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!
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
Nidd Valley Road Runners
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