Weekly Update: Offending Smoggies

Evening all!


I met Matt Wilkinson’s parents at Wetherby parkrun yesterday. Lovely couple. Anyway, Matt introduced me to them, to which the reply was “really, Sam? As in the writer?”. Apparently, Mrs W reads this old drivel every weekend and it would make her weekend to have a special mention. So, here it is Mrs Wilkinson, this one is for you (as an aside, if anyone else would like to make a special request, you do only have to ask).


It’s been a busy old week at NVH as we’ve been clearing up after the Awards Night and keep finding empty wine bottles tucked behind pot plants, although we’ve managed to get the carpets clean at last so that is a relief. That said, no one has seen Dave since we last saw him sauntering in the direction of Hales Bar singing happily to himself. If anyone sees him, give him a tenner and pop him in a taxi to Nidd Valley House, will you? Anyhow, we’re pretty much on top of things and locked into meetings with Chairman-elect Dan’s transitional team and negotiating the finer points to secure an orderly transition of power. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the results.



Not much going on this week, so it won’t be long until we get the parkrun results. Before that, however, you’ll be pleased to hear that Adam Kirk has hit another developmental milestone and we’re all very proud of him. Although the days of potty training are long behind him (accidents not withstanding) and although we are waiting for the day when he can tie his own shoelaces, we are pleased to announce that he finally smashed the 40 minute barrier for a 10k race. Oh yes, the recently anointed ‘most improved runner’ was down in West Yorkshire to run the Dewsbury 10k where he (38:14) demolished his PB by a comfortable margin. Well done, Adam! Go on, buy him a pint when you see him. He deserves it.


Well, first off the parkrunning blocks, we’ve got Alex Patrickson at Middlesbrough. He’s a brave young chap for going up Smoggieland for fun, but there we are (I’ll probably find out his family has lived for centuries or something and that I’ve put my foot in it in spectacular style and managed to upset six generations of Patricksons or something like that). Anyway, Alex (17:48) got round in a time that I could only match if I were free-falling from a plane without a parachute, so very big congratulations there. We’ve also got John Mitton (23:25) down in Dewsbury putting in an equally as impressive effort, so very well done there, John.


What is it with you people? We organise a group trip to Wetherby parkrun and some people still insist on sticking with what they know. Honestly, what can you do? Anyway, the home-comfort loving creatures who stayed at Harrogate were Adam Kirk (23:47), Mark Armstrong (24:02), Jamie Dilasser (24:20), Catrin Harrap (24:35), Christine Holleran (24:23), Tony LC (27:35), Rebecca Ventress (28:51) and Debbie Dilasser (29:11). Seeking monastic familiarity, up at Fountains we had a quadruplet of fine performances from Andy Todd (20:06), Nick Smith (27:30), Jane Hill (29:56), and Michelle Dinsdale (31:04). Well done, everyone!


It isn’t often you say this, but the bulk of the action was at Wetherby parkrun, where a slightly surprised race director was amazed to see Team Nidd nearly double the contingent of regulars down by the Wharfe. But, you mention a cross-country championship race to any Nidd and they’ll be all over it like a pig in shit…. So, what happened? Matt Wilkinson (18:34) was first home for Nidd – much to the delight of his proud mummy and daddy, who had come out to watch – narrowly relegating Warren Lowcock (18:84) into second place. Incidently, you’ll be interested to know that when Matt arrived that morning, he asked me whether Warren was running that day. “Oh f***” was his only reply when I answered in the affirmative, so it is good to see that Team Nidd is as competitive as it ever once were. Anyone, one digresses. Dr Edoardo Piano (20:00), apart from winning best named Nidder 2016-17, also took third place overall, chased down by an increasingly muddy chairman (20:34). Andrew Peagram (21:37) had one hell of a fight on to keep Jon Easton (22:10) at bay, with David Shores (22:43) and Ben Baird (23:01) always close behind. Maurice Kelly (23:16), Jim Cook (23:35), Chris Beattie (23:37) and Rob Snow (24:14) were the next to finish.


Sarah Hughan warned me that I’d get in trouble for referring to the diminutive Sue Simpson (24:16) as the Dwarf by the Wharfe, but I can’t resist and I’ll just have to hope she was so pleased with claiming the coveted first lady position that she won’t notice. If you have noticed, Sue, sorry – you know we love you really. After Sue, we had great performances from Sarah Hughan (24:49) and from Steve Newton (25:14), who was clearly out on domesticated day release. I did wonder what the tag round his ankle was. After that, it was lovely to see Mike Benson (25:32), Moira McTague (25:36), Debbie Gibson (25:50), Hannah Peagram (26:05) and Marcos Montana (26:17) cross the finish line. We finish our tour of the three muddy laps of Wetherby with Neil Wright (28:48), Robert Hill (29:53), Michelle Smith (31:44), Sarah Chalmers (32:11), Fingers Harris (32:49) and Fiona Robinson (33:20). Nice work, everyone!


Got a new PB? I’ll tell you where you can stick that for a start: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Now then, on Tuesday we are back with these bloomin’ stamina interval sessions. The Chinese needn’t have bothered with water torture when they realised they could just get someone to run round the Stray. Anyway, that’s where we will be (West Park, that is, not Beijing) for the next of these sessions. They’ll do you good, at least that is what the coaches tell me. Either meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down by the Prince of Wales Roundabout for about 7.10pm.


On Thursday, let’s really stretch our legs and get down into Knaresborough. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out down Kingsley Road and through Starbeck and down the big hill into Knaresborough. Most will head down Waterside, although some may push further through town, but all routes come back together to go over the Low Bridge, over Forest Moor (killer mile, to me and you) and back through Starbeck and up to the club. Catherine Barber will be acting as a focal point for steadier and more social runners, so introduce yourself to her if that sounds like your bag. Regardless of speed and that kind of thing, all welcome in the bar afterwards for a swift pint and to hear the old farts bang on about the good old days and that things ain’t what they used to be and you know how it and that’s how it was.


Now’t on at the weekend as far as I can see. Get those odd jobs done instead.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Unfortunately, I cannot go to this as I am up in the Fugill heartlands in Northumbria, but as you won’t be coming with me (I don’t care how many times you ask, you’re not coming!), why don’t you see if there are any last-minute seats at Lucia’s as we break the farewell break with Mike and Judy? Fiona Deacon has it all in hand and will easily help you sort your linguine from your spaghetti: mjfjdeacon@sky.com.


AGM: 16 February 2017

And nominations have now closed. Please do not call the hotline now as your vote will not be counted and you may still be charged. Right, look people, I’ll cut to the chase. I really need you to be there. If we don’t get enough people there then the meeting can’t carry business and that is a right ball ache. It doesn’t take much time, you get free pizza, and we get it over for another year. Think of it like a dental appointment (albeit marginally less enticing). Relevant information here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/02/06/agm-2017-update.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

We’re working to get three teams together this year, and have some exciting teams taking shape. Dan and I will be meeting on Tuesday to try and pull things together, so if you want to take the ride of your life, dress as a woman and drink your own body weight in beer, then please do let me know. It really is the best day in the whole world. Be part of it: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Championships 2017

Sorry if it wasn’t clear (blame me, that’s fine) but we voted to take the joker races out of the club championships as of this year. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it caused a bit of confusion with some members about who actually qualified for awards and participation awards etc., and secondly, the whole idea of the championship races is to get people out running together as a team. We hope that the extra races in the list this year will give everyone the chance to partake and bag themselves some silverware. Boring bit over, sorry. Yawn….


Word to the Wise

Without a word of a lie, we received the following message late on Thursday night at our enquiries address as we were waiting for a last-minute flurry of nominations for the AGM:


“I want to build a wall, a big beautiful wall ladies and gentleman – we are going to make Nidd Valley great again! I’ve got something to say about those who oppose me: chairmen, secretary, committee – lock them up! What to do about it though? That’s a whole other question…” – Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.


Would the real Donald Trump please stand up?


God bless you all, and God bless Nidd Valley!


Sam x (for the penultimate time…)


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