that they have a shite football team. Anyway, I digress. In this 7.5 miles feat of life-taken-in-hands, Jane (1:10:29) rose to the challenge admirably and is now safely back in Yorkshire.
Yesterday, Andrea Bowen and her little boy Oscar took part in a sponsored walk in the Valley Gardens. Competitive as ever – and more so when armed with a pram, it seems – Andrea is proud to report that she mercilessly overtook toddlers as her and Oscar stormed round the 500m course in 30 minutes, getting a PB and raising £80 for a meningitis charity. So it’s a big well done to that little man and his mummy!
It wouldn’t be a weekly write up without a trip to the parkrun, so we’ll sing the praises of Fingers Harris (20:59) for a strong performance at Northallerton, and heartily congratulate Fiona Robinson (32:42) for her great effort down in Wetherby. Andy Todd (19:26) was working his monastic magic at Fountains, soon to be joined by Matt Rickard (19:37) who got himself a new PB before driving over to Appletreewick to lead the team home at the Charlesworth Chase. The man is unstoppable, clearly.
I’m sorry to report that things did not turn out quite so well at Harrogate parkrun. Despite a strong start to proceedings from Martin Lofthouse (18:52), Dan Eagling (20:11) was feeling decidedly off-colour by the time he got the finish line, and was soon trying to work out why his feet and hands were going itchy and his face was going numb. By the time he got home, Mrs Dan took one look at him and his ballooning face and bundled him straight to A&E. A drip, oxygen and several injections later, they soon got Dan (and we love him even more, now) sorted out and he’s back on form. Terrifyingly, no-one has any idea what caused this. Still, glad you’re still with us Dan. Just take good care of yourself.
But we won’t let the shock of nearly losing one of the team detract from the other sterling achievements on the Stray. So give a big cheer to Steve Newton (21:42) and Mark Armstrong (23:05), and an even bigger cheer to Sarah Hughan (23:45) for nailing yet another PB. That bed race training is paying off, Sarah. Moira McTague (24:11), Rosemary Thompson (27:41) and Jane Hill (28:25) soon put the course to bed, and we were thrilled to see a set of strong finishes from Michelle Dinsdale (30:32), Tony LC (31:06) and Mandy Smith (39:09). Well done to you all.
Over in cycling corner, Philippa Moorse took part in the aptly named The Struggle today. Quite why anyone would want to dress in lycra and cycle 110 miles, tackle 9489ft of ascent and take in seven of North Yorkshire’s notorious killer climbs is quite beyond me. She even stopped at one point in the race to send me a chirpy, positive and not-at-all-sweary text message to let me know she was still at it. But she got round in 8:50:something, taking in the sights of a Burnsall, Malham, Kettlewell, Middleham, Masham and Pateley Bridge and getting a very sore bum in the process, I don’t doubt. Well done, Philippa!
If you would like to be in with the chance to win a dirty weekend for two at the Nidd Valley House Country Retreat & Spa, then make sure you send your results. It could be your lucky day: email@example.com.
The Week Ahead
As we fall headlong into Evening League preparations, Debbie and the caterers (sounds like an experimental punk rock band from the 1980s… Debbie Dilasser and the Caterers) will be doing some serious sandwich making on Monday. If you are dropping off food, or if you’re able to help out, then we’ll be upstairs in the Hockey Club from 7pm. More details from the head chef herself: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday it is all hands on deck for hosting the Evening League. All the relevant details below.
After Evening League, you’ll be sick of the sight of the Gorge, so Thursday will be a perfect evening for a trip up Valley Gardens and Harlow Carr. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, head down over the Stray and through town to the Crown Hotel. From there, it’s up through the Gardens, crossing the road at the top and taking the path through the woods as far as Harlow Carr. From there, you can turn back onto Otley Road and work your way back to the Hockey Club. There are some lovely options to extend out from Leadhall Lane and so on if you want that extra push. As ever, there’ll be little drinkie-poos in the bar afterwards for those in need of some refreshment and libation.
If you want something a bit more sparky on Thursday, then I’ll be out with our mixed team as we take our bed race training to a new, wetter level (we’re going for full immersion baptism this week). We’ll be down at Conyngham Hall for about 7.10pm and you’re more than welcome to run with us as hare it round the Knaresborough cobbles. All jolly good fun.
Stretching into next week (well, it is a Bank Holiday after all), there is the Ilkley Trail Race next Monday at 11.30am. There’s not too much climb packed into the seven scenic miles, and entry is only £10 if you pull your finger out and get pre-entry. Why not have a look and see what you think: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4681.
Evening League: 24 May 2016
You’ll be glad when I stop sending you all the shizzle, I’m sure. This is the last time, I promise. The marshal plan is largely unchanged, but there’s been a few more details added and so on. Please have a look, check you know where you are going to be and what you’re doing (Neil Wright, Andrea Bowen and Rob Snow – I know you’re not on the plan, but we’re still hoping you can show and fill in any gaps if anyone doesn’t attend).
When you arrive to marshal, please check in with Michelle S who will be in the foyer of the Hockey Club so we know that you have arrived. If you’re a course marshal, please check in by 7pm latest, but if you’re doing car park and directions, then we need to see you by 6.30pm. If there are any problems with this, please let me know immediately: email@example.com.
I know you probably feel that I’ve done precious little but moan at you about this race, so I want to say that I really do appreciate your help and you giving up the evening for us. We couldn’t do it without you. Thanks.
Mob Match at the Burton Leonard 10k: Sunday 17 July 2016
Remember that we will refund your £10 entry for this race, provided you get your number in advance and race on the day. We are bringing the Mob Match trophy home, make no mistake. Therefore I need each and every one of you to get a number and get out there. I hope to put on a couple of reccie runs nearer the time, but for now there is only one place you need to be: http://www.burtonleonard10k.co.uk/.
Word to the Wise
Lining up in the queue to register for the Charlesworth Chase yesterday, I was chatting with Mark David about how much I really liked this race. And unbeknown to Mark at the time, he was about to make his debut and pop his word to the wise cherry…
Me: “In fact, Mark, it’s probably the only race in the calendar I reliably turn out to run each year”
Mark: “Well that’s not true.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Mark: “You don’t reliably run it. You normally have a banging hangover and just get round. Just like today, for example.”
Me: “Fair enough. Can’t argue with that.”
Have a wonderful week, whatever you do. Don’t work too hard, try and get a couple of runs in, and I’ll see you on Tuesday.