Weekly Update: Why is Ben wearing a shawl?

Evening troops.


Well, once again everyone is very excited as we get ready for the Awards Night. Delivery lorries are up and down the drive to Nidd Valley House and we’re having to bring in extra staff to supplement the hired help already based here. The kitchens are awash with activity as pots and pans bubble away, the chefs try out exciting new recipes and the pastry cooks get started on the puddings. We’ve promised Fingers Harris that he can lick the mixing bowl clean if he is good. The banqueting hall is getting all tidied up and sorted out, although we’ve had to make Fell Running Phil throw the hoover around the place given that it was him who trod mud all over the luxury carpets. We’re working to deadline, but we know we’re on track for a great night on Saturday night and look forward to seeing you.



We’re running out of superlatives to describe Carol Morgan taking the position of first lady in the Montane Spine Race from Edale to the Scottish Borders. She set off early on Sunday morning, and some 268 miles and 43,000ft of ascent later, rocked up at the finish late on Thursday night. She managed to knock 43 hours of the previous female course record. That’s nearly two days, people. As she finished, her nearest opponent was still back at Hadrian’s Wall. You can’t overstate the magnitude of her achievement. She’s been covered in everything from the Harrogate Advertiser to the Guardian. But, the greatest honour of all: top of the bill in the weekly round up from Nidd Valley House. Well done, Carol. We’re incredibly proud of you, pleased for you, and thrilled that you’ve made your home with us here in Team Nidd.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Right, enough of such adoration. Let’s get to the PECO results from earlier today. For the men, we’ve got Matt Wilkinson (33:44) looking strong and just managing to keep Tim Harvey (34:01) at bay. Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse (34:58) was always close enough behind to be a danger to them throughout, with Alex Patrickson (35:42), Andy Todd (36:13) and Matt Rickard (37:00) hanging on in there. Mike Deacon (40:50), Maurice Kelly (41:57), Damien Handslip (42:13), Jim Cook (43:31), Mark Armstrong (43:54) were next over the muddy line, with Dave Seaman (45:24), Phil Robinson (45:35) and Neil Wright (59:06) completing the masculine-up (see what I did there? Masculine line up…. Oh never mind). From the ladies, Sue Simpson (44:58) managed not to get herself locked in the loo and so was first Niddette to finish. She was joined (on the race, not in the loo) by Christine Holleran (46:56), who was locked in battle to the finish with Sarah Hughan (46:58). Debbie Gibson (48:08) was on top form as she finished neck and neck with Moira McTague (also 48:08). I’m told that Hannah Peagram (49:28) had a wee in a ditch with Sarah H, but that’s probably too much information for you, so we’ll gloss over that and move onto a pleasingly symmetrical result from Debbie Dilasser (50:50) and other great results from Janet Carling (51:42), Rachael Prince (52:51) and Debbie Handslip (54:20). The muddy proceedings were concluded in great fashion by Michelle Smith (57:51), Sarah Chalmers (59:24) and Fiona Robinson (1:01:31). Well done, peeps!


I’ve no idea where Oakwell Park is, but apparently they have a parkrun and that is where Phil (26:14) and Fiona (34:25) Robinson were on Saturday morning. David Shores (23:21) was at the Humber Bridge – sounds ghastly, how the hell they got the capital of culture I’ll never know – and Paul Manning (23:21) remains down under where he completed the Canning Park parkrun. Is it just me, or is it a slightly arresting notion that Paul and Yvonne are currently upside down? Adam Kirk (19:17) was showing off with a brand new PB and second place overall at Dewsbury parkrun. Has to be doping. A quick peek up at Fountains tells me that Andy Todd (21:09), Marcos Montana (25:16), Rob Snow (25:55) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:57) had their trainers laced up and were ready to go.


Down in Harrogate, we had the usual suspects lining up to do their three laps of the Stray, starting with Martin Lofthouse (18:57), Matt Wilkinson (20:17), Maurice Kelly (22:44), Jamie Dilasser (23:00), Andy Peagram (23:13), Sue Simpson (23:21) and Steve Newton (24:42). Now he would never tell you himself, but yesterday was Ben Baird’s (24:46) 100th parkrun. But not only that, he even volunteered without pushing himself to a PB and surround himself with bacon sandwich glory. How charitably minded is that? He’s like Mother Theresa. Only minus the shawl and with more lycra. Anyhow, Dave Prince (25:20), Marl Armstrong (25:24), Sarah Hughan (26:22), and newbie Robert Hill (26:37) were the next to finish. But the story doesn’t end there, for we’ve also got great results from Tony LC (26:54), Moira McTague (27:13), Kirsty O’Donnell (28:42), Sue Reast (28:57) and Dave Rushton (29:29). And the famous finishing four? They were Neil Wright (30:22), Hannah Peagram (31:50) Natalia Lancosova (33:04) and Mandy Smith (38:28). Well done to you all.


From parkrun to the Pennine Way, I want to know all the juicy and sordid details: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’re back at the stamina-building interval sessions. This one is going to be led by the ever-lovely Jon Easton and we’ll be down on Slingsby Walk. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or at the Wetherby Road crossing for 7.10pm and get ready to feel the burn. It’ll be both fun and nice to see you!


Sarah Chalmers has suggested that Thursday’s club run should be the supermarkets. Unfortunately, I won’t be there as I am up working in Tyneside so while I’m up there enjoying a little fishie on a little dishie and waiting for the boat to come in, here is your plan: set off from the club at 7pm and make your way down by the railway towards ASDA, heading up Station Parade towards Waitrose. From there, you’re lining up for the showground, and you can go via St Aidan’s or via M&S. Your shout. After that, push on towards Sainsburys, down Wetherby Road and Forest Lane to Morrisons. This takes you into the glorious surroundings of Starbeck with one last pull back up to the club. Refresh yourselves with a few beers with Dave in the bar afterwards.


On Saturday, you might think about trading in your parkrun for this little fell race up near Todmorden. The Hoofstones race is only 8 miles with a little under 1,400ft of ascent, so it is all quite manageable. The details of the race can be found here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4808. You might want to have a chat with Fell Running Phil (our very own evangelist of mud) if you’re new to fell running, and he’ll allay any anxieties you might have, not to mention bore you silly with a detailed exposition of his favourite ever off-road shoes.


But don’t spend too long out running because on Saturday night we’ve got the Awards Night. We’ll be on it and at it from 7pm at the Gold Club, so get that cow shit scrubbed of your legs and get yourself dressed up all fancy (well, I say that, I’ll just try and hack a few years off with a razor, you know how it is) and we’ll see you there. If you’ve missed the boat, then I’m sorry to say we have sold out and there is not even one additional ticket left for sale. Can’t wait to see you.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Good grief, she is a popular old bean, isn’t she? There are hardly any seats left for Judy Greenwood’s leaving meal at Lucias. I’ve never been a huge fan of Italian restaurants to tell you the truth, lots of people breaking into spontaneous renditions of O Sole Mio and waiters trying to jam their groins in your tortellini while brandishing oversized pepper mills. But enough of me and my prejudices. If you would like to share some farewell garlic bread with Judy and Mike to say goodbye, then you need to get yourself booked in with Nidd Valley’s very own maître d’, Fiona Deacon: mjfjdeacon@sky.com.


AGM: 16 February 2017

Nominations have started to pour in here at Nidd Valley House as we prepare for the AGM and election of the new committee. We haven’t seen Treasurer Dave for weeks as he is buried under a pile of spreadsheets anxiously trying to find his red briefcase. He does like to commend his budget to the house, I’ll say that much. But you really need to be there. We might even buy you some pizza for your tea as a special treat. All the relevant info from Secretarial Sarah can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/01/18/agm-2017/.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

I am still unbelievably excited. Maybe you are a bed race veteran or perhaps you are looking to pop your bed racing cherry for the very first time. If you’d like to be involved in the Nidd Valley campaign this year, then you need to let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

“That was cracking” – Carol Morgan, having completed the Montane Spine Race. She’s a funny old cookie.


See you soon, kids.


Sam x


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