(TLDR. For those short of time….Tuesday has intervals at the Oval at 6pm and 7pm, Thursday is the Saucony trial night at Up and Running and 6.30pm and a club run at 7pm, and Sunday is the Ian Roberts Memorial Fell Race. Otherwise, nothing to worry your pretty little head about).
Well, we’ve had to get more carers in here at Nidd Valley House as we’ve had to admit ex-Chair Christine Jones into the Nidd Valley Specialist Care Unit for the Elderly, Frail and Confused. Christine had wanted to run six miles yesterday, and so decided to do three before joining us for the parkrun at Conyngham Hall. So she did her first three miles on tarmac, then changed shoes for the off-road parkrun. She missed the start, had no idea where the runners had gone, tried to make it up, worried that people might thing she was cheating, so took her Nidd vest back off, ran off in the wrong direction, bumped into Philippa, stopped for a chat, then forgot to restart her watch back, before appearing at the finish sometime later looking perplexed and holding her vest in a carrier bag. For those of you who don’t know her, Christine is a retired police detective, ex-running club chair, and wife to Bill. Christine, if you’re reading this, that’s who you are. Still, we’ve managed to find her and bring her back to Nidd Valley House and get her medication sorted out, and that’s the main thing. So while she enjoys a nice cup of tea and Countdown, let’s have a look at the results.
We start this week with Jim Cook, who went over to Haworth yesterday to compete in the 37-mile Haworth Hobble (yeah, you’d be hobbling too if you had run 37 miles). Jim completed the challenging course in a spectacular 7:01:47, and Mrs Cook has asked me to make sure that I included him in the write up. She describes herself as a proud wife, and so she should too. You’re a little superstar, Jim. While we’re on the subject of superstars, Roger Duckworth (1:10:00) was the first Nidd home at the Dentdale 7.5 mile run yesterday. I mean, don’t let the fact that he was only Nidd detract from the glory of his achievements. Nice one, Roger.
Now then, if you’re going to tell me that orienteering has not place in a running club or in the weekly write up, then you can go and moan to someone else. Talk to the hand ‘cos the face ain’t listening. Anyway, so Andy Iddon and Babs today took part in the spectacularly-named Compass Sports Cup and Trophy at Duncombe Park and Windy Pits (I had windy pits, once, couldn’t sit comfortably for a fortnight). Now I have no idea what these colours mean, but Andy completed the brown course (windy pits, again?) in 1:54:56, and Bab’s did the women’s blue course in 1:08:21. They also caught up with the lesser spotted Mark David (I say lesser-spotted, there have been more sightings of the Loch Ness Monster), who did the men’s blue course in 1:34:17. Like I say, I have no idea what all of this means, so we’ll just say a quick and heartfelt well done and move on.
We had a great show of Nidds turn up to Thirsk to run the ten-mile race for the next run in the road championships. Well, if you weren’t there, you missed a right old treat: an undulating course, varied terrain, stunning scenery. Actually, that’s a lie. It was really a bit of a drag. A flat ten miles on trunk roads with a strong headwind. The only respite from this was an out and back on a track on some industrial estate, passing abandoned farm machinery and dilapidated warehouses. You know the kind of place, the kind of place in violent movies where you’d expect to find innocent strung up on meat hooks screaming through a gaffer-taped mouth while some thug holds a knife to his testicles. And with the thought firmly in your mind, let’s look at the results.
Captain Dazzler (1:04:16) led from the front, as you’d expect from any good captain. Andy Todd (1:05:09) and Fingers Harris (1:07:51) gave strong chase to come in the first three Nidd finishers. Now I’m sure you’ll agree that Sam is a great name, even more so when I tell you that Sam Heathcoate (1:07:59) put down an incredible time like that, with Loz Hawksworth (1:09:01), Jeremy Salmon (1:10:57), and Jon Easton (1:15:14) in his slipstream. Let’s have three cheers for Captain Staiano (1:15:49) as she led the ladies home, followed by Luke Scorer (1:16:24), yours truly (1:17:35), Laura Francis (1:17:33), Jamie Dilasser (1:18:30) and Chris Morris (1:19:31). We had strong showings from Fiona Deacon (1:21:32) – and when don’t we, I hear you ask – James Coulthard (1:21:49), Helen Gregory (1:23:29) and PB-smashing Rebecca Ventress (1:25:34). The roll call of glory continues with Dave Seaman (1:26:26), Jeremy Scott (1:25:32), Rachel Mills (1:27:08), Hannah Percy (1:30:59) and Nick Smith (1:32:46). We’ll sing the praises of Denise Allsopp (1:33:15), Emily Wighton (1:34:12), Karen Mills (1:34:34) and Yvonne Skelton (1:34:27) from the rooftops. And can I hear a whoop whoop for Katie Coppack (1:35:38), Marcos Montana (1:42:37), Mike Kay 1:58:14) and Michelle Dinsdale (2:00:01)? Of course I can.
And so to parkrun. At Roundhay Park, Adam Kirk (18:53) bagged himself a sixth place finish, Alan Ward (29:15) was in Workington, Kev Nicholas (20:30) took his running shoes to Woodhouse Moor, Nigel Scaife (21:54) took in the Lakeland sights at Newby Bridge, and Colleen Gruenwald (29:24) took in the sea air at Morecambe Prom.
The results from Harrogate parkrun make inspirational reading, I’m sure you’ll agree. Matt Rickard (22:23) showed why he’s everybody’s favourite Nidder as he led James Braddon (23:37), Fingers Harris (23:58), Sophia Khan (28:58) and Sue Simpson (28:59) to the line. Iain Scott (29:00), Alex Leslie (29:07), Bec Carman (31:21) and Lynsey Barraclough (32:10) were all on fire (well not literally, but you know what I mean), and we had great results from Martin Weeks (34:36), Tony LC (36:14), Lorna Eley (37:43) and Debbie Dilasser (38:22).
Martin Lofthouse (19:11) kept things suitably thespian down in Stratford-upon-Avon (he’s been three hours in make-up, darling), and the following Nidds donned their dog collars and habits for a tour of Fountains Abbey: Andy Todd (21:47), Joshua Bryer (23:28), Marcos Montana (29:06), Jeff Walker (39:02), Jonathan Clipston (41:49), and Clare Simpson (47:46).
With Wetherby parkrun cancelled due to flooding, captains Sarah and Dazzler soon had us all rounded up and ready to race at Conyngham Hall for the final roll of the dice in the cross-country championships. Now, did anyone else know that Conyngham Hall used to be a zoo? I mean, I’m not talking a rubbish zoo with rabbits and that kind of thing, but one with elephants and lions and venomous snakes. Incredible. Anyway, shame they got rid of it. I can’t think of any athletics event which would not be immeasurably improved by the introduction of any of the big five, especially if you’re after a PB. Anyway, to the results. You won’t be in the slightest bit surprised to hear that Matt Wilkinson (21:36) was the first Nidd home, and you’ll be equally as delighted to hear Andy Iddon (23:57), Nick Crebbin (24:32), Jon Easton (25:23), and Fiona Deacon (25:31) were never too far behind. Laura Francis (26:09) held Andy Croft (26:10) at bay in a nail-biting finish, and it was lovely to see Christine Holleran (27:01) join us once again.
Well, I say lovey. We come to a bit of a difficult topic here, my friends. Christine is a long-established Nidder, and is well aware of the requirement to wear club colours when taking part in a championship race. So I am sure you’ll be as surprised as me to hear that she was not wearing her club vest. Yeah, I know. I’d have expected better. In her defence, Christine would like you to know what she was wearing black shorts, black socks, and had a black and gold hair bobble. Evidence below.
Do you feel her defence is an adequate one? As jurors in the Supreme Court of the Glorious People’s Republic of Nidd Valley, her fate is in your hands: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XNY57TN.
Right, back to the results. Sarah Staiano (27:04), joined Emma David (28:45) and I for a little bit of parkchatting, and we were soon joined by Guy Parker (28:50) and Emily Wighton (29:53). Helen Cook (30:28) and Nadene Wilkinson (30:29) are normally inseparable and yesterday was no exception, and it was an absolute pleasure to see Moira McTague (31:02), Rachel Mills (31:02) and Alex Gudgeon (33:52). Amelia Dalton (34:55) once again kicked her dad Kevin’s (34:56) backside, so it’s a very well done to her from all of us here at Nidd Valley House. Concluding proceedings, we’ve got results from Graham Hyde (35:03), Jessica Webster (35:40), and Sylvia Morten (36:16). Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robinson (42:07)? Just give me the nod. I’m all yours.
We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good, I have to celebrate you, baby, I have to praise you like I should: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
On Tuesday we’re back to the Oval for more intervals, where Head Coach Emma (bit like the Head Judge on Strictly, but with less glitter and flamboyance) has cooked up some more speed work to get us match fit and race ready for the racing season. Emma will be joined by Denise for the 6pm session, and Babs will be your host at 7pm. You wouldn’t want to miss it.
On Thursday, things are going to be a little bit different here at Nidd Valley House. Captain Sarah has organised a try-before-you-buy event at Up & Running, and she’s keen to get as many of us there as possible (anyone would think that she worked there, they really would). If you get yourself down to Up & Running on Station Parade for 6.30pm, then the lovely representatives from Saucony will be on hand to showcase their new Endorphin Range and let you go for a spin in some shoes. Any shopping on the night will come with a 20% discount (yeah, I know), so stick your credit card in your pants.
If the Up & Running trip isn’t your bag, then there’ll still be a Thursday club run from the Hockey Club at 7pm. This week, we’ve got the supermarket route (cunningly devised to let you rendezvous with the Up & Running lot), so it’s out from the club, along t’railway towards ASDA, up Station Parade, past Waitrose, and over the Stray towards the showground and Sainsburys (some might choose to go up Leeds Road and tick off M&S as they go). From Sainsbury’s, head for Mozzas, and then back up to the club. Beer and riveting conversation in the bar awaits afterwards.
Oh, now this is very exciting. On Sunday, we return to the hills for the third of the fell championship races. This time, it’s the turn of Holmfirth Harriers and their Ian Roberts Memorial Race. It’s described as a BM race (for the uninitiated, the B means moderately hilly, and the M means neither too short or too long). The course is described as “tussocky”, so if dragging your way over frankly unpassable ground is your idea of fun then you are in for a real treat. If you’ve got questions about kit and shoes and that kind of thing, have a chat with FRP or Sarah Chalmers or any of the other muddy brethren. Entries on the day, and further details on the t’interweb: https://www.holmfirthharriers.com/event/ian-roberts-memorial-fell-race/.
What do you mean you haven’t paid? You’ll have had your badgering email from Emma D by now, I’m sure, so you need to get on it and get paid up for another year. It’s frankly an absolute bargain at only £35, and you get to do all sorts of exciting races, meet lots of lovely people (and a few strange ones), and get to listen to me drivel on incessantly on a Sunday afternoon. Any questions, badger Emma: email@example.com.
Word to the Wise
This week wise words come from Mike and Sylvia.
“It’s ten miles? I maybe need to start training…”
– Mike Kay, having learned that on the start line of Thirsk Ten that he was about to run ten miles rather than ten kilometres. What is it that they say about preparation.
“You coming with us for a cup of tea, Sylvia?”
“No, I can’t today”
“Don’t you love us anymore?”
“What do you mean ‘anymore’?”
– Sylvia Morten letting slip about how she really feels about us at parkrun yesterday morning.
As you were.