Weekly Update: Fell Racing with Prince Charles

(TLDR. For those short of time…. On Tuesday, there’s bed race training, a club run to Knaresborough, and the Bunny Run fell race in Keighley. On Thursday, there’s a club run round Crimple, and on Sunday we’ve got the Blakey Blitz fell race. Scroll down for information on the evening league, up and coming races, discount codes, and a fundraising quiz).

Now then,

Happy Easter! Well, everyone is very excited, as I am sure you can imagine. We’ve just finished our Committee Easter Egg Hunt here at Nidd Valley House. As you’d expect, His Lordship demands that we spare no expense when it comes to his choice of confectionery, so God only knows how we’re going to settle the bill with Fortnum and Mason. I thought that Betty’s was pricey, but this is something else. Darren is quite the traditionalist, and is currently working his way through a classic dairy milk, whereas Dave is showing his ethical credentials and has opted for a Fairtrade egg. Sylvia can’t say no to a Bounty, Sarah is getting to grips with a large bit of Yorkie, and Jane is wrapping her chops around a stick of Black Magic. So while they enjoy that and wipe their milk chocolate smiles from their faces, let’s hop along and see what is in store for the week ahead (see what I did there? Hop along? Oh never mind. I’m wasted on you people, I really am).

The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, let’s have a spin to Knaresborough but go the back way to get the benefit of the lengthening days. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, head out over the Bridge of Spliffs, and peel off the cycle path to the fields on your right. Head cross country to Starbeck, down the Avenue and to Forest Lane. From there, head out by the golf course, over the railway, and across the fields to Knaresborough. As you head down Waterside, keep an eye out for our bed race teams as they drag oversized shopping trollies round town. To get back to the club, head up the Beryl Burton. As ever, feel free to lengthen, shorten or adapt the route, but just keep an eye out for others and leave no one behind.

If you fancy yourself a bit of midweek racing, there’s the third of the Bunny Runs near Keighley on Tuesday. It’s all very egg-citing and guaranteed to leave you feeling very hoppy (okay, I’m sorry) as there are Easter Egg prizes for winners and creme eggs for all finishers. It’s a fast and furious three mile loop, but very accessible and a great introduction to off road running. Entry is £3 OTD and more info is available here: https://tinyurl.com/3atnjddn

On Thursday, let’s do a run round Crimple. So, having got yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm, head out over the Stray, through the Saints, past the Squash Club and behind the school. Once you’re over the footbridge, head left through the woods, over the field and back out by the Travellers Rest. From there, you can come straight back up Wetherby Road or via Panhandle Park and Mozzas. Now, I think it was Ernest Hemmingway who said he drank to make other people seem interesting and if you want to know what he meant, there’ll be drinks and chat in the Hockey Club bar after the run. 

On Sunday, it’s the fourth championship match for the fellies. We’re heading up to the North Yorkshire Moors to compete in the Blakey Blitz. Now this is a cheeky little pickle is this one, as it’s an AM (the A means there is quite a bit of climbing, and the M means that it’s a bit longer than usual, in this case 17km). Please don’t let that put you off, however, as the race starts and finishes in a pub and passes through the wonderfully named Great Fryupdale. More details are here: https://tinyurl.com/3syhewkv. Have a chat to our beloved leader, Fell Running Phil, or any other of the muddy brethren for more info, guidance, or encouragement. The fell running contingent are nothing if not welcoming and more than happy to talk at length about topics as varied and thrilling as off road shoes and jackets with taped seams. Come and have a go. I mean, when was the last time you did a ten mile race and paid only  seven quid?


Well, I woke up on Monday morning to a text from Sarah Chalmers to ask why I hadn’t included her previous two results in Sunday’s write up. To be fair, she had sent me her results, I’d just got waylaid (tries hard but easily led astray, to quote my school report). Well, better late than never, and so I’m happy to report that last week Sarah (1:29:something-or-other) completed the Hooded Horse 10k. That’s an impressive time, if you ask me, and not only because this is me in grovelling apologetic mode, but because this route involved running up and down Sutton Bank numerous times. Now, why on earth anyone should do that for pleasure, let alone pay for it, is beyond me, but there we are. The week before, Sarah (1:15:something-or-other) also ran in the Pendle Fell Race, getting up and down Big End (grow up) in a splendid time. Well done, Sarah, and I hope this straightens this record. #apologyoftheweek. 

Lets have a quick trip to Elvington Airfield and look at the results from the imaginatively named Big Flat Runway 10k, where Adam Kirk was racing last week. Adam (36:20) describes his eighth place performance as “not my finest hour”, although I struggle to see why. Well done, Adam. 

This weekend, Andy Iddon and Lady Catherine Babington were down in the Peak District (I know that she’s known as Babs for most of the time, but she uses her full and formal title when in residence at the family home. Like when Prince Charles becomes the Duke of wherever it is when he is in Scotland). They – that’s Babs and Andy, not Babs and Prince Charles, obvs. – took part in the Kinder Downfall, which is 9.6 miles and 1,800ft ascent through the peat bogs of Derbyshire, and both finished in 1:56:more-or-less. Takes all sorts, I suppose. 

Today, we’ve had some Nidds down in Guiseley to compete in the Guiseley Gallop. It was all a bit off roady and hilly, not to mention a bit warm, but Martin Lofthouse (43:36), Kev Nicholas (50:18), and Roger Duckworth (59:11) all made easy work of the challenging course. Congratulations, guys. 

Gangster, innit.

In parkrun news, John Mitton (25:01) was down at Conyngham Hall, Mr (28:10) & Mrs (38:42) Robinson were at Bowling Park (no, I’d not heard of it either) and Jane Evans (28:14) has been to visit the fam’ in Winchester. Susie (29:28) and John (30:40) Mallet had popped down to Bishops Stortford to run at Castle Park, Ian Foy (38:59) was at Ferry Meadows, and we can but wonder if Richard Taylor (33:30) took the ferry across the Mersey when he enjoyed a spin round the course at Birkenhead. 

And with that tune by Gerry & The Pacemakers set to be in your head for days to come, take the time to look at the results from our home course at Harrogate. Young whippersnapper Billy Fox (19:08) was the first Nidd to complete his three laps of the Stray, followed by Russell Geraghty (23:07), Phil Ventress (24:58), Iain Scott (26:59) and Sue Simpson (27:41). A big well done to Colleen Gruenwald (29:37), Debbie Dilasser (30:28), Tony LC (32:19), Lorna Eley (32:20) and everyone’s favourite Nidder, Janet Jarvis (38:30), for their parkrun performances also. I had planned to do Fulham Palace parkrun with my friend, but we got there to find it had been cancelled. Not wanting to be deterred, we had a run up from Putney to Hammersmith Bridge by the river, and rounded off things with a latte and a breakfast involving avocado and sourdough toast. Couldn’t be more SW15 if I tried. 

Of course, the main event this week has been Fountains Abbey parkrun, where what must be a near record number of Nidds took part in this speedy instalment of the road championship. Adam Kirk (17:25) wasn’t hanging about and was rewarded with third place for his efforts. He’s since commented on the inspirational sight of scores of runners in black and gold vests all along the course, so one has to wonder that, if he’d spent more running than he had enjoying the view, he’d have got second place but there we are. Fingers Harris (18:06) was running on all cylinders in a bid to keep Alex Patrickson (18:18), Andy Todd (18:23), Captain Dazzler (18:47) and Martin Lofthouse (18:57) behind him. Well done to Kevin Dalton (19:25), Sam Heathcoate (19:47) and Liam Escott (19:58) for bringing their runs in under 20 minutes. 

Nigel Scaife (20:29), Andy Iddon (21:22), Simon Cocker (21:24) and Jim Cook (21:34) were on fire (not literally, obvs.), while Babs (21:35) tamed some demons and got the PB of which we’ve long known her to be capable. Junior Sam Crebbin (21:36) showed his dad Nick (21:41) a thing or two, demonstrating that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with when he leads the Juniors into battle in June’s bed race. Just seconds behind them, Richard Evans (21:43) came tearing up the hill to the finish, with Jon Easton (21:44) and John Beaumont (21:57) and James ‘The Pram’ Braddon (21:58) tantalisingly close behind. 

Pushing hard for the PB

If you’re wondering who was the first Nidd Lady to cross the line, I can tell you that Captain Sarah (22:05) just held Fiona Deacon (22:08) at bay for the win. Jeremy Leggings (22:45) was next home, then it really was a case of girl power with excellent runs from Laura Francis (23:11), Junior Eleanor Easton (23:20) and Christine Holleran (23:50). James Coulthard (24:08) was next in, while Roger Duckworth (25:39) hunted down Ian Wighton (24:16), Rob Northfield (24:35), Alex Gudgeon (24:53) and Paul Manning (25:25).

And so it continues with Alex Leslie (25:42), Dianne Winnard (26:01), Fraser Dobinson (26:06), Emily Wighton (26:23), Guy Parker (26:27), and Katherine Dolman (26:53). We’ve not seen Kris Northfield (26:56) in the results for a while so it’s lovely to welcome him back, but it is equally as lovely to have results from parkrun faithfuls Debbie Gibson (26:58) and Moira McTague (27:00). I also can’t say anything but a heartfelt well done to Dave Seaman (27:15), Nadene Wilkinson (27:22), Helen Cook (27:34), junior Jess Beaumont (27:39), Philippa Wilkinson (27:40), Nick Smith (27:47), and Debbie Burrett (28:04).

A result from Rosemary Thompson (28:07) never fails to make my day, especially as she was joined by Bec Carman (28:31), Philippa Thompson (29:55), Suzanne Rhodes (30:28). Huge congratulations to Rachel Capstick (30:51) and Yvonne Skelton (31:23), and a pair of Mills: Karen (31:28) and Rachel (also 31:28).

Clearly having too much fun, if you ask me.

Graham Hyde (32:57), Michelle Smith (33:15), Jill Hornsby (34:54), Martin Weeks (35:30), Michelle Dinsdale (36:02), Mike Kaye (38:46), juniors Amelia Dalton (41:45) and Lily Scaife (42:03), and Chris Rogers (51:52) conclude the longest parkrun roll call in living memory. A very well done to you all. 


If the sun would lose its light / And we lived an endless night / And there was nothing left that you could feel / That’s how it would be / What my life would seem to me / If I didn’t have your love to make it real: samfugill@gmail.com.

Parkrun and other results

As we’ve got some 200 odd members (and I use odd in both senses of the word), it’s impossible to dredge through all parkrun results individually and look for you. If you aren’t appearing in the results, but would like to be included, then here is what you need to do:

  1. Sign into your parkrun account: https://www.parkrun.com/signin/. Your username is your barcode number. 
  2. Click on groups and from there, search for Nidd Valley Road Runners, and add it as your club. 

This way, when I search for Nidd Valley results, I’ll get your time and will be able to include you in the write up. For any other races you do, just send me your result to samfugill@gmail.com and I’ll ensure you’re in. 

Booking Now Open

Sarah Chalmers has had the right good idea of letting you know the entry links for up and coming championship races, and I thought I’d borrow the idea for the weekly update (that’s borrow in the sense of the popular phrase ‘that b*stard has borrowed my thunder’).  So, without further ado. 

Firstly, don’t forget that the Evening League is fast approaching and we need as many Nidds as we can to turn up and get points. Entry is here: https://racebest.com/races/2zeut. As Nidds are hosting the first race on the 17 May and therefore you’ll likely be marshaling, you’re eligible for a £3 discount subsidised by our lovely treasurer Sylvia. Just use the code NVRR22 when you check out (as a heads up, there’ll be a recce run for our race on 5 May 2022, led by race director Mike Deacon and chief marshal Babs. Save that date!). 

For the fell championships, The Cake Race on 30 Apr 2022 (https://tinyurl.com/nr9kepxk) is pre-entry only, and Jack Bloor on 10 May 2022 (https://tinyurl.com/5dakjk7n) is EOTD.

For the road championships, the Fountains 10k is on 15 May 2022 and you’re encouraged to enter in advance (https://tinyurl.com/2p82vc5w). 


Talking of spending money, if you haven’t renewed your membership and still want to run with us, then get yourself online and relieve yourself of £35. I mean, you were born to run in black and gold: https://tinyurl.com/4dakbjvp

Ukraine Fundraiser: 30 Apr 2022

This is now definitely going ahead. We’ve got a fundraising quiz at the Hockey Club in the evening, with pie and peas, to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee for a Ukraine. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Brain of a Britain finalist or if you’re as daft as a brush, it’d be great to have you along and I’m sure we’ll have a laugh. 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.

Word to the Wise

This week’s wise words come from none other than His Lordship himself, with a warning about running in this warmer weather. 

“It’s nice out, but don’t keep it out or you’ll be arrested…” 

I couldn’t agree more. And on that note, have a lovely week. 

Sam x

Posted in General News, Uncategorized.