Weekly Update: Four Niddsters of the Apocalypse

(TLDR. For those short of time…. we’ve got the fell training in Otley and a club run down to Killinghall on Tuesday, and we have FRP’s birthday relays on Thursday. James Herriot Trail Race is the order of the day for the points seekers on Sunday. Quite a bit of other stuff below about up and coming events, too. Probably worth a look if you’ve got a spare five minutes).


Happy Monday, folks.


Well, I blame Catherine Cookson. Everyone has had a lovely weekend up amidst the glorious scenery of Northumberland for the coastal run, but ask anyone who has read one of her wretched books, and you’d think that you wouldn’t be able to move for industrial accidents, single mothers pleading on the doorstep with the rent collectors, and b*stard children out in the snow without shoes on their feet. Well, dear readers, nothing could be further from the truth. The weather was beautiful, the coastline dramatic and studded with the ruins of castles, and there were no shortage of scenic coastal villages infused with the smell of sea air and smoking kippers. I have rarely been more proud to claim that neck of the woods as the place of my childhood. Several Nidds even saw some dolphins from the cliff tops as they headed south from Craster. I didn’t see them, nor did Fiona Deacon, but that is most likely because we are proper athletes and were concentrating on the runs rather than mucking about taking photos. As an aside, a few people say that there weren’t dolphins in the water, but that the runners actually saw porpoises. So what? Some people say that there were dolphins. Others say that there weren’t. As far as I’m concerned, they’re just talking cross porpoises… Thanks very much…


And on that note, with a little fishie on a little dishie and the fog on the Tyne all mine, let’s have a look at the results.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’ve got the second of the fell running coaching sessions. Exciting stuff, and made all the more exciting with it being paired up with a try on night at Yorkshire Runner in Otley. You need to get yourself to Yorkshire Runner on Bondgate (LS21 1AD) for 6.30pm, where you can try on some shoes, and then take part in a structured training session on the Chevin. Of course, you can run in your own shoes if you’re not that bothered about some retail therapy. If this is the kind of thing you could get it up for, then please do let Emma David know. This is her email: ekicks@hotmail.com. Oh yeah, they’ll be off to the pub afterwards. Surprising, I know. Most fell runners don’t drink.


Obviously, if fell training isn’t your bag – although, if you ask me, you really should give it a go. As fell runners say, it’s reet proper good – then there will be a run from the club on Tuesday. Be in the usual bit of the car park for 7pm, and head out over the iron bridge and onto the cycle track. This time, head all the way up the track, over the viaduct, and continue to Killinghall. You can come back to the club over the fields, or stick to the road and come back via Knox Mill. Obviously, feel free to cut short and do something steadier or shorter. I can recommend turning left from the cycle track before the viaduct, heading behind Bilton, and then coming into Knox Mill that way. Whatever you do, don’t be that person who leaves everyone else behind. Keep an eye out for others, and always #bemoreNidd.


On Thursday, we’ve got the much anticipated birthday relays for everyone’s favourite fell runner: Fell Running Phil. It’s an off-road relay round Crimple Valley with teams of three tackling a 3km loop. It’s not overly challenging and everyone is welcome to come and join in. If you want the route in advance, here it is: https://tinyurl.com/ynkk3wch. Meet at the end of Hornbeam Park Avenue, near the entrance to the Hospice. Please park considerately, and car share if possible. Please aim to be there by about 6.45pm in time to register, pick up numbers etc., and we’ll aim to have you started by 7pm. There’ll be pints and prizes in the Roosters Brewery afterwards. These are the prize categories:

  • First female team
  • First male team
  • First mixed team
  • Best team name
  • Closest to predicted total finish time
  • Most consistent pacing
  • Best hats

If you have a team of three, or you don’t but would like to be included in a team, please email Jane at janee_evans@icloud.com, as she is getting all the teams coordinated.


On Sunday, we’ve got the James Herriot Trail race. This is the one time in the year when the roadies (boooo!) and the fellies (yaaaay!) come together to compete alongside one another. Entry is £13.50, and takes you through the hills and trails of Wensleydale on a loop from Bolton Castle. It’s a beautiful run, and you wouldn’t want to miss it. If you want championship points, please let Captains Sarah or Dazzler know whether you want your points to count towards the road or the fell championships. More details right here:  https://tinyurl.com/24wbsnps



So let’s get started with the results from the Northumbrian Coastal Run, where Andy Harris (2:01.55) set a blistering pace to be the first Nidd to complete the 14.25 mile course from Beadnell to Alnmouth. With a strong headwind hampering efforts, Kev Dalton (2:05.31) and Phil Ventress (2:09.04) both overtook and relegated yours truly (2:12.03) into fourth place. Incidentally, as we came onto Alnmouth Beach and lined up for the finish, Phil encouraged me to dig deep as it was, and I quote, “only less than a mile to go”. Shortly after that we passed a ‘Two Miles to Go’ sign. It’s little wonder I didn’t push him in the sea and hold his head under until he stopped struggling. He could be food for dolphins. Or porpoises. Anyway, Fiona Deacon (2:18.42) – a great advocate and fan of this race – crossed the line and complained that the going had been harder than previously, while Jane Evans (2:27.28) and Karen Mills (2:32.39) headed straight into the sea to soothe their aching quads. Karen said something about the temperature of the water. Sounded like ducking bold or plucking gold, I couldn’t quite make it out. Paul Manning (2:33.23), Debra Jenkins (2:38.10), and Chatty McChatface (2:39.10) all  put down storming performances, with Chatty waxing athletic to anyone who would listen about how much of a lovely time she’d had. Sarah Fabron (2:42.36) had Jim Cook (2:44.20) hot on her sandy heels, while Rebecca Ventress (2:47.17) gave Phil the that-prosecco-better-be-cold look as she crossed the line. We enjoyed the chance to have a catch up with the lesser spotted Janet Carling (3:00.10), and the final roll call was completed by our very own Four Niddsters of the Apocalypse: Nick Smith (3:00.15), Sarah Chalmers (3:08/07), Michelle Smith (3:09.02) and Mike Kaye (3:20.04). Well done to you all.

Takes all sorts.


Poetry in motion.


Right, the results from the Hampsthwaite Village Feast 5k do not list runners by their club, and so I haven’t been able to do a filter. I’ve tried to spot you all, but it’s inevitable I will have missed one or two. Please don’t shout at me. Sam Heathcoate (20.28) seems to have been the first Nidd to finish the challenging course, with Kevin Clarke (20.59) giving cross-country chase. Chris Morris (23.29) was looking speedy, while Simon Harris (23.45) got himself some bonus point as a local runner. Jeremy Parkrun (24.26) had a job on to make sure he beat the Rev. Carman (24.30). John Mitton (24.57), Guy Parker (26.17), Dave Seaman (28.51) and Moira McTague (29.03) were all running really well out there, while Graham Hyde (33.22) proved himself too much of a match for Bec Carman (33.34). Congratulations to you. all. 

Just like a school photo.


And so the road championships and the parkrun that was going to be Heslington, and then York, before we finally settled on Fountains Abbey. Loz Hawksworth (18.50) was the fist taxi off the rank and denied Andy Todd (18.54) his customary position as first placed Nidd on the monastic course. I’m sure that Loz will look just lovely in the senior wimple. Steve Newbould (19.11) and Martin Lofthouse (19.26) both slipped in under 20 minutes, while we had great results from the Steve Turner (21.04), Jon Easton (21.26) and Nick Crebbin (21.53). Laura Francis (22.19) was the first Niddette to finish, with Sarah Staiano (22.23), Katherine Morton (23.13), Emma David (23.57) and Helen Cook (24.27) never too far behind. Captain Dazzler (25.02) was going steadier than usual, possibly pacing Alex Gudgeon (25.03), while Hannah Percy (25.19), Katharine Dolam (25.27) and Chatty (27.26) all had their pedal to the metal in the hunt for championship points.I quite agree, it isn’t often that we see Rob Snow (27.37), but it was a pleasure to see him out with Ian Wighton (27.45), Debbie Burrett (28.55), Michelle Smith (31.27) and Liz Ahmad (32.45). Our final Holy Trinity was none other than Sue Rogers (33.21), Lorna Eley (33.53) and Sylvia Morten (34.18). Amen to that, then. 


If you want to see your name in lights, or just fancy having a good rubber neck at what your fellow Nidders have been up to, then you can find the full parkrun results here: https://tinyurl.com/4cbrfjde


Down through the ages lovers of the mystery / Been sayin’ people let your love light shine / Poets and sages all throughout history / Say the light burns brightest in the darkest times: samfugill@gmail.com


Committee Meeting: 27 Jul 2022

On Wednesday, the Politburo of the Glorious People’s Republic of Nidd Valley (that’s the committee to me and you) are back in session. If you have something that you would like raising, please speak to Comrade Plippy at the Office of the General Secretariat at Nidd Valley House. If she isn’t in, then you can send her an email here instead: pwilkinson79@hotmail.com


Further Ahead & Booking Now Open

Captains Sarah and Dazzler have been giving me brain damage about reminding you of some up and coming races in the championships. I’m  not one to argue with them, I don’t mind telling you. And you’d do well to do likewise, so pay attention.


On Sunday 07 Aug 2022, the fellies are back out to compete in the Round Hill Fell Race. This is a little beauty, actually: only 8.6 miles and with about 1,100 ft of climb. A few bogs and the off tussocky bit make it a bit more challenging than your average parkrun, but that is all part of the fun. It’s EOTD at only £5,  a great race for beginners, and you can guarantee lots of encouragement, lots of laughs, and a lot of mud. I can think of no reason not to do it. I really can’t. Go on. Have a go, why don’t you? It could be the start of something beautiful: https://tinyurl.com/ycnkpten


For a bit of fun and the chance for some free childcare (or irresponsible parenting, depending which way you look at it), we’ve got a the family sports day on the Stray on Sun 14 Aug 2022. You know the thing, you sit and chat to your mates, maybe have a little drink, take part in a few races or silly games, and your kids can entertain themselves. Captain Sarah has all the relevant info and she’ll be sharing it erelong.


On Weds 17 Aug 2022, we’ve got some mid-week hell-on-earth with the Sessay Swift. This is a 6k route (yes, you read that right). Imagine running your fastest ever parkrun, then having to smash out a final extra kilometre. Brutal stuff. But, it separates the wheat from the chaff, and is a real challenge of stamina on a flat and speedy course. Entry will set you back about a tenner, and you can enter here: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h8edp


Only a couple of days later, and with your calves pleading for mercy and your quads checking into witness protection, there is a York 5k series race on Fri 17 Aug 2022. I’m not sure what sick, sadistrically perverse and tormented individual on the committee decided to include this (my money is on Dazzler), but we are where we are. This is held at the race track at York University – the same one where you do the Heslington parkrun – and you can find out all the relevant entry information right here: https://tinyurl.com/48tdawuu


Annual Trip to Bridlington: 02 Oct 2022

A 13.5 mile trail race around Bridlington (yeah, well, someone has to do it). We’ve got a bus to take us up to the East Yorkshire Coast, where you can take part in the trail race (more details and entries here: https://tinyurl.com/478kk9bc), before joining us for a trip to the fish and chip shop and the chance to drink lukewarm ale of dubious quality in a Wetherspoons of equally dubious renown. If you want a place on the bus, please deposit £5 in the club account (Nidd Valley Road Runners, acc 12074796 and s.c. 40-23-12) referencing your name and the bus trip, then let Martin Lofthouse know that you want to come: 07849 759764.


Word to the Wise

Chatty McChatface has been working very hard these past few weeks to practice her ‘inside voice’. She has, she’s worked really hard and we’re all very proud of her. Anyway, after the Coastal Run yesterday, she got herself a bit giddy at the end and was telling everyone about how much she had enjoyed the race and how she could have kept running and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on. It fell to Sarah Cook to answer her.


“Enjoyed it? No-one else enjoyed that, Debbie. They all hated it…” – Sarah Cook, not mincing her words.


And on that note, it’s goodnight from his Lordship and a goodnight from me. Sleep tight.


Sam x

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