Weekly Update: Nidd Valley Wizards

(TLDR. For those short of time…. we’ve got the Almscliffe Crag run on Tuesday, a club run down the Gorge on Thursday, and Skiddaw Fell Race on Sunday for those chasing championship points. Other news about away from club runs, a sports day, first aid, a man with a handbag all follow. Read up.).




Well, Harrogate parkrun was a bit different this week wasn’t it? Not only did we have to do some diversion around the Harrogate Food Festival on the Stray, but we were greeted at corner three by Martin Weeks banging out some tunes from a stereo mounted on his push bike. Yes, indeed, DJ Weeks is da house and ready to smash out some banging tunes. So while he takes some mind altering substances and gets behind his scratch decks, let’s see what the week ahead has in store for us.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we have our annual club run up the Almscliffe Crag. It’s all a bit complicated, so pay attention at the back of the class. You need to be at Weeton Station, and we’ll be running just after 6.30pm. The train that will get you there on time leaves from the following stations: Knaresborough (18:09), Starbeck (18:13), Harrogate (18:19), Hornbeam Park (18:21), and Pannal (18:27). We’ll then have a steady run together up from the village to the Crag, mill about for a bit and take a few photos. From there, we head back to Harrogate, through North Rigton, Pannal, and back towards town via Hornbeam Park. You simply peel back off wherever you want or wherever you have left the car. Daz and Martin will lead a speedy-ish group, Dave will take a moderately-paced group, Sarah and Jane will take a steady group. For those not wanting to run far, Sylvia will be leading a group back from the Crag into Weeton, so just drive there for 6.30pm if you only want to do a few steady miles.


There will be no run from the club on Tuesday.


On Thursday, we’re back at the Hockey Club as per usual arrangements. Be there and good to run for 7pm, where we will be taking a trip down the Gorge. You know the route by now: over the iron bridge, up the cycle track, down into the Gorge, and running as near or far as you like, before coming back up and running back along the Beryl Burton cycle track to the iron bridge. Pints and natter in the bar afterwards.


On Sunday, there is the next in the fell championship races, and this time Nidds will be flogging themselves up the sixth highest peak in England (the fourth highest if you agree with Wainwright, but that’s a subject to bore other fell runners with) in the Skiddaw Fell Race in the Lake District. Entries are full, so there’s no further details from me other than to wish the very best of luck to the intrepid/daft Nidds taking part.



What is it with this club and all things druid? If it’s not Jezza’s 4.30am solstice sunrise run, there’s another group of you heading off to do an evening solstice run at Bolton Abbey in the evening. They should rename us Nidd Valley Wizards or something. Anyway, to Bolton Abbey and the results from the Solstice Saunter. The first dog out of the traps was James Forster (44.41), closely followed by Sarah Barker (47.14). Loz Hawksworth (47.35) was out having a run around with his missus Hannah Percy (47.34), with them closely followed by Karen Mills (48.21), Chris Nelson (50.32) and Chatty McChatface (51.00).  Victoria Thomas (52.48), Nick Smith (58.11), Rachel Capstick (59.21) and Plippy Wilks (1:01.07) were the final act in a cracking show of druid-based athletics.


They say a change is as good as a rest (well that’s a load of baloney, as I love a nice sit down me) so let’s have the result from the Thursday’s Evening League in Skipton in reverse. It’s nice to put some other names in lights, don’t you think? And so we start off with Fiona Robinson (1:05.04), Sylvia Morten (58.34) and Jill Hornsby (56.34), who were our three strong finishers out on the course. Jane Wilkisnon (56.20) doesn’t seem to race much, so it was lovely to see her out and giving chase to Graham Hyde (55.52), Liz Ahmed (54.44) and Marcos Montana (53.59). Susy Rhodes (52:51) was chasing Ursula Holmes (52.06), Dave Seaman (51.19) had Debbie Burret (49.14) in his sights, and Jemma Escreet (49.03) was just held in a nail biting finish to the line by Emily Wighton (49.00). Sue Ball (48.46) was just ahead of them, but could not quite catch Moira McTague (48.33), who was chasing her husband Guy (48.16) down the lane. The old romantic.


Rachael Prince (47.43) took one for the team and had a good old chinwag with Chatty McChatface (47.00), while Alister King (46.37) had a sprint on to give chase to Roger Duckworth (45.54), Katie Coppack (45.46), Ewa Scott (45.30), and the father and son Northfield team: Rob (45.01) and Kris (45.00). Fell Running Phil (44.44) was probably chuntering on about tarmac again – I don’t know why he bothers, sometimes, I really don’t – while Karen Mills (44.10) raced on ahead with Helen Cook (43.33) and John Mallet (42.55). 


I wonder if Rachel Mills (42.41) had turned her frown upside down after Ilkley and decided to give us a smile. If anyone saw her, please do let me know. Katherine Morton ( 41.43) was working hard to try and catch Chris Morris (41.42), Jeremy Leggings (41.30) and – back from her tour of central Europe – Fiona Deacon (41.17). I’d like to believe she arranged her flights to be back in time for the race. That’s proper commitment is that. Jose Jimenez (40.49) was just behind Captain Sarah (39.39), as Laura Francis (39.18) outsprinted her to claim first Nidd lady.


In the oppressive heat, the ever lovely Nick Crebbin (38.54) put down a smashing time, as did Alex Crowton (38.24), Brian Hainsworth (38.24) and Luke Scorer (38.15). Andrew Iddon (37.58) continued his streak of impressive runs, keeping Jon Easton (37.41), Kev Nicholas (37.16) and Marcus Shaw (36.47) firmly in his sights. Steve Turner (36.40), Kev Clark (36.05), Nigel Scaife (35.59) and Sam Heathcoate (35.30) weren’t mucking about, whereas our first to finish – but last to have their praises sung – were the ever-speedy Martin Lofthouse (34.07), Steve Newbould (33.34) and Captain Dazzler (31.34).


Oh, now look at this. This is very interesting indeed. Alex Gudgeon was down in South Yorkshire – yes, I know, it’s a cross we all have to bear at some point in our lives – where he took part in the Round Sheffield Half Marathon. He (2:29.06) clocked a marvellous time, although I can’t tell you who the other chap in the photo is. They do both look awfully pleased with themselves, though.

Sheffield. Done.


And so to the Staveley Stampede, where we had the Nidd Valley Juniors – or Niddlings, as I prefer to call them – competing in the 2k stampede. And stampede they did, with Amelia Dalton (11.33) leading the juniors home, with just the best results from Lilly Scaire (12.32), Jessica Webster (13.03), Fraser Dobinson (14.39) and Chloe Beaumont (14.43). His Lordship could not be more proud of you all, so huge congratulations to you.


The seniors ran the full 10k and there were more than enough participants to give us yet another excruciatingly long results write up. So lets not mess about and waste any more time, and let’s give due kudos to Captain Dazzler (37.13), as he claimed fourth place overall before he was joined by Matt Wilkinson (38.00),  Fingers Harris (39.49), Tinky Winky (40.12), Martin Lofthouse (40.40) and the imaginatively named Boz Hawksworth (41.10). We can assume that was a spelling error rather than a name change, Loz. Next up, we have some great results from Kevin Nicholas (44.12), Nigel Scaife (44.28), John Beaumont (45.31), and Nick Crebbin (45.45).

Spot the difference.


Captain Sarah (46.32) exacted a chilling revenge on Laura Francis (48.15) for denying her first place on Thursday night (bagging herself a bottle of fizz in the process), while Fiona Deacon (48.23), Chris Morris (49.02), Helen Gregory (49.29), Kate Morton (49.38) and Alex Leslie (51.05) all joined in and contributed to the run of fantastic results. As ever, it was a total delight to see Christine Holleran (51.13) and equally delightful to welcome Rachel Mills (51.17), Christina Taylor (51.23), Helen Cook (51.54), Jamie Dilasser (52.00) and Karen Mills (53.26) across the line.


Hannah Percy (53.35) clocked an impressive time, as did Guy Parker (56.19), Moira McTague (58.27), Dave Seaman (58.42), Yvonne Skelton (58.20). Emily Wighton (59.36) was the next to finish, and led in our final flurry of finishers who were no other than the spectacular Debbie Dilasser (1:00.07), Sarah Chalmers (1:03.07),  Michelle Smith (1:04.01), Liz Ahmed (1:05.58), Graham Hyde (1:06.00) and Fiona Robinson (1:25.35). Congratulations to you all.


Before we come to the inevitable tedium that is the parkrun results for the adults, I’ve just got to give a quick shout out to Sam Crebbin – you know the one, yeah the speedy one who led the juniors to the fastest time ever recorded in bed race, yeah, him – who HAS ONLY GONE AND BROKEN THE HARROGATE JUNIOR PARKRUN RECORD IN AN INCREDIBLE 6.52. Well done, Sam. That’s a great accomplishment, and please do let us know when you’ve negotiated the hormonal obstacles of puberty and are ready to join us in the senior club.


Right, are you sitting comfortably? Here come the senior parkrun results. Alan Ward (28.05) was sticking to his traditions and ran at Workington, while Mrs and Mrs Robinson ran at Wetherby. Phil clocked 26.19 and Fiona checked in at 41.54, should you be taking notes. Knapsack (21.13) was first Nidd in at Conyngham Hall, joined shortly afterwards by Michelle Smith (33.00) and John Mallett (33.36). We had a few more in at Fountains, as they were led home by Pram Man (20.51) on his 250th parkrun. Roger Duckworth (25.19), Marcos Montana (28.36), Liz Ahmed (30.55) and Michelle Dinsdale (35.22) complete the monastic round up for us.


Matt Wilkinson (19.38) kickstarts things for us stray-side, and was joined at Harrogate by Marcus Shaw (21.14), James Coulthard (21.47), Jeremy Leggings (23.27), Richard Evans (23.29), and Laura Francis (23.38). Junior Josh Bryer (23.46) was a minute clear of Yours Truly (24.01), before the next junior Sophia Khan (26.41) clocked in with seniors Ewa Scott (27.47), Nick Crebbin (28.49), Darren Townend (29.03), Steve Newbould (29.03), Chandra Shekar (30.22) and Tony LC (32.18). Lynsey Barraclough (32.42) was the next to hit the finishing funnel – not literally, you understand. She negotiated her way between the tapes beautifully… – before Amelia Dalton (32.46) and her dad Tinky Winky (32.47) appeared. Graham Hyde (32.52), Debbie Dilasser (33.23), Jame Dilasser (33.24), Emily Wighton (34.26), Lorna Eley (34.52), Janet Jarvis (38.15) and Debbie Handslip (46.10) bring the curtain down on the parkrun times and, mercifully, on the write up. Well done.


Seen a shooting star tonight / And I thought of you / You’re tryin’ to break into another world / A world I never knew: samfugill@gmail.com


Further Ahead & Booking Now Open

On 05 Jun 2022, there is the Danefield Relays on the Otley Chevin. It’s for teams of three, and each member takes a turn at an off-road 5k course through the woods. The atmosphere is always really positive, so it would be great if you’d think about putting a team together. No fell-running experience required. It’ll cost you £9 per team and it is EOTD. More details here: https://tinyurl.com/2pfkdhzf


Don’t forget that on 09 Jul 2022, Jeff will be coordinating the Team Nidd Great Parkrun Takeover (I say that because everything today has to be ‘great’. You know, the Great British Bake Off, the Great British Sewing Bee, the Great British Pottery Throwdown, the Great British Sock Sorting, the Great British Toilet Stop, the Great British Frenchman of the Year Awards, whatever…). He seems to have all the Nidd Valley ducks in a row, and you can get further info via our Facebook group. If you do want to be involved and have not yet let him know, then you can find him just here: bigjeff1963@icloud.com.


On 10 Jul 2022, we’ve got the Ilkley Half Marathon. I’m running out of things to say about it, other than to say it’s in Ilkley and will be 21km long. Register, pay, and be informed all in the one place: https://tinyurl.com/2am9tsr4.


The more astute among you will have noticed that Fell Running Phil has given advance notice of the British Fell Relays, where we go and get humiliated by proper fell runners in a national contest. Anyway, this year, our hosts will be Carnethy Runners and we’ll be testing our mettle in the hills on the Scottish Borders south of Edinburgh on 15 Oct 2022. I feel duty bound to let you know that Fell Running Phil will now be prowling on the outskirts of our group like a predatory big cat in a David Attenborough documentary, ready to pounce on a weaker member of the pack, isolate them from their friends, and sign them up to the event. If you even look like you might enjoy running up a hill or have even been muddy once in your life, he’ll have you. If you are approached by him, just say ‘no’ and go and tell a grown up who you trust.


Nidd Valley Sports Day 14 Aug 2022

A quick save the date, this one. Captain Sarah has asked me to let you know that we will be hosting a ‘sports day’ afternoon on the Stray on 14 Aug 2022. You know the kind of thing – bring your family and let the kids run around unsupervised while you have a couple of beers, some snacks, and play a bit of cricket. Sarah will be organising a few daft games as well, so it’ll be a bit of a laugh. The more the merrier, so we hope to see you there.


Away from Club Runs

We’ve had to fiddle the dates around a bit, so to speak, and the run for Sarah C is now going to be in September. Revised dates as follows:

  • 21 Jul 2022: Bishop Thornton (Sam F)
  • 4 Aug 2022: TBC (Emma D)
  • 25 Aug 2022: Hartwith (Mike & Fiona D)
  • 01 Sep 2022: Pateley Bridge (Sarah C)
  • 08 Sep 2022: Knaresborough Fish and Chip Run (Sarah S, Sarah C, & Sylvia M).


First Aiders

Welfare rep Jane is coordinating a list of first aiders in the club. This is something that UK Athletics ask us to do. If you are trained in first aid, or have other relevant medical qualifications – nursing, general practice, brain surgery, experimental gynaecology, that kind of thing – then please let Jane know: janee_evans@icloud.com. Please note that letting us know does not in any way require you to attend club on certain nights, or attend certain events, or make any additional commitment to the club. Ask Jane if you have further questions. She understands these kinds of things.


Word to the Wise

This week’s wise words come from Debbie Dilasser, who has been honing her sign language skills. She tells me she’s learned two new words this week.



And with those obscenities out of the way, have a lovely week.


Sam x


Posted in General News.