(TLDR. For those short of time…. we’ve got a club run round Bilton Lane on Tuesday night, and Skipton Evening League on Thursday night. There’s a summer solstice run at sparrows fart on Tuesday morning, and Staveley Stampede is the next championship race on Sunday. Read on for news about other up and coming races and events, the Guy Fawkes 10, some superstar awards, and some wise words)
Good afternoon, and welcome to this performance by the Nidd Valley Philharmonic Orchestra. As the coughing dies down in the auditorium, sheet music is opened and the musicians tune up, it’s time to get ready for the thrilling first movement: the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Before we get to the club runs, on Tuesday Jeremy Leggings is organising a summer solstice run. If you too would like to run 11k and hug some trees when all decent folk are in their beds and all indecent folk are in other people’s beds, then Jeremy is your man. You’ll need to be up at sparrows fart in readiness for the off from Ripley Carpark at 4.15am. Yes, I know. 4.15am. It’s a bit off road but road shoes will be fine, and our Jez will make sure no one is left behind.
You’ll doubtlessly be pleased to hear that the club run on Tuesday will be at the usual more social time of 7pm. Captain Dazzler has asked that we meet at the Hockey Club and have a run out onto Kingsley Road and onto Bogs Lane. He’ll then be organising a 5k time trial from Bogs Lane Bridge for those of you that want to push yourself (that bit of the run takes you down the remainder of Bogs Lane, up to Bilton Lane, past the Gardners Arms and back down the cycle track). Obviously, if you want to do something further or different, or take things a bit slower, there’ll be plenty of options to do whatever makes you happy. Dazzler will meet you at the club on Tuesday and will make sure there is something for everyone.
We’re back at it on Thursday with the next counter in the Evening League. This week, we are heading to Skipton. This course is a mixture of parkland and roads, so you’ll be fine in road shoes. You need to be good to go for 7.45pm, but obviously get there earlier in time to get parked up, get your photo taken, and hang around awkwardly making conversation to your team mates. Please car share if you can, what with the price of petrol and all. More details here: http://www.harrogate-league.org.uk/wp/.
Obviously, if racing isn’t your bag, feel free to rock up at the Hockey Club at 7pm on Thursday and see if anyone else is around for a run, or perhaps arrange something with some others. It’ll most likely be low key as most of us will be over in Skipton.
On Sunday, we have the next race in the road championships. We’re off to Stavely to take part in the 10k there. This is a sharp and fast course, so PBs are certainly in the offing in addition to the championship points. £16 is the cost for this cracker of a race, and all the useful info is here: https://tinyurl.com/337mwz25. You won’t want to miss it. Please consider getting there in good time to cheer on the Nidd Valley Juniors who are running the Staveley 2k in their very own championship.
Let’s kick things off at Ilkley, where that cheeky little monkey Fingers Harris (31.52) was the first Nidd across the line in the third instalment of the Evening League, denying Andy Todd (32.26) and Captain Dazzler (32.50) the top spot. Kev Dalton (33.34) was never too far behind, but had enough on his hands (or should that be feet?) with Martin Lofthouse (34.03), Steve Newbould (34.46) Loz Hawksworth (34.37) and Kev Clark (34.50) snapping at his heels. Marcus Shaw (36.38), Steve Turner (37.30), Bwian Hainsworth (37.44), Simon Cocker (37.46) all hit the line in quick succession, and still didn’t have to wait long for Andy Iddon (37.48) and Alex Crowton (37.54) to join them.
Captain Sarah (38.25) was first home for the ladies, just pipping Babs (38.37) to the line. Anyone else know what it means to pip someone? No, me neither. Anyway, Luke Scorer (38.41) checked in an exact minute ahead of Jon Easton (39.41), before Jose Jiminz (40.21), Laura Francis (40.25), Mr Leggings (40.59) and yours truly (41.06) appeared. Helen Gregory (41.29) continued her streak of really speedy runs, and we’ve no end of applause for Katharine Morton (41.52), Chris Morris (42.10), Christine Holleran (42.17), Jess Harby (42.33), Rachel Mills (42.54), and Jane Evans (43.01). Rob Northfield (43.06) kept the good times rolling for the team, with Karen Mills (43.09), Martin Luxton (43.28), Katherine Dolman (44.13) and Paul Manning (44.38) all joining in the party. Fell Running Phil (44.58) clearly appreciated the hills, but did moan on something chronic about the tarmac, so it was a refreshing change not to have any complaints from Katie Coppack (45.08), Ewa ‘Mrs Sprint Finish’ Scott (45.17), Hannah Percy (45.59), Kris Northfield (46.09) and Alex Gudgeon (46.17). The roll call continues, and it’s a pleasure to say hello to Chris Nelson (46.21), Guy Parker (47.46), Moira McTague (47.58) and Emily Wighton (48.41).
Ear defenders on, everyone, as here comes Chatty McChatface (48.45), mercifully joined the by serene quartet that is Rachael Prince (49.00), Debbie Burret (50.03), Alister King (50.45) and Jemma Escreet (51.07). Ursula Holmes (51.12), Nick Smith (52.10), Michelle Smith (53.34), Graham Hyde (54.36) all looked on top form as they came to the finish. The roar of the Nidds cheering their own home got louder and louder, and the noise was near deafening as Liz Ahmed (54.58) did her lap of the rugby field and as Jill Hornsby (55.38) put on a sprint finish that took her competitors by surprise. Sylvia Morton (59.16), Mike Kaye (1:00.16) and Fiona Robinson (1:06.15) rounded off the show, so it’s a huge well done to them.
Now here is a piece of salutary advice for you. If you ever decide to do a fell race – and really, I think you should – it’s the village at the start and not the mountain that you need to worry about. A handful of Nidds tackled the Beamsley Beacon Fell Race on Thursday, and having listened attentively and inwardly digested the safety briefing about the revised route and a particularly precarious racing line, set off through Addingham Village. Distracted by something or other, I glanced to my left, and inadvertently ran at full speed into a rubbish bin that was cemented in the pavement. Well, I hit it with such a thud that runners stopped to see what the noise was, birds flew startled from the trees in frenzied flight, and the otherwise quiet and reserved villagers came to their windows.
Dignity as damaged as my right thigh, I carried onto the bridge and towards the hill. Ahead of me, Billy Fox (41.48) made easy work of the challenging climb, while Martin Lofthouse (43.02), Nigel Scaife (46.11), and Bwian Hainsworth (48.16) all enjoyed their run out on the hills. Andy Iddon (49.26) and yours truly (56.34) took the shorter racing line down through nettle alley, whereas Russel Geraghty (57.19) opted for the out and back route, and was dangerously close by the time we got to the line. Jane Evans (1:06.06) was the first Niddette back to the village, and managed to avoid all the street furniture, as did Sarah Chalmers (1:14.10) as she brought the curtain down on the evening’s running. Commiserations to Fingers Harris who pulled up near the start due to hamstring pain – get well soon!
Staying in the hills, the fell running brethren headed to race Buckden Pike yesterday. Not only a counter in our very own fell championships, but this race was a counter in the English Fell Running Championships, and so the competition was even more fierce than usual as the great and the good and the muddy descended to Wharfedale. Now before you accuse me of sexism and bigotry, I’m presenting the men’s and women’s results separately as they were run as two separate races. Please don’t shout at me. Babs (52.57) was the first home for the ladies, with Emma Kicks (1:00.52), birthday girl Jane Evans (1:06.51), Chatty McChatface (1:15.39), and Sarah Chalmers (1:24.37) all giving their all in the face of immense competition. For the chaps, Martin Lofthouse (45.35) continued his run of, well, strong runs, with Nigel Scaife (49.44) not too far behind. Dave Prince (1:11.41) is definitely a lesser-spotted Prince but it is lovely when we do see him. Roger Duckworth (1:15.23) finished things off for us and, if I might say so, did so in spectacular form.
I had to resort to google maps when I read that the Robinsons had been in Vogrie for their parkrun fix, where Phil (26.56) and Fiona (41.13) made fast work of the Midlothian course. As you’d expect, Alan Ward (27.30) completed his parkrun ablutions in Workington, whereas John (27.53) and Susie (32.32) had a spin round Wetherby, and Yvonne Skelton (31.55) had a trip down to Evesham. Yours truly (27.07) ran at Potternewton Park, and had possibly the worst day of my entire life on the hilliest parkrun course in the universe. It’s a wonder they didn’t do a frigging kit check, I’ve done fell runs with less ascent.
Loz Hawksworth (20.18), Knapsack (21.28) and Ewa Scott (28.50) did their parkrunning down at Conyngham Hall, where Hannah Percy (30.30), Nick Smith (30.34), Michelle Smith (32.39) and Graham Hyde (35.19) all upped the Nidd presence. We’ve got a few less than usual at Fountains Abbey, but the usual suspects were still out in force: Andy Todd (18.41), Pram Man (20.19), Andy Iddon (21.59) and Iain Scott (25.16).
As you’d expect, the main sortie from the First Battalion of the Nidd Valley Parkrun Brigade was on the Stray where the top three finishers were Matt Wilkinson (18.47), Captain Dazzler (19:00) and Kev Dalton (19.21). James Shaw (20.45) and Marcus Shaw (20.46) – no, I don’t know if they’re related – had Josh Bryer (20.51) and Jon Easton (21.11) giving them chase round the Harrogate course, while James Coulthard (21.29), Martin Lofthouse (21.42), John Beaumont (22.29), Nick Crebbin (23.15), and Lloyd Brown (23.41) all made another deposit in the Bank of Parkrun. Rob (24.31) and Kris (24.55) Northfield led the way for Rachel Mills (25.15), Guy Parker (25.33), Helen Cook (25.39) and Sophia Khan (25.43). Mr Leggings (26.33), Karen Mills (27.37), Emily Wighton (28.08), Ursula Holmes (29.02) and Jamie Dilasser were the next to get their barcodes scanned. Chandra Shekar (30.24) can’t stay away from the Stray for long – he loves parkrun, he really does – much like Fingers Harris (31.48), Kirsty O’Donnell (33.16), and Lynsey Barraclough (33.38). Let’s have a whoop whoop for our final three finishers: Janet Jarvis (36.14), Jeff Walker (40.17) and Susan Rogers (44.37).
You got me singing / Even tho’ the news is bad / You got me singing / The only song I ever had: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Further Ahead & Booking Now Open
On 28 June 2022, we’ll be having our annual class photograph on top of Almscliffe Crag (teachers’ pets at the front, lanky ones at the back, uglier ones behind them, that kind of thing). For the uninitiated,we get the train to Weeton, run up the crag, and then run back to Harrogate, with people utilising the delights of Northern Rail to run as much or as little as they like. We normally do this as close to the summer solstice as we can, but the rail strike means having a go go is a no no this week, so please forgive us for the delay. More details, in the absence of industrial action, to follow next week.
On 09 Jul 2022, we’ve got our parkrun takeover to focus our minds. Jeff Walker is co-ordinating things for the club, so if you can be on the Stray to lend a hand, then he would very much like to hear from you: email@example.com.
On 10 Jul 2022, we’ve got the Ilkley Half Marathon. If the evening league didn’t put you off Ilkley, then you need to start your training and get yourselves entered. I’m not sure what your training regime is like, but I do know how you need to pay and that is by clicking just here: https://tinyurl.com/2am9tsr4.
Away from Club Runs
In addition to the Almscliffe Crag Run, every summer we try and do some runs away from the club to make the most of the fantastic scenery and landscape on our doorstep. Committee members have all volunteered to organise some routes, and here is the heads up of where we will be and in whose navigational hands you will be placing your lives (for some, the memory of Dave Seaman’s run in Spofforth is still too raw).
- 30 Jun 2022: Pateley Bridge (Sarah C)
- 21 Jul 2022: Bishop Thornton (Sam F)
- 4 Aug 2022: TBC (Emma D)
- 25 Aug 2022: Hartwith (Mike & Fiona D)
- 08 Sep 2022: Knaresborough Fish and Chip Run (Sarah S, Sarah C, & Sylvia M).
Most of the runs will start from a pub car park as in previous years we have had sufficiently small numbers to book space in the pub for food afterwards. With our numbers as they are now, it’s a logistical nightmare for the committee to coordinate pre-orders for the whole club, but please do support local business by staying for a pint or two and grabbing a bite to eat afterwards. The exception to this will be fish and chip run, where we will organise pre-order for Drakes in Knaresborough.
Guy Fawkes 10
This is Team Nidd’s flagship race (actually, it’s our only race but let’s not get too wound about that). Specifically, it deposits a few grand in the club coffers and keeps the club running and that can only be a good thing. Entries are open and are selling well. If you can share the entry link among your friends, we’d be grateful: https://bookitzone.com/matthew_rickard_1/QpjFFX.
Please, please, please do not enter the race yourselves. We need as many black and gold hands on deck as possible to help us put on what is – in our humble opinion – the best race in the region. Debbie D is working on the marshal plan and will almost have your name in a box on her excel spreadsheet. So please keep 06 Nov 2022 free. You’ll be busy ;-)!
The committee had a couple of superstar nominations to discuss when we met last week, and the tense wait for the results is now over. So, reaching for the sealed glittery envelope, let’s have a look at the lucky winners.
The first winners are Bec and Phil Carman, who have patiently stored the bed race beds in their garage for the past couple of months, and kept the bed race teams supplied with tea without batting an eyelid when strangers turn up and start rummaging in their garage. There are two Up & Running vouchers coming your way.
The second winner is Graham Hyde, who was nominated for encouraging some others to get into fell running. Now, to be honest, everyone in Nidd encourages each other to get involved and to try new things and to push themselves (I’m convinced that most marathon runners only do the damn things because of peer pressure). That’s kind of what being in a club is all about, right? But the committee also wanted to recognise the regular Sunday runs that Graham has organised for the club, and so he’s the third recipient of an Up & Running voucher.
Well done, and thank you, to the three of you.
Word to the Wise
This week’s wise words come from our regular contributor, Martin Lofthouse. Today, Martin shares his thoughts about the course of the Ilkley Evening League.
“You’ll want to punch yourself in the testicles rather than do this run”
By the top of that wretched hill, I’d have been inclined to agree with him. Have a great week.