Weekly Update: Stevenage, Saddleworth & The Stray

(TLDR. For those short of time…. On Tuesday we’re running Crimple Valley, on Thursday we’ve got a recce of our Evening League route, and you’ve got the weekend off from racing. There’s also important stuff about the Evening League, up and coming races, a committee meeting, and some wise words …).


Hi folks.


Scandal has struck here at Nidd Valley House. You might have thought that debauched behaviour was solely for parliamentarians, but to think that a committee member is now under investigation for looking at pornography on their mobile phone during a committee meeting is desperately concerning. Apparently, they wanted to look at pictures of running shoes, but I frankly find that hard to believe. We’ll be sure to have a mass debate (say it out loud… oh, never mind) and an independent inquiry to make sure we take the issues in hand and tackle them head on (okay, I’m sorry). Okay, okay, it’s probably best that we move swiftly on to the week ahead.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, let’s enjoy a bit of Crimple Valley. It’s lovely down there, you know. Be at the club and good to run at 7pm, and we’ll head over the Stray, through the cut and through the Saints. Cut through Hookstone Woods, and follow the path past the hospice and over the railway bridge. Run down the hill past the end of Fulwith Mill Land before going cross country onto Leeds Road. If you want to push it, you can head over to Pannal or to Church Lane, or you can turn back along Leeds Road and thread your way back to the club. It’s up to you. As ever, feel free to shorten, lengthen, or adapt. All we ask is that you don’t leave anyone behind.


Also on Tuesday, Jane is doing a gentle run-walk session as she returns from injury. If you too are injured or just fancy something less strenuous, then get yourself down to Conyngham Hall for 7pm. She’ll be going about three or four miles, and keeping the pace between 10 and 12 minute miles (with some walking thrown in there, too). All welcome. Any questions, badger Jane and not me: janee_evans@icloud.com


On Thursday, we’re doing our first recce of the Evening League route. By now, you’ll have seen the marshal plan that Babs has sent out via email, so this is a great opportunity to come and get to know the course and check out your spot. Babs will be leading a full recce from the Hockey Club at 7pm, and Mike D will be leading a walk of the off-road section from Bilton Lane Crossing, also at 7pm. As per usual arrangements, we’ll convene in the bar afterwards to talk about the good old days and how things just ain’t what they used to be.


There isn’t anything in the club championships this weekend so why not get yourself out and do a parkrun or put a shout out over email or Facebook and get out for a run with some other Nidders? Alternatively, the lawn needs mowing and that car isn’t going to wash itself.



It’s a bit of a fell running fest this week, and we start with The Three Peaks Fell Race. Hot weather made the going tougher than the competitors had maybe hoped for, but it makes the results from the Nidders even more impressive. Fingers Harris (4:10.42) might be disappointed to not bring it under the four hour target in the race billed as a Marathon with Mountains, but you really can’t argue with a result like that. Also a huge congratulations to Martin Lofthouse (4:18.06), who was just ten minutes ahead of the lesser-spotted Luke Wakelin (4:28.35). Commiserations to Nigel Scaife, who didn’t make the cut off point before Ingleborough and was withdrawn. When you’re running that distance and in those conditions, there are so many unknowns and you can’t predict how it will go, so we’re just as proud of you Nige and know you’ll be back to give it another shot next time.


I was gutted to miss The Cake Race due to an injury, but you can’t win them all (actually, there has never been any remote chance that I’d win a fell race but you know what I mean). Still, eight intrepid Nidds headed  out to tackle ten miles over the moors near Saddleworth, including a bit which is a right old bind where they run you down some steps under a reservoir dam, just to run you back up the other side. Brutal. Anyway, full and hearty congratulations to Simon Cocker (1:31.50) who just managed to beat Kev Dalton (1:31.55) for the full points. It’s nice to see that Kev has found his muddy feet and that the incident at Ilkley a few years ago didn’t put him off for good. Nick Crebbin (1:36.13) put in an outstanding performance, shortly followed by Nidd Valley’s very own bromance: Phil Ventress (1:34.56) and Brian Hainsworth (1:40.35). Jim Cook (1:43.20) and Chris Morris (1:51.17) were the next to hit the finish line and to their platefuls of cake, while Dave Seaman beat two rivals and took the prize for MV75. It’s always nice to have something new in the trophy cabinet at NVH. Sarah Chalmers (2:18.41) was flying the flag for the ladies and again took the full 50 points in the championship counter. Well done to you all.

Cake Race. Done.


There has been quite a lot going on with parkrun, so we best make a quick start and we do so with Mr (29.22) and Mrs (41.39) Robinson, who were running at Hamsterley Forest while their lad Alex (18.27) was running at Loch Leven when – quite frankly – he should have been hungover in a stranger’s bed with only hazy memories of the night before like all self-respecting students but there we are. Young people these days.


I’ve never heard of Ancholme Valley, but it clearly has enough going on to tempt John (28.46) and Susie Mallett (28.51) to give it half an hour of their time. Kev Nicholas (21.36) ran at Torvean (wherever that is), Michelle Smith (33.44) ran at Conyngham Hall, and Adam Kirk (18.39) was at Temple Newsam. Karen Mills (26.45) and Ian Foy (37.23) ran at York, Loz Hawksworth (25.47) and Hannah Percy (32.16) ran at Whinlatter Forest and, as we have come to expect, Alan Ward (27.17) ran at Workington. Sam Heathcoate (19.48) was in Stevenage (not something you want to say too often, if you can at all help it), where he snaffled an impressive fifth place overall.


Andy Todd (18.50) led the Nidds home at Fountains Abbey, while James ‘Pram Man’ Braddon (21.01) showed that lugging two small human beings round the course is no impediment to a good time. Andrew Iddon (22.45), Emma David (24.37) and Babs (24.38) were the next three to cross the line, with proceedings concluded by our very own famous five: Ewa Scott (26.07), Ellie Deacon (28.22), Fiona Deacon (28.23), Graham Hyde (32.31) and Michelle Dinsdale (36.37).


As ever, we finish on the Stray where you won’t be in the least bit surprised to read that Matt Wilkinson (19.25) was the first Nidder to get his barcode scanned. Matt Rickard (20.43) did very well considering his birthday party the night before, with Jon Easton (21.10), Jeremy Leggings (23.12) and Laura Francis (23.22) never too far behind. Sarah Staiano (23.23) soon appeared at the line where it was also an absolute pleasure – and when isn’t it, I hear you cry – to catch up with Ian Wighton (24.08), Rob Northfield (24.21) and Diane Winnard (24.57). The next Nidds home were none other than Alex Leslie (25.30), Iain Scott (25.50), Rachel Mills (26.04), Kris Northfield (26.54) and Chandra Shekar (27.08). After that, we enjoyed cracking results from Emily Wighton (27.10), Yvonne Skleton (28.34), and Tony LC (30.47).


Now, I know we shouldn’t mock the afflicted but Philippa Wilkinson (30.49) runs parkrun so infrequently that she went and threw her own personal barcode in the bucket as well as her finishers barcode. It’s a wonder she gets through the day sometimes. Anyway, I’ve got your barcode, Plips. See me after class. Back in the world of the functioning adults, we can celebrate the results of Kirsty O’Donnell (30.53), Debbie Dilasser (32.10), Janet Jarvis (37.14) and Jeff Walker (37.15). The final big shout out goes to Rebecca Ventress (49.39) who was out with the superheroes from the 5k Your Way Group. Well done to you all.


If you want a lover / I’ll do anything you ask me to / And if you want another kind of love / I’ll wear a mask for you: samfugill@gmail.com


Ukraine Fundraiser Quiz

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the quiz last night. We had a full house, with Nidds and non-Nidds alike (we even had a Harrogate Harrier! Yep, now that is inclusive!), with beers and pies a plenty, and raised a whopping £596 for the Disaster Emergency Committee for Ukraine. When it’s easy to feel powerless in the face of such violence and misery, it was really good to come together and do something positive and proactive. A little bit of googling shows me that £50 will feed a refugee family for a month, and it’s good to know that twelve Ukrainian families won’t go hungry because of your generosity (I also read that £600 can easily get you an AK47 on the dark web, but there we go). It felt really good to be part of the club. Thanks to everyone who came, donated prizes, bought tickets, and especially to Jeff for beavering away in the kitchen and to Wetherhead’s Butchers in Pateley for the pies.


Evening League

Look, I’ve got captains Sarah and Dazzler giving me brain damage over this. If you haven’t entered the league, then you need to get yourself in on the action, if only to get them off my back. Every finisher gets some points for the club, so it really is a team effort in a way that so many other races aren’t. They’re friendly, they’re fun (most of the time), and there’s a massive bun fight afterwards. What isn’t to love? Entry is here: https://racebest.com/races/2zeut. Don’t forget to apply the discount code NVRR22 when you enter to get the £3 discount as thanks for marshalling our race in May.


Booking Now Open

For the fell championships, Jack Bloor is on 10 May 2022 (https://tinyurl.com/5dakjk7n) and 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)


Committee Meeting 

Something on your chest? Something playing on your mind? Something you need to say? Well, why not let us know and we will discuss it over a brew and biscuits when the committee next meets on 11 May 2022. Philippa is the person you need to let know and, the last time I checked, she could be found here: pwilkinson79@hotmail.com


Word to the Wise

This week, Martin Lofthouse makes his second appearance of the season for wise words. After the Three Peaks Fell Race on Saturday, he shared his disappointment with me over a pint.


“Nige got pulled off after Whernside. I just got an orange…”


Life just isn’t fair is it?


So with that, from his Lordship and everyone else here at Nidd Valley House, have a great week.


Sam x


Posted in General News.