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


Weekly Update: Why is Ben wearing a shawl?

Evening troops.


Well, once again everyone is very excited as we get ready for the Awards Night. Delivery lorries are up and down the drive to Nidd Valley House and we’re having to bring in extra staff to supplement the hired help already based here. The kitchens are awash with activity as pots and pans bubble away, the chefs try out exciting new recipes and the pastry cooks get started on the puddings. We’ve promised Fingers Harris that he can lick the mixing bowl clean if he is good. The banqueting hall is getting all tidied up and sorted out, although we’ve had to make Fell Running Phil throw the hoover around the place given that it was him who trod mud all over the luxury carpets. We’re working to deadline, but we know we’re on track for a great night on Saturday night and look forward to seeing you.



We’re running out of superlatives to describe Carol Morgan taking the position of first lady in the Montane Spine Race from Edale to the Scottish Borders. She set off early on Sunday morning, and some 268 miles and 43,000ft of ascent later, rocked up at the finish late on Thursday night. She managed to knock 43 hours of the previous female course record. That’s nearly two days, people. As she finished, her nearest opponent was still back at Hadrian’s Wall. You can’t overstate the magnitude of her achievement. She’s been covered in everything from the Harrogate Advertiser to the Guardian. But, the greatest honour of all: top of the bill in the weekly round up from Nidd Valley House. Well done, Carol. We’re incredibly proud of you, pleased for you, and thrilled that you’ve made your home with us here in Team Nidd.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Carol appears to have a fireman giving her snacks.

Right, enough of such adoration. Let’s get to the PECO results from earlier today. For the men, we’ve got Matt Wilkinson (33:44) looking strong and just managing to keep Tim Harvey (34:01) at bay. Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse (34:58) was always close enough behind to be a danger to them throughout, with Alex Patrickson (35:42), Andy Todd (36:13) and Matt Rickard (37:00) hanging on in there. Mike Deacon (40:50), Maurice Kelly (41:57), Damien Handslip (42:13), Jim Cook (43:31), Mark Armstrong (43:54) were next over the muddy line, with Dave Seaman (45:24), Phil Robinson (45:35) and Neil Wright (59:06) completing the masculine-up (see what I did there? Masculine line up…. Oh never mind). From the ladies, Sue Simpson (44:58) managed not to get herself locked in the loo and so was first Niddette to finish. She was joined (on the race, not in the loo) by Christine Holleran (46:56), who was locked in battle to the finish with Sarah Hughan (46:58). Debbie Gibson (48:08) was on top form as she finished neck and neck with Moira McTague (also 48:08). I’m told that Hannah Peagram (49:28) had a wee in a ditch with Sarah H, but that’s probably too much information for you, so we’ll gloss over that and move onto a pleasingly symmetrical result from Debbie Dilasser (50:50) and other great results from Janet Carling (51:42), Rachael Prince (52:51) and Debbie Handslip (54:20). The muddy proceedings were concluded in great fashion by Michelle Smith (57:51), Sarah Chalmers (59:24) and Fiona Robinson (1:01:31). Well done, peeps!


I’ve no idea where Oakwell Park is, but apparently they have a parkrun and that is where Phil (26:14) and Fiona (34:25) Robinson were on Saturday morning. David Shores (23:21) was at the Humber Bridge – sounds ghastly, how the hell they got the capital of culture I’ll never know – and Paul Manning (23:21) remains down under where he completed the Canning Park parkrun. Is it just me, or is it a slightly arresting notion that Paul and Yvonne are currently upside down? Adam Kirk (19:17) was showing off with a brand new PB and second place overall at Dewsbury parkrun. Has to be doping. A quick peek up at Fountains tells me that Andy Todd (21:09), Marcos Montana (25:16), Rob Snow (25:55) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:57) had their trainers laced up and were ready to go.


Down in Harrogate, we had the usual suspects lining up to do their three laps of the Stray, starting with Martin Lofthouse (18:57), Matt Wilkinson (20:17), Maurice Kelly (22:44), Jamie Dilasser (23:00), Andy Peagram (23:13), Sue Simpson (23:21) and Steve Newton (24:42). Now he would never tell you himself, but yesterday was Ben Baird’s (24:46) 100th parkrun. But not only that, he even volunteered without pushing himself to a PB and surround himself with bacon sandwich glory. How charitably minded is that? He’s like Mother Theresa. Only minus the shawl and with more lycra. Anyhow, Dave Prince (25:20), Marl Armstrong (25:24), Sarah Hughan (26:22), and newbie Robert Hill (26:37) were the next to finish. But the story doesn’t end there, for we’ve also got great results from Tony LC (26:54), Moira McTague (27:13), Kirsty O’Donnell (28:42), Sue Reast (28:57) and Dave Rushton (29:29). And the famous finishing four? They were Neil Wright (30:22), Hannah Peagram (31:50) Natalia Lancosova (33:04) and Mandy Smith (38:28). Well done to you all.


From parkrun to the Pennine Way, I want to know all the juicy and sordid details: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’re back at the stamina-building interval sessions. This one is going to be led by the ever-lovely Jon Easton and we’ll be down on Slingsby Walk. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or at the Wetherby Road crossing for 7.10pm and get ready to feel the burn. It’ll be both fun and nice to see you!


Sarah Chalmers has suggested that Thursday’s club run should be the supermarkets. Unfortunately, I won’t be there as I am up working in Tyneside so while I’m up there enjoying a little fishie on a little dishie and waiting for the boat to come in, here is your plan: set off from the club at 7pm and make your way down by the railway towards ASDA, heading up Station Parade towards Waitrose. From there, you’re lining up for the showground, and you can go via St Aidan’s or via M&S. Your shout. After that, push on towards Sainsburys, down Wetherby Road and Forest Lane to Morrisons. This takes you into the glorious surroundings of Starbeck with one last pull back up to the club. Refresh yourselves with a few beers with Dave in the bar afterwards.


On Saturday, you might think about trading in your parkrun for this little fell race up near Todmorden. The Hoofstones race is only 8 miles with a little under 1,400ft of ascent, so it is all quite manageable. The details of the race can be found here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4808. You might want to have a chat with Fell Running Phil (our very own evangelist of mud) if you’re new to fell running, and he’ll allay any anxieties you might have, not to mention bore you silly with a detailed exposition of his favourite ever off-road shoes.


But don’t spend too long out running because on Saturday night we’ve got the Awards Night. We’ll be on it and at it from 7pm at the Gold Club, so get that cow shit scrubbed of your legs and get yourself dressed up all fancy (well, I say that, I’ll just try and hack a few years off with a razor, you know how it is) and we’ll see you there. If you’ve missed the boat, then I’m sorry to say we have sold out and there is not even one additional ticket left for sale. Can’t wait to see you.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Good grief, she is a popular old bean, isn’t she? There are hardly any seats left for Judy Greenwood’s leaving meal at Lucias. I’ve never been a huge fan of Italian restaurants to tell you the truth, lots of people breaking into spontaneous renditions of O Sole Mio and waiters trying to jam their groins in your tortellini while brandishing oversized pepper mills. But enough of me and my prejudices. If you would like to share some farewell garlic bread with Judy and Mike to say goodbye, then you need to get yourself booked in with Nidd Valley’s very own maître d’, Fiona Deacon: mjfjdeacon@sky.com.


AGM: 16 February 2017

Nominations have started to pour in here at Nidd Valley House as we prepare for the AGM and election of the new committee. We haven’t seen Treasurer Dave for weeks as he is buried under a pile of spreadsheets anxiously trying to find his red briefcase. He does like to commend his budget to the house, I’ll say that much. But you really need to be there. We might even buy you some pizza for your tea as a special treat. All the relevant info from Secretarial Sarah can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2017/01/18/agm-2017/.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

I am still unbelievably excited. Maybe you are a bed race veteran or perhaps you are looking to pop your bed racing cherry for the very first time. If you’d like to be involved in the Nidd Valley campaign this year, then you need to let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

“That was cracking” – Carol Morgan, having completed the Montane Spine Race. She’s a funny old cookie.


See you soon, kids.


Sam x


AGM 2017

Dear Members

This email gives formal notice of the Annual General Meeting of Nidd Valley Road Runners on Thursday 16th February 2017, at 8.30pm in the bar at the hockey club.

proposed agenda is attached for your information along with copies of the current constitution and minutes from last year.


Club Committee

You are eligible to stand for any positions on the committee even if the current incumbent wishes to stand for re election. Should you wish to stand please email enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk with your name, the position you wish to stand for and two fellow club members to propose and second you for the post. All nominations should be in by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017. Please see attached agenda.

Motions for discussion

Please email enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk with any motion you or other members wish to be discussed and voted upon, this will then be included in the agenda. These must be in within 14 days of the meeting by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017.

We will be taking a vote on a charity donation of some surplus club funds. Should a motion pass to allocate funds to charity, we will need to identify a suitable recipient. Ordinarily we have always given this to Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate, should you wish to nominate any other cause, all nominations should be in by midnight on Sunday 2nd February 2017, to enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.

Attendance at the AGM
We require as many people as possible to make any electoral decisions count on the night so please make every effort to attend. Every AGM requires a minimum of 20% attendance to be able to conduct business.
Pizzas will be provided for those attending at the AGM – please let Sam know if you have any dietary requirements. chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.
See you there.
Many thanks
Sarah Hughan
Nidd Valley Road Runners


Weekly Update: Nidd Valley House, we have a problem…

Guten tag, alle zusammen!


So who else is following Carol Morgan as she does the Spine Race on the Pennine Way? I can’t take my eyes off the online tracker. It’s like Mission Control here at Nidd Valley House. Lots of anxious people watching the countless monitors on the wall and staring intently at computers. She’s doing very well, and at the time of writing is the first lady and in seventh place overall. It’s early days as she skirts round Manchester, Edale behind her, on her way up towards Yorkshire and Northumbria, but we all know she can do this! Come on Carol, we’re all rooting for you! Follow Carol here: http://map.opentracking.co.uk/spinerace17/map.htm.

NVH Mission Control

NVH Mission Control

And while she slogs up another hill in the pouring rain, let’s have a look at the results.



Jane Hill is this week’s eager beaver, being the first tell me her result from the Brass Monkey half marathon in York, and we will indeed come to her in a moment. Alex Patrickson (1:21:49), Andy Todd (1:25:35), Adam Kirk (1:29:17) all squeaked in under the 1:30 barrier – something that I can only dream of to be honest with you – so it huge congratulations to those three people (I’ve also just noticed that their names all being with an A. First letter in the alphabet. First to finish. Spooky). Rachael Prince (1:57:29) sneaked herself in under the 2-hour barrier, with Jenny Manning (2:02:04) never too far behind. And last, but by no means least, Jane Hill (2:17:19) completes the line up.


So that’s your lot for road running. We had a few people up racing the Stanbury Splash fell race today up near Haworth. I cannot find any results for this race yet (well it is fell racing, after all – have a look in a few weeks, they might have appeared by then), so you’ll just have to imagine some arbitrary numbers in imaginary brackets when you read the following list of Nidds: Matt Wilkinson, Cath Barber and Sarah Chalmers. Although timeless, I’m sure it was all very impressive, and has given me one of the best wise words for months – see below!! Well done to all of you who took part.


Update: results are in at the last minute: Matt Wilkinson (59:48), Cath Barber (1:20:01), Sarah Chalmer (1:48:27). You’re nothing if not updated, peeps.


And with the inevitable and soul destroying tedium, we come to parkrun. First off the blocks this week, we’ve got Phil and Fiona Robinson who were racing down in the parkrun at Barnsley (I can’t help saying that in an exaggerated Yorkshire accent, like ‘Baaarnslay’ so that I end up sounding like William Hague. I’ve no idea why). Phil (25:43) was first to finish and was back at the line to cheer Fiona (32:42) home. If taking your wife to run a South Yorkshire parkrun is your idea of a hot date, Phil, you need to up your game. Take a leaf out of Paul Manning’s book, why don’t you? He’s taken his missus Yvonne to Australia, and while she was drinking a Fosters and throwing a few more shrimps on the BBQ, Paul took a turn round the Albert parkrun in Melboune. He finished in 23:29, you know, the little superstar that he is.


Anyway, it’s a relief to get away from savages of Barnsley back to the civilities of Harrogate, where Matt Wilkinson (18:18) got what proud-wife-to-be Plippy tells me is his second fastest ever time. Well done, Matt. Martin Lofthouse (18:37) pipped Matt Rickard (19:23) to the line in what I think will be a new PB for Matt. Andy Peagram (21:00) was the first post-20 minute Nidd, with Adam Kirk (21:29), Jamie Dilasser (22:13), Sue Simpson (23:02) and newbie David Shores (23:07) making easy work of the course. Good god, this list goes on forever doesn’t it? Never mind. Onwards. Jim Cook (24:15), Mark Armstrong (24:42), Tony LC (26:32), Hannah Peagram (28:07), Debbie Dilasser (28:08), Rebecca Ventress (28:18) and Ewa Scott (28:21) were the next to finish, with Kirsty O’Donnell (28:50), Sue Reast (28:58) and Jeff Walker (29:01) also putting in to-drawer efforts. Finishing things off, we’ve got three veterans of the Nidd Valley parkrun campaign: Dave Rushton (29:28), Michelle Dinsdale (31:26) and Mandy Smith (37:36). Well done to you all.


Same shit, different day. Update me: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we have the next instalment of the stamina interval sessions. This one is down on West Park (you know the one, the triangle run that seems to go on for ever) and is led by Sarah H. Maybe we’ll get to do another 1980s fitnessIt’ll be a blast, and we look forward to seeing you warm up! Anyway, you won’t know unless you turn up so get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm for a warm up jog. I can hardly wait to see you.


On Thursday, you’ve got a couple of choices going on. There’ll be a steady club run running the Knox route. For that, it’s over iron bridge and round Woodfield Road, picking your way through Bilton before coming up for air on Skipton Road. After that, it’s down to the Little Wonder roundabout, before heading up Ripon Road and into town, before turning for the club, extending round the Stray if that tickles your fancy. As an alternative, I’m going to lead a headtorch run down the greenway to Ripley. We’ll join the others over iron bridge, and then make our way through the darkness to see what things go bump in the night, before heading back through Killinghall and up through Bilton to the club. Whatever you do, be at the Hockey Club for 7pm and join us for a couple of pints afterwards.


Committee Meeting: 18 January 2017

My very last one. It’ll be emotional. If you’ve got something you’d like discussing at what promises to be a tense, thrilling and gripping meeting, you’ve still got time to let Sarah H know: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

I warned you, and I warned you many times. If you didn’t get a wriggle on, you’d miss the boat. And the HMS Nidd Valley has indeed set sail: there are no more tickets for the Awards Night. Not a sausage. We have completely and utterly sold out.


If you haven’t let Sarah C know your food choices or if you haven’t settled the bill with Dave (actually, that reminds me…) then you need to do so ASAP. You’ll find Dave in some state of undress in the men’s changing rooms, and you’ll find Sarah here: scpyman@hotmail.com.


Goodbye Judy: 10 February 2017

Yeah, I know. It’s pretty tragic but Judy G is abandoning us in pursuit of an idyllic life in the Lake District with hubby Mike. You can’t blame her, I suppose. Anyway, if you want to come and say your tearful goodbyes or just make sure that she goes, that sort of thing, then there will be a farewell meal at Lucias on Friday 10 February. If you want to go along (and I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t), then you need to let Fiona F know: mjfjdeacon@sky.com (please note the new email address!).


AGM: 16 February 2017

The details for this will be out this week. Just save the date. You really need to be there.


Knaresborough Bed Race: 10 June 2017

Oh, yes please! I love bed racing, I really do. It probably is my very favourite day of the entire year. Drinking, cross dressing, swimming, running. Great. Anyway, if you want to get involved in Team Nidd’s glorious efforts this year, please register your interest with me. Once we’ve got a list of daft buggers together, we’ll try and form some teams from there. I’m not after ready-made teams yet, just expressions of interest. I’m still here at Nidd Valley House: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

My informant rang me up today with this absolute gem from the Stanbury Splash race. It really is great and more than a little bit risqué, and I hesitate to print it for fear of reprisals. But then I thought, hey, I’ll be gone in a few weeks. What’s the worst that can happen?


Sarah Chalmers: “At least I didn’t get mud up my crack this time…”


Whether she is talking about her rear bottom or her front bottom, I’m unable to say.


And on that lurid note, it’s a goodnight from me.


Sam x

Weekly Update: What did Warren have that was long, lonely and hard?

Good evening!


This is your captain speaking. Yes, I’m back here on the bridge of the HMS Nidd Valley as we prepare to hoist the anchor and make sail. Everyone is, as you can imagine, very excited as we get ready to embark on the first voyage of the new year. We’ve got the full crew here: Chief Petty Officer Philippa has spent the day checking all the supplies, Seaman Seaman is faffing about up the rigging, and Fingers The Cabin Boy has been hard at it scrubbing the decks. We’re all good to go! Ahoy my hearties! It’s the treacherous unchartered waters of the results.



And we first make landfall at Temple Newsam, where we’ve had three of our crew mates running in a gruelling 10 mile race earlier today. Jon Easton (1:19:36) – for some inexplicable reason running as James Easton and not affiliated with the club, don’t ask me why – was first home for the club, followed by the correctly named and affiliated Jim Cook (1:26:41). I tell you something, it isn’t often we see Christine Holleran, but it is always nice when we do, especially when she (1:30:39) such brilliant times. Congratulations to you all.


Right, don’t take it out on me. I don’t know why the women’s course at yesterday’s Yorkshire XC Championships was a few laps shorter than the men’s. I didn’t plan the route, and can only conclude that the organisers were of the opinion that it would be too much for the fairer sex to contend with given that their embroidery-addled minds were too full of things like little kittens to be worrying about getting too muddy, I don’t know. Anyway, take it up with them. Despite a few commendable protest absences at the flagrant sexism, we still had a good few showings from the ladies on the muddy course up at Lightwater Valley. Fiona Deacon (40:42) was first Nidd round the roller-coaster course by a good clear margin, with Hannah Peagram (47:57) gaining ground behind Sarah Hughan (47:17) on every turn. Sarah Chalmers (55:29) put in a sterling effort to conclude the ladies team’s effort, securing them a final position of 28/29. Well done!


And to the men and their longer course. Ever-speedy, Matt Wilkinson (40:35) kick started proceedings for us, with the Men’s Captain Martin Lofthouse (42:29) battling hard in the mud for the finish line. You’ve got to love Andy Todd (44:14), haven’t you? He’s like the Duracell Bunny of Nidd Valley. He just keeps going, and going, and going, even all the way to the end of a tough cross country course. That said, Adam Kirk (44:56) was never too far behind him in what was a tight race, with Mike Deacon (47:40) pulling out all the stops for the team. Who’s next? It’s Andrew Peagram (48:40), Jim Cook (52:37), Chris Beattie (55:14) and Marcos Montana (58:25). And the final position for the men? They took 23rd place on the table out of 33 teams. Nice work, chaps.

Looking good, Mr B!

Looking good, Mr B!

And we come, after such a tumultuous voyage, to the safe harbour of the parkrun results. Paul Manning has been down in the Australian Capital of Canberra to take part in (what is, in my opinion, the finest named parkrun in history) the Tuggeranong parkrun. For those of you that are interested, Tuggeranong is the traditional home of the indigenous Ngunawal Tribe, has a population of some 87,000 people, and the town centre is built alongside a rather arresting lake. For those of you that just want me to cut to the chase, Paul (24:23) finished 66th out of 360 runners.

Anyone know who Paul's new special friend is?

Anyone know who Paul’s new special friend is?

Much less glamorous, Fiona Robinson (32:48) took part in the Rotherham parkrun (and by less glamourous, I mean Rotherham and not Fiona. She’s incredibly glamourous, as I’m sure you know). Marcos Montana (25:50) was up at Fountains with Michelle Dinsdale (30:43), while Neil Wright (29:48) had no one to keep him company at Wetherby, the poor thing. Also on her lonesome, we’ve got Sue Reast (29:50) up at the Dalby Forest parkrun.


As ever, most of the action is on the Stray, and so we best get ourselves up there to see Maurice Kelly (21:46), Martin Lofthouse (22:00), Ben Baird (22:44) and Alex Crowton (22:54) lead the troops home. Sue Simpson (23:21) was the first Niddette over the line and managed not to get herself locked in the bog, so that’s a relief. Matt Wilkinson (24:02) had his foot off the gas in preparation for the XC later in the day, with Mark Armstrong (24:07) and Mike Benson (24:17) tucking in nicely behind him. You’ve got to love Dave Prince (24:48) haven’t you, but also spare some loving for Adam Kirk (24:56), Tony LC (27:02) and Christina Taylor (27:44). We’ve got four superb results to finish things off this week, and they come courtesy of Rebecca Ventress (29:29), Jeff Walker (29:48), Kirsty O’Donnell (21:26) and parkrun veteran Mandy Smith (38:40). Well done to you all.


I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm / Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm / Yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new / In city and in forest they smiled like me and you / But let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie / Your eyes are soft with sorrow / Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

If it’s a Tuesday, it’s intervals, but you must know that by now. And this week’s vomit-fest will be led by Sarah Hughan down on St Catherine’s Road. Meet at the Hockey Club at 7pm for some drills in the carpark before we head down for a warm-up job and the main event. Get ready to feel the burn, kids. You know it’ll be worth it.


Alex Patrickson is one very lucky boy as he has got to choose Thursday’s club run. The lucky scamp. Anyway, he has suggested that we run the Duchy Estate, which seems a capital idea if you ask me. So we’ll meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and then head down Skipton Road and onto Kings Road, through Springfield and onto Ripon Road. Weave your way through the Duchy and onto Harlow Moor. From there, you can head back down Otley Road or extend round the middle-class suburbia of HG2. The choice is yours, and we’ll be blotting out the whole sorry incident with a few pints in the bar afterwards. It’d be lovely to see you.


There don’t seem to be any local races this weekend, either on the fells or on tarmac, but if you’re heading out for a spin (and if not, why not?), then why not let a few fellow Nidders know so that they can come and interrupt your solitary run and get in the way?


Committee Meeting: 18 January 2017

We’ve got Chairman-elect Dan coming along for his first security briefing, and so it’s going to be an interesting meeting. Mainly banter, I should expect. We’ve got a lot to get through, including agreeing the races for the championships, sorting out our bed race entries, and having a last-minute panic about the Awards Night. If you want to add to our problems, then you need to speak to our esteemed secretary: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

There’s still tickets left for this most prestigious night here at Nidd Valley House. It’s normally quite a good night, and I’ve got a couple of little surprises up my sleeve to make sure it all goes with a bang. As ever, everyone is very excited. Dave and I have spent the weekend doing a wine tasting, the butlers are busy polishing the silverware, and the two Sarah H has been working her way through a stack of taster menus. You won’t want to miss it, especially when it is only going to cost you £20 a head. There’ll be food, wine, dancing and plenty of silliness, so we hope you’ll be able to join us. There’s a Facebook group on the go with plenty of irrelevant information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/, and tickets are available from Judy G: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.

Awards Night: champagne, cocaine and hookers as standard...

Awards Night: champagne, cocaine and hookers as standard…

AGM: 16 February 2017

I’ll be sending out my one sensible email of the year in a couple of weeks with all the relevant info for the AGM. We need to be quorate to have a meeting, so if you want to get rid of me then you need to make sure that you’re there. There’ll be free pizza too to sweeten the bitter pill of a financial report. Please save the date! We’ll be taking formal nominations for posts soon, but all positions are up for grabs, even if the current incumbent is trying to secure another term. Have a think about whether you’d like to be involved, why don’t you?


Word to the Wise

It isn’t often that I would deign to feature in this section of the email, but here is an excerpt from some texting between Warren Lowcock and I following his marathon training run yesterday.


Sam: How was the run?

Warren: Long, lonely and painful.

Sam: Sounds like my sex life.

Warren: Word to the wise! You better report it correctly.

Sam: This week’s email is entitled ‘What did Warren have that was long, lonely and hard?’

Warren: Ha ha you better not I get enough funny looks as it is.

Sam: The NVRR ladies will be very impressed.

Warren: It was a long, painful, solo effort.

Sam: Did you have any power spurts?

Warren: I’m not talking to you anymore. I forgot the golden rule: never talk before email time.


Sleep tight, kids.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Oh dear, what can the matter be? Who got themselves locked in the lavatory?

Good evening!


Its pantomime season here at Nidd Valley House! Oh not it isn’t! Oh yes it is! Well, then, boys and girls, I wonder which Nidder has got the role of the pantomime dame this year and which lucky soul is going to be the rear end of Martin’s pantomime cow. It’s all very exciting, I’ll tell you that much. But, before the curtain rises on what I’m sure will be a terrific performance, we’ve got an email to get through. Oh yes we do!



I tell you something, people, the minute the club championships are over then everyone seems to hang up their racing shoes and start thinking about the Christmas shopping. Ghastly. Anyway, it makes my job easier as we only have the parkrun results to do this week so, without further ado, follow me and let’s have a look at what has been going on.


Chris Beattie went to Bangor – was she in, Chris? – and he took part in the parkrun while he was there. Although not quite scratching his PB, Chris (22:42) was pleased with his first time on the Northern Ireland course. Adam Kirk (20:09) was back down in Dewsbury for a bit of parkrun excitement down there, clocking third finisher overall. It isn’t often you hear West Yorkshire referred to as exciting, but there we are. It’s was all very romantic for Andrew and Hannah Peagram as they finished the Bury St Edmunds parkrun together – bless – each clocking 32:38. I don’t actually know if it was a dirty weekend or not, nor would I like to speculate, suffice to say that if I’d had a busy night then the last thing I’d think about doing is lacing up my running shoes at some unholy hour to run a 5k race.


To Fountains, then, where Andy Todd (19:48) just missed out in a top ten finish on the hallowed ground. Marcos Montana (24:46) was also on cracking form as he raced round the monastic course, while Sue Reast (28:33) and Michelle Dinsdale (29:40) demonstrated that wearing a wimple is no impediment to impressive and athletic performances.


Right then, Harrogate. Warren Lowcock (18:04) was on speedy form and managed to bag second place overall, with Martin Lofthouse (18:36) and Matt Wilkinson (19:23) hot on his heels. Matt Rickard (20:58) and Sue Simpson (22:57) were the next to finish. Incidentally, Sue Simpson has asked me not to mention that she got herself locked in the public toilets on the Stray just before the parkrun started as she’s terribly embarrassed about it. I can understand that so I won’t be talking about the time Sue got herself locked in the public toilets. If you see her, please don’t mention the fact she got locked in the public toilets. It’s best we just leave it and just try and forget the fact she got locked in the public toilets. Unlike Sue, Steve Newton (23:29), Christine Holleran (24:28) and Mark Armstrong (24:38) managed not to lock themselves in the public toilets. Dave Prince (24:46), Sarah Hughan (25:20), Nick Smith (26:54) and Tony LC (27:53) all went before they came out and so didn’t have to run the risk of being locked in the public toilets, and were joined by an injured Fingers Harris (29:11), Rebecca Ventress (29:48) and Moira McTague (30:06). Jane Hill (30:25) and Mandy Smith (36:46) round things up for us this week, and Jeff Walker (45:45) gets a mention for pimping himself out as sweeper for the week. Well done to you all.


If you too managed to escape from the public toilets before the race started (okay, I’m sorry), don’t forgot to let me have your results: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, Jon E makes his coaching debut. I can hardly wait. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm or down by the Knox Wood Mill for 7.10pm where Jon will be waiting with a cheeky little hill session specially prepared just for you. Whether he’ll be sadistic like Sarah H and make you do it in reverse, I can’t say, so you’ll have to be there to miss it.


On Thursday, we’re back to the happy world of a club run. This week’s request has come from Catherine Barber, who would like to run the Reverse Showground. So, for those in need of further information, this is out from the Hockey Club at 7pm and down Kingsley Road into Starbeck. From there, pass behind Morrisons, through the Dalby Estate and down Forest Lane. Pass over Wetherby Road and down past Sainsbury’s and up through the Showground to Hookstone Chase. From there, you can head to the club pretty directly, or extend up Oatlands Drive or Leeds Road as the mood takes you. As is becoming a regular feature, Catherine will be herding a group of steadier runners if that floats your boat, or you can go haring off with the daft buggers up front. It’s your choice. Whatever you choose to do, it’ll be lovely to see you. Afterwards, there’ll be beers in the bar with the old farts for those of you that have nothing better to do.


On Sunday, Sarah is organising the Ladies Santa Run. The plan has changed somewhat, and she is now hoping to see as many of you ladies as possible at 9.30am at Blubberhouses carpark for a quick spin round the reservoirs before heading up to Mackenzies Smokehouse for your breakfast. If you’re planning on going, then there are a few things that you need to do. Firstly, you need to get yourself a £10 gift for the secret santa, then you need to have a look at the menu and decide what you want to eat: http://www.yorkshiresmokehouse.co.uk/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Autumn-Breakfast-Menu-2016.pdf. That done, you need to email Sarah to confirm your attendance and breakfast choices: scpyman@hotmail.com. However, if you’re a boy, you can ignore all of those instructions. You can spend the morning in your PJs in front of Sky Sports scratching your balls or whatever it is you like to do.


Christmas Run: 22 December 2016

Oh dear God, not again. I’m glad that I have managed to be at the other side of the world while this is on. For the uninitiated, this is the plan: rock up at the Hockey Club for 7pm in some state of festive fancy dress and be prepared to run around the streets of Harrogate, stopping periodically to break into eye-wateringly toneless and barely recognisable renditions of popular carols. The Little Lord Jesus wouldn’t be asleep on the hay for long if he heard you lot massacring Away in a Manger in eight different keys, but it that way. Anyway, that done, head back to the club to get warmed up have a pint and a second-rate mince pie. I don’t know why we put ourselves through this.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

I for one have never bought a hot cake in my entire life but, regardless of their retail appeal, they ain’t selling as well as tickets for the Awards Night. It’s all very exciting, as you can expect, and the butlers and maids here at Nidd Valley House are polishing the silverware, trimming the candles and buffing up the chandeliers. The ladies are all choosing their cocktail dresses, Jon is looking for his sporran and we have bought Fingers a lovely new sailor suit. You wouldn’t want to miss it, believe me.

This is before the DJ and Jager Bombs

This is before the DJ and Jägerbombs

Anyway, tickets are an absolute steal at only £20 (we do subsidise it for you, but then again we are good to you) and this includes a three-course meal and a DJ. If you want in, then you need to book your place with Judy G: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk and transfer the money to the club account.


Also, if you have a trophy from last year, it’s time to take it off the mantelpiece and give it back. We need to get them to the engravers to immortalise the fame of this year’s winners. If you have one, can you please bring it to the club and give it to Sarah Hughan, or make alternative arrangements with her here: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

I’ve got a couple of wise words for you this week. You must have been extra super-duper good and well behaved to get such a treat.


On Tuesday, we were getting ready for Dave’s surprise birthday party and in the changing room I decided it was probably a good shout to remind Alan Harby. For those that would like the fuller picture, he had put his socks on but was still looking for his underpants. Anyway, when more appropriately dressed, Alan wandered over and shared this little pearl of wisdom.

“How old is he? 70? Really? By jingo, I knew he was old and in his sixties but I had no idea he was that bloody old…”


On Thursday, Dave came up to the bar to get his usual post-run pint, only to find half the club there, cakes and a few presents waiting for him. He was visibly touched and emotional, prompting this final wise word:

“It isn’t often you see Dave lost for words, is it?” – Judy Greenwood, in observant mood.


Sorry about that, Dave.


I’m away now until the end of December and, freak aviation accidents notwithstanding, will see you again in 2017. I leave you in the capable hands of the staff here at Nidd Valley House and a handful of exciting guest editors. Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.


Sam x


Weekly Update: We have a photo of Sarah smiling during a race…

Hi all.


It’s all go at Nidd Valley House, as you can expect. We’ve finally finished the extensive and expensive renovations to the West Wing, the new carpets are down, the paint is dry and the fine artwork has just been rehung. It looks splendid. Still, we’ve had a bit of trouble with Fell Running Phil as he has been all excited about the new PECO season and in a moment of giddiness sent a fine and priceless Ming Vase flying so it shattered all over the floor in the Grand Ballroom. You cannot imagine Treasurer Dave’s response when he saw the excess bill from the insurers. You wouldn’t expect such language from him, to be honest with you. Still, with those expletives ringing in our ears, there’s only one place we need to be: the results.



Modesty, thy name is Morgan! Yep, once again I left a result out from last week’s write up and this time it has fallen to Fell Running Phil to let me know Carol’s exploits as she was keeping them very much to herself. Well, Carol, if you won’t take that light from under your bushel then I will, telling everyone that you took part in the Tour of Pendle Fell Race last week. I did a reccie of it with Emma last year and actually cried. It’s a brutal 27k with 1500m of climb and is no mean feat, I tell you that much. But we weren’t talking about me, so we’ll congratulate Carol (3:19:30) on her incredible third lady finish. FRP describes it as “probably one of her best performances in a Nidd vest” and if that isn’t high praise, then I don’t know what is.


I know you’ll be itching to get to the PECO results, but let’s just hang fire on that for a moment and get the parkrun results out of the way. We start off this week with Rebecca Ventress. Rebecca was up visiting her bestie and Nidd Valley Runner Emeritus Aimi Blueman up in Edinburgh. It was great to see Rebecca stay off the booze long enough to knock out the Edinburgh parkrun, where she (28:40) put down a thoroughly impressive time for that early on a cold and wet Scottish morning. Aimi, I’m sorry if you ran it and you aren’t included. I can’t find your result anywhere, but know it is thoroughly unlike you to pass up the opportunity for a quick run. Adam Kirk (19:43) was, we presume, down seeing the old trouble and strife down in West Yorkshire but managed to sneak out to compete on the Dewsbury Course, taking sixth place overall. As ever, we had a faithful contingent up at Fountains Abbey, led home by the indefatigable Andy Todd (19:45), with Marcos Montana (24:27), Nick Smith (26:21) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:59) storming home behind him.


But I’m sure you’re all champing at the bit to hear the news from Harrogate. Well calm yourself and fret ye not. Martin Lofthouse (18:45) managed to hold Matt Wilkinson (19:29) off for long enough to take fifth place overall, with Jon Easton (21:44) pulling over a minute ahead of Sue Simpson (22:49), Steve Newton (23:29) and Alison Illes (24:39). It’s always nice to hear from Sarah Hughan (27:07) who managed to squeeze herself in between Mr (25:15) and Mrs Dilasser (28:11). Neil Wright (28:34) soon popped his smiley face at the finish line, with Jim Cook (29:33), Tony LC (29:56) and Moira McTague (30:59) never too far behind. With mummy up tossing the caber in Scotland, it was up to dad Phil get Eddie Ventress (34:01) up in time, but the early start was well worth it with a time like that. And with two great results from Hannah Peagram (34:06) and Mandy Smith (38:12), that’s your lot from the Stray for this week. Well done to all you parkrunners.


Okay, never mind Chico Time, this is PECO TIME! Oh yeah. Yep, it was the first of the PECO XC races at Temple Newsam and it was grand to see such a large contingent of Nidds out to race. With off-road running clearly one of the last bastions of arbitrary sexism, the results for men and ladies are separated, so you’ll have to forgive me for not trying to reorder them in time order. Let’s start with the ladies, who were led home by Sue Simpson (38:39), Debbie Gibson (40:48) and Catherine Barber (40:59). After that, Moira McTague (42:24), Hannah Peagram (43:24), Debbie Dilasser (45:29), and Michelle ‘PECO’ Smith (47:15) all put in really good runs on the difficult course.  Christina Taylor (47:17) and Sarah Chalmers (51:01) finished things off for us with two brilliant finishes.

She smiles!

She smiles!

From the men, Warren’s boyfriend Dan tells me that his beloved had a difficult race, noting that “f*** me, that was terrible”. Still, he didn’t let that stop him (29:15) make easy work of the course and just hold Matt Wilkinson (29:22) at bay in a nail biting finish with Alex Patrickson (30:19) closing in within striking distance. All terribly exciting. Martin Lofthouse (30:43) was never too far behind Alex, with not even a hair’s breadth separating Adam Kirk (31:49) and Andy Todd (31:54). Who’s next? It’s Edoardo Piano (32:39), Matt Rickard (33:31), Andrew Peagram (36:19) and Jim Cook (36:54). It isn’t often we see Rob Snow (38:49), and it was just as lovely to see newbie Mike Benson (39:22) pop his NVRR racing cherry. Fell Running Phil (39:24) was, as I am sure you can imagine, very excited, and it was great to see Dave Seaman (39:50), Dave Prince (40:22), Nick Smith (42:23) and Neil Wright (44:29) out in force in the mud. Well done to you all.


The statisticians here at Nidd Valley House (with their newly appointed Team Leader, Edoardo Piano, very happy with his new surprise promotion) tell me that after this first PECO Race, the Nidd Valley Ladies team are keeping Striders at bay, whereas the men’s team are beating both Harrogate Harriers and Knaresborough Striders in the Second Division. We’re also third in the Vets category (that’s as in veterans, by the way, not the kind of vet that puts your pet rabbit down). This is amazing work from all of you, people, so let’s keep that going.


Bish bash bosh: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we’re hard back at the intervals and this time Sarah H has a brand new hill session lined up for you. It’s going burn, it’s going to knack, but it is going to be worth it. You wouldn’t want to miss it. If you can get yourself to the top of Wheatlands Road East (the junction with Oatlands Drive) for 7.10pm, then that’d be great, but most of us will be meeting at the Hockey Club at 7pm for the usual gentle warm up jog together. Come and join us, why don’t you?


On Thursday, you have a choice. Martin Lofthouse and I will be leading a headtorch run down Nidd Gorge. All are welcome and the pace will be sedate but please don’t come unless you have a decent headtorch and some off-road shoes that you feel confident running in. Off road night time running is tremendous fun, but the right kit does pay dividends. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, then Dave Seaman will be leading a more pedestrian route in town, sticking to paths and pavements and with the benefit of street lighting. As ever, there’ll be lots of different paces from the quick to the not-so-quick. Whatever you decide to do, we’ll be meeting at the Hockey Club at 7pm and hope you’ll join us in the bar afterwards for drinks and a good old bitch.


Ladies Santa Run: 11 December 2016

It’s like an inverse Yorkie Bar. It’s not for the boys. Ladies are invited to assemble themselves at Blubberhouses carpark at 9am for a run with Fewston and Swinsty Reservoirs followed by breakfast at Mackenzies Smokehouse. If you are wanting to come, please bring a gift to the value of £10 for the Secret Santa and get yourselves all booked in with that ringleader of festive cheer and jollity, Sarah Chalmers: scpyman@hotmail.com.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

Yep, this shit is real and this shit is hot. We are in business and ready to rock. If you want to come along to this star studded glittering event, then you need to get yourself a place booked with Judy Greenwood: membership@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk. You also need to transfer £20 for the ticket to the club account (Nidd Valley Road Runners, AC# 12074796, sort code 40-23-12). If paying by this method, please include a reference based on your name and email this reference to Dave at dave.seaman2@btinternet.com. More details at our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/.


Exciting details about menu choices, playlists and that sort of thing will all follow in due course.


Club Championship Final Results

Mark David has asked me to share the final results with you, and I am more than happy to do so. The road results are here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1auJ74kWsms6JbXP7eQcJnGAjJt2E6V1YmW-9xe8wdh4/edit#gid=0, and the fell results are here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13BmRuVyXleVUF1qju2Okw4JCYozY2rnvRRMpO_SQwMU/edit#gid=0. If you have any problems, questions, think you’ve been overlooked or omitted, then please raise it with Mark as he understands these technical things far more than I do: sqwubbsy@gmail.com.


Word to the Wise

We have another great wise word for you this week, this time courtesy of Catherine Barber and Nidd Valley House’s favourite intern Fingers Harris.

Catherine: What is the name of the Welsh equivalent of the Bob Graham Round?

Fingers: Isn’t that the Paddy Buckley Round?

Catherine: Oh yeah, that’s it. What about the Scottish one then?

Fingers: Oh, I know it…. it’s… hang on…. it’s the something Round.


Thanks for that, Fingers. Helpful.


See you tomorrow.


Sam x


Weekly Update: Willies, smack and burnt sausages…

Good evening!


Sorry not to make the breakfast run at the Deacon’s this morning. It looks like it was a right treat, with Fiona’s chargrilled sausages and Philippa’s crockery-smashing attempt to turn the whole thing into a Greek Wedding. Well done to all of you whole hauled yourself out of bed in to get up to the cottage in time and to complete the chilly climb up to Brimham Rocks.


Things are, as you’d expect, getting very busy here at Nidd Valley House. People are very excited about Christmas, as I am sure you can imagine. Sarah Hughan is back on the prosecco, Judy has a new Christmas jumper and Dave is putting the finishing touches to his mistletoe crown. On top of that, we’ve got a new cross-country championship on the way, an Awards Night to organise, and all the while people are very anxious about a Trump-style upset at the AGM. So you can put that ‘Make Nidd Valley Great Again’ sign down and read on. There’s a lot you need to know.



Oooops! I only went and left more results out of the write up last week. So it is a sorry to Edoardo Piano who had to send me a reminder of his adventure down in Bingley at the Harriers vs Cyclists Race last Saturday. Not sure how the whole thing worked to be honest, but am pleased to tell you that Edoardo (48:02) managed to get near the front of the pack to finish 106/246. He was soon joined by Simon Franklin (49:32) and Carol Morgan (49:36) as they hared down the hill with a group of mountain bikers chasing them down to the finish line. Well done, you three!


I’ve got another group of three beautiful people for you this week, with our team at Fountains parkrun. It’ll be no surprise to you to hear that Andy Todd (20:15) was first off the Nidd Valley blocks, with Marcos Montana (24:50) and Michelle Dinsdale (31:41) also on good form on the scenic course. Fiona and Phil Robinson were down in Sheffield, where they competed in the Hillsborough parkrun. Yeah, I know, I can’t even get myself to the Stray for 9am. Anyway, Phil (24:06) and Fiona (32:30) both did remarkably well and so I am sure that the journey down the M1 was worth it all in the end.


And so we come neatly to Harrogate parkrun and, while we are here we may as well have a look at the results. They start with Dan Eagling (20:51), Andrew Peagram (21:58) and Maurice Kelly (22:24), and continue with Sue Simpson (23:34), Christine Holleran (24:13) and Dave Prince (24:55). Moira McTague (24:57) kept the good times rolling, while Evie Iles (27:25) kept mum Alison (27:26) on her toes as they shot around the freezing cold course. Neil Wright (27:43) and an injured Fingers Harris (28:16) were never too far behind, just managing to keep Jeff Walker (29:12) at bay. Jane Hill (29:19), Hannah Peagram (33:03) and Mandy Smith (38:29) rounded things off nicely. Well done to you all.


Please remain seated, do not put your hands outside the carriage and do not unfasten your safety belt until the ride has come to a complete stop. Thank you: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

On Tuesday, we continue with all things intervals, and this week we are down on Springfield Avenue for the session we have come to know and love: ‘Double Trouble’. This is being led by Dan, so to be fair anything could happen. He’ll probably still be chatting away come Wednesday morning. Dan tells me that he is marking the return to the site of the infamous arse-slapping with a warm up technique called ‘cheek to cheek’. I dread to think. Anyway, get yourself down to the carpark opposite the Holiday Inn for 7.10pm, or be sociable and come and meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


It’s a bit of bind to be working away this week as I won’t be able to join you for the run on Thursday, when I’m told that it is the Cornwall Road route. It’s not a bad one, this, and there are so many variations it really is the run that keeps giving. Leaving the Hockey Club at 7pm, we head over the Stray and through One Arch and down to the bottom of Valley Gardens. From there, up Cornwall Road and along Harlow Moor. You can hang back home from there, or push on round to Green Lane and Leadhall Lane, turning for the club either up Leeds Road or Hookstone Chase. That done, turn left through the double doors and up the stairs to the bar for a beer and a bag of crisps.


On Sunday, we have the first of the PECO Races. You must have heard about the fact we have got a team entry for this by now; Michelle’s been pedalling this with one with more vigour than dealers try and shift smack. Anyway, this one is at Temple Newsam and the senior races start at 11am. Michelle has the numbers for you all, so you need to see her at club this week to get them and to settle your debts. More details on the race can be found here: http://www.pecoxc.co.uk/pages/race1.html. Got a question? Badger Michelle and not me: mjnissan@hotmail.co.uk.


X-County Championships

I tell you something, Martin and Michelle really are good to you. They’ve only gone and decided that we should have a cross country championship to compliment the fell and road championships, as well as giving us something to focus on through the winter months. We haven’t told Fell Running Phil yet as he’ll just get himself all over excited again and that is the last thing we need this close to his bedtime here at Nidd Valley House. Anyway, it’s based on the PECO League, with a few other races thrown in, and Martin will be sending out the schedule and rules in due course, but we thought you’d at least appreciate the dates:

  • Sunday 27 November 2016: PECO – Rothwell Harriers @ Temple Newsam
  • Sunday 18 December 2016: PECO – Hyde Park Harriers @ TBC
  • Saturday 7 January 2017: Yorkshire XC Championships @ Lightwater Valley
  • Sunday 22 January 2017: PECO – Kirkstall Harriers @ West Park
  • Saturday 4 February 2017: Wetherby Parkrun
  • Sunday 19 February 2017: PECO – St Teresa’s AC @ Pendas Fields
  • Sunday 5 March 2017: PECO – Chapel Allerton Runners @ Roundhay Park


Get them in your diary, then!


Ladies Santa Run: 11 December 2016

Well, this is disgusting. It looks like the ladies are going to go off and do their own thing and leaves us boys on our lonesome. Yeah, I know, it’s harsh. Still, there we are. If you are of the fairer sex, then you’re welcome to join the ladies a Blubberhouses carpark at 9am for an eight mile run, followed by breakfast up at Mackenzies Smokehouse. If you want to take part, then you’ll need to bring a £10 gift with you for the Secret Santa. If, however, you have a willy then you’re not welcome and will have to stay at home to watch the football, drink beer and play with power tools. Further details from Sarah Chalmers: scpyman@hotmail.com.


Awards Night: 28 January 2017

Now this is very exciting indeed. Judy has been busy printing tickets, Philippa and I have been working hard on the wine tasting, and Jon can’t wait to show you his new little black cocktail dress. He looks quite the picture. Tickets will be on sale soon, and will be going for the bargain price of £20. It’s a great chance to get dressed up, eat a rather good three course meal, have a boogie and listen to me talk a load of old baloney. If you’re down with the yoof, find out more on social media innit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1803174683282877/.


AGM: 16 February 2017

I know this uber-early, but I’d appreciate it if you might get this date in your diary. Go, that’s it, do it now.


You are welcome to stand for election for any post of the committee. If you think you could do a better job than Martin or Michelle, or maybe you think that you could show Dave a thing or two about treasuring, then this is your chance. Just because someone is willing to stand again doesn’t mean that you cannot stand. We do, however, have a couple of jobs going begging so do have a think about it. Philippa is standing down as a general member at the end of this year as she has a wedding to organise, and Judy is finally bowing out after 11 years as membership secretary. Thanks to them both for their work, it’s much appreciated. I’m also going to be checking out as Chairman, too, so this is your chance to get your hands on the keys to Nidd Valley House. More details on the AGM and how to stand to follow soon, but do have a think if you’d like to be involved and come and chat to me or any of the other committee members.


Song to the Wise

Now this is actually quite sweet. Dave and Rachael Prince brought their two boys Ollie and Alex to pizza after GF10, and Alex was as hyper as ever. So impressed was he with my new yellow and black bobble hat from Matt that he composed a song about it in the car on the way home. Rather touchingly, he penned his song when he got home and put it through my door the next day. With the author’s permission, it’s copied here in full complete with Alex’s own creative spelling…

“Sam the bumblebee, ran for Nid valeey and he was the chereman, they gave him a hat, it waz 20 qid, Sam the bumblebee x4. By the time he was in the second yere of cherema, that’s the end of story. by alex p”


If you too would like to write songs and poems about me, perhaps create a sculpture or a fine oil painting, then I won’t stop you.


Have a wonderful week whatever you do, and I’ll hopefully see you on Tuesday.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Put those pompoms away, for crying out loud!

Good evening!


I can barely hear myself think here at Nidd Valley House today, it’s so noisy. Everywhere I turn I am bumping into over-excited cheerleaders marching up and down the corridors with their black and gold pompoms as they shout out “Give me an I, give me an N, give me a T, give me an E, give me an R, give me a V, give me an A, give me a L, give me an S…. INTERVAAAAALS”. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the intervals are back and Nidd Valley House has not seen this much excitement since Fell Running Phil got a new pair of off-road shoes and Mark David got himself a new spreadsheet. O yes, make no mistake: the intervals are indeed back and everyone is VERY excited. Read on to find out more, why don’t you?



When I was busy faffing round for GF10 last week, I didn’t notice that last Saturday saw Damien and Debbie Handslip pack up and head to the Lake District to compete in the Helvellyn Trail 10k Race. Sorry about that. No matters, that record can be righted and set straight here: Damien (47:39) raced round the scenic course in a brilliant time, with the missus (1:03:16) never far behind. Well done to you both, they’re two brilliant times.

If you're this happy when running then you're not trying hard enough ;-)

If you’re this happy when running then you’re not trying hard enough 😉

And talking of chairmanly failings, I have to console Alan Davidson who was racing up in Greenock in Scotland at the end of October but was let down when yours truly failed to get his name in print. So, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Scotsman races in Scotland. Hardly news of the century, is it? But then he pointed out to me that he (18:43) had managed to get himself a new PB and – to use his words and not mine – it isn’t often that an old boy like him gets PB so we best make a fuss of him while we have the chance. Consider yourself fussed over, Alan.


It was muddy as buggery up in the Pennines yesterday – and when isn’t it, I hear you reasonably cry? – when Team Nidd was racing the Wadsworth Half Trog (9 miles, 1,400ft of climb and an awful lot of sheep shit, you know the kind of thing). Anyway, Carol Morgan (1:33:23) added more silverware to the Nidd Valley Trophy Cabinet, and was helped by Catherine Barber (2:02:27) and Rachel Prince (2:37:18) to claim the Ladies Team Prize. Just amazing. Edoardo Piano (1:36:00) just pipped part-time-Nidd Simon Franklin (1:37:39) to the finishing tape, while Fell Running Phil (1:52:51) just managed to hold Dave Prince (1:53:15) out of harm’s way as they hurtled down the final hill. Fell running newbie Jim Cook (2:00:35) got himself thoroughly acquainted with all things filthy, and Dave Seaman (2:25:24) and Sarah Chalmers (2:53:51) brought proceedings to a suitably impressive finish. Well done to you all.

Simon is playing with fire...

Simon is playing with fire…

Now then, everyone here at NVH is very excited to see that Warren Lowcock (18:40) was the first to finish overall at Harrogate parkrun, all very impressive until you realise that he was running almost a minute slower than his PB so easily within his comfort zone. It is sickening isn’t it? Never mind, just kick him in the shins when you see him. That’ll learn him for showing off. Jamie Dilasser (21:07) was back where he belongs with Team Nidd, having hung up his Harriers vest for good (great choice, that’s what I say), and was soon joined by Andrew Peagram (22:24) and Sue Simpson (23:12) at the finish. Mark Armstrong (23:44) was joined in his athletic ablutions by Junior Thomas Gillett (24:55), Moira McTague (25:27), Jim Cook (26:23) and Hannah Peagram (26:31). Nick Smith (28:00) swapped YorTours for YorParkrun as he hit the 28 mark smack on the nose, joined by a steadier than usual Fingers Harris (28:04) – what’s going on, Fingers? – Kirsty O’Donnell (28:09), Jeff Walker (32:05) and the old parkrun faithful Mandy Smith (38:11). Excellent work!


Martin Lofthouse pulled off a Warren, if you get my drift, when he also got a first place parkrun finish. He (18:54) was down in Lincolnshire – not something he wants to say too often, if he can help it – and racing in Boston Spa, whereas Fiona Robinson (31:39) was down racing in Cross Flats and Neil Smith (28:13) was even further away in Leicester. You go to all the best places, people, I’ll say that much. Andy Todd (19:54) was in the much more refined setting of Fountains Abbey, where he bumped into Mark (22:25) and Emma (23:00) David. I wonder what Mark was doing there. He races parkruns as often as I race sober. No matter, give a few cheers for Marcos Montana (24:17) and Michelle Dinsdale (30:02) who joined them on the monastic paths.


If you’re like Alan and I’ve missed your result, then don’t fret. I’ll still be here next week: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Lots going on, so you best pay attention. We start on Tuesday with the first of the winter interval series. It could hardly be more exciting. New coach Sarah Hughan will be out of quarantine and under the watchful gaze of her supervisor Emma David. Who knows how this will end up? If you want to find out, then get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm or down outside the Knox Arms for about 7.10pm and be ready to feel the exciting burn on the hills. Burn baby burn! It’ll be great, I promise, and we look forward to seeing you there.


You don’t want to be down in Bilton twice in a week if you can help it, so I suggest that on Thursday we run to Pannal. It’s not as a daunting as it sounds, trust me. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head round the Stray and past St Aidans, onto Hookstone Chase and to the crossroads. From there, you can head back to club or head down Leadhall Lane. Alternatively, line up down Leeds Road and plough on to Pannal, through the village, up the yarking big hill and join the others back somewhere in HG2. Catherine B will be leading her usual steady group, so don’t go getting yourself stressed about being left behind, and I’m happy to co-ordinate things for anyone who wants things a bit more sparky. Pints in the bar afterwards and a chance to play the exciting game called ‘I am quite sure we had this very same conversation last week.


On Sunday, Mike and Fiona are leading a 10k-ish run (shorter option available) followed by a breakfast to celebrate their new house. Bloody lovely people, aren’t they? Anyway, it’s a muddy one so make sure you take your shoes off before you go traipsing through the house looking for the toilet. Meet at the cottage for 9.30am. I won’t post their address online as we don’t want the Strider and the Harriers all and athletic sundry turning up demanding to be fed. Fiona has been peddling her bacon butties on the Facebook group and you can find the details there. If you are planning to go, they’d appreciate the heads up: mjfjdeacon@ntlworld.com. They might even tell you their new address if you ask them nicely.


Committee Meeting: Wednesday 16 October 2016

Jesus wept. Speak now or forever hold thy peace: enquiries@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


Word to the Wise

Dave Prince would like to share with you the three lessons he learned from the Wadsworth Half Trog yesterday, which are:

  1. Phil Robinson should not follow me when I am blindly following someone who is lost. Maps are more use in your hand than the bag.
  2. But the same applies to Rachael.
  3. It does, however, makes a change from Dave Seaman getting lost.


Can’t argue with that. Enjoy your evening and see you tomorrow.


Sam x

Weekly Update: A terrorist on car parking duties…

Now then,


Once again – you did it! Another Guy Fawkes 10 is in the bag and whether you marshalled, packed, drove vans, put signs up, took signs down, clapped, cheered, directed, dressed up, handed out, picked up, watered, tidied up or just stood around trying to look busy, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you very much indeed. You’ve shown why Nidd Valley is indeed the friendliest club around (if not a little bit odd, but there we go) and today we showed a thousand lycra-clad visitors the very best of Team Nidd. Twitter and the email are full of positive comments from the runners. Thanks for being part of making it happen. #hurrahfornidd #bossedit #winning

A terrorist on car parking duties...

A terrorist on car parking duties…

No doubt Race Director Matt will do his roll call of beer-fuelled thanks over pizza later, so I’ll record my thanks to him here. He’s done nearly all the work behind the scenes, with neither a grumble nor a penny’s pay. He got his moment’s glory stood on a wall brandishing a megaphone today, though, but that isn’t really recognition enough for the work he’s been quietly getting on with it over the past 12 months, graciously responding to stupid questions from an interfering Chairman along the way. The club owes him a tremendous debt. Thanks, mate.



Results are mercifully thin on the ground this week as you’ve all been helping marshal the GF10, so I’ve only got a handful of parkrun results from this weekend. But before I go to them, I need to set the record straight on a few that were omitted when I didn’t get an update to you last week.


The girls were first off the blocks last week with the North Tyneside to Newcastle Half Marathon. And they were led home by Little Miss Chatterbox herself, Debbie Gibson (1:56:28). Katie Cowie (1:56:36), Michelle Smith (2:13:21) followed next, with Brenda Loades (2:28:51) and Anne-Marie MacPhearson (also 2:28:51) rounding things off. Well done to you all ladies.


It was also an all-female affair up at the Yorkshire Coast 10k where Jane Hill (58:28) just sneaked in under the one hour barrier last weekend, with the tireless Michelle Dinsdale (1:01:15) never too far behind. Nice work!


We’ve got more silly antics from the Franklin-Morgan household, this time in the shape of the Dusk till Dawn Ultramarathon in the Peak District, with runners chased by the ominously Halloween-esque Grim Sweeper. Equipped with her headtorch and plenty of spare batteries, Carol Morgan (10:08) was first lady and third overall on the 50 mile nocturnal challenge, with hubby Simon (13:46) also putting down an outstanding time. Congratulations to you both.


Matt Wilkinson (19:14) kick started proceedings for us at Harrogate parkrun yesterday, with Martin Lofthouse (19:22) slotting tidily into his slip steam. Sue Simpson (23:13) was first Mrs Nidd to acquaint herself with the finish line, before she was joined by Mark Armstrong (24:03), Paul Manning (24:22) and Mike Benson (25:33). Moira McTague (25:45), Sarah Hughan (26:19) and NV Junior Thomas Gillett (26:42) led Hannah Peagram (27:05) to the finish, before we caught up with Jeff Walker (27:38), Rebecca Ventress (28:26), Tony LC (28:27) and Ewa Scott (28:54). It’s hard to believe that NV Junior Eddie Ventress (32:02) was spotted trying to snaffle some chocolate for himself at the bag packing yesterday morning, but with a time like that I can only assume the poor thing must have been starving. You have to feel for the little love, don’t you? I sometimes wonder if his mummy can rouse herself from her prosecco soaked stupor to feed him. He’s like Nidd Valley’s very own Oliver Twist.


Anyway, let’s leave such Dickensian tragedy behind us and look at the other parkrun results. Up at Fountains, Any Todd (19:55) just sneaked under the 20 minute barrier, and we had two cracking little results from Marcos Montana (24:22) and Nick Smith (27:58). Over in Skipton, Fiona Robinson (32:15) continued her quest to complete all the parkruns in Yorkshire. Some people collect stamps, other people collect shoes. Fiona, well, she collects parkrun results. Takes all sorts I suppose. Adam Kirk (20:14) set off with the big boys at front of the pack at Dewsbury and managed to hold on long enough to bag himself an impressive fourth place. Well done to you all.

Spot the Nidd!!

Spot the Nidd!!

I’m told that Matt Wilkinson’s mum reads the weekly update to find out what her son has been up to. If you too would like to share your news with Mrs Wilkinson, then you only have to let me know: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Moira M has chosen this Tuesday’s run and she thinks that you just can’t beat Bilton. I’m not so sure, but I’m not one to argue with her so on Tuesday let’s run Knox. As per usual, meet up at the Hockey Club for 7pm and we’ll head out over the railway bridge and down Woodfield Road and Tennyson Avenue. God willing, we’ll come up for air somewhere on Skipton Road from where you can head back to club if you have had enough, or head down to Little Wonder Roundabout and back up Ripon Road. Chase a few Strava Segments while you plough on up to the town centre, along West Park and then turn for the club. Catherine B will be taking charge of a slower and steadier group, so please don’t turn up thinking there is nothing for you. There’s something for everyone here at Nidd Valley House.


On Thursday, I fancy a little bit of Cold Bath Road action. Get a wriggle on and get yourself to the Hockey Club for 7pm, from where we will run out onto Skipton Road, down Kings Road, past the Crown Hotel and up Cold Bath Road. You can hang a left from the club there if that’s your lot, or you can head down the seemingly endless Pannal Ash Road and then onto Green Lane and Leadhall Lane. Yadda yadda, you know where to go from there. All roads lead back to the Hockey Club where the old grumps will be having a couple of pints and a bag of crisps in the club house bar. Why don’t you join them?


Sunday marks the end of the Fell Championships with the Wadsworth Trog. It’s really the last thing we need, to be honest with you, as Fell Running Phil is an emotional wreck. I haven’t seen him like this for years, and we don’t know what to do with him. Just when you think he’s holding it together, something sets him off and he’s crying his heart out into his hankie, shoulders shuddering as he sobs. It’s a terribly sorry sight. If you can face the emotional car crash that he’ll be come Sunday, then you can find out more about the race here: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4285. It’s just over nine miles in length, and just under 1,400ft in climbing, so you’ve got your work cut out. Good luck to all competing.


Winter Intervals

We’ll be starting this season’s Tuesday intervals next week, and will be unveiling Nidd Valley’s finest new coaching team: Sarah Hughan, Jon Easton and Dan Eagling. I’m really quite anxious about unleashing the King of Bantz, Dan, on you all so we’ll have to see how this one goes. I can still remember the time he spanked me on the arse as I ran past him when he was doing his coaching training. I never knew he felt that way if I’m being honest, and can only say I am sorry that his playful affections went unrequited. More details to follow next week (of intervals, that is, not Dan’s cheeky hands).


Deacon Towers: 20 November 2016

Yeah, so Fiona and Mike have got themselves a new country pad. You know how it is – wood burners, agas and chicken shit, that kind of thing. All sounds lovely. Anyway, they’re opening their doors to Nidders for a breakfast run on 20 November. If you would like to go for a run with these lovely people and then stop by for a brew to marvel at their new rural idyll, pop the date in your diary. Full details to follow next week.


Guy Fawkes 10: 5 November 2017

Only joking.


Word to the Wise

At last week’s Guy Fawkes’ reccie run, the conversation turned to lookalikes and the Nidders, perhaps ambitiously, were bragging about which celebrities and famous faces they have been likened to. And, in a moment of alarmingly intimate self-revelation, Jeff Walker made his word to the wise debut:

“I once pulled off Ian Botham…” – Jeff Walker, whose private life is thankfully no business of mine.


You’ve got Jenny Manning to thank for grassing Jeff up and bringing you that piece of filth.


See you for pizzas at the Hockey Club. 7pm. Be there or be hungry.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Debbie’s gender reassignment surgery has been a great success…

Now then,


Following some concerning information, we are declaring a State of Emergency here at Nidd Valley House. First thing this morning, we heard reports that Fell Running Phil was taking part in a road race. Then an anonymous caller let us know that Lee Dalton had made a return to racing. Shortly after that, the Deputy Manager of the Intelligence Department reported that Carol hasn’t run up any mountains this weekend. And, strangest of all, we then heard that Philippa has actually been for a run. This is all very concerning and our Intelligence Analysts are working round the clock to get to the bottom of things. For now, please remain in your homes, secure your doors and windows, stockpile non-perishable food, and avoid all non-essential travel. Thank you.



We start this week with some belated news, this time from Christine Holleran. Christine took part in the Shaun Lee Johnstone Memorial Race last weekend and you’ll be impressed to hear that she finished the muddy and wet 10 miler in a brilliant (1:29:25). Congratulations, Christine.


Up in Osmotherley, Lee Dalton took part in the 20k trail race earlier today, marking a return to racing after a long hiatus. Impressively, he was the first in over the line – not just first Nidd, but proper first. Even more impressive, isn’t it? Our sources tell us that it was a quite a convincing win for him (in 1:26:ish) with some distance between him and his nearest rivals. Sarah Chalmers (1:24:ish) wasn’t first in the 12k race, but nor was she last so that should at least put a smile on her face. Well done to you both.


Neil Wright tells me that he was down in Leicester – not something he wants to say too often, if he can help it – where he raced in the half marathon down there. Well, bugger me. He only went and got under the two hour barrier with the most athletic of results (1:53:55). As is tradition, Neil has sent me the email apologising for not being faster and putting himself down. Neil, get a grip of yourself: that’s a great result and a profound achievement. Nice work.


You know it is a big event in the road championships when even Fell Running Phil laces up his road shoes to get involved. But it was a big event indeed, where today we marked the end of road championships with the Whixley 10k. If this was what he was like at the road championships, I dread to think what he’ll be like when the Wadsworth Trog brings the fell champs to an end next month. He’ll be insufferable. Never mind, we’ll throw ourselves off that bridge when we get to it. For now, let’s have a look at the results. It’ll be no surprise that Warren Lowcock (36:45) was first to finish for the club, coming in an impressive third place. What is it about that man and getting placed third? He always does it. Anyway, I’m pondering whether to share Tim Harvey’s result as he ran with his new friends from York Knavesmire. Still, we’re a kind hearted, reconciliatory lot and you’re forever dodging dove shit and tripping over olive branches round here, so I’ll tell you that he (37:06) nailed an incredibly impressive time, too.


Stop dithering, Fugill, and get back to the results. After Warren and our prodigal son, we had Martin Lofthouse (38:15), Adam Kirk (40:56), Mike Deacon (43:52), Fiona Deacon (45:50) and Jim Cook (46:48). From there, Mark Armstrong (47:17) guided Fell Running Phil (49:00) over that funny stuff they called tarmac, while I’m sure that Debbie Gibson (53:36) kept Jenny Manning (53:43) entertained with plenty of bantz. Debbie Dilasser (56:21) almost took the prize for first lady with a course record to boot until someone pointed out that she’d been mistaken for hubby Jamie (41:13), with Michelle Smith (57:28) and Fiona Robinson (1:04:55) completing the line up. Well done to you all.

Celebrating Debbie's new course record! #everyoneisveryexcited

Celebrating Debbie’s new course record! #everyoneisveryexcited

As that marks the end of the road championships, if you have a joker you’d like to play, then you only have until midnight to get your call in to Mark David: sqwubbsy@gmail.com. Please do not call after the deadline, as your vote will not be counted and you may still be charged for your call. Please always remember to ask the bill payers permission.


Parkrun-wise, we have to give a shout out to Dan Eagling (20:15) who took fourth place at the Tramore parkrun yesterday while out visiting his brother Paul. Well done Dan! Michelle Dinsdale (29:58) was on her lonesome up at Fountains Abbey (let me hear you shout amen, sister!), while Fiona Robinson (40:34) continued her parkrun bagging campaign around Yorkshire at the Sheffield Castle course.


Each week, your Harrogate parkrun results make me think that I’ve made a rod for my own back with the write up. It takes bloody ages, but you are special peeps and I would hate to let you down. So, from the top, Matt Wilkinson (18:32), Martin Lofthouse (18:34) and the-not-seen-for-some-time Chris Crabtree (21:05) got things off to a flying start for us, with Ben Baird (22:30), Sue Simpson (22:55), Steve Newton (22:59) and Christine Holleran (23:37) never far behind. Mark Armstrong 24:34), Mike Benson (24:59) and Moira McTague (25:38) were the next to complete their athletic ablutions, with Jeff Walker (29:57) just sneaking in under 30 minutes. Ah the romance, Jamie (30:02) and Debbie (30:03) Dilasser were sure to finish together, before Neil Wright (33:16), NV Junior Thomas Gillett (36:10) and Mandy Smith (37:09) brought the show to an end on the highest of highs. Fabulous running all round.


Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry? Precious kisses words that burn me, lovers never ask you why: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

As I am away on Tuesday with work, your compère for the evening will be no other than Fingers Harris. He’s got the keys for Nidd Valley House and has a cracking run lined up for you. Meet at the Hockey Club for 7pm, and run over the Stray and into town. Head down to the bottom of Valley Gardens, before heading up Cornwall Road and onto Harlow Moor. From there, it is back onto Otley Road, where you can head straight back to the club down Otley Road, or extend down Beckwith Road and Green Lane before emerging on Leeds Road. As ever, Catherine B will be leading a steady group so you’ve got no excuses for not coming. There’ll be something for everyone – even you, you little scamps!


On Thursday, I’ll be back in the driving seat and at the Hockey Club for 7pm. Come on, let’s push it. Let’s do Knaresborough. Down Kingsley Road and into Starbeck, before heading down the hill to Knaresborough. Once you’re down there, it’s along Waterside before heading over the low bridge and along Forest Moor, back from Starbeck and back up to the club. Dave isn’t here this week, but we’ll be keeping his memory alive with a pint and a bag of crisps in the bar afterwards. Why not come up and say hello?


On Sunday, we’ll be having our second reccie of the Guy Fawkes 10 route. If you haven’t run it before or don’t know your marshal position, then it’d be a really good idea if you could make time to get to this. The pace will be relaxed and steady – we won’t leave you behind, I promise – and it will be made all the more fun as I will be your host for the day. If you can come, and I hope that you can, then please meet at the carpark at Ripley and be ready to run for 9.30am.


If the thought of the morning in my company is as welcome as, well, I don’t know, then you could always have a look at bit of fell running action on Sunday morning. There’s the 7.5 mile Bronte Way fell race near Colne, starting at 11am. I’ve never done it before, so don’t ask me anything. Just scrape together your £8 entry fee and get all the other relevant info here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4449.


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

There are loads of you I haven’t yet heard from. And I really need to. If you can marshal, then stop teasing me and holding me in suspense. Give me the answers that I long to hear.


Marshal plan attached here.


Word to the Wise

So I was out running the Three Peaks yesterday with Dave Prince and Matt Rickard (5:49:and a bit, thank you very much). Dave had educated us both in the difference between type one fun and type two fun (the former is fun while it is happening, and the latter only fun after it’s all over). Somewhere near the bottom of Ingleborough, Matt decided he’d had enough, that his legs hurt, and that any type one fun remaining was quickly converting into the second type. Under the guise of tying his shoelaces or something, he lay down in the middle of the path, put his hands over his face and cried out:

“How the f*** do people actually do this in under three hours?” – Matt Rickard, in mid-tantrum.


And if it weren’t for the tantrum, we’d have probably done it in 5:47.


See you later in the week. Sleep tight.


Sam x

Weekly Update: Sarah’s doggy fashion…

Evening all…


So we went for fish and chips after the Bridlington Half Marathon, like you do. When in Rome and all of that. Only it wasn’t Rome, because it wasn’t sunny and we couldn’t find the Spanish Steps. It was hoying it down with rain. Anyway, while Martin was educating us all on the virtues of pickled eggs and mushy peas, Warren and Dan decided they’d skip lunch and head straight to Wetherspoons. We caught up with them an hour later to see them in full flow on the Birra Moretti and Dan relishing in his new found role as Bantersaurus  Rex and offering advice to all and sundry on the local area and it’s inhabitants:

“I’m in Jeremy Kyle country here. Get a beer and get out”

The man never shut up, later advising his bestie:

“You’re in East Yorkshire, Warren. Forget your middle class ideas and get out”

And get out we did, Dan diverting via the off-licence to get more beer to drink illicitly on the back of the bus. This gave the newly appointed Archbishop of Banterbury the chance to tell us about his difficulties in paying the shop assistant because she only had two fingers. Once he’d given his views on all the pubs, bars, taxi firms and seedy joints in Harrogate, he decided to give some life coaching to Alex P, all the while ducking behind the seat in front to sip at his beer. Without pausing for breath (and he really didn’t, not even Debbie G could get a word in edgeways, bless her), he then struck up with conversation with driver and asked him if he had enjoyed his fish and chips. The driver replied:

“I didn’t have fish and chips. You’ve asked me three times already”


Without a doubt, the best day ever. And with those fond memories and a hangover, let’s have a look at this week’s results.



First off the blocks this week is Andy Todd, who has been over the sea in the Netherlands. Andy (3:04:38) competed in the Amsterdam Marathon at the weekend, and as you’ll see managed to get an incredible time on the course. Say what you like about that part of the world being pan flat, it really doesn’t matter. That’s an amazing time. Well done, Andy.


I bloody love, Alex Crowton, I really do. Cheers me up every time I see the loveable Brummie. His fellow natives might have described ‘our kid’ as ‘yampy’ for tackling the Birmingham Half Marathon at the weekend, but his performance was ‘bostin’ as he (1:43:05) romped home to a brand new PB. His Facebook post dedicates his victory to all “the brothers and sisters at Nidd Valley Road Runners”. I’m not sure whether he had been drinking or not. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that, but we appreciate his sentiment either way.


They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And by that we mean that Cath Barber, Edoardo Piano, Alan Davidson, Carol Morgan, Fingers Harris and Sarah Chalmers grabbed their waterproof jackets and laced up their off-road shoes to compete in the British Fell Relays up in Loch Lomond. Under the watchful eye of their Jedi Master, Fell Running Phil, they battled through high winds, torrential rain and dire visibility to claim 89th place (6:39:something) out of 115 teams – an amazing achievement when you consider the quality of the field (not the actual field, obviously, I assume that was just muddy and field-like, but you know what I mean). Nine teams didn’t even finish, so if that doesn’t say something profound about the effort of our lot, then nothing will. Anyway, well done to you all. That’s a great achievement, and I’m relieved to hear that the Nidd Valley flag remained suitably erect despite the poor weather conditions.

My love for these people. What can I say, it's pretty spectacular...

My love for these people. What can I say, it’s pretty spectacular…

The weather wasn’t much better yesterday when we headed over to East Yorkshire to get involved in the penultimate race in the club championships: the Bridlington Half Marathon. It was lovely weather beforehand. It was lovely weather afterwards. But for the two hours that we were out there, it did nothing but pour down, with headlong winds making the last two miles into town even more of a challenge. Anyway, I’m a running club Chairman and not a Michael Fish, so I’ll get straight to the result. Warren Lowcock (1:22:32) took tenth position overall in the 530-strong field, while Martin Lofthouse (1:24:01) pulled out all the stops to deny Alex Patrickson (1:27:50) second place in an exciting twist of fortunes. I have really no idea how I (1:32:59) managed to take so much from my PB, but am pleased to the extent that I am not even trying to be self-effacing when people congratulate me. But less of me! Spare a thought for Adam Kirk (1:36:26) whose asthma got the better of him, allowing Dan Eagling (1:34:31) to take a lead in the last two miles. It’s hard to believe that it was Jon Easton’s (1:37:19) first ever half marathon, and I’m sure you’ll agree it was a great performance to get that particular ball rolling. Fiona (1:39:10) and Mike (1:39:20) Deacon were the next to finish, with Mike, ever chivalrous, maintaining that he let Fi win. Emma Dooley (1:43:00) was on cracking form as she stretched her legs after her performance at Berlin last month, before Jim Cook (1:43:47) and Chris Beattie (1:45:51) came a-slippin’ and a-slidin’ down the harbour front as the rain poured harder still. The show was rounded up with Debbie Gibson (1:53:00), Rachel Hebblewhite (1:53:09) and Mark Armstrong (1:55:36), all coming in comfortably under two hours. Special thanks to Ann and Dave Rushton, who were cheering us like only Nidders can as we passed through the halfway point at Bempton, and also to Sarah Hughan who acted as coat-carrier and key-holder in her new role as Nidd Valley’s Pastoral Care Officer.

The boys are back in town!

The boys are back in town!

Right, this impressive stuff on my part. With nothing but a slightly ambiguous Facebook status a couple of photos to go on, I’ve managed to deduce that Matt Wilkinson competed in the Bedford Autodrome Duathlon yesterday. Impressed? Yeah, so you should be. Matt (2:10:17) took tenth place overall out of the 33 hardy souls who lined up at the start. Congrats, Wilks.


You’ve been spared the long parkrun write up this week, as most of you were down at the Stray helping out Nidd Valley host what was – in my humble opinion – a truly magnificent parkrun. Thanks to all of you who turned out, whether you paced, scanned, marshalled, cajoled, timed, or just hung around and cheered. We got some really good feedback, and I appreciate it very much. We’ve had a few people enquire about coming along to the club since Saturday, so you’re clearly doing something right. Thanks, team!

Race Director, Baby G

Race Director, Baby G

But on the subject of parkrun, I’ll allow Fiona Robinson (31:43) a quick mention for her showing at Doncaster parkrun as she continued in her campaign to do all the Saturday 5ks in Yorkshire. If you want to know why she wasn’t on the Stray with you all, then you’ll have to bring it up with her when you see her. Well done, Fiona!


Don’t be like Matt. Send me your result instead: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

If it is a Tuesday, it is a club run. But you knew that so I have no doubt that you’ll be at the Hockey Club for 7pm. We’ll have a run round the supermarkets. Leave the club towards Iron Bridge, down the back pass towards ASDA, through town and past Waitrose, and from there you head over the Stray towards the Showground and Sainsburys – you can add in a detour via M&S en route if you’re feeling sparky – then up Forest Moor towards Morrisons and up to the club. I’ll be sorry to miss it, but work calls.


As is becoming usual on a Tuesday, Catherine Barber will be leading a ‘steady’ group for those of you who don’t have the speed, inclination or confidence to go haring off. The pace will be one everyone can keep up with, and no one will be left behind. You see, you really have no excuse not to be involved. Meet at the Hockey Club with everyone else at 7pm. More details on the general ethos of this can be found here: http://niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk/2016/10/17/steady-group/


On Thursday, let’s have another crack at Knox. Well, I like the hills. From the Hockey Club, it’s over the bridge and onto Woodfield Road, down Tennyson and Bachelor Gardens before climbing up onto Skipton Road. From there, you can head back to the club, or push up Ripon Road into Town, extending round the Stray if you have it in you. It’s your call. After that, we’ll be letting our hair down as things get totally out of hand in the club house bar. It’ll be a night to remember, I promise you that much.


In readiness for the GF10, we’ve got the first of the reccie runs for you on Saturday. This one is ably led by Jon Easton, so you’ll be in the safest of hands. If you haven’t run the course before, don’t know your marshal position (see below!), or are able to help deliver leaflets to the natives of Nidderdale, then you need to be at the carpark in Ripley for 9.30am. Go on, we’ll even let you off parkrun for a week to take part.


If you fancy something a bit different on Saturday, you could always head up to Kettlewell to take part in the Great Whernside Fell Race. It’s only 4m and comes with an attractive £5 price tag. If you can get yourself there for the 11.30am start, then you’ll need to do your preparation here: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=4259.


On Sunday, we’re back at the club championships with the final race of the season: the Whixley 10k. Bloody hell, they’re offering a snack pack to all finishers. I can think of nothing that isn’t to love about this race. Entry is £11.50 for Nidders, and you need to get your name in by the Friday deadline. Well, go on, what are you waiting for? Get on it: http://www.whixley.org/?p=8232.


Talking About the Championships…

A few of you have been asking to see the standings for the club and fell championships. The results take a few days to filter through (Mark D has to do some techy things with them. He tried to explain it to me but I just looked bewildered so he kindly gave up and promised not to confuse me again), so the results from Withins and Bridlington won’t be uploaded yet. Still, you’ll notice that it is quite close and there is all to play for. Have a look, if you’re that way inclined.


These links will continue to work as we update them, so just save the ones that you are interested in, and keep an eye on your competition. Keep your enemies close, and all that…


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

Right, okay. You really do know the deal by now. Whether it is affirmation or excuses, I need to hear from you (especially if you’re name is Laura Angus and you find yourself promoted from the reserve list into your very own position). Marshal plan attached here and I am where I have always been: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


I’ll be sending Alan Harby round with the baseball bat and piano wires to get the answers from you if they’re not forthcoming. Nobody wants that.


Oh yeah, and by the way, we’ll be doing the usual goody-bag packing in Ripley Village Hall on the Saturday from about 10am. I’ll confirm nearer the time. But many hands make light work yadda yadda yadda… If you could pop up after parkrun and help out (it usually takes no more than an hour), Race Director Matt will give you a big hug.


Mike & Fiona’s Housewarming Run: 20 November 2016

Some advanced notice here. Mike and Fiona want to invite you up to the new Deacon Towers so you can marvel in jealousy at the brand new rural idyll. You know the kind of thing, go for a run and they’ll pop the kettle on afterwards. All sounds lovely, and it will be even lovelier when more details emerge in the next few weeks. Just pop the date in your diary.


Word to the Wise

So at a club run last week, Sarah H was out with one of those flashing light things clipped to her so that she could be seen by motorists and so we could shout her back if she got all excited and ran off into the darkness. And one of her fellow Nidder had a thought to share:

“You look like one of those dogs on the Stray, Sarah” – Dave Seaman, playing with fire.


I’ll leave it there.


Sam x

Steady Group

So, a steady grouop, yeah? A bit of explanation about what we’re trying to do is probably helpful.

This is going to be on a Tuesday as part of the usual club runs, except when winter intervals are on (people always enjoy doing that together). It will be a group making a conscious effort to go steady away and stick together so that the less speedy, more relaxed, less confident are able to come to the club knowing that there will be some fellow runners for them.

No one gets left behind and everyone is encouraged.

We’re hoping to introduce a group at the other end of spectrum for those that like pain, distance, silly speeds and the possibility of vomiting. Inclusivity works both ways, encompassaing the fast and the steady. More details on this one to follow.

There will still be the sizeable ‘middle ground’ who’ll do the run they’ve always done, breaking into ad hoc groups and varying their route as they go. We’re just pushing towards making sure there is something for those at both ends of the Nidd Valley Spectrum with a conscious effort to include them from the off.

All runs will start from the Hockey Club at the usual time. It’s good to keep that club feel, I think.

Thursdays will remain a more relaxed club run, with no specific groups but with beers afterwards.

This is NOT about segregating the club into regimented groups. It’s your club, run with who you like, as far as you like, as you like. We’re not telling you to do anything. Run with the steady lot one night, and step up another time, or vice versa if you need to take your foot from the gas. That’s fine.

This is NOT about turning the club into Harriers with stratified groups. We’re still Nidd Valley, and just as friendly and daft as e’re we once were. I’d just like everyone to feel that they are included, and I hope this goes someway to make that happen.

Comments / questions etc., always welcome.

Sam x

Weekly Update: I’m not blowing it for you…



So has anyone heard from the London Marathon organisers yet? I’m desperately hoping for good news and could barely wait to get home today, only to find my doormat bereft of any news. Sorry if you haven’t received good news and instead received the magazine of doom. We’ll be applying for club places as per usual, so you should have a chance to relive the ubiquitous disappointment all over again in December. Feel dejected? Don’t feel so sad, there’s some cracking results to share. If these don’t get your pecker up, well, I don’t know what will.



Does anyone remember Jane Hill and Michelle Dinsdale? They used to run with the club. We haven’t seen them for ages ever since they got this silly marathon running business in their heads and went off on their lonesome to train for the York Marathon. And, well, they’ll be pleased that they did and that all their hard work paid off. Jane (4:49:10) and Michelle (5:13:21) both set off with a sub-4:30 looking like a distinct possibility, but a marathon is a cruel and fickle mistress with a venomous sting in her tail, and the going got tough for the ladies as they battled for home in their first attempt at the marathon distance. They were joined in popping their marathon cherry by Marcos Montana (5:04:47) who wasn’t going to let the long course daunt him. Marathon veteran Michelle Smith (4:42:22) was on hand to lead the Nidd Valley Brigade through the City, out to Stamford Bridge, though Dunnington, round the villages and back to York University. Well done to you all, especially to you marathon newbies.


The Church of Nidd Valley (amen to that, I say) is nothing if not broad, and while we had a contingent out pounding the streets of York, Emma David was back in the Lake District to compete in the Lakes in a Day Race. You know the kind of thing, nothing too strenuous, only 50 miles and 14,000ft of climb. Emma (13:28:46) – and get this – managed to take fifth place out of the 68 female finishers. For some reason the website insists on differentiating the results based on gender, and I haven’t the time nor the inclination to count through them all, put them in order, disregard the many that didn’t finish just to furnish you with more irrelevant statistical context. You don’t need it. Is all you need to know is that Emma did incredibly well. But hey, you knew that anyway, right?


You know that moment when the dog brings you a stick or a half-chewed tennis ball, drops it at your feet and then looks up at you with the puppy dog eyes? You know what you’re expected to do, and no further explanation is necessary. Well that is pretty much what Dave Prince has just done with the results from the Withins Skyline. He just text me the link, nothing else, and clearly expects a write up. Well, so long as he doesn’t expect me to pick up his poop in a little plastic bag as well, then I’m happy to oblige. Tim Harvey (48:06) was first Nidd back off the hill, beating a very much on-form Fingers Harris (50:49) with a strong finish. I’m just gutted that I didn’t accept Fingers’ £20 wager that he could beat Tim. Carol Morgan (57:19) led the Nidd Valley Ladies back to the finish line, Fell Running Phil (1:04:16) was unable to wipe the smile off his face having been allowed up to play in the hills for two weeks in a row, and Dave Prince (1:06:04) was enjoying a return to full strength. Dave Seaman (1:10:09) and Catherine Barber (1:12:08) were just ahead of the ever-chatty Debbie Gibson (1:07:48) and Sarah Chalmers (1:32:21). Congratulations to you all.

Best photo of the year, I think.

Best photo of the year, I think.

There wasn’t much by way of parkrun tourism this week. Not that I’m complaining, it means I’ll have this bad boy dispatched this side of midnight. Anyway, starting with Fountains, we’ve got some great times from Tim Harvey (18:01) – clearly resting for Withins by taking it faster than I could ever do – and Andy Todd (18:54), with Matt Rickard (20:56) and Jamie Dilasser (21:56) not too far behind them.


Down in Harrogate, Warren Lowcock (17:34) found himself a new PB and second place overall, with Alex Patrickson (18:26) just pipping Martin Lofthouse (18:28) to the finish – such cruel fate! I’ve no idea what Matt Wilkinson (19:10) was so relaxed, and Dan Eagling (20:01) just missed out on the 20 minute cut off point. No worries, he’s been there, done it, and got that tee-shirt. Stop rambling and focus, Fugill. We don’t see much of Christine Holleran (23:40) but it is always nice when she turns up, and we’re always pleased to catch up with Mark Armstrong (23:48), Alison Iles (24:04), Sarah Hughan (24:10), Moira McTague (24:54) and Catherine Barber (24:56). The hugest of congratulations are also due to Tony LC (26:38), Hannah Peagram (26:48), Neil Wright (29:50) and Jeff Walker (32:26). As ever: well done all. Your club loves you.


You’ll have to blow your own trumpet. I’m not blowing it for you: chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk.


The Week Ahead

Yes, okay. I know it’s a pain in the arse when the weather turns and gets dark early as it does restrict the choice of routes somewhat. Nothing I can do about it, I’m afraid. Cheer up. It’ll be intervals soon.


Ah to hell with it, let’s throw caution to the athletic wind and run Pannal on Tuesday. From the club house, it is round the edge of the Stray to Oatlands Drive and down Hookstone Chase to Leeds Road Crossroads. If you don’t fancy Pannal (understandable if you don’t, tbh), then you can head back down Leeds Road or out towards Rossett School and back in. If you do Pannal, it’s down Leeds Road to the village before you start the pull up Church Lane and onto the bottom of Green Lane. See you at the Hockey Club for 7pm.


On Thursday, we’ll run the Cold Bath Road run. Meeting at the Hockey Club for 7pm, it is out on Skipton Road and down to Kings Road. Once you’re down into town, head past the Council Offices and the Crown Hotel before the climb up Cold Bath Road. After that, you can turn for home, or push out down Pannal Ash Road and Leadhall Lane. Extend or cut short as you feel. I don’t mind. But do turn up, it’ll do you good. You can even have a pint upstairs in the bar afterwards.


On Saturday, we’re hosting Harrogate parkrun. Thanks to all who have volunteered to help out, and I’m dead excited to have all pacing positions between 20 and 35 minutes all filled and ready to go. I’ve attached our marshal plan for this here, so if you don’t know what you are doing, then this is where you need to be.


We’ve got the Bridlington Half Marathon on Sunday. There’s still space to enter the race (you do that here: http://www.bridlingtonrr.co.uk/page16.html) and I’ve still got a couple of seats left on the minibus. If you want a seat on that, then let me know. If you are coming on the Nidd Valley Express, we are leaving from the Hockey Club at 6.45am sharp (yeah, I know) as this gives us time to get to Brid, get parked up, kitted up and warmed up. We’re leaving at 3pm in the afternoon, so this gives us time for fish and chips and for Alex and Martin to try their luck on the slot machines. I’ll send out a confirmation to people nearer towards the end of the week.


And last, but not least, good luck to all of you racing in the British Fell Championships in Loch Lomond at the weekend. You’ll have a blast, I’m sure. I think. I hope. Maybe.


Caption Competition

Well done, Anne-Marie. A bottle of the finest red wine from the cellars here at Nidd Valley House will be specially selected for you. For those that wanted to know Anne-Marie’s winning one liner…

“When I said that that was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, it was metaphorical, I didn’t mean you to test it out”


Guy Fawkes 10: 6 November 2016

I appreciate this is becoming a bore for you each week. You know the deal: check it and confirm it. If you can’t do it, I need to know ASAP, but I also need to do if you can. I’ll start ringing round and badgering you all in person next week, so save yourself the hassle (it’s like the TV licence people, isn’t it?). Marshal plan attached here.


Thanks to all of you who are getting involved. We couldn’t do it without you. I’d give you a big hug but I’m not a huge fan of touching people, especially strangers.


As an aside, we’re looking for someone (or some people) to get involved with helping to run this race next year. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t run itself, and there is a bit of work behind the scenes, but we really need some more to get involved. You can speak with me if you want rambling delusions of power and fame (chair@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk). If you want sensible answers, ask Matt (guyfawkes@niddvalleyroadrunners.co.uk).


Word to the Wise

So we met for drinks last Monday for Bob and Annie, and Terry Massey was holding forth at the bar, complementing Fingers Harris on his recent running achievements, unwittingly becoming one of Nidd Valley’s wise men in the process:

“You’re running well, Fingers, what are you doing? You stopped drinking? You taking drugs? You joined a proper running club?”


Fair point.


I’m outta here!


Sam x