Weekly Update – we need to talk about Alan

(TLDR. For those short of time…. Tuesday’s 7pm club run is Harlow Carr, with an option to join the Ladies Bed Race team for hill reps in Knaresborough at 6.30pm. On Thursday, there’s a gorge-based club run at 7pm, and a trail run from Follifoot with Phil at 6.30pm. Saturday is road champs race #3 at Fountains Abbey).




We’ve had a lovely day here at Nidd Valley House as we celebrated Alan’s 85th birthday. Blasts from the Nidd Valley Past – Bob & Annie Sweeting, Dave & Anne Rushton, Mike & Judy Greenwood – were in attendance, as well as members of Alan’s family. We had a lovely run in the sun down from the club house, picking up Nidds as we went, until we met Alan on the bridge at Knaresborough, We got some strange enough looks as the black and gold procession made it’s way down Waterside, with Alan at the head, before turning up Castle Ings and for photos in the Market Square. There was tea and cake a-plenty, and we had a great time celebrating with someone who is a part of the Nidd Valley furniture.


We said it today and we’ll say it again, Alan: there’s  no Nidd Valley without you.


And with that outpouring of love and affection, let’s see what we have planned for the week.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’ll be keeping things suitably botanical and heading out to Harlow Carr. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer’s evening. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm, and head out by Christ Church, down the alley (snicket/ginnel/passage whatevs) past by the bridal shop, through town and to Valley Gardens. From there, it’s up through the gardens, over the road, and through the pine woods to Harlow Carr. If there is still enough light, you might want to come back through Birk Crag and the Duchy Estate, or you can turn a left and come back down Otley Road. It’s your call, but look out for each other and please don’t leave anyone behind.


If you fancy flooding your Tuesday with pain, the ladies bed race team will be doing hill reps up Bed Race Hill from about 6.30pm. All are welcome to join then but, then again, isn’t there enough misery in the world as it is?


Phil Ventress has something a bit different for you on Thursday. Meeting at the Harewood Arms in Follifoot (not the Radcliffe Arms, that’s a different pub) at 6.30pm, Phil has a lovely five mile trail route lined up for you down to Spofforth and through the woods. He’s been a proper little trooper and been to the pub to test the beer (superstar award right here, I feel), and the landlord is happy for you to park in the pub car park provided you buy yourself a drink afterwards. It’s a Sam Smiths pub, so you’ll need cash rather than that new fangled apple pay.


If you’d sooner poke yourself in the eye with a sharp stick than spend time with Phil, there’ll be the usual club run on Thursday. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and have yourself a little jaunt out. If the weather allows, why not head over the Bridge of Spliffs and have a turn round the gorge? Drinks, mind-altering drugs and a rave in the club house bar afterwards.


I won’t be able to join you on Saturday as I’ll be taking my weekly prescription of parkrun down in London. You, however, need to get yourselves to Fountains Abbey where it’s the third of the road championship races. Yes, I know that you’ll be running on paths and not roads, but let’s not split the athletic hairs. You know how parkrun works – get yourself to the line just before 9am, run your little heart out, and don’t forget your barcode. As it’s a champ race, make sure you wear your club colours so fellow Nidds can cheer you in and so you don’t look out of place in the inevitable class photograph.



We start the week off with Jon Easton – and yes, I quite agree, we don’t do it half as often as we should do – who was up in Leyburn to take part in the Wensleydale Wander. Much like the Blubberhouses run a week or so back, this 23 mile beauty was a rambling picnic through the finer parts of God’s Own County. Jon (4:24:00) was first back for the club, with Jeff Walker (5:24:00) never too far behind, and Nidd Valley’s own Duracell Bunny Fiona Robinson (6:04:00) just kept on going on and and on and on and on. There isn’t any stopping her, there really isn’t. Well done to all of you.


This week’s apology goes to Chris Morris, who was thoughtlessly left out of the results last week. Well, we’re nothing if not steeped in justice here at Nidd Valley House, and I’m glad to set the record straight and tell you that Chris (3:56:00) got himself a new personal best when he ran the Taunton Marathon last weekend.


I tell you something, if you want to know your shortcomings, you won’t find a more helpful running club anywhere. His Lordship summoned me to his office, and gave me an almighty rollocking and six of the best  for incorrectly reporting Sam Heathcoate’s time for the Manchester Marathon last week. Sam completed the course 3:48:57 and not 4:48:57 as previously advertised.


And so, unable to sit down, we come to the inevitable tedium that is the parkrun results. Ian Foy (23:16) kept a welcome in the valleys when he ran at Swansea, Colleen Gruenwald (31:25) was tossing her caber up at West Links in Arbroath, and I’ve got no crude nationalistic stereotypes for Workington, where Alan Ward (29:34) took 71st place. Adam Kirk (18:12) took first place in Goole, but this is East Yorkshire afterall and inbreeding is doubtlessly rife so it was probably an easy win. I’m not sure if Mollie Mitton (27:40) is actually a Nidder, but if she is then it’s a big well done to her for her result at South Manchester, and if she isn’t then you can forget that I ever wrote this. Emma David (29:14), who most certainly is a Nidder, was placed third lady at Whinlatter Forest. Phil Robinson (29:15) was down at Millfield while Mrs F. was a-wanderin’ around Wensleydale., so he was clearly out unsupervised. A high risk strategy, if you ask me.


At Fountains, we’ll do the result in reverse to stop Andy Todd getting ideas above his station. Michelle Dinsdale (36:21), Lorna Eley (32:19), and Susie (30:03) and John Mallet (30:02) provide our first set of results. Yeah, I’ve noticed that John pipped his missus to the line. Unchivalrous, right? Anyway, Ellie Deacon (29:19), Denise Allsop (25:04), were just behind Andy Iddon (23:02) who knew what was good for him and kept three steps behind Babs (23:01). Fiona Deacon (22:49), James ‘The Pram’ Braddon (22:29) and Andy Todd (18:49) gave us the top three results for Team Nidd. 


Putting the world the right way round at Conyngham, that cheeky little monkey Fingers Harris (20:57) was first Nidd Home, so we’re letting him have some extra pudding after tea and letting him stay up late. Martin Lofthouse (21:02), James Knapp (25:05), Christine Holleran (27:10), Michelle Smith (36:25) and Jess Webster (39:04) rounded up proceedings with the usual flair and panache that we have come to expect.


I always get nervous when doing the results for Harrogate, as I know I’m in the for the long haul, but I’ve had a quick toilet break and my tea has been topped up so let’s get started. Liam Escott (20:50), Matt Rickard (22:35) and Jeremy Leggings (23:25) were the first three Nidd taxis off the rank, while yours truly (24:00) paced the 24 minute crowd to perfection. I’ve been compared to a clock many times. At least I think that’s what they said.


Moving on. Ian Wighton (24:26) was just ahead of Phil Ventress (24:52), whose pacing wasn’t as good as mine. Jane Evans (25:59), Ewa Scott (26:19), Roger Duckworth (26:41) were next up, while Emily Wighton (27:29) was the rose between two roses: Guy Parker (27:19) and Moira McTague (27:37). Yeah, I know that Moira hasn’t taken her husband’s name. Can you believe it? Still, that’s feminism for you. His Lordship has just told me that I’ll risk upsetting Debs Dilasser with comments like that. Other feminists are, of course, available.


Sophia Khan (28:32), Alex Leslie (29:07), Bec Carman (29:22), Chanda Shekar (29:36) gave us excellent results, and it was good to see Laura Francis (30:32) back with us after her marathon exertions. Martin Weeks (31:33) was just ahead of Debbie Dilasser (31:38), and Graham Hyde (33:25), Bev Aspin (34:08), and Rebecca Ventress (36:58).


Now, Janet Jarvis confronted me today to ask why I don’t include her results in the parkrun write-up. This isn’t intentional, but I only get the results if you have edited your parkrun profile so you are affiliated as a Nidder. If you want to be included, but aren’t currently, then that is what both you and Janet need to do. But, for the record, Janet (37:48) ran at Harrogate yesterday and I’m happy to put her result on the record. She’s an incredible runner and we wouldn’t change her for the world (even though she did once flash her boobs at me, but that is another story for another day). So, with the finishing tape and tokens put back in the parkrun bag, that’s the results for the week. Well done, all. 


Ah baby, let’s get married / We’ve been alone too long / Let’s be alone together / Let’s see if we’re that strong / Yeah let’s do something crazy / Something absolutely wrong / While we’re waiting for the miracle / For the miracle to come: samfugill@gmail.com


30 Apr 2022: Quiz & Pie ‘n’ Peas

Fancy yourself as the  big brain box of Team Nidd? It’s both a bit of a social get together and the chance to do some good in a a crappy world by raising money for the DEC Campaign for Ukraine. So there will be food, beer, prizes, banter, and silliness with your Nidd Valley friends. Please feel free to bring along friends and family. Uptake for this has been slow of the mark, and we’ll make a call next weekend if we’re going to go ahead with it. Please support this if you can. Entry is £10 per head and you need to pay your dues to the club account (Nidd Valley Road Runners; Sort Code 40-23-12; Account Number 12074796), then send an email confirming this to Sylvia (sylviamorten1@gmail.com),  and starting whether you want a meat pie or a vegetable pie.


Evening League

The Evening League is really good fun and even a grumpy misanthrope like me enjoys getting involved. It’s a chance to race against other clubs in the area and show them why Nidd Valley is the greatest running club and a force to be reckoned with on the course. Best of all, this isn’t about just the top runners or the speediest competitors – every Nidd who crosses the finish line collects points for the club, and so every entry matters. And that includes you. Yes, you. https://racebest.com/races/2zeut is where you need to be. Please remember that Nidders can get a £3 discount as we will be marshalling for one of the races, so don’t forget to enter the code NVRR22 when you sign up.



£35 won’t even buy you half a tank of fuel these days, but will buy you a year with this bunch of running obsessed social misfits. Crack on: https://tinyurl.com/4dakbjvp


Word to the Wise

This  week’s wise words go to Alan Harby. Today of all days, I can think of no more worthy a source.


“Thank you, so, so much, and I’ll remember this as long as…. well, for whatever time I’ve got left. Anyway, thank you very much…”


Alan, may that time be lengthy and blessed.


From Alan, from his Lordship, and everyone else here at NVH, have a lovely weekend,


Sam x

Posted in General News.