Weekly Update: Mark and his Mohican

Afternoon team.


Yeah, I know. Like a bad penny and all of that. Anyway, your current committee are seemingly all on their jollies and so you’ve got a supply teacher for the week. So with a quick swish of the cane and well-aimed piece of chalk to stop Fingers and Lofthouse mucking about at the back or the class, its exercise books and pencil cases out for the first lesson of the day: the results.



And, my oh my, what interesting reading they make. On Wednesday, we had Ben Baird (20:00) and Adam Kirk (18:14) who were larking about at the Even Splits 5k. For those in the know, this is a PB hunters dream for those who are happy to run around numerous laps of a cycle track in Leeds (and if Fell Running Phil isn’t in the know, we best keep it that way because there wasn’t even one sheep-shit-covered rocky ascent to be found). Still, all impressive stuff and faster than most of us can do it, so big congratulations there.


A couple of Nidds did the Northumbrian Costal Run up in – no surprises here, folks – Northumberland last week and, as I have not seen the results, think I’ll squeeze them in here just to keep everyone happy. Well, I say everyone. I mean Debbie and Damien Handslip, as they were the only two Nidds to work their way round the sandy 14 something mile course (it varies, depending on whether the tide is in or out). Anyway, Damien (1:57:43) was first over the line for the team, with Debbie (2:15:13) never far behind. With a performance like that, Damien might be forgiven for thinking that he wears the trousers in that relationship, although I imagine Debbie tells him which ones.


I know I should do some results for today’s James Herriot Race up in Wensleydale (I can’t say the word Wensleydale without wanting to remark that it’s “cracking cheese, Gromit…”). The problem is that the results take a fair few days to emerge, this being off road running and them being Yorkshiremen and all of that. That’s the thing with people from Yorkshire. They won’t do anything until they’re ready (for which you can read, never), you can’t understand a word they say but, if you want to know your shortcomings, then you won’t find a more helpful people anywhere. I’m sure Jon will set you right on all things statistical next week, but well done to all who took part, especially Melissa who says that she still cannot stop smiling. Simple minds and all of that.

Mark rocking the Mohican look. Looking good!

Mark rocking the Mohican look. Looking good!

Finally, we come to everyone’s favourite lesson of the week: parkrun. We start with Fiona Robinson who has finally completed her mission to run all the parkruns in Humberside and Yorkshire. I know, I know. Heaven only knows that life is like at home if getting in a car and driving to Humberside (for any reason, not necessarily to run 5k) is a more attractive option but there are. It takes all sorts. Fiona (32:56) was dutifully supported by the hubster Fell Running Phil (24:57) as they made their way around the course at Rothwell. Michelle Smith (32:01) was out to play down at Temple Newsam, Andy Todd (20:36) said a prayer for Nidd Valley up at Fountains Abbey, and Adam Kirk (19:50) took more performance enhancing drugs to secure second place at Oakwell Hall (wherever that may be).


Andrew and Hannah Peagram were down in Suffolk to double the parkrun gene pool. Honestly, have you seen it down in Bury St Edmunds? Population of some 40,000 people and they’ve got about seven faces between them. I’ll tell you something, when Visit Suffolk said that Bury was coming into its own, they really did mean it. Anyway, one digresses. Mr (21:08) and Mrs (26:28) nailed the course in beautiful times and we look forward to congratulating them in person when we see them back at the club.


Let’s finish with a quick spin round the Stray where Sarah H and I were ready with stop watches to beep you in under the watchful eye of Funnel Manager David Shores. Martin Lofthouse (19:12), Ben Baird (21:10) and Jim Cook (22:57) kick started proceedings for us. It’s also a whoop whoop for Sue Simpson (23:13), Bwian Hainsworth (23:22), Dave Prince (24:37) and Mark Armstrong (24:44). We were all terribly relieved to see Robert Hill (27:19) find the finish line without the help of the local ambulance service and orthopaedic surgeons (well, you say that, he was out running today and I almost took his legs from under him in one of my more absent-minded moments behind the wheel), with Tony LC (30:18), Graham Hyde (30:42) Jeff Walker (34:38) completing the line-up for us.


Chairman Dan asked me to tell you that you’ve come a long long way together, through the hard times and the good, he has to celebrate you baby, he has to praise you like he should: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, there’ll be another club run. Excellent. Great. Thrilled. Could not be happier. I’ve no idea what you’ll be doing – and nor am I too worried, as I don’t plan on being in the country – but get yourself to the Hockey Club and ready to run for 7pm. There’ll be the usual casual chat about where the run will be before we all nonchalantly accept we’re getting taken up the gorge. Again.


If you go down to the woods today, you’d better close your eyes. If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise. Indeed you are, because on Thursday, Chairman Dan is going to do a mid-summer interval session in the woods behind Hornbeam Park. It’s got it all: hill, descent, track, mud and gravel, all good stuff for building stamina and technique for the last few club champ races. Get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm on Thursday and, should you have a pair of off-road shoes, bring them with you. And, if you think this sounds like thirsty work, keep reading….


Now this is the kind of running I can get it up for. On Sunday, we’ve got another of the Fell Champs Race, this one being just down the road at Timble. It’s the Round Hill Fell Race. Kick of is at 11am and it’ll cost you only a fiver to get yourself a chance to cough up blood and snap your ankles on open moorland. Seriously, it’s brilliant fun and I really do recommend it. Road running sucks compared to this shit. Ask Phil, Fingers, Cath or any of the other muddy brethren if you need a steer or kit or any other questions answered. Most questions can, however, be answered here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4876.


Birthday Dan

It’s a little known fact but Chairmen of Nidd Valley – much like the Queen – have both a real birthday and an official birthday. I don’t know which one it is, but Chairman Dan will be celebrating his Ruby Jubilee to mark his 40th birthday. I know, I can hardly believe it. He looks so young. I’ve spent a good deal of time wondering just how good a runner he would be when he finally hit puberty, but then I go and find out he is actually going to be 40 this week. Anyway, if you can get up to the bar for a pint and some birthday bumps after the run on Thursday, then he would love to see you. Go on, make his day.


Word to the Wise

And why does it come as no surprise that we have to keep Phil Ventress behind after class for detention for passing rude notes under the desk? So while he is lowering his short trousers for the thrashing of his life, I’ll share his unique insights to the challenges that come with organising races in Suffolk:

“That’s the problem and why they need chip timing. Photo finishes are no use to anyone” – Phil Ventress giving a hi-six to the people of East Anglia.


Game, set, match.


See you around.


Sam x



Nidd Valley Road Runners

Online: http://www.niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/

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Tweeting: @NVRunners

Weekly Update: Goodbye…

Evening all…


Disaster has struck here at Nidd Valley House. In the early hours of the morning, a small electrical fire started in the kitchen – someone left the toaster plugged in apparently – and this small fire ripped through the Grand Ball Room, State Rooms and Executive Function Suites. The Chairman’s Luxury Penthouse Apartment is totally gutted. It was all hands on deck as we dashed to the West Wing, which obviously holds the Fell Running Department and Central Intelligence Unit, but we were too late to save very much at all and only a few sparking computer monitors and Fell Running Phil’s third best pair of off-road shoes survived. He’s totally distraught, the poor thing, and is sat there covered from head to foot in ashes and sobbing over some lost spreadsheets and his prized laminated OS Maps. Treasurer Dave isn’t coping much better, if we’re being honest, having lost all of the accounts that he has meticulously kept for decades. He always did accuse me of frivolous and unnecessary spending, and now it really has all gone up in smoke. He’s devastated. And what can I tell you about the ladies in the Central Administration Department? Bless them, they tried their best, passing buckets of water up and down the corridors and trying to hold back the fire, but in the end their efforts came to nothing and the fire got the better of them, leaving them not even the time to grab their personal belongings before they had to flee from the flames.


Despite the horrors, we were able to salvage the oil paintings from the Chairman’s Gallery and rescue most of the Burgundy and prize Claret from the cellars but I can’t begin to tell you what other carnage we’ve had to deal with, it’s all gutted: from the gift shop to the tea rooms. Even Bed Race HQ has gone up in flames, taking years of extravagant decorations and cross-dressing costumes with it. Obviously, all flights with Nidd Valley Airlines are suspended until the ash cloud clears, but that really is the last of our worries. We’ve lost the cargo manifest for the HMS Nidd Valley, the sheet music for the Nidd Valley Choral Society and the Nidd Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, not to mention all of Mark’s paperwork for the championships.


Alan H and Tony LC actually think it is quite good fun, saying it reminds them of the good old days in the blitz, but I don’t think they’ve grasped the seriousness of the situation. Thank heavens we had Fingers staying with relatives at Knaresborough Striders this weekend. I’ve been speaking to Catherine and we really don’t know how we will break it to him when he comes back. He loved this place, you know, he really did.


I’m too sad to tell you any more, you’ll have to come and have a look for yourself. So, from the Emergency Crisis HQ Tent which has been hastily assembled on the parched ornamental lawns in the shadow of a burnt-out stately home, I suppose we better have a look at the results.



Bloody hell! Adam Kirk has done it again. Quite the scandal, I know, but Adam (1:26:37) took more time from his already impressive PB when he competed at the Liversedge Half Marathon in atrocious conditions yesterday. He finished 33rd out of 485 runners on what was a decidedly difficult course. Congratulate him when you see him or, if you’re anything like Matt Wilkinson, just start banding around allegations of doping and start demanding urine samples. Well done, Adam.


Oh, this is very interesting indeed. ‘Muddy’ might have been a little bit of an understatement for the Muddy Boots 10k in Ripon yesterday. Makes the Doomsday Book look like a raffle ticket. Anyway, regardless of the mud clinging to their shoes, four intrepid Nidds made fantastic work of the course. Martin Lofthouse (40:09.1) was the first Nidd to finish. Sue Simpson (52:13.7) will chin me if I make any further comments about her height (and anyway, I can’t find any diminutive rhymes for ‘boots’, ‘Ripon’ or ‘muddy’) so I’ll just leave you with her time. Christine Holleran (55:8.2) and Debbie Dilasser (1:01:06.4) put in fantastic efforts, too, so well done to you all for getting up and showing the best of Team Nidd.


And so the status returns to the quo with the parkrun results for the week. Matt Wilkinson (18:56) and Martin Lofthouse (19:12) both made the cut for the top five finishers, while Ben Baird (22:05) gives us our first result of the Twenties Brigade. David Shores (22:42) and Andrew Aird (22:49) were the two newbie roses surrounding old-hander Mark Armstrong (23:55), with Sarah Hughan (24:50) leading Team Peagram to the finish (Andrew finishing in 26:02 and Hannah finishing in 26:03). Fingers Harris (26:46) sent me a good old moaning message about his time, lamenting the work still to be done to get back to optimal form but frankly, it was a five minute improvement on last week and so he should stop moaning and be pleased with his progress. This must be two parkruns in a row for Steve Newton (28:38) – just what is going on, I hear you cry – with Rebecca Ventress (28:45) and parkrun veteran David Rushton (31:22) putting in strong performances out on the mud. Jane Hill (50:11) and Jeff Walker (50:12) complete the line-up for us. Well done to you all.


In other parkrun news, Debbie Dilasser (28:25) was back up in the motherland and took time out from meeting her rellies to take park in the Redcar course, and Adam Kirk (20:52) was back down in Dewsbury to take ninth place overall. If you’d had asked me, I’d have said Alice Holt is the name of a person (probably a librarian with that kind of name, I imagine) but apparently it is the name of a parkrun, and I can share this titbit of exciting trivia with you because Chris Beattie (24:56) raced the parkrun there in a cracking little time. Fiona Robinson (32:13) really was scraping the barrel of exciting parkrun venues when she headed down to Goole, but there we are, it takes all sorts. Up at Fountains, we had a Holy Trinity of beautiful performances from Robert Hill (28:11), Michelle Dinsdale (30:49) and Michelle Smith (30:50). Amen to that, that’s what I say!


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, there’ll be lots of love in the air here at Nidd Valley House for Valentines Day. Our very own cupid Sarah H will have her wings on and her bow and arrow in hand, and will be sure to get your heart racing with some speed-building intervals down on Derwent Road. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm (I’ll be wearing a pink carnation!) or down at Derwent Road for about 7.10pm. Unless you’ve got other plans, that is, in which case enjoy your night in eating a special meal from M&S, drinking some midweek wine and having a good old bonk.


On Thursday, we’ve got the AGM so we’re going to be keeping it short enough with our run. Let’s meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm, run down Skipton Road as far as Kings Road, cut through Coppice and onto Ripon Road. Pick up Duchy Road and then hang left on Harlow Moor Road to Otley Road. This sets you up nicely to get back to the club, although you can do a little extra if you can still be back, showered and with a pint in your hand by 8.30pm, ready for the changing of the guard. More on the AGM below.


On Sunday, we’ve got the fourth of the PECO XC series, so no doubt you’ll be getting pestered by our club captains to find your off-road shoes and that kind of thing. This time, the racing is down near Crossgates (a place called Pendas Fields, apparently) and starts at 11am. I might even show up, you never know. If I did, it would be nice if you would make the effort too. More details here: http://www.pecoxc.co.uk/pages/race4.html.


AGM: 16 February 2017

I have two rules when chairing meetings at work: (1) nothing meaningful or relevant is ever said after 30 minutes, and (2) there is never any need for ‘any other business’. I intend these two rules to be meticulously upheld at our AGM on Thursday night. I need you there to pass a few bits of procedural jargon and to vote in your new committee (or vote people out, if you’re so inclined). If I don’t have enough of you, then it will have to be rescheduled and that would be a right ball ache. There’s free pizza for those of you that turn up. Go on, please, do the decent thing. Bums on seats for 8.30pm in the Hockey Club Bar, please: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/02/06/agm-2017-update.


Run Nidderdale: 7 May 2017

Ever fancied paying £12 to run 20 miles around Nidderdale? Yeah, me too! To think that a lovely chap called Patrick Doherty from the Rotary Club is on hand to help you do such a thing and will give you a goodie bag for your troubles is almost too good to be true. Get informed: http://www.runnidderdale.com/.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Dan and I have managed to hash a few teams together (1x female, 2x male) based on the interest. I think most of you who would want to express interest will have done so by now but if there are any last-minute requests, then please let me know ASAP: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

Over the past two years I have acquired a stack of wise words that were too explosive to print. Bigger than Rebecca ‘potty mouth’ Ventress’ finest offerings and even more nuclear than FRP’s outrageous and provocative sexism. Not even I would have gone that far. But then I thought what better way to go out with a bang than by going absolutely postal and causing mass offence. Philippa thought it was a great idea. I mentioned the idea to Sarah H, but she gave me the look that she normally reserves for those moments when I am at risk of a severe bollocking. Better not, then. So you’ll never hear Martin’s wise words about a certain Nidder’s love life, and I can’t regale you about Alan’s encounter with a particularly dashing bartender in Bangkok in his RAF days. My apologies.


Excuse the sentiment, but it’s easy to forget, folks, that we have something really special with Nidd Valley. Really, we do. Crazy as a bag of frogs, of course, but special. Despite the occasional argument and an inexplicable adherence to tradition, Team Nidd remains one of the friendliest and most encouraging groups of people I have ever met. On paper, it isn’t terribly appealing: turn up on a cold, dark and wet night, run for an hour or thereabouts in lycra, and then go home and have some reheated leftovers for tea. That’s it? Really? I’ll go and do something else, then. But you and I know it is more than that. Whether you can run a sub-three hour marathon or barely run for the bus, you’re at home in Team Nidd. Whether you are into road running, trail running, bed racing, fell running, park running, night running, social running, only-turn-up-if-the-sun-is-shining running, push-it-so-hard-until-you-are-sick running, or just sacking-off-the-running-and-coming-for-a-pint-afterwards running, you’re at home in Team Nidd. Your ability or commitment or confidence doesn’t matter. That is what makes our club special, that is what first drew me to Nidd Valley however many years ago, and that is what brings me back even now. We’ve got something special, people, and we should never forget that. Long may it continue.


Will Nidd Valley House rise from the ashes once again? It isn’t for me to say. It is, of course, a question for another day and for another chairman.


Love you all, peeps.


Sam x


Weekly Update: Offending Smoggies

Evening all!


I met Matt Wilkinson’s parents at Wetherby parkrun yesterday. Lovely couple. Anyway, Matt introduced me to them, to which the reply was “really, Sam? As in the writer?”. Apparently, Mrs W reads this old drivel every weekend and it would make her weekend to have a special mention. So, here it is Mrs Wilkinson, this one is for you (as an aside, if anyone else would like to make a special request, you do only have to ask).


It’s been a busy old week at NVH as we’ve been clearing up after the Awards Night and keep finding empty wine bottles tucked behind pot plants, although we’ve managed to get the carpets clean at last so that is a relief. That said, no one has seen Dave since we last saw him sauntering in the direction of Hales Bar singing happily to himself. If anyone sees him, give him a tenner and pop him in a taxi to Nidd Valley House, will you? Anyhow, we’re pretty much on top of things and locked into meetings with Chairman-elect Dan’s transitional team and negotiating the finer points to secure an orderly transition of power. But before we get to that, let’s take a look at the results.



Not much going on this week, so it won’t be long until we get the parkrun results. Before that, however, you’ll be pleased to hear that Adam Kirk has hit another developmental milestone and we’re all very proud of him. Although the days of potty training are long behind him (accidents not withstanding) and although we are waiting for the day when he can tie his own shoelaces, we are pleased to announce that he finally smashed the 40 minute barrier for a 10k race. Oh yes, the recently anointed ‘most improved runner’ was down in West Yorkshire to run the Dewsbury 10k where he (38:14) demolished his PB by a comfortable margin. Well done, Adam! Go on, buy him a pint when you see him. He deserves it.


Well, first off the parkrunning blocks, we’ve got Alex Patrickson at Middlesbrough. He’s a brave young chap for going up Smoggieland for fun, but there we are (I’ll probably find out his family has lived for centuries or something and that I’ve put my foot in it in spectacular style and managed to upset six generations of Patricksons or something like that). Anyway, Alex (17:48) got round in a time that I could only match if I were free-falling from a plane without a parachute, so very big congratulations there. We’ve also got John Mitton (23:25) down in Dewsbury putting in an equally as impressive effort, so very well done there, John.


What is it with you people? We organise a group trip to Wetherby parkrun and some people still insist on sticking with what they know. Honestly, what can you do? Anyway, the home-comfort loving creatures who stayed at Harrogate were Adam Kirk (23:47), Mark Armstrong (24:02), Jamie Dilasser (24:20), Catrin Harrap (24:35), Christine Holleran (24:23), Tony LC (27:35), Rebecca Ventress (28:51) and Debbie Dilasser (29:11). Seeking monastic familiarity, up at Fountains we had a quadruplet of fine performances from Andy Todd (20:06), Nick Smith (27:30), Jane Hill (29:56), and Michelle Dinsdale (31:04). Well done, everyone!


It isn’t often you say this, but the bulk of the action was at Wetherby parkrun, where a slightly surprised race director was amazed to see Team Nidd nearly double the contingent of regulars down by the Wharfe. But, you mention a cross-country championship race to any Nidd and they’ll be all over it like a pig in shit…. So, what happened? Matt Wilkinson (18:34) was first home for Nidd – much to the delight of his proud mummy and daddy, who had come out to watch – narrowly relegating Warren Lowcock (18:84) into second place. Incidently, you’ll be interested to know that when Matt arrived that morning, he asked me whether Warren was running that day. “Oh f***” was his only reply when I answered in the affirmative, so it is good to see that Team Nidd is as competitive as it ever once were. Anyone, one digresses. Dr Edoardo Piano (20:00), apart from winning best named Nidder 2016-17, also took third place overall, chased down by an increasingly muddy chairman (20:34). Andrew Peagram (21:37) had one hell of a fight on to keep Jon Easton (22:10) at bay, with David Shores (22:43) and Ben Baird (23:01) always close behind. Maurice Kelly (23:16), Jim Cook (23:35), Chris Beattie (23:37) and Rob Snow (24:14) were the next to finish.


Sarah Hughan warned me that I’d get in trouble for referring to the diminutive Sue Simpson (24:16) as the Dwarf by the Wharfe, but I can’t resist and I’ll just have to hope she was so pleased with claiming the coveted first lady position that she won’t notice. If you have noticed, Sue, sorry – you know we love you really. After Sue, we had great performances from Sarah Hughan (24:49) and from Steve Newton (25:14), who was clearly out on domesticated day release. I did wonder what the tag round his ankle was. After that, it was lovely to see Mike Benson (25:32), Moira McTague (25:36), Debbie Gibson (25:50), Hannah Peagram (26:05) and Marcos Montana (26:17) cross the finish line. We finish our tour of the three muddy laps of Wetherby with Neil Wright (28:48), Robert Hill (29:53), Michelle Smith (31:44), Sarah Chalmers (32:11), Fingers Harris (32:49) and Fiona Robinson (33:20). Nice work, everyone!


Got a new PB? I’ll tell you where you can stick that for a start: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Now then, on Tuesday we are back with these bloomin’ stamina interval sessions. The Chinese needn’t have bothered with water torture when they realised they could just get someone to run round the Stray. Anyway, that’s where we will be (West Park, that is, not Beijing) for the next of these sessions. They’ll do you good, at least that is what the coaches tell me. Either meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down by the Prince of Wales Roundabout for about 7.10pm.


On Thursday, let’s really stretch our legs and get down into Knaresborough. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out down Kingsley Road and through Starbeck and down the big hill into Knaresborough. Most will head down Waterside, although some may push further through town, but all routes come back together to go over the Low Bridge, over Forest Moor (killer mile, to me and you) and back through Starbeck and up to the club. Catherine Barber will be acting as a focal point for steadier and more social runners, so introduce yourself to her if that sounds like your bag. Regardless of speed and that kind of thing, all welcome in the bar afterwards for a swift pint and to hear the old farts bang on about the good old days and that things ain’t what they used to be and you know how it and that’s how it was.


Now’t on at the weekend as far as I can see. Get those odd jobs done instead.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Unfortunately, I cannot go to this as I am up in the Fugill heartlands in Northumbria, but as you won’t be coming with me (I don’t care how many times you ask, you’re not coming!), why don’t you see if there are any last-minute seats at Lucia’s as we break the farewell break with Mike and Judy? Fiona Deacon has it all in hand and will easily help you sort your linguine from your spaghetti: mjfjdeacon@sky.com.


AGM: 16 February 2017

And nominations have now closed. Please do not call the hotline now as your vote will not be counted and you may still be charged. Right, look people, I’ll cut to the chase. I really need you to be there. If we don’t get enough people there then the meeting can’t carry business and that is a right ball ache. It doesn’t take much time, you get free pizza, and we get it over for another year. Think of it like a dental appointment (albeit marginally less enticing). Relevant information here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/02/06/agm-2017-update.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

We’re working to get three teams together this year, and have some exciting teams taking shape. Dan and I will be meeting on Tuesday to try and pull things together, so if you want to take the ride of your life, dress as a woman and drink your own body weight in beer, then please do let me know. It really is the best day in the whole world. Be part of it: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Championships 2017

Sorry if it wasn’t clear (blame me, that’s fine) but we voted to take the joker races out of the club championships as of this year. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it caused a bit of confusion with some members about who actually qualified for awards and participation awards etc., and secondly, the whole idea of the championship races is to get people out running together as a team. We hope that the extra races in the list this year will give everyone the chance to partake and bag themselves some silverware. Boring bit over, sorry. Yawn….


Word to the Wise

Without a word of a lie, we received the following message late on Thursday night at our enquiries address as we were waiting for a last-minute flurry of nominations for the AGM:


“I want to build a wall, a big beautiful wall ladies and gentleman – we are going to make Nidd Valley great again! I’ve got something to say about those who oppose me: chairmen, secretary, committee – lock them up! What to do about it though? That’s a whole other question…” – Donald J Trump, 45th President of the United States of America.


Would the real Donald Trump please stand up?


God bless you all, and God bless Nidd Valley!


Sam x (for the penultimate time…)


AGM 2017 – Update

The AGM will be held at 8.30pm on Thursday 16 Feb 2017 at Harrogate Hockey Club. Please make all effort to be there.

The final agenda for the AGM can be found here.

There’ll be pizza for those that want it, free from your loving committee. If you have any special dietary requirements, let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Chewing pudding…

Evening all!


Hope you are all really well and enjoyed the Awards Night. It goes down as one of the most surreal evenings of my entire life. Rachael and I both felt like the condemned, waiting for the meal to finish before we did our turn. I’ve never seen someone chew a desert quite so much. The anxiety almost killed her, the poor thing. As Rachael says, it could be worse, at least next year we’ll be able to eat the meal. Anyway, less of me. And less of her. Thanks to all of you who came. You make Team Nidd a really special group of people (yeah, ‘special’) and, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you won an award of not. No one really cares about those things. It’s about getting out there, getting the miles in, and enjoying running with a group of like-minded daft buggers. Thanks for being part of it.

Happy. Or drunk. Maybe both.

Happy. Or drunk. Maybe both.



Well, spank me on the bottom and call me Shirley, it appears that there are no results this week other than the parkrun results. Could be worse, I suppose, at least this way I’ll get to bed before midnight. Let’s have a little look and see what you have in store this week.


We’ve got Ben Baird (21:42) down at the parkrun at Bedford. God, I love Ben, I really do. But not in the biblical sense, obviously. Anyway, I digress. We’ve also got Fiona Robinson (34:11) down running at the Bramley parkrun, clearly making quick progress as she didn’t want to let her hubcaps out of her sight for too long. Up at Fountains, you could see Andy Todd (20:06) lead the troops home and Mike Deacon (22:22) nail a pleasingly symmetrical time. Jamie Dilasser (22:47), Dave Prince (25:54), Debbie Dilasser (28:58) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:31) complete the monastic roll call.


I’ve no idea how Martin Lofthouse (18:53), Matt Rickard (19:54) and Adam Kirk (19:59) managed to get under the sub-20 marker given the conditions out on the Stray. The mud was horrific and it was all we could do to stop ourselves going arse over tit. Andrew Peagram (21:21) and Jon Easton (21:44) were the next to follow, while yours truly (22:14) found himself being lectured by a Donald Trump supporter. And to think I was having so much fun as it was. Next up, we’ve got David Shores (22:45), Mark Armstrong (23:25), Sue Simpson (23:44) and Sarah Hughan (25:03), before proceedings were concluded by Jeff Walker (27:31), Ewa Scott (29:29) and Hannah Peagram (32:38)


And I lift my glass to the awful truth / Which you can’t reveal to the ears of youth / Except to say it isn’t worth a dime / And the whole damn place goes crazy twice / And it’s once for the devil and once for Christ / But the boss don’t like these dizzy heights / We’re busted in the blinding lights / Of closing time: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

If you missed Jon’s interval session last week then don’t fret yourself, he’s back in action on Tuesday. If you want to get a piece of him, then get yourself down to the Hockey Club and be ready to run for 7pm, or meet up with him at the end of St Catherine’s Road for about 7.10pm. He’s looking forward to seeing you. Unfortunately, I have to work up in Catterick late so won’t be able to join you. Social work sucks. I don’t recommend it.


But I will be back in action on Thursday, and am rather excited to see that we are running the Kings Road route. It’s a great one this, starting at the Hockey Club for 7pm. From there, it is out onto Skipton Road and down Kings Road. Once you get to the Crown Hotel, push on up Cold Bath Road and from there you can hang back towards the club, or push on down Pannal Ash Road and Leadhall Lane. Pints and awkward silences in the bar afterwards.


I can’t see any races on the calendar this weekend, but don’t think that gives you an excuse to do bugger all. Oh, not at all! Get yourself, have a cheeky little tank and remember to put out a shout and get some other Nidds to join you.


Club Championships

I’ve had my knuckles rapped for not getting the club championships schedule out to you last week. Sorry about that folks. Anyway, you’ll find it here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/01/30/club-championships-2017/. It’s probably worth noting that some of the dates are still provisional, but this should give you an idea of what is going on and get some races booked.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

So this is it. We come to the parting of the ways. Mike and Judy are going onto pastures anew in the Lake District. Nidd Valley House won’t be the same without them. If you would like to go along to their farewell meal at Lucia’s next week, then there is only one person you should be speaking to and that is none other than Fiona Deacon. You’ll find her here: mjfjdeacon@sky.com.


AGM: 16 February 2017

If you are still considering making a grab for power, then you have until midnight on Thursday to let Sarah Hughan know: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk. I’d really encourage you to think about standing for any role, and certainly don’t think that a lack of experience should stop you getting involved. It didn’t stop me. Anyway, even if you don’t want to stand, please try and get yourself there. We need as many people as we can. More details here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/01/18/agm-2017/.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Fancy it? Go on, you know you want to: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


By Popular Demand

For those who were lucky enough to be somewhere else…


It’s time for speech, isn’t it?

It’s a worry I’m singing, isn’t it?

And because I’m afraid that I can’t even hold a tune,

I’m standing before you, shaking in fear, terror, and doom.


I am reviewing the year that we’ve had,

And all those things that make me glad to be a Nidder,

All of those races, relays, and long runs,

Are just some of the things I shall consider:

Think of Evening League and bed racing,

Then marathons, parkrun pacing,

And in the club champs, PBs smashing,

In the Mob Match, Striders trashing!

In the fell champs, getting mucky!

You’ve so much choice, you’re so lucky!

I wonder at what point we should begin.


So where to begin? I know where.

Down by the Nidd, that is where.

And I wonder, with that said, if you are able to guess?

It’s a chance to get sweaty, get drunk, and always cross dress.


I am reviewing the Knaresborough Bed Race,

And the two teams that we sent up Castle Ings,

Along the High Street, down past Bond End,

And through the River Nidd, but don’t forget these things:

Most importantly, your swimming trunks,

Although you’re dressed like Buddhist monks,

And in the river, should you choke,

Remember, then, to drink some coke,

But even that won’t do the trick,

For at the end, you’ll still feel sick!

This year I think we’ll get dressed up again.


Time for the song’s next section!

Time to admire Dave’s erection!

As we gathered excited, assembled on the village green,

What followed next was the highlight of our year as a team.


I am reviewing our Mob Match Victory,

When as a team we brought the Mob Match Trophy back!

That glorious Sunday, we raced that 10k,

With our faces painted gold and painted black.

So this, then, is our strategy,

Which guarantees us victory,

Thanks to the generosity,

Of this: your loving committee,

The trick, I think, is plain to see:

Get Dave to pay the entry fee!

This year I think we’ll the win the race again.


Who can I mention? I know who!

Their achievements are great. Yes, it’s true.

And I’m quite sure that you would really love to hear,

Of the great runs that we’ve ran over this past year.


I am reviewing, your achievements,

Over hill and road and track and fell and trail,

And please excuse me, if I mention,

You within the rhyming couplets of my tale.

For starters, I cannot resist,

To mention Matt on Everest,

From park runners out on the Stray,

To Carol on the Pennine Way,

And climbing high on Lakeland Ground,

Emma on the Bob Graham Round.

I wonder what you have in store this year.


I am very sorry, if I’ve missed you.

Don’t forget this: I love you, too.

But if I listed each and every run then I really would fear,

That you’d be sat there bored out your brains at the start of next year.


But in reviewing, the year that we’ve had,

There are some words of thanks I want to say,

To all the people, to whom I’m grateful,

For the help that they do give in their in their own way,

So think back to November, when,

Matt directed Guy Fawkes 10,

And thankyou to our coaches three,

And then, of course, the committee,

And lastly thanks to all of you,

For all those other things you do,

You’ve made Nidd Valley House a special place.


We come to the end, what a relief!

It’s time to sign off, I’ll keep it brief.

For although you’ve been sitting and smiling politely thus far,

I know that you’re itching to go form an orderly queue at the bar.


I’ve been reviewing the year that we’ve had,

And I want to say I’m grateful for your time,

I hope it’s helped, that you’ve been drinking,

As you’ve sat and listened to my tuneless rhyme,

But now’s the time to leave the show,

I’m sorry that I have to go,

And now I’m done, you know, I think,

I’m feeling ready for a drink!

So that’s it, kids: I’m outta here!

Can someone get me a cold beer?

This year I think I’ll leave it all to Dan.


Word to the Wise

Some of you might recall Christine Jones taking a tumble at the intervals session last week. And that was just the warm up. Anyway, ever the concerned and loving Chairman, I sent a text to her and ask if she was ok and whether the ankle was holding up. And the reply is a warning to all of us about the dangers of predictive text:

“Hi Sam, it’s very sore but I can still gobble so that’s good…”


Whether or not Bill is benefiting from Christine’s special skills, I can’t say.


See you around…


Sam x