Today I remembered why I love fell running. It’s muddy, basic, friendly, unpretentious, cheap, hard, fun, silly, exhilarating, inclusive, demanding, challenging, exhausting, stunning, and terrifying. It’s the perfect antidote to a sanitary week in the office, to restraint, to cleanliness, and to health and safety. I was out playing in fells with some of the Nidd Valley Collective today (more on that below), and just had one of those days when it felt good to be running, to be moving and to be alive. Not to mention covered in sheep shit. I just wanted you to know that.
It might just be me, but does the name the Grewelthorpe just bring the mind the orphanage from Oliver Twist? No matter. We had 16 Nidds up there this week battling for club championship points in the multi-terrain race. Warren Lowcock (55:07) was first off the blocks with Martin Lofthouse (57:45) in his wake, so there’s no surprise there. Well done to Andy Todd (1:00:05) on a well deserved third Nidd place. Jon Easton (1:05:13) kept the good times rolling, with Mark Armstrong (1:10:18) just managing to pip Chris Beattie (1:11:20), Jim Cook (1:11:46) and Dave Seaman (1:16:24) to the line. Huge congratulations are also due to Jenny Manning (1:20:29) as she led Team Nidd’s ladies to the finish: Sarah Hughan (1:21:26) and Moira McTague (1:23:35). Keeping us satisfied with strong finishes right until the end, there were some excellent performances from Neil Wright (1:23:53), Hannah Peagram (1:23:58), Janet Carling (1:26:24), Debbie Dilasser (1:27:56) and Sarah Chalmers (1:38:14). Very well done to you all.
I was down in the Lake District this morning to compete in Team Nidd’s inaugural showing at the Hodgson Brothers Fell Relay in Patterdale. There were some serious fell runners there. And I mean serious, this is a nationally renowned contest. I felt left out as it seemed I was the only one who’d not completed the Bob Graham Round (though I was quite in there with the unkempt look and facial hair). We got a special mention as a ‘new team’, giving a big welcoming shout out to Nidd Valley Road Runners. Well that caused some confusion to these inov8-clad off-road-loving fell aficionados as they tried to work out what on earth road running was. If we’d entered as the Outer Mongolian Mixed Country Dancing B Team, I’d have felt less conspicuous. Never mind. Damien Handslip and Edoardo Piano got things off to a flying start in the first leg to Hartsop, before Fingers Harris and Tim Harvey gained some ground for team in the tough leg round to Kirkstone. From there, the baton passed to Fell Running Phil and yours truly as I bitched all the way up and down Red Scree, onto the Fairfield Horseshoe and back down to Brothers Water. Carol Morgan and Simon Franklin picked up the last leg, running back up onto Fairfield, down over St Sunday Crag and back into Patterdale. Given the quality of the field, we were thrilled to come 60th out of the 70 teams entered, and have plans (well, Tim Harvey and FRP have plans) to finely hone our performance next year and aim for 50th. You might also be interested to learn that during this race, Edoardo fell over and had to get himself a bandage on his elbow from the first aid tent and a smiley face sticker for being a brave boy. Fingers tripped over somewhere on his run, I fell down a hill, and Simon threw himself into in a bog. They should rename us Clumsy AC.
I finally figured what the race was that Alex Patrickson had done last week. He did the Robin Hood Half Marathon down in – not surprising really – Nottingham. Everyone was very impressed to see that Alex (1:25:46) managed to bag himself a new PB while down there. He’s come to the attention of the talent scouts here at Nidd Valley House and I understand that they are about to make him an offer he won’t be able to refuse. It’s very exciting.
Fiona Robinson (37:32) has now done more turns round Wetherby parkrun than I’ve had hot dinners, although we could probably say the same for Andy Todd (19:15) as he had his usual waltz around Fountains Abbey. Catherine Barber (26:43) joined Andy up at the Abbey and learned the hard way that a run doesn’t always sort out a banging hangover. I could have told her that.
Harrogate-wise, it looked like a few had the foot off the gas in readiness for racing today, but we still have some great results nonetheless. First off, we’ve got Martin Lofthouse (18:59), followed by Matt Wilkinson (19:35), Ben Baird (20:51), Matt Rickard (21:22) and Mark Armstrong (23:08). Sue Simpson (23:15) was first home for the girls, with Jamie Dilasser (23:50), Steve Newton (24:11), Dave Prince (24:17), Marcos Montana (24:59) and Jim Cook (25:05) never too far behind. It’s always nice to see Sarah Hughan (25:42) make an effort isn’t it, but just as heart-warming to see Tony LC (28:09) and junior Eddie Ventress (29:54 – PB!) put down great times. Moira McTague (29:56), Rebecca Ventress (29:59), Debbie Dilasser (29:59) and Jeff Walker (31:49) made sure we finished on the highest possible note. Well done to you all.
While we’ve been on the subject of results, I was out running last week when Dan asked Warren if he was upset that he hadn’t been included in the last week’s results. Apparently I’d omitted his result from the Sutton 10k from the write up. Never mind the fact that Warren hadn’t told me and never mind the fact that I’m not Mystic-friggin’-Meg, Dan thinks that Warren has been very hard done by and I was made out to be devil of chairmanly incarnate. So, just for Dan and Woz (yeah, Dan calls him Woz, it’s all very cute as another bromance blossoms here at NVH)…
Eagling & Lowcock Corner
Warren, Dan would like to congratulate you on completing the Sutton Park 10k in an impressive 37.44, coming third out of 199 runners. He would also like you to know that he loves you so very much and that you only have to give the word. He’ll drop everything for you.
If you too would like to make a dedication to your beloved here on Nidd Valley Love Songs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
Eyes down for a full house, people.
Members of the Nidd Valley Mafioso, Bob and Annie Sweeting are back in Harrogate for a few days, and will be holding court in the Swan on Stray on Monday night. They’ll be there for 7pm and would be delighted to see you and let you buy them a drink.
Tuesday is yet another club run, and I think we’re due a run round Knox. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm and from there we head out over the Iron Bridge, round the perimeter of Bilton to Knox and down to the Little Wonder Roundabout. It gets a bit fruity with those hills back up Ripon Road into town, but I’m sure you’ll manage admirably. From there, you can head back along York Place to the club, or add an extended loop on up Leeds Road and Hookstone Road. Whatever you like.
On Thursday, you need to be back at the Hockey Club for 7pm because we’re having a run down to Knaresborough. It’s a toughie but a goodie. Out round the back of the school, along Kingsley Drive and into Starbeck. From there, it’s down the big hill into Knaresborough and along waterside, over Low Bridge and back up Forest Moor. After that, it’s back through Starbeck and up to the club. Plenty of options to cut short or (god help us all) extend if that kind of thing takes your fancy. We don’t mind. Whatever works for you. Pints and palpable excitement in the bar afterwards.
On Sunday we’re (well, you are. I’m in London) over at Haworth to race in the next race in the Fell Championships: Withins Skyline. FRP is like a cat that got the cream to have another fell race so soon after the relays, and, well, so he should be because it is an absolute cracker. 7ish miles with nearly a 1000ft of climb over some fantastic Pennine landscapes. You’d be a fool to miss it, especially as numbers are only £4 a pop. More info here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4468.
If you can’t be bothered racing at the weekend, you could always pop over to York on Sunday to watch Team Nidd compete in the York Marathon. Good luck if, like Jane and Michelle, you’re lining up at the start. You’ll be fine, ladies. Just remember, when you get to mile 22 and wish you were dead and start hallucinating, don’t be alarmed. It’s quite normal.
This photo was taken at the end of Leg 3 of the Lakeland Relays today. Fiona Robinson threatened to post it if I didn’t. Anyway, you have until Friday night to post / email your wittiest caption. There’s a bottle of wine in it from me for the winner.
Committee Meeting: 5 October 2016
Please don’t add anything else to the agenda. We’ll be there all day as it is so I hope Dave has an extra pack of luxury biscuits in. If you’ve got something to say and it just can’t wait, then Sarah is all ears (well she’s not really, she just has two, but you get my gist): email@example.com.
Bridlington Half Marathon: 16 October 2016
You know what this is all about by now. We’ve got a few seats spare on the party bus. You need to get yourself a number for the race (you do that here: http://www.bridlingtonrr.co.uk/page16.html) and then you send me an email to say you have been ever so good and deserve a free seat on our bus up the race: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016
You know the usual drill. Please have a look at the marshal plan here, especially if your name is Alex, Damien or Debbie, and make sure you know the lay of the land. If you can help and haven’t let me know, then please do so, and if you can’t, then why not? You know where I am: email@example.com.
Word to the Wise
I got a very threatening text yesterday from Rebecca Ventress advising me that whatever she is alleged to have said at parkrun yesterday was not true and warning me not to publish it. Of course, I would never do such a thing. I have merely consulted with my sources and have decided to share with you the following, and I’m sure quite coincidental tale, from yesterday’s parkrun when Rebecca was pacing son Eddie to his first sub-30 time.
Eddie: “Mum, mum, I’m going to have to stop and walk. I’m going to be sick.”
Rebecca, not even breaking stride: “Swallow it”
Whatever you do, have a great week. Hope to see you at club soon.