(TLDR. For those short of time….Tuesday provides yet more intervals, this time at the Job Centre at both 6pm and 7pm. On Thursday we’re off on a club run to Pannal – meet at the club for 7pm.. There is nothing on this weekend as far as I can see, so you’ll have to go to parkrun or otherwise please yourself. I’m sure you’ll manage).
At intervals last week, it was a delight to catch up with Debbie Gibson as she made a return to training with Nidd Valley after, well, far too long. Now, for those that don’t know our Debbie, she’s the one who’s always full of chat and you’ll certainly hear her before you see her. A voice that could strip paint. Anyway, Debbie tipped up with that other blast from the Nidd Valley past, Michelle Smith. Michelle looked on apologetically as Debbie got stuck into the chat: “Hi everyone! Everyone okay? Sam, it’s me! Sam, I’m back! Have you missed me? I’m back, everyone. This is nice. Is this the interval session? What are we doing? Sam, have you missed me? Look at his face, Michelle. Look at him. Well, this is nice. Is everyone okay?” And so on, and so forth.
Towards the end of the interval session, we came to the cool down and the stretches. You know how it is, Babs was encouraging us to contort ourselves into a shape that would make Harry Houdini think twice and all the while we’re trying not to break wind. At this point, our Debbie – clearly straining for the upper reaches of ecstatic pleasure – lets out a breathless “ooooh yeeeeeaaaaaahhh”, causing childish sniggers and questions of what demand there would be for the film called 50 Shades of Nidd Valley.
And so – while you consider that question and the question of who’s your daddy – let’s move on to the results.
I’m going to start this week with Carol Morgan, previously of this parish. For those of you who don’t know, Carol took part in the Barkley Marathons trail race in Tennessee. Now this is, as they say on the mainland, a little bit batsh*t crazy. This is 5x 20 mile lap course, with some of the most challenging terrain known to the athletes. Entry is limited to 40 runners, and entry is $1.60 and a pack of camel cigarettes. This year, Carol completed two laps of the course before pulling up. Just in case you’re tempted to wonder if this is a bit of a lacklustre effort, for comparison, it is with pointing out that UK fell running champion Jasmine Parris pulled up after three laps, and – since the race was inaugurated in 1986 – only 15 people have ever completed the challenge. Carol – you’re utterly bonkers, but we love you for it and very well done on your achievement.
Back in the world of the mere mortals, the Strava Elves tell me that Damien Handslip (1:54:39) completed the Forest of Dean Spring Half Marathon in a very respectable time. Well, his Strava actually shows him as having covered only 12.99 miles, but we’re not going to split athletic hairs with anyone tonight. Adam Kirk (35:50) also took 11th place in the Wakefield 10k today with an incredibly strong performance. Well done, Damien and Adam. I’ve always thought you both look tremendous in gold and black.
Today, we had the next taxi off the rank in the fell championships carried eight intrepid Nidds to race the Ian Robert Memorial Fell Race somewhere on the Pennines. Don’t ask where. It all looks the same to me. So this was a 6.4 mile race across moorland in memory of someone we had never heard of, but these things are sent to try us. The start was reasonably straightforward before jumping the first stream and out onto open moorland and and trying not to break ankles on tussocky grass. All was going well until we came to the first big hill at the three mile point, rising out of the distance like Kilimanjaro over the Serengeti. That was a climb and a half, greeted by the fell runners with expressions that rhyme well with ‘ducking bell’ and ‘pluck my plucking knife’. Then it was a return to near the start line before a final jaunt up onto the fells before one of the most technical descents I have ever messed up. And mess it up I did, getting the racing line badly wrong, causing the runner behind me to comment that “aye, you’ve picked a right rum line you have lad”, shortly before I fell sideways and went bog-snorkelling. The last I heard of him was him turning to look at me – now considerably shorter – to ask me “aye, lad, what has’ thou done that for?”. Results are not out yet, but Martin Lpofthouse led the troops home, and claimed 2nd V50 in the process. Nigel Scaife as next up, with Brian Hainsworth making a strong recovery from the ‘rona. Simon Cocker clearly had not received the memo about newbies letting the more long standing members of the club, especially those on the committee, win, but Catherine Barber, yours truly, and Jane Evans were prepared to overlook a few things. Babs also got the prize for third lady – incredible work! Dave Seaman looked really strong as he finished and brought the curtain down on a great, if not muddy, day.
I’m going to start parkrun with singing the praises of some of the juniors – or Niddettes, as we like to call them here at NVH – at Harrogate this weekend. First up, we’ve got Chandra’s two girls – Smiti (26:00) and Preeti (27:46) both getting PBs as they celebrated their joint 50th parkruns. We’ve also got Lily Scaife (41:42) giving us a fantastic time as she got dressed up as the Nidd Valley Celebration Bee to mark her 25th spin round parkrun. Congratulations to you all!
Staying on the Stray, Matt Wilkinson (20:44), Fiona Deacon (22:49) and Jon Easton (22:57) led the grown ups home (and I say grown ups in the loosest sense of the word). Kevin Dalton (22:59) was moaning something chronic about a hangover – I know, and to think he used to be the club captain – while Laura Francis (23:36), Captain Dazzler (23:31) and Nigel Scaife (23:35) at least had the decency to behave like proper athletes. Helen Gregory (24:50) got in under the 25-minute barrier, mainly thanks to some top quality motivational encouragement from yours truly (24:57). Alex Gudgeon (25:00), Chandra Shekar (26:01), Iain Scott (26:16), Nick Crebbin (26:21) had Captain Sarah (26:26) hot on their tails. Roger Duckworth (26:30) and Emily Wighton (26:33) led Sue Simpson (27:13), and Moira McTague (27:33) held hubby Guy (27:36) comfortably at bay. And it’s a quick hello to Sophia Khan (27:37), Ellie Deacon (29:03), and the pleasingly symmetrical Tony LC (32:23). James Braddon (33:56) was pushing his progeny round in a pram, Jeff Walker (35:48) and Mike Kay (37:31) had left the kids at home, and Amelia Dalton (40:02) supported friend Lily on her special day.
In other parkrun news, Ian Foy (23:13) was in Southport, Alan Ward (27:46) was in Workington, and Richard Evans (22:20) was in Penryhn. Debbie Gibson (29:11) went to have a good chat with the folk at Belton House, and Emma David (26:08) was all on her lonesome with no one to chat with at Chevin Forest. Over in couples corner, Yvonne Skelton (29:46) and Martin Weeks (36:05) were up at the University of Stirling parkrun, while Phil (32:16) and Fiona Robinson (38:31) went to the Jubilee parkrun and bagged themselves the evasive J in the parkrun alphabet challenge.
Please open your hymn books to sing the praises of our brethren at Fountains Abbey: Andy Todd (18:57), Andy Iddon (21:54), Denise Allsopp (28:51), Colleen Gruenwal (29:54), Lorna Eley (33:05) and Michelle Dinsdale (36:21).
Graham Hyde (33:04) took to Strava to describe Rounday as a “beautiful parkrun in the sunshine meeting lots of friends, too”. If you’re wondering who he is referring to, I’m happy to share the results from Chris Morrison (25:31), and Ewa Scott (28:37). Well done Nidders!
Don’t go breaking my heart (I couldn’t if I tried), honey if I get restless, (baby you’re not that kind: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Week Ahead
Before we get to the weekly heartbreak that is intervals, we can’t pass Monday by without mentioning the Spring Equinox Run, organised by Nidd Valley’s very own druid, Jeremy Scott (A.K.A. Jeremy Parkrun). If you fancy a 7.5 mile trot out, then this could be just your thing. You will need to be at Ripley car park and good to go for 7pm, wth trail shoes on your feet and a head torch on your head. It’ll be a steady pace, and tree-hugging, virgin sacrifice and tantric dancing stark naked in the moonlight will be optional extras for those who are interested. Any questions, ask Jeremy. You can’t miss him, he’s the one wearing the leggings.
On Tuesday we have yet more intervals, and this is the last session of the winter interval season. I know you will miss them. I certainly will, in the sense that Terry Waite misses his work trips to Beirut. This time we are back at the Job Centre on Victoria Avenue. Martin and Steve will be there to point you in the right direction at 6pm, and captain Sarah will come and take charge from 7pm. It’s the last time, kids. As they say on set, let’s do it once more with feeling.
In the absence of any better plan, let’s head to Pannal for our Thursday run. Shoes on and laced up for 7pm, and we’ll set off from the Hockey Club. Make your way round the Stray, down past St Aidan’s, and onto M&S corner. You can, of course, stay closer to town if you don’t want to push it too far, or you can join us down Leeds Road to Pannal. It’s then back up that big hill (hi-viz essential unless you want to be involved in an RTA) and onto the bottom of Green Lane, and from there you can thread your way back to the club. Afterwards, there’ll be beers and chat in the Hockey Club bar. If you’ve never joined us for a swift half, why don’t you give it a try? Nigel isn’t half as boring as you’d think, and Babs doesn’t bite. Not hard, anyway.
Oh. So there isn’t anything on at the club. The racing department here at Nidd Valley House is as empty as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. You’ll have to make your own plans. Why not do parkrun, or meet some friends for a run out somewhere different? Alternatively, that car isn’t going to wash itself. Whatever you do, enjoy your well earned weekend. Heaven only knows that you deserve it.
This year the club has one place for the London Marathon. Seriously, if you can bag this baby, you’ll feel like Charlie Bucket when he got the chance to go to the chocolate factory. To enter the club draw, you’ll need to send a screenshot of your rejection email to his Lordship, who can be found here: email@example.com. You can also send him a direct message via Facebook (he’s like a teenager, he really is, what with all this social media. If it’s not sending me inappropriate snapchats then he’s posting on the ‘gram). Entries close on Wednesday night and are limited to those who have not had a club place previously. We’re trying to make sure that everyone has an equal shot at the misery, sorry, I mean the exciting once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Entries will be drawn out of the Nidd Valley hat in the bar after the run on Thursday (another reason to come, if you hadn’t already been persuaded by the prospect of Nige’s chat).
Now here is something that I can certainly get it up for. I love a bit of Evening League, I really do. Entries and instructions are here: https://racebest.com/races/2zeut, and all the other race information is here: http://www.harrogate-league.org.uk/wp/. As Nidd Valley is hosting the first race of the season on 17 May 2022, and as you’ll therefore be needed to marshal, you get a £3 discount on your entry fee by entering the code NVRR22 when you sign up (if anyone from another club happens to be reading this – and no, I can’t think why you would be either – don’t even think about using this code. We know where you live. We make the Mafia look like Playdays, make no mistake).
His Lordship is relying on you to stand up and be counted. Every run and every place counts.
So, we’re having our next chinwag on Weds 30 Mar 2022. I do hope there will be biscuits. Anyhow, if there is anything you’d like the committee to discuss, then you only need to let club secretary Plippy know. She’d love to hear from you. Actually, I’m not sure she would, but you can find her here nonetheless: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t make us send the heavies Robert and Alan round in the van again. You don’t want to know what they can do with a baseball bat and some piano wire. Your kneecaps are worth more than £35. I’d pay up, if I were you: https://tinyurl.com/4dakbjvp.
Court Round Up
I’ve just had the report from the legal secretaries at the Supreme Court of the Glorious People’s Republic of Nidd Valley. The jurors were out for days debating this one, but we’re pleased to report that Christine Holleran has been acquitted in the trial for inappropriate race attire by 70% – 30% split. As a case, it has very much gripped the athletics world, and we’ve had all the national papers on the phone to the press office here at Nidd Valley House all wanting to get some salacious details. Christine is just glad to have cleared her name and is looking forward to going home and spending time with her family. We look forward to seeing you back on the start line and properly attired soon, Christine.
If you’d like to report an indiscretion of a fellow club-member, then you only have to let us know.
(As an aside. His Lordship, can we set up a Nidd Valley Secret Police? We could call it the Niddsi. #askingforageneralcommitteemember…)
Word to the Wise
This week’s wise words come from no other than Little Miss 25 herself, Lily Scaife. When completing her victory lap of the Harrogate parkrun yesterday morning and questioned why she had passed on the Nidd Valley bumblebee tutu to one of her friends, Lily had one simple reply:
“Sharing is caring. Anyway, Sam, that’s what bees do.”
Obviously. And who am I to argue? Have a wonderful week, Lily, and a wonderful week, the rest of you. I’m sure you will.