(TLDR. For those short of time… Tuesday 6pm and 7pm is intervals at Derwent Road. Thursday 7pm is a run from the club, going up Cornwall Road. Saturday is XC champs at Wetherby parkrun, and Sunday takes us to the Thirsk 10 for the road champs, although there is also the PECO relay for those wanting something a little bit different. Otherwise all well here on the good ship Nidd Valley.).
Well, it’s been a right old mess here at Nidd Valley House. We had our annual committee pancake party last week and we’ve only just finished cleaning the kitchen. There were cracked eggs on the floor, batter up the walls, pancakes stuck on the ceiling, and discarded lemons everywhere. The highlight of the evening was – of course – the road runners vs fell runners tossing competition. Both teams put up a strong fight and there were spectacular pancakes all round but it’s all very tense as we had to go to a steward’s enquiry. Dave did himself no favours by channelling his inner John McEnroe and probably shouldn’t have thrown his pan at the referee. They’re currently reviewing the footage from the goal line technology. Will the fellies once again show themselves to be the greatest tossers in Nidd Valley? Only time will tell. And while we wait for that answer, it’s to the results.
I’ve never been to Maryport, at least not knowingly or willingly, so I shall have to defer any questions to Alan Ward (1:51:18) who bagged a very respectable time when he raced in the Netherhall ten-mile road race last weekend. Alan also gets the honour of being at the head of the procession in this week’s results write up. Very well done, Alan.
And so, to the hills. Today we were out for the second tick in the box for the fell championship. Ilkley Fell Race. Words terrifying enough to strike fear into the heart of any fell runner (except Fell Running Phil, but he’s never been quite right in the head). The marshal said there were three hills. There were five. There was mud everywhere, not to mention some lung busting climbs, technical descents, fierce competition, and the ravine. How to describe the ravine? Well, imagine a vertical drop, steepen it a bit more, cover it in the sloppiest mud you can find, and scatter with loose rocks and bracken. Then send several hundred runners down it at speed while onlookers take photographs. It is, as they say, character building.
Fell Running Phil thinks that having 25 Nidds out for a fell race might be something of a record – and no, please don’t me links to results from 1993 just to prove me wrong – and it’s an absolute to please to sing their praises as they head home to shower peat bog and sheep poo from their legs. Luke Wakelin (48:43), having acquired two more children courtesy of Mrs Wakelin since I saw them both last, was first across the line for the black and gold brigade. Billy Fox wasn’t far behind but – and I’m sorry about this, Billy – his result does not appear on the list. Back on the list, and we’ve got Fingers Harris (50:32), Martin Lofthouse (50:42) and Alex Patrickson (50:47). It’s always a pleasure to see Nigel Scaife, and so it was today as he (55:58) came a slipping and a sliding down to the finish line, with Kevin Nicholas (1:01:10) and Andy Iddon (1:03:29) closing him down. Phil Ventress (1:03:32) had bought his hangover out for a run, but was just able to pip first Niddette, Babs (1:03:59) to the line. Nick Crebbin (1:04:13) beat me (1:08:23) again, and more decisively than I should have liked, so it’s a begrudged congratulations there. Jose Jimenez (1:09:04), Emma David (1:09:33), Russell Geraghty (1:10:09), Gary Dooley (1:11:04) and Jane Evans (1:13:43) all crashed down the final descent in spectacular fashion. Jim Cook (1:17:05) made brilliant time, given he had run 28 miles prior to the race as part of training for some ridiculous long distanced thing he has planned for later this year. We told a lie to Jeremy Scott (1:18:27) when we shouted that there was a runner just behind him as he closed in the finish. There wasn’t, but he did put a very impressive sprint on. You can thank us later, Jez. Dave Prince (1:27:15), Roger Duckworth (1:23:29) and Christine Holleran (1:23:15) soon appeared, and it wasn’t long before Dave Seaman (1:27:50), Sarah Chalmers (1:35:04), and Graham Hyde (1:37:29) completed the line up for us. A very, if not muddied, well done to you all.
As ever, we’ve got a bit of a rush on with the parkrun results. Iain Scott (26:36) kicks things off for us in Wakefield Thornes, Liz Ahmed (34:10) brings us a result from Nonsuch, and Alan Ward (29:05) sends his second result of the weekend in from Workington. Adam Kirk (19:18) took first place at Temple Newsam (yeah, I know. A right old show off.) and Alex Leslie (25:57) was a racin’ at Market Rasen (see what I did there? Oh, never mind.). Interesting fact about Alex: I asked him if he could bed race for us this year, and he replied to tell me that him and Mrs Leslie were expecting a baby that weekend. I mean, seriously people, the lengths people will go to get out of doing their bit for the team. Honestly.
I digress. Ian Foy (23:36) was at Heslington, where he caught up with junior Amelia Dalton (34:47) teaching her dad Kevin (34:48) a thing or two about running. Great effort, Amelia. At Conyngham Hall, we had cracking showings from John Mitton (27:27), Sue Simpson (31:58) and Jessica Webster (38:27). And here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson (42:54), Jesus loves you more than you will know, whoa, whoa, whoa.
It’s hands together and eyes closed (anyone else remember that from school assemblies?) for the results from Fountains Abbey. Predictably enough, Andy Todd (19:02) led the Nidds home, followed by Chris Morris (24:32), Ellie Deacon (28:38), Marcos Montana (28:54), Ellie’s mum Fiona (35:09). Oh, I’ve just noticed it is Fiona’s birthday today. A very happy birthday, Mrs D.! The final blessing was given by Michelle Dinsdale (35:21) and Debbie Handslip (48:55) so a big amen to that.
And gathering ominously like a storm on the horizon, we turn to face the results from Harrogate. Matt Wilkinson (22:02) and Rickard (23:03) were joined by Nigel Scaife (23:36), Richard Evans (23:46) and Finlay Ranns (24:00). Good name for a runner, that. James Braddon (24:27) had Laura Francis (24:29) hot on his heels and more than justifying her most improved award from the awards night. Fingers Harris (24:45) and his dog were soon followed by Phil Ventress (24:58), Emily Wighton (27:56), Roger Duckworth (28:05), Chandra Shekar (28:26) and Sophia Khan (29:24). Moira McTague (30:58) was next to appear, with it being too close to call between her hubby Guy (30:59) and Rosemary Thompson (30:59), only for Nadene Wilkinson (31:00) and Colleen Gruenwald (31:01) to battle it out to the line.
Debbie Dilasser (31:33) – suitably dressed like a right old fool to celebrate her 250th parkrun – was joined on her victory procession by her every-chatty friends Christine Jones (31:34) and Sarah Staiano (31:35). Everyone was, as you’d expect, very excited. A solid performance from Karen Mills (31:40), Lynsey Barraclough (31:40), Kirsty O’Donnell (33:10) set up Lily Scaife (34:50) to show us why the juniors can more than hold their own. Martin Weeks (35:08), Tony L-C (36:29) and Rachel Mills brought the curtain down on this week’s parkrunning performances.
Before I move on, I’ve just heard that Philippa has to send a copy of these emails to Matt’s mum, as she likes to know what he’s been up to with his running. I can’t be alone in thinking that this is rather sweet. Still, it’s a big hello to Mrs Wilkinson from me and from everyone at Nidd Valley House. If you have results you have to share, or if you’d like me to tell your mummy how much of a little superstar you are, then you know where to find me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
If you’re anything like me, you might just want to hide in a corner. These are anxious times, the world suddenly seems very unsettled, and violence seems uncomfortably close. If you can, though, come for a run with us. You don’t need to go fast or go far. Just come along for a plod. A break from the news, some friendly faces, a bit of fresh air and some exercise will do you the world of good. Deep breath. It’s going to be okay.
If it is a Tuesday, then it’s intervals and, if you like running round in circles, then you’re in for a right old treat this week. Get yourself down to Derwent Road (it’s the one tucked in between Jesmond and Rydal Roads, just off Knaresborough Road), where Steve and Jonny will be overseeing things at 6pm, and Lynsey will be keeping a keen key on proceedings from 7pm.
On Thursday, we’ll be club running. Sylvia is feeling all horticultural this week and has chosen Valley Gardens as our there. So it’s down through town, up through Valley Gardens or up Cornwall Road (headtorches if the former, please), onto Harlow Moor thingymabob, and then you can either turn for club or extend round Beckwith Road. Choices, choices, choices. Only Captain Staiano has asked you to choose wisely, given there are two races this weekend. Afterwards, it’s premium champagnes, fine wines, and exotic and fancy cocktails with canapes and caviar in the bar. Be at the Hockey Club for 7pm.
Now the weekend looks particularly interesting. You’ll have to get yourself of bed that little bit earlier on Saturday, as we are heading to Wetherby parkrun to scratch the next notch in the bedpost of the cross-country championships. It’s a three-lap course, with plenty of mud to keep you happy. Far be it from me to tell you how to suck eggs (I know, you’re not even my grandma), but you need to be on the line for 9am, wearing grippy shoes and with your parkrun barcode. All the details are here: https://www.parkrun.org.uk/wetherby.
I know that running ten miles on the arterial trunk roads of North Yorkshire sounds as appealing as, well, running ten miles on the arterial trunk roads of North Yorkshire. However, if you want to get some more points in the road championship and haven’t already, you need to enter the Thirsk Ten this Sunday. Entry is £17.80, but it’s a sharp and flat course so opportunities for personal bests abound. Even better than that, I’ll be there. You need to be there too: http://www.thirskandsowerbyharriers.co.uk/thirsk-10.
Also on Sunday, it’s the PECO relays. For those of you who have not had your fill of feeling miserable and wet in the middle of West Yorkshire, you can relive all those happy memories one last time. You’ll need a team of three, to have completed at least one of the PECO races this season, and to still have your number. Entry is £6 per team. The senior races starts at 11am, and you’ll need to be down to Bramley Fall Park if you want in on the action. Entries and information both available here: https://pecoxc.co.uk/pages/relay.html.
We had the first committee meeting the Wednesday before last, and the minutes are on the website if you’d like to have a look. You can find them here http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/committee-minutes. These are slightly redacted to protect confidentiality in welfare issues, but the main thrust of there. I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re a riveting read. For the avoidance of doubt – and if anyone from the Met is asking – this was a work event. Yes, I know that Sylvia was spotted going with a suitcase to the One Stop and that Daz had bought the wine and Dairylea Dunkers. However, despite being ambushed with a cake, his Lordship can confirm that we adhered to the guidance at the time and that this was definitely not a party. And, with nothing further to see here, let’s move on.
Knaresborough Bed Race
We have three senior teams entered into the Knaresborough Bed Race this year plus a junior bed, so thanks to all entrants for stepping up. And – because less than 90 teams entered, we don’t need to go to a draw. It really is a day unlike any other. We’ve had people volunteer to marshal (thanks to them, too) but Knaresborough Lions are always on the look out for more marshals. If you can help them out, then please email email@example.com. They’d love to hear from you.
Word to the Wise
A couple of wise words for you this week.
“I did Fairfield Horseshoe fell race once. It was as enjoyable as being hit with a big stick…” – Dave Prince, extolling the virtues of fell running.
“I’m praying and I don’t even believe in God, it’s that kind of race…” – Martin Lofthouse, with his eyes closed prior to the recent PECO Roundhay Park.
Have a wonderful week.