Well, my oh my, it is all very busy here at Nidd Valley House as head into the final week of preparation before the Knaresborough Bed Race. The sparks are flying as the welders do the technical fine tuning on the beds, while the design engineers peer anxiously at the computer screens, analysing the data that could give us the split second of advantage over our opponents. It’s quite the hotbed of artistic creativity, too, as we all get ready for the parade. The dressing up box has been flung open, costumes are hanging on every hanger, and Martin has a lovely little outfit for himself. He looks quite the picture. Jon has the wardrobe team working overtime just to stay on top of things, as he can be very particular when it comes to detail. He’s now been six hours in make-up, darlings, and this is just the dress rehearsal. You hardly need me to tell you that everyone is very excited.
What better to kick start this week’s results off than a set of cracking times from the Ilkley Trail Race on Bank Holiday Monday. First off the blocks we’ve got Debbie Dilasser (50:07) who soon made sharp work of the seven mile course. Mark Armstrong (1:11:54) was a little slower than usual as he was enjoying the run with his family, while Sarah Chalmers (1:17:44) also put in a strong performance. Well done, you three!
Things were very exciting up at Swaledale for the third of the Evening League runs on Tuesday. Fortunately the rain didn’t put too many people off turning up, although Sarah Chalmers, who is one of the chirpier and positive members of our running community, did remark in the car that “this is rubbish. I don’t want to race. I want to go straight to the buffet.” Can’t argue with that. Anyway, Tim Harvey (36:48) just pipped newbie Warren Lowcock (36:49) to the line, with Alex Patrickson (38:43) and Andy Todd (39:22) just squeaking in behind them. Matt Rickard (39:22) was looking uber relaxed as he crossed the finish line – and when doesn’t he?, you might well ask – whereas Martin Lofthouse (40:49) took his marathon legs for a spin and still managed to kick my ass. Dan Eagling (40:59), you’ll be relieved to know, managed to put down a cracking time without any medical emergency.
Now this is where it gets interesting. New recruit to the Nidd Valley campaign Chris Crabtree (42:05) clinched a slim advantage over a PB-Chairman (42:05) – yeah, I know. Thanks very much – with Ben Baird (42:07) tearing home in a nail biting finish. Jon Easton (43:06) put in a sterling finish to put some distance between himself and Paul Geary (43:25), both paving the way for Fiona Deacon (45:11) to lead the girls home. But still the boys kept a-coming: Jim Cook (45:46), Ian Macleod (45:57), Steve Newton (46:00), Paul Manning (46:46), Rob Snow (47:33) and Mark Armstrong (47:45) all showed their metal and didn’t buckle in the face of a strong opposition.
That’s the thing with ladies, they’re incredibly like buses. You wait for ages and then they all show up at once. So, tickets at the ready and all aboard for these results from the Nidd Valley Ladies: Christine Holleran (49:08), Sarah Hughan (49:15), Jenny Manning (50:12), Moira McTague (50:17), an incredibly muddy Catherine Barber (51:59), and Rachael Prince (53:09). Neil Wright (54:53), relieved to find the post race beers cheaper than they had been in Stockholm, was hunted down in a strong finish by Nicki Walton (56:59). And it was top marks for Sarah Chalmers (61:08) for keeping her running shoes on, holding off on the buffet, and bagging a few more points for Team Nidd.
You’ll also be interested to hear, and I know it doesn’t do to boast, that we beat the Striders in that race by 829.48 to 810.32 points. #BoomYeahInYourFaceWho’sYourDaddyMEGALOLZ! Well done, team!
Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin were back at it on Tuesday – they’re inseparable, aren’t they? Are they married or something? – when they raced at Apperley Bridge Canter. Carol (43:08) was first to complete the 10k off-road course, soon to be joined by Simon (45:23) on the finish line. Well done to you both.
Anyway, Simon soon exacted a chilling revenge on his missus at the Pen Y Ghent Fell Race on Saturday when he (1:08:20) raced Carol (1:10:37) back down to Horton in Ribblesdale. Alan Davidson (1:09:33) was on fine form as he tackled the 7 mile route – it has been officially measured as 5.9 miles, but you know what fell runners are like – soon to be joined by me (1:17:37) in my last minute contribution to the team. We were all very pleased to see Dave Prince (1:26:37) and Brian Shwerwood (1:27:50) back at Race HQ, where we gathered to celebrate a brilliant finish from Sarah “I’m not last!” Chalmers (1:46:08). Special congratulations to Brian and Helen’s daughter, Lily, who entered the guess-the-number-of-sweets-in-a-jar competition. She looked quickly at the jar, gave her considered assessment, and was almost spot on. Like a pro, Lils, like a pro.
Hip-hip-hooray! It’s big cheers a plenty for Jim Cook (2:31:01) who raced the Wharfedale Half Marathon yesterday. The official results are not out yet, and I’ve only published Jim’s time as he sent it to me today. If you did it but are dismayed at your accidental exclusion, dry your eyes and buck up and be a rabbit. I’ll print them next week, I promise.
Right, then. Keep moving along please, and don’t dawdle at the back. We’ve got some parkrun results to get through and I haven’t got all day. Martin Lofthouse (18:51) kick started proceedings on the Stray, Dan Eagling (19:56) managed another sub-20 – nice to see him finally getting the hang of it, I suppose – while Andrew Harris (20:04) celebrated his 50th parkrun. Congratulations, Fingers, that’s a great achievement. Ben Baird (30:32) and Steve Newton (22:27) kept the good times rolling for us, with Mark Armstrong (23:07) leading Sue Simpson (23:42), Moira McTague (24:14), Sarah Hughan (25:15) and Hannah Peagram (26:30) to some impressive finishes. A little birdie tells me that Rosemary Thompson (27:07) scored an unexpected PB, while Tony LC (28:22) joined Fiona Robinson (31:21) as she made a trip away from her home turf at Wetherby. Andrew Williams (31:26) and Natalia Lancosova (32:38) brought events to a thrilling conclusion, so congratulations to you all.
We’ve got some quick results from Fountains and then that is it for this week. Andy Todd (19:07), Matt Rickard (20:11) and Rob Snow (22:35) all put down beautiful times round t’Abbey, with Viktorija Buzaite (29:59) – that’s Mrs Matt to you and me – sneaking in under the 30 minute barrier. Well done peeps!
Please stand for sentencing. The Supreme Court of Nidd Valley hereby finds all defendants guilty to the charge of outstanding athletic performances on road, hill and trail. Take them down: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
Bloody hell, people, it’s a busy one this week so do try and pay attention. Here goes.
Tuesday sees the final training session for the Bed Race, so we’d be very grateful to see you as we take a last spin up Castle Ings Hill and then through the river. But, to be honest, I’d understand if you were sick of the sight of it all. So it’s your call, either bob down the Beryl Burton to Knaresborough for a bit of a laugh, or why not head up the cycle track towards Ripley, before cutting over the fields and through Bilton on your way back to the club. The choice is yours – we are good to you, aren’t we? – but either way, you need to be at the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm.
On Wednesday evening, you can take part in the Otley 10. The points hungry among you will be doubly excited to know that this features in our Road Championships. I don’t want to put too fine a point on it, but the killer hill on this race should come with a health and safety warning. It’s an absolute sod, but all jolly good fun. You’ll appreciate the descent back to Otley, put it that way. Pre-entry has ended, although they’ll be flogging numbers on the night. If you too would like the chance to chase Men’s Captain Martin round a course which has claimed more than its fair share of Nidds in the past, then this is where you need to be: http://otleyac.org.uk/otley-10-mile-road-race/.
On Thursday, I suggest we head down and do Hookstone Woods. It’s a lovely run, with lots of scope for modification, extending and cutting short. So bob your shoes on and get down to the Hockey Club for 7pm. It’s out round the Stray, past the Saints, through the woods and onto Fulwith Mill Lane. You can head back from there, or down onto Stone Rings, Church Lane (More hills! Whoop, whoop!) before turning for home. For those in need of a little libation or sedation, there’s pints upstairs in the bar afterwards. All welcome.
On Saturday, we’ve got the Knaresborough Bed Race. Crikey, people, I really love Bed Race. It’s one of my favourite days, it really is. I’m not exaggerating at all when I describe it as the highest athletic calling. Eliud Kipchoge, Mo Farrah and Jos Naylor might have reached the dizzy heights of athletic achievement, certainly, but their medal rack will always be incomplete without a Bed Race Finishers Medal. Anyway, we’ve got two teams out in force this year. Martin Lofthouse captains this year’s men’s crew of Warren Lowcock, Andy Harris, Matt Rickard, Andy Todd and Matt Wilkinson on their Cardiff-themed bed. I’m joining our motley mixed crew with Sarah Hughan, Alison Iles, Moira McTague, Jon Easton and Adam Kirk as we try and figure out how much fun we can have with some Bangkok-themed fancy dress (I can’t believe it’s not Buddha!). Keep an eye out for Steve Newton, too, as he’s an athletic mercenary and running with Raworths Solicitors.
On Saturday evening, there’ll be post-Bed Race drinking, dancing and good natured fun at Chez Fugill. All welcome. I’m in the process of decorating, some am not going to worry if you crush food into the carpet or splash red wine up the walls (though if you do, grab a wallpaper stripper and hack some off while it’s still wet). It’d be helpful if you can let me know you’re coming, either by replying to this mail or getting involved on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/495651667290473/. As ever, bring a bottle or two… Oh yeah, if you don’t know where I live, send me a message and I’ll let you know. In my line of work it doesn’t do to go plastering your address over social media…
If you’re not too shabby on Sunday, you could always have a little nosey at the Hawkswick Dash. Nothing like a spot of fell running to clear your head, that’s what I say. It’s not far from Grassington, attractively priced at £4 entry, and even more attractively measured at 2k. I guess if you don’t enjoy it, it won’t last long. More details here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4707.
Committee Meeting: 15 June 2016
I thought if I didn’t mention it and stayed quiet for long enough, then they’d forget about it. Evidently not. Hughan has a memory like an elephant, and has told me that our next committee meeting will be next Wednesday. If you would like anything discussing or considering – such as why there is still a ‘Road’ in Nidd Valley Road Runners, whether Martin will ever run a race in his underpants, or just why the Chairman is so heartbreakingly attractive – then you only have to ask: email@example.com.
Word to the Wise
We conclude this week’s email with a final offering from the Mixed Team as they make their final preparations for the Bed Race on Saturday:
Moira: “What are we doing about our stuff on Bed Race day?”
Sam: “I’ll bring my car down and we can leave it there.”
Sarah: “Oh yes, all the Bed Race essentials.”
Adam: “Like what?”
Sarah: “Yes. And prosecco, obviously.”
Sam: “And dry clothes.”
Sarah: “Only if there is room.”
That women is insatiable.
And on that note: in nomine Patris et Filii et Nidd Valley. Amen.